by Zoe Pollock

Lawrence Wright has a pretty damning report on Scientology, using Paul Haggis' departure (citing anti-gay sentiment in the Church) as a jumping off point:

But hadn’t certain derogatory references to homosexuality found in some editions of [Scientology founder L. Ron] Hubbard’s books been changed after his death?

[Scientology spokesman Tommy] Davis admitted that that was so, but he maintained that “the current editions are one-hundred-per-cent, absolutely fully verified as being according to what Mr. Hubbard wrote.” Davis said they were checked against Hubbard’s original dictation.

“The extent to which the references to homosexuality have changed are because of mistaken dictation?” I asked.

“No, because of the insertion, I guess, of somebody who was a bigot,” Davis replied.

“Somebody put the material in those?”

“I can only imagine. . . . It wasn’t Mr. Hubbard,” Davis said, cutting me off.

“Who would’ve done it?”

“I have no idea.”

“Hmm.”

“I don’t think it really matters,” Davis said. “The point is that neither Mr. Hubbard nor the church has any opinion on the subject of anyone’s sexual orientation. . . .”

“Someone inserted words that were not his into literature that was propagated under his name, and that’s been corrected now?” I asked.

“Yeah, I can only assume that’s what happened,” Davis said.

After this exchange, I looked at some recent editions that the church had provided me with. On page 125 of “Dianetics,” a “sexual pervert” is defined as someone engaging in “homosexuality, lesbianism, sexual sadism, etc.” Apparently, the bigot’s handiwork was not fully excised.

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