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.
Criminal defense Lawyer in Las Vegas, Nevada. Read mostly non-fiction.....history, science, military biography. My quirky side likes Zombie Books? Will also pick up a fiction bestseller once in a while. Favorite movie: Being There
Mr. Wright is a master of getting to the bottom of things. "Going Clear" is no different. I downloaded this book after a recent visit to Clearwater, Florida. I was very amused when I saw the downtown area crawling with uniformed Scientologists. This made me curious, so I did some research and came upon Lawrence Wright's book. It's well worth the listen! If you're in any way curious about the secretive world of Scientology, this is the source.
The extent of Wright's research is impressive but he somehow made an engrossing subject...boring. It begins as a chronology of the founding of the church and then devolves into a catalogue of abuses. If there's an abridged version that might be worth listening to.
The first person accounts.
No. An abridged version might be.
I wanted to like this book. I really liked the first half but it just went on and on and became monotonous.
I have to say I gave up after two hours, I cannot believe the praise this book received as an audio book. Maybe in paperback where one could skip pages it would be decent but never in audio.
I don't know if it is informative, it seems that most people think so. I wanted to hear about the radical Scientology beliefs, but my attention span hated it so much I give up.
Slow quiet boring
I have listened to a lot of non fiction and I would have to say I normally agree with most reviews not this one. If you like to sleep get it and use it for pleasant white noise. Otherwise YouTube has some great ten to twenty minute clips on anything under the sun that is even slightly conspiratorial so hit it up.
Yes because relevant and revealing.
Depends on friend's interest .
Ok. Why use only one narrator?
What I like most about this book is the neutral style of the author combined with what seems painstakingly deep research. It was as though he went through the topic with a fine toothed-comb. It is as though he grabs my hand and takes me through a multi-decade journey similar to how Scrooge is taken through his life by the "angels" in A Christmas Carol. It is seamless and well written. It seems as though it is fiction because it is so well written. I think this is an important story for many reasons. It points at the power of belief and the power for new religions to take shape in this world. I walked away from this understanding why people are drawn to Scientology and understanding its founder was brilliant and charismatic, etc., but also understanding how some people in the church, including its founder, appear to have done some pretty nasty things to people. This happens in other religions, as well, and it gave me pause to question the one I was raised in - Catholicism. This is a really amazing book. I hope many people read it.
I'm very grateful to the author for taking the time to research and write this book. It is a courageous thing to do. I think many people will benefit from it.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…The man who never reads lives only one.” (George R. R. Martin)
I don’t know how true the information in this book is – but it’s pretty fantastical and a bit frightening. It’s hard to tell whether Hubbard was a con man or a schizophrenic – or a bit of both. Delusions of grandeur run rampant here as do schizophrenic tendencies and paranoia – which is what it seems Scientology itself has become –as portrayed by author Lawrence Wright. The level of research that the author has undertaken here is impressive and he attempts to give a fair estimation of both sides – though it is a bit outweighed – which is to be expected, given the material. I haven’t read much of Hubbard’s early days and there is a good amount of interesting detail here. Narrator Morton Sellers does a terrific job with solid narration. Overall, I felt this was a truly fascinating listen.
Yes--it is an interesting story about a still-mysterious "religion".
"Inside Scientology" by Janet Reitman which I listened to 3 years ago. It was about Scientology and had some of the same stories/history, but was less about the Hollywood perspective.
The story and history itself is so frustrating because "they" seem to get away with so much, even with the government, by terrorist-type tactics.