Scientology in 2012: John Sweeney, Paulette Cooper, and More Look Back on a Year of Crisis for the Church - 2012-12-20
With the year winding down, we thought we'd ask several fellow Scientology watchers to give us their thoughts on how the church fared in 2012. Here are their responses, and we're looking forward to reading your reflections about 2012 in the comments. Tell us what were your highlights, and how you think 2012 fits in the 60-year history of the church.
First up, BBC journalist John Sweeney, who has a book coming out on January 7, The Church of Fear: Inside the Weird World of Scientology.
John Sweeney: Five years on since I lost my temper so spectacularly with the Church, the world's take on Scientology seems to have changed beyond recognition. Back in 2007, the Church's power to intimidate people was strong and I felt, if not alone, then there were not very many people who would take it on, openly. By 2012, that has changed. The Church's apostles, Tom Cruise and John Travolta, are under pressure as never before to explain their support for Leader David Miscavige. The number of people leaving has become a flood. In 2013, three books on the Church will come out, but Lawrence Wright's publisher in the UK has pulled out — proof that the Church, though wounded, remains powerful. My book, The Church Of Fear: Inside the Weird World of Scientology, will be published, come hell or high water. The Church says that I am psychotic, etc, etc, etc...