The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, No. 13: Janet Reitman

On August 5, we started a countdown that will give credit -- or blame -- to the people who have contributed most to the sad current state of Scientology. From its greatest expansion in the 1980s, the church is a shell of what it once was and is mired in countless controversies around the world. Some of that was self-inflicted, and some of it has come from outside. Join us now as we continue on our investigation of those people most responsible...

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Janet Reitman's Inside Scientology: 'The Print Reviews Have Been Really Positive'

Back in June, we put up one of the first reviews of Janet Reitman's terrific book, Inside Scientology. We were also first to interview her about it, and the first to report from her initial public appearances.

Were we enthusiastic? Look, we just couldn't get enough of Janet and her impact on Scientology watching. So sue us.

But now that it's been a while, we checked back in with the Brooklyn resident to see how the big publicity push has been going. Janet gave us some juicy quotes about how her book has been received, how well it's selling, and why the hell we haven't seen more of her on television promoting the best damn history of Scientology ever written.

After the jump, her thoughts on all that, as well as a giant collection of the things that have been written about her and her book since we did our best, in our own humble way, to launch her into orbit around Teegeeack.

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Janet Reitman: Unflappable as Scientologists Question Her Motives

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Over at the Washington Post website, Janet Reitman, author of Inside Scientology, just concluded an hour-long live question and answer session with the public.

As usual, Reitman was calm and unflappable in the face of criticism. We pointed out this weekend that Scientology's official objection to her book is specious at best: they accuse her of not talking to active Scientologists while she compiled her book, which is marketed as the first truly objective, journalistic history of the church.

As we pointed out earlier, Scientology's criticism is a dodge.

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'Inside Scientology': Janet Reitman's Book Tour Starts Off With a Scientologist Challenging Her

Reitman at Book Court
There was an electric moment last night at Book Court in Brooklyn when Janet Reitman's first public appearance to support her book, Inside Scientology, was interrupted by a disruptive scene between a Scientologist and a church critic.

A Book Court employee had to step in when the two men appeared oblivious that they'd hijacked Reitman's talk for their own debate. But afterwards, Reitman expressed some excitement about the scene.

The author had told us that she was hoping this first appearance, on the date her book was officially on sale, would be a quiet affair more for close friends, who had showed up in strong numbers. It's next week's reading at Half King where she is expecting fireworks might go off as members of Anonymous have told her they plan to show up en masse.

But last night's scene was remarkable in several ways. Afterwards, we caught up with both men who stopped the event in its tracks.

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Janet Reitman: An Interview with the Author of Inside Scientology

Janet Reitman
On Tuesday, we sat down with Janet Reitman, author of the terrific new book Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion, which is just hitting bookstores and will be released officially in July.

Inside Scientology is a masterful telling of Scientology's history, from L. Ron Hubbard's pulp fiction career in the 1930s to events happening just last year as an Independence movement splits with current Scientology leader David Miscavige. Along the way, Reitman brilliantly focuses on individuals like Jeff Hawkins and Nancy Many and Lisa McPherson to help us understand the appeal of Hubbard and his "technology," as well as the controversies that have rocked the organization over many decades.

We wanted to know: who is Janet Reitman, and how did she put together such an amazing book?

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'Inside Scientology' Promises a Lot, And Delivers: David Miscavige Has Much to Worry About

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Next month, Janet Reitman's book Inside Scientology will hit bookshelves, and the world of Scientology-watching, and for Scientology itself, will never be the same.

Subtitled The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion, Reitman's book delivers all it promises, and it promises a lot.

"It has been my goal to write the first objective modern history of the Church of Scientology," Reitman proclaims in her introduction. "It is the goal of Inside Scientology to translate [L. Ron Hubbard's arcane] language and separate myth from fact."

That's a big project. And by the end of its 369 pages, you should be convinced that Reitman has not only made good on her goals, but has put together the most masterfully written, narratively rewarding, and thorough yarn about L. Ron Hubbard, David Miscavige, and Scientology and its strange past, present, and possible future.

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