An investigation of the history and practices of the Church of Scientology. IRE Award Judges' comments: Wright's investigation of the Church of Scientology is groundbreaking in its examination of one of the most well-known, but secretive religion organizations in the world. He draws on previously secret documents-- including internal works of the church's founder L. Ron Hubbard--interviews with former and current members of the church and hundreds of court records to present a hard- hitting, but balanced view of church and its followers. The book shines a light on the church's harsh treatment of those who try to leave, but also highlights those, including some of Hollywood's biggest stars, who have benefited from its teachings. The book also explores the complicated biography of the church's founder and its relationship with its most famous member, actor Tom Cruise. Despite threats from the church, which is known of its aggressive defense of of its works and members, this work provides the best understanding of Scientology to date.