Haven't read the print version -- the audio version kept me listening long after I should have turned it off and started doing something else!
There was no favorite character -- the people described in story range from kind of pathetic to downright scary. I've heard many negative things over the years about Scientology, this just confirmed what I've heard in the past. I finished the book wondering how anyone could be pulled into such a money-centric "church".
Haven't listened to any of his other books. He did a great job reading this one.
I didn't laugh or cry, I just kept asking myself, "how could anyone get pulled into this organization, and not see Scientology for what it is -- a huge money making operation????
I used this as my "commuting" book, and I'm sure I looked a fool, driving down the highway with my jaw hanging open the whole time. The book is a fascinating glimpse into this movement--fascinating and disturbing--and seems to be unbiased in its research. The narration was also well-done, in my opinion, and I felt the writing was pretty good. The only thing I wished for was an index of the innumerable acronyms, but I realized finally that I didn't really need to keep them straight in order to follow the story--and that was an interesting fact, in an of itself. I highly recommend this book.
Tracing Scientology from its beginning to the present, this book answers many of the questions I've had about this strange belief system, beginning with a look at its founder, L. Ron Hubbard.. Also fascinating: the trial of the Florida woman whose death is, apparently, directly attributable to Scientology -- and the celebrity campaign. The book makes it clear that this is a business, not a religion - and one that employes the most brutal and cutthroat tactics to ensure its profitablilty.
One drawback to listening to (instead of reading) this book is that every time David Miscavige (the current head of Scientology) is mentioned by his last name only (hundreds of times!), my split-second reaction was "now WHO is Miss Caviage?" before snapping back with an "oh yeah, that guy". I spent too much time dwelling on other ways the name could have been pronounced (or misprounounced) to prevent that. I wish the author had just referred to him as "David"! But that's just me!
What a fascinating book!
My son, a ceaseless searcher and student of philosophies, told me a few years ago that he had looked into Scientology, but they didn't welcome him into the fold because he didn't have any money. I'm sure glad they turned him down! After reading this book, I had to wonder if they also recognized that he was too intelligent to swallow what they offered and could end up being another whistle-blower.
Some of the stories in the book are so disturbing, I wonder how Scientology is still "in business" today! People have died, others have been imprisoned, and others driven to insanity by this "religion", yet people still join and drain their resources for what is on offer. By the way, the current head of this tax-exempt "church", David Miscavige, has a net worth of $50 million!
If you wonder about Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and other celebrity Scientologists, they're all in here! (And I still love them just as much - especially Tom!) Trivia Challenge: What celebrity visited a Scientolotgy center and loudly scoffed at the philosophy and saw it as a money pit that could make you insane. Hint: He attended with his Scientologist girlfriend, Peggy Lipton (of the Mod Squad). Give up? Elvis Presley! Long live the King!
I'm a trucker of nearly 25 years. Listening to the radio is a matter of habit for me, but hearing the same songs over and over and OVER again became old. Audio books help those miles roll by faster!
L. Ron Hubbard was incredibly bold to use a person's hope and faith in continued life after death to make as much money as possible. The more money a "parishioner" pays, the quicker they "cross" the bridge of immortality. The ultimate scam.....Research of the book appears very thorough and includes views of the controversial religion from both positive and negative points of view.
I have always been curious about "what the heck is Scientology?" This book revealed a great many secrets and very disturbing stories about this group. How it got to be called a Religion or a church is still beyond me as there is no mention of God, Buddha, Jesus, Zoroaster, Moses, Mohammed, Krishna, Baha'u'llah, not even Confucius! What I gather is the label of "Church" is for collecting money for classes and calling it tax deductible. Well written and researched. A story that needs to be told. You will be amazed that this is going on and legal in America. Whew
I was born in Clearwater and raised in the general area so it was interesting to read more about all the people I used to see walking around in the same suits all the time growing up. I really have nothing against Scientology, it's a free country (well used to be anyways) so do whatever you want.
With that said it's pretty amazing anyone would take this "religion" seriously. Most religions are pretty silly however or just flat out dangerous, for example Muhammad's parents were rock farmers (look it up) and he married a 6 year old and consummated the marriage at 9 -- he's a pretty awful person and the story of that religion is truly disturbing. However since it's old enough people believe in it --Scientology is newer so it gets mocked more. However if I had to live in Clearwater or Mecca, well I think everyone knows which I'd choose.
Anyways the book is quite entertaining and provides a good background on Scientology, there is so much covered and I don't want to give anything away so I'll just leave it at that.
The reader does a great job hitting in setting the proper tone for the book.
I had no real interest in Scientology itself, just about it's background and this book did a great job of fulfilling those requirements.
Non-fiction audiobooks can be challenging because the material can be a bit dry, but it was still an interesting listen.
I would recommend this book for those interested in the subject matter (and who isn't?). It isn't the "unbiased" book it states it intended to be, but still worthwhile
I do think this would have been as interesting a read as it was a listen.....listening to the audiobook was a convenience, but not an improvement on the material, I think.
Interesting subject matter and competently read, for those interested in the subject.
Detailed investigative look at Scientology, and exciting from start to finish. It was like a train wreck that I could not turn away from. Just when you thought it could not possibly get any wackier--well...buy the book...
I never read the print version.
Alice in Wonderland. Things get weirder the further in you get.
He brings a nice cadence to the story.
Janet Reitman says at the beginning that she is trying to present a fair and objective history of Scientology.
In spite of her best efforts, she can't dispel the notion that you can't spell "crazy" without "Scientology."