WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Janet Reitman, a contributing editor at Rolling Stone has just published a blockbuster book entitled, "Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, July 2011).

The book began as a story for Rolling Stone that was almost a year in research and then published in March of 2006. What she found that year propelled her further into developing what she calls the "first objective modern history of the Church of Scientology."

In the introduction to the book, Reitman states, "It is the goal of Inside Scientology to translate this language [Ed. - the strange language of Scientology developed by found L. Ron Hubbard that has to be learned to truly understand what they are saying] and separate myth from fact.

"For the past five years I have sought to understand Scientology: not to judge, but simply to absorb," she writes. "What I have found defies expectation, and even definition."

Last month the Editor-in-Chief of the Village Voice, Tony Ortega, announced the upcoming publication by saying that the world of Scientology-watching, and Scientology itself, will never be the same after this book is published.

 "And by the end of its 369 pages, you should be convinced that Reitman has not only made good on her goals, but has put together the most masterfully written, narratively rewarding, and thorough yarn about L. Ron Hubbard, David Miscavige, and Scientology and its strange past, present, and possible future.

In a follow-up story, which included an interview with Reitman, Ortega wrote, "Inside Scientology is a masterful telling of Scientology's history, from L. Ron Hubbard's pulp fiction career in the 1930s to events happening just last year as an Independence movement splits with current Scientology leader David Miscavige.

"Along the way, Reitman brilliantly focuses on individuals like Jeff Hawkins and Nancy Many and Lisa McPherson to help us understand the appeal of Hubbard and his "technology," as well as the controversies that have rocked the organization over many decades.

Catholic Online is scheduled for a special interview with Janet Reitman to talk about the book and her foray into the world of Scientology.

Reitman is not new to journalism or powerful stories, As the biography on her website states she "also covered the war in Iraq for Rolling Stone and has reported on a wide range of other topics, including: the failure of the US and international relief efforts in post-earthquake Haiti; the Duke lacrosse scandal; the death of American aid worker Marla Ruzicka in Baghdad; and the national childhood obesity crisis. She has also reported extensively in Africa, profiling Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe, and covering conflicts in Sudan and Sierra Leone.

"In addition to Rolling Stone, Reitman's work has appeared in GQ, Men's Journal, The New York Times Magazine, the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine, and Salon among other publications. She has also appeared on National Public Radio, Anderson Cooper 360, and Countdown.

"A graduate of the University of California -Santa Cruz, she holds a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and was a 2000 fellow at the International Reporting Project at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies in Washington."


Randy Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online and the CEO/Associate Publisher for the Northern Virginia Local Edition of Catholic Online (http://virginia.catholic.org). He is a former Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church who laid aside that ministry to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church.