It's under fire in Hollywood. In France it's been convicted of fraud. Germany is considering banning the religion, and everywhere, its numbers appear to be declining. Still, the Church of Scientology prospers, in Canada and beyond. It enjoys tax benefits in many provinces thanks to its designation as a "religious organization." And scandals haven't stopped Scientology from a massive real estate expansion, with investments in new, state-of-the art churches.
Senior writer Nicholas Köhler takes us into the strange world of Scientology, the church-affiliated drug rehab centre Narconon, and Scientology's mysterious Sea Organization, a "religious order" whose adherents sign billion-year contracts. Köhler draws on hours of interviews with Scientology apostatesincluding the articulate former logger from Chilliwack, B.C. whom Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard once named his personal archivist and who today remains one of Scientology's fiercest opponents. In doing so he paints a vivid and troubling portrait of what is surely the world's most inscrutable and bizarre religion.