'The Church of Scientology' by Hugh B. Urban chronicles the controversial rise of a religion - 2011-08-31
In "The Church of Scientology," Hugh B. Urban, a professor of religious studies at Ohio State University, provides a fascinating account of how a healing practice called Dianetics came to define itself - and become officially recognized - as a religion in the United States. Urban strains to strike a balance between what he calls "a hermeneutics of respect and a hermeneutics of suspicion," grounded in a firm belief in freedom of worship and an obligation to ask tough questions about alleged misbehavior by Scientologists, including espionage against government agencies, attacks on critics, abuse of members, and attempts to alter entries in Wikipedia.