This was one of the best recent books I've "read". The detailed research is unimpeachable.
L. Ron Hubbard has to be my favorite character. His story is about as unbelievable as the pulp he wrote in the 1930s: science-fiction writer turned self-help guru turned messiah. You can't make this stuff up!
Sellers brings out and enhances the narrative. His tempo is perfect, allowing the listener to picture everything happening while never feeling like the story is dragging.
The book made me laugh at the absurdity of Scientology, especially given the objective stance Wright gives to the religion. Wright goes to great lengths to place scientology in historical perspective. His epilogue examines Scientology in comparison to other religions, and he does a great job at explaining how questions of faith, from the perspective of someone outside the religion, always appear illogical and silly. This goes for Scientology as for Christianity. (Think of the virgin birth, for instance). And yet even with this disclaimer the belief system is so irrational, so unscientific (some events that the religion chronicles occurred before the beginning of the universe) that one has to chuckle at times when it is systematically described.
Moreover, Hubbard himself, as his biography reveals, is a charlatan of charlatans - in the end, maybe, even fooling himself.
This is a very informative book. Assuming it is true, LRH is an incredible individual with the power to convince people to follow him despite his numerous faults which included bigamy, kidnapping, excessive lying, and a tendency to elevate himself above the "crowd". And that is only some of his faults!!
The detail to which the author described LRH
Yes, very much so in my opinion
LHR's continual lying about his WW2 service record.... and the absolute proof that he was not where he claimed to have been. He was no war hero, but instead a coward.
This is the second book I have read about Scientology. This is much better researched and informative. Great read!!
I would definately listen to this book again. It does jump around a little and I did rewind it to make sure I was following. I used to be a huge fan of Tom Cruise and always wondered what it was about Scientology that literally made him fall off his rocker. Well this book explains it all. A lot of what you'll read about Scientology on the internet is what they want you to read also, this book gets right into the truth from when this crazy religion was created from the very begining by Ron L. Hubbard. It also tells you how much of Hollywood is behind Scientology. It's very interesting to just find out what really went on, or goes on. Great listen!
Definitely, for those who love a story about a mysterious and evil cult.
The details uncovered were a great act of investigative journalism by the author. Well researched to give a fleshed-out picture of an insane and powerful cult. It portrayed our vulnerability as humans to belong and the exploitation of that weakness by sinister forces.
Absolutely, and I almost did.
I didn't want it to end!
Entertaining, well written, impeccably researched, this book reports both sides of the story, which makes it extremely clear who is telling the truth, and who is lying. The "Church" of Scientology is a massive fundraising operation skilled in deception, fraud and intimidation. It is amazing to read a book that really gets to the heart of the "religion" from its earliest roots to its present incarnation.
The real biography of L. Ron Hubbard is a fascinating story of a deeply disturbed, but yet enigmatically brilliant mind. It provides a picture of his life you just don't get from reading about him on wikipedia, and while it only forms a part of this in depth story, its an amazingly interesting part.
Okay, I admit it, I am a sucker for books about the weird stuff people choose to believe in, and the origins of those beliefs, so I was definitely in the target audience for this book. I was fascinated by the details of LRH's biography (both the real and invented) and by the details of the Church's workings. But I have to admit, my favorite thing about the book was that, after every claim that might remotely raise an eyebrow, the author would drop a footnote: "[insert celebrity's name here]'s lawyers deny that [celebrity] ever __________." The narration was good, if occasionally monotonous (after all, how many times CAN you say "_____ denies ever doing ____"
reading is pure joy
belief, betrayal, Totalitarianism
the author -- his relentless pursuit of "what is belief"? Is belief a helpful human condition -- or catastrophic blindness and wishful thinking that harms people? What makes a "religion" ? Beliefs -- when inspected by outsiders -- can seem weird. But bottom line it seems is: is some one free to go/leave the religion -- or not?!
good voice -- must have driven him crazy to keep his tone neutral during parts of this tale of abuses -- but he did. Saying SeaOrg 1000 times must have been a challenge too.
Not really -- too much silliness and disbelief (that people believe this stuff) from me at times -- people sure need SOMETHING to believe in, don't they? The author did succeed in pointing out the aspects of S which do help ordinary people -- just don't get too close to the flame I guess is the lesson for this.
Comprehensive, well paced.
The author has a clear intent of trying to find out why scientology is so fascinating to people, especially when it can be so demeaning. As he walks us through the history and events surrounding scientology we get a well balanced picture of past events and present concerns as well as a balance between biographies of different individuals and the grand narrative of the church. He doesn't get bogged down in the minutia of the scientology religious beliefs but you still walk away with a general understanding of the basics. Nor does he get bogged down in a few key incidents, choosing instead to give a grander narrative and weave all the pieces together.
If you are looking for a good primer on scientology this is it. You won't get all the specifics, but you get a bigger picture of the whole idea of it. I read "Inside Scientology" as well which seemed to be a little too focused on particular events. The Lisa McPherson case takes up at least an hour in "Inside Scientology" but barely 5 minutes in "Going Clear." I also felt like IS gave more specifics as to the beliefs of scientologists. But in the end GC was a better book. It's better written, better paced, and gives a more holistic understanding of the people involved. A good read!
Yes and have. you simply can't believe page after page-I have read many WWII and Nazi and Hitler histories...that anyone can follow another person's crazy path blindly...
Too many to count. The many eyewitness accounts of the new leader of the S's hit punches and chokes his subordinates on a regular basis. That and LRB has been to Venus frequesntly and travels from star....to star
I enjoyed his pace. It's hard not to be exhausted reading one incredulous item after the next...he delivers without the hint of sarcasm unless intended by the author. His reading of the interview iwth Miscaviage and Koppel was particularly good.
An Investigative look into the world of Scientology
The reason I didnt give it a 5 was that I thought the author missed one key point (which just might not be ever known btw) what drove LRH to this level of fantastical thought? I read the dentist part...I get the basic answer-the explanation where the inspiration for Dianetics came from...but why not stay there...why go so deep into outerspace (figuratively). For a man that started with science and proof as a goal to end up so far away is hard to understand. To force others to live a certain way you to and to never question your own religion-is the opposite of the study of life.