I got this book as the only one on a $4.95 list that I wanted, but I enjoyed it very much. I thought I knew a lot about Scientology, but this book goes far beyond the basics and is impeccably researched. There are other personal accounts by ex-members, but this has to be the definitive one done by a reporter. She didn't mention any harassment she has personally received, but one wonders.
The author takes a low-key, objective approach and lets the information stand for itself, which works well. Everything in Scientology is already so over-the-top, presenting it in a cool manner grounds the story. It's hard to believe that we could have and allow to happen such things happening in Scientology in democratic countries. I'm all in favour of religious freedom, but Scientology manipulates that human right for wrong purposes.
The epilogue for me was a bit odd, where I think the writer allowed in her own feelings, but that didn't detract from the overall experience. It's an important book containing information everyone should know.
Living in L.A. all my life I've heard stories about Scientology and driven past its Hollywood Celebrity Center castle thousands of times. I've known journalist colleagues whose lives threatened during an investigation and heard of endless preemptive lawsuits when any articles were in the works.
This book admirably fills in the historic gaps among the legends -- most of which are true. Unlike the books by disgruntled former Scientologists, this is a journalistic account from a disinterested third party whose research and writing are first-rate. It's a "legitimate" history of L. Ron Hubbard's sci-fi self-help philosophy, not a tell-all by an ex-member or a puff-piece by the brilliant Scientology propaganda machine.
I have a much better understanding of the so-called religion, and if anything it's even scarier. What are these people thinking? As it attempts to go mainstream, the more light shed on Scientology the better.
When I was ten, eleven, twelve, I used to stop by the Scientology storefront in Hollywood occasionally and grab one of their questionnaires. I'd take it home, answer it, and bring it back in. They'd analyze it very quickly (as I recall) and sit me down with someone who would talk about what my answers revealed. It was my first exposure to personal analysis of any kind and was surprisingly useful and telling for me.
But I never went beyond that, never paid, never read a book, never considered believing.
Then, many years later, I realized I had a very dark view of the organization and I wanted to reconcile my various naievetes. This book, certainly slanted to the negative side of the story, provides some hints to the positive side, and gave me an excellent understanding of why I have seen the organization with such dark lenses. It also helped me better understand how I could explore the positive and effective areas of Hubbard's work.
I'd be skeptical in doing so. I don't feel there was much for surprising information introduced here.
David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell.
Disappointment. Claims of fees raised through self-improvement courses is no surprise to anyone who's passed a facility/org, the only tale of interest was the stalking of the IRS for tax exemption.
Cults and churches attract people in need of something and the rise in those identifying with spirituality goes to show that people are seeing through this.
I read "going clear" first, and this book is just as good. The information is interestingly told, and relies on both believers are former believers, as well as others outside the organization for their insights. While it becomes obvious what the author thinks about the subject, it is a clear and straightforward telling of events. I recommend this book highly.
It is amazing that even the IRS is afraid of this organization which is clearly a for profit business and not a religion. This is as much of a cult as the one that Jim Jones ran. This book tells it all.
I am a 30 year old over-the-road truck driver. I listen to A LOT of audiobooks!
This book presents a lot of facts, and it really makes you think. If you are looking for a book that explains excactly what Scientology IS, this isn't the book for you. If your looking for a book about what Scientolgists DO, this is your listen! The book gives a frightening account of what people with so much power and so little common sense can do.
This was a great book. I find cult religions endlessly fascinating and make no mistake THIS is a cult religion. It is well written and well read. If you have no interest in this subject matter then it is not worth it.
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This booked bored me in parts.
I don’t really care about the details of L Ron Hubbard's life, but I suppose if you’re going to tell the story of Scientology, you have to start from the start - I should have expected that.
I was also uninterested by the Sea Organization and reading about life on the boat was tedious, but once the story moved onto the death of Lisa McPherson, attracting celebrities, and “The Seduction of Tom Cruise” etc my interest perked up.
I guess I was looking for something more gossipy than educational.
The control that the scientologist members give to the leaders.
Great reader. Read with emotion
Yes. It was a book that I didn't want to end..