Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Update on Censorship on Amazon

So I all know you want me to stop posting about this, which is why it's not my only post today, but I got an email early this morning from, which briefly said it had copies of The Complex and would send my order when it was ready.

Hello from

We are sorry to report that we will not be able to obtain the following item(s) from your order:

John Duignan, et al "The Complex: An Insider Exposes the Covert
World of the Church of Scientology"

Though we had expected to be able to send this item to you, we've since found that it is not available from any of our sources at this time. We realize this is disappointing news to hear, and we apologize for the inconvenience we have caused you.

We have cancelled this item from your order.

While this item is not available directly from, you may be able to purchase it from one of the many other sellers with product listings on Please click on the link above to visit the product detail page. If the item is available from a third-party seller, you will see a "Used & new" link on the product detail page that will provide a list of merchants currently selling the item.

In other words: "The big bad cult told us there was something libelous in it, and rather than check or even wonder why we, as the bookstore and not the author, have a reason to care, we're pulling the concept of selling it." All the major bookstores in England have also pulled it. It is still available at

The publisher of the book, Merlin, released a statement.


Anonymous said...

I think it's good that you post about this. Scientology is clearly a Bad Thing, and the the truth about this vile cult must be known to the public.

Anonymous said...

E book, e book, e book......THAT is the answer. Everyone with a computer could have access to it.

Lorin said...

Please post a review (however short) when you actually get a chance to read this book. After all the drama, I'm so curious if it's any good.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I've heard charges from small publishers that Amazon has done this sort of thing with their book, taking orders, never filling them and suggesting the marketplace. But when they went to the marketplace, they found that Amazon was the seller -- at quite the markup.

Just an FYI... I don't know the depth of the truth to the situation, but I do recall reading about it right on the publisher's site.

none said...

It's common for claimants under English libel law also to sue distributors. Repeating a libel is not a defence.

Ken Summers said...

I'll admit I'm somewhat shocked that such a large bookseller would even bat an eyelash at the Scientologists. This kind of censorship seems quite unfounded and blatantly absurd.

Of course, controversy sells. Just knowing a book is being banned piques interest more than usual. Just think of all the sales they're missing out on... and the free press.

Linnea said...

I was curious about this religion too and found a discard copy of THE SCIENTOLOGY HANDBOOK at my local library. It's an enormous work by L. Ron Hubbard. One of the chapter titles is ANSWERS TO DRUGS.

Anonymous said...


Sorry for the caps, but it had to be said! Scientology is a for-profit corporation, not a religion. At "best" it is a cult, and that's not a good thing. Stay as far away from them as possible.

Anonymous said...

Niles, most religions are historically for profit, whether it's in writing or not. In regards to Scientology being a religion, well, we can at least say it's a cult, run by rich folks.