A British book the Church of Scientology managed to block in America is finally on sale in the US 27 years after it was published elsewhere in the world.
The book, Bare-Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard, written by Russell Miller, a British journalist, and originally published in 1987, appeared in print and tablet editions in the US earlier this month.
The book exposes many of the boasts of Mr Hubbard, the late founder of Scientology, about his early life and achievements as outright lies.
It was heavily cited in a recent US best-seller Going Clear, by Lawrence Wright, and this latest publication adds to a series of attacks and high-profile member defections that have undermined the oddball religion followed by celebrities such as Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Elizabeth Moss of Mad Men fame.
Bare-Faced Messiah exposes Mr Hubbard's claims that he was one of America's earliest nuclear physicists and a medical doctor as untrue. He actually dropped out of George Washington University and never received a degree. It also debunks many claims Mr Hubbard made about a prosperous childhood spent breaking horses on a Montana ranch and travelling in Asia communing with holy men and mystics.
Mr Hubbard was a science fiction writer and developed a series of theories and philosophies into a religion in the 1950s based on spiritual rehabilitation and the notion of followers being immortal beings derived from extra-terrestrial forces. Mr Hubbard died in 1986.
Robert Miller has updated some of the introduction to his book but essentially it is the same material that was published the year after Mr Hubbard's death.
At the time the Church of Scientology sued to get it banned in the US via the courts. After two years of legal battles, Mr Miller's lawyers abandoned their side's efforts and the book was available everywhere except the US for the next two-plus decades.
Now the new, independent US publisher Silvertail Books is putting out Bare-Faced Messiah in America.
It's website describes the book as telling the story of "a penniless science fiction writer who...became a millionaire prophet and convinced his adoring followers that he alone could save the world".
The publisher also lists prominently a book investigating Scientology by another British journalist, John Sweeney, titled Church of Fear.
Scientology has increasingly come under fire in the last two to three years from previous long-term followers and staff members accusing it of pressuring followers for donations, cutting defectors off from their families and subjecting staff to overwork and humiliating forms of discipline.
The Church of Scientology strongly and consistently dismisses such criticisms as inaccurate gossip by a disaffected few.
Robert Miller's book acknowledges Mr Hubbard's charisma and "mad genius" but attempts to debunk many of his claims and core preachings.
Mr Miller told the New York Post: "It's always been an utter mystery to me that anybody could read Bare-Faced Messiah and then still take Scientology seriously. You know, to have a founder with a track record like his doesn't make any sense to me, but there it is."
Book critical of Scientology, banned from America for 27 years, now goes on sale in US - Telegraph