I always knew Scientology had some strange beliefs. And just seeing the clips of Tom Cruise on Oprah and with Matt Lauer are enough to see that followers of the "Church" have some pretty strange ideas. But I had no idea how sordid a past Scientology has...and a present for that matter.
If what Mr. Wright has written is true, and based on his thorough footnotes I'd say he is certainly on solid footing, then Scientology was founded by a paranoid delusional and currently run by a dictatorial madman. L. Ron Hubbard made so many outlandish claims about himself that had no basis in reality that it is dumbfounding that anyone would follow the religious tenets the man "discovered." And if his leadership weren't bad enough, the current leader, David Miscavige, is a maniacal tyrant who stoops to physically attacking any person he perceives may be questioning his authority.
Scientology claims that those practitioners at its highest levels actually have the power to control matter, energy, space, and time. And at the same time they claim to be the only religion based entirely on true scientific principles. So guess what? Superheroes are no longer the realm of science fiction. You need only look to Tom Cruise and John Travolta to find men who can bend space and time to their will.
Well researched and written, "Going Clear" offers a fascinating and jaw-dropping view inside one America's strangest religions. The book is both eye-opening and terrifying. To know that in America there is still an organization who can hold people against their will and force them into slave labor is unnerving. I recommend this book to anyone interested in modern religious study and definitely recommend it to anyone who may have a family member being drawn into this dreadful cult.
Wonderfully detailed account of what this organization is all about. The epilogue is outstanding. Very long but worth the time to finish.
I am a fan of Lawrence Wright, whose specialty is investigative journalism focused on religion. As with his other works, Going Clear is meticulously researched relying on interviews with Scientology spokespersons, former members, church documents as well as the public record. What you get is a history of Scientology, a bio of its founder L. Ron Hubbard, and insight into its tenets, practices, and purported abuses. There is a particular focus on the church’s cultivation of celebrities and the story of screenwriter/director/disaffected member Paul Haggis provides a narrative focus. The audiobook is critical of Hubbard and Scientology though Wright takes pains to present both sides where possible and to his credit approaches the material with a journalist’s impartiality. One criticism I have of the book is that it quickly leaps from Hubbard’s writing of Dianetics to Scientology having been established, leaving me to fill in the details of how the movement took hold/expanded and Hubbard grew rich. Despite this, Going Clear is a fascinating and entertaining read that demystifies Scientology, though its adherents will probably feel otherwise.
One of the best books I've listened to on Audible. It completes the HBO documentary by putting faces with names.
Lays the "church" to bare and illuminates how a cult/mafia operates.
Provides the perfect tone and tenor for the narrative.
My wife told me I'd say, "You've got to be s****ing me" for about every 10 minutes of listening.
After you read this book, you'll understand why the Germans wouldn't allow Scientology to establish there. One Hitler was enough.
Extremely well researched, detailed and balanced. this goes light years beyond the HBO documentary.
Level of detail - willingness and ability to reach out to the "other side" for commentary and include opposing opinions in footnotes.