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Publication of a book on Scientology is cancelled in the UK after legal threats

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The book is based on a 2011 New Yorker article, “The Apostate,” which Wright wrote after interviewing screenwriter and director Paul Haggis, who resigned from the organization. 

“The famously litigious Church of Scientology,” as well as celebrities belonging to the church sent “innumerable threatening letters” to Wright and his publishers, according to the Times.

It was, apparently, enough to persuade Transworld to back away from publishing the book in the UK, where it is easier to sue for libel than in the US. 

“Our legal advice was that some of the content was not robust enough for the UK market and an appropriately edited version would not fit with our schedule. The decision not to publish was taken internally,” Transworld’s publicity director, Patsy Irwin, said in a statement, according to the UK’s Telegraph.

The Church of Scientology says it attempted many times to reach out to Wright and his publisher.

“The author and publisher refused to provide the Church with a copy of the book and showed little interest in receiving input from the Church during both the writing and the so-called 'fact-checking,’” church spokesperson Karin Pouw said in a statement. “Having seen how inaccurate his New Yorker article was, the Church asked numerous times for a reasonable opportunity to assist in helping making his book factual. More than 15 requests were ignored, many not answered at all. From the limited excerpts we have seen, the book contains numerous falsehoods and we think it wise that they chose not to publish it in the UK.”

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