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Amazon UK pulls Scientology exposé for 'legal reasons'

Silences former member of church's 'secret army'

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Amazon UK has barred the sale of a new Scientology exposé penned by a former member of the church's "elite paramilitary group."

The British incarnation of the world's most popular etailer is no longer offering The Complex: An Insider Exposes the Covert World of the Church of Scientology, a 318-page tome from John Duignan, who spent 22 years inside the top secret organization.

In a recent post to an anti-Scientology discussion forum, an Anonymous Brit says that after pre-ordering the book, he received an email from Amazon announcing it had been "removed from sale for legal reasons".

Amazon UK has yet to respond to out request for comment. But the book - published on October 7 - is no longer listed on the site. A Google search reveals it was available for sale as recently as October 23.

Amazon bars sales of Scientology expose

Amazon listing retrieved via Google time machine

For the moment, The Complex is still available from UK booksellers WH Smith and Waterstones. And it's available on Amazon's US incarnation - though it's listed as "out of stock". We're also awaiting a response from Amazon US.

The US listing describes the book like this:

For the first time ever, a former high-ranking member of the Church of Scientology is lifting the lid on life inside the world s fastest growing cult. The Complex reveals the true story behind the religion that has ensnared a Who's Who list of celebrities such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, and convinced thousands of ordinary people to join up.

Duignan describes how two years ago he staged a dramatic escape from the elite paramilitary group at the core of the Church, the Sea Organisation, and how he narrowly evaded pursuit by Scientologists from the Office of Special Affairs. He looks back on the 22 years he served in the Church's secret army and describes the hours of sleep deprivation, brain-washing and intense auditing or religious counselling he endured, as he was moulded into a soldier of Scientology.

He talks about the money-making-machine at the heart of the Church, the Scientology goal to Clear the Planet and Get Ethics In, the training programmes, the Rehabilitation Project Force and the punishments meted out to anyone who transgresses, including children. We follow his journey through the Church and the painful investigation that leads to his eventual realisation that there is something very wrong at Scientology's core.

The Complex was published by the Dublin, Ireland-based Merlin Publishing. Famously, Andrew Morton's unauthorized biography of American film star Tom Cruise - which also served as a Scientology exposé - was published in the US, but not in the UK, Australia, or New Zealand, thanks to stricter libel laws. ®

Update

Amazon US says "we're awaiting arrival of the inventory into our fulfillment networks. As soon as we get the books in our fulfillment centers, we'll start shipping them out to customers."

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