Rolling Stone contributing editor and National Magazine Award-nominated journalist Janet Reitman discussed her groundbreaking book Inside Scientology at BookHampton in Sag Harbor Friday night.
Reitman — who has covered the war in Iraq, Robert Mugabe in Sudan, post-earthquake relief efforts in Haiti and the Duke University lacrosse scandal — turned her magnifying glass toward Scientology for a March 2006 Rolling Stone article that made headlines. Still fascinated after the publication of the article, Reitman continued to research Scientology for an additional five years resulting in a complete and unprecedented look at the controversial and uniquely American religion.
Known for being litigious, but also appreciating Reitman's reputation for being objective, The Church of Scientology allowed her access most reporters would have been denied. Inside Scientology also showcases interviews with Scientology "apostates" who allowed Reitman access to hundreds of documents purloined during defections from the church.
Reitman described the Clearwater, FL headquarters as being under close CCTV observance that even extended to the streets surrounding the hotel now housing Scientology offices and classrooms. While she hasn't been subject to any harassment herself, Reitman acknowledged that there were sources for Inside Scientology who were extremely nervous about speaking with her.
Signed copies of Inside Scientology, which was featured in Sunday's NYT Book Review, are available at BookHampton online and in Sag Harbor. For a complete list of all BookHampton's events, please visit our website.