Scientology Subject of New Lawrence Wright Book

The Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter conducted a series of interview with former church officials.
2:49 | 01/17/13

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Transcript for Scientology Subject of New Lawrence Wright Book
Back now, at 7:40 with scientology in the spotlight this morning. It's the subject of a big, new book causing major waves. Abc's dan harris has been covering scientology for years. He's here, now, with the sorry. Good morning, dan. Reporter: Good morning. Scientology is fighting back against the book by lawrence wright, about the inner workings of the faith and some of its famous members. When you're a scientologist, you see life but you see things the way they are. Reporter: From celebrity members like tom cruise, to the legions of worker bees behind the scene, lawrence wright's new book "going clear" is a sweeping look at scientology. Life after death is life after death. Reporter: The book traces the faith from its founding by l. Ron hubbard, to its current leader, david miscavige. I've never met a more compassionate being. We're lucky to have you. Thank you. Reporter: Some high-ranking church officials have accused miscavige of being abusive. Debbie cook once ran the mecca in florida. I witnessed mr. Miscavige physically punching. Reporter: She testified that she saw miscavige punch a scientology executive. While he never hit her, he did order his secretary to do so. You're in a room with him. And he tells his secretary to slap you? Yes. Reporter: Hard enough that you fewn? Yes. Reporter: Why did he ask her to do this? He was displeased how I was answering a question. It wasn't what he wanted to hear, in some way. Reporter: Church has claims that miscavige punched or slapped anyone, has dismisses cook as a defrocked apostate who is defaming the church. The church dismisses as lies, david miscavige's own niece. She says more than two decades ago, she and other children of scientology's elite sea were given grueling tasks, ranging from weeding to planting to hauling rocks for walls. They would pass it up. And it would go in the wheelbarrow. Reporter: You were 6 years old? 6 to 12. Reporter: Did it cross your mind that most children on earth are not living this way? No. Not at that time. Overnight, the church provided abc news with a statement. Attacking lawrence wright's book as an assail of bizarre tales by confessed liars, consumed with a media smear campaign against the church. Back to you. Fascinating stuff.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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