Journalist and author Lawrence Wright was born on August 2, 1947. I am most familiar with his detailed expose on Scientology, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief. This book contradicts a lot of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s self-mythology, including his claim that Dianetics (the basis of Scientology) healed his “war wounds” from WWII. Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, Wright was able to get his hands on Hubbard’s actual military records. There were no war wounds.
Wright also interviewed former Scientologists including director Paul Haggis, and uncovered a lot of the underbelly of the church/cult and its machinations. The book was a huge influence on Alex Gibney’s HBO documentary of (almost) the same title. (Slightly different subtitle – just “Scientology and the Prison of Belief”). If you are interested in cults and particularly Scientology, Wright’s book is a great read and the documentary is completely chilling.