The following is a statement from Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, the publisher of Lawrence Wright’s book, “Going Clear,” responding to the Church of Scientology statement.
Wright spent several years researching and writing, GOING CLEAR. During that time he conducted over 250 interviews, the majority of them with present and former Scientologists; sourced original material about the Church and its founder; read thousands of documents; and did extensive reporting. He was assisted by a fact checker throughout the process. The fact checker was in contact with the Church numerous times prior to publication, having sent over 150 queries to one of their spokespeople. The Church responded slowly and evasively, frequently putting forth their own agenda and complaining about the focus of Wright’s reporting rather than addressing Wright’s queries. Additionally, Wright provided officials from the Church with repeated opportunities to speak on the record and they declined to do so. As part of the publication process, the book went through a vigorous vetting by Random House counsel. It is worth noting that Wright is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, and the genesis of this book – his The New Yorker article about Paul Haggis (“The Apostate”) – won the National Magazine Award for reporting. Given the arc and scope of Wright’s narrative, and the readership it is likely to draw, it is unsurprising that the Church has chosen to vilify Wright, as well as reach out to media organizations in an effort to influence their coverage of his book.