My only knowledge about Scientology was driving by their building in Los Angeles and seeing tabloid gossip.
I had NO idea what a crazy group this was.
The book takes you from the beginning of L Ron Hubbard's life to when he wrote science fiction, to when he decided to start a new "religion," to the rise of the "church," to Tom Cruise's marriage with Katie Holmes. (I wonder how the book would have addressed the breakup.) I didn't realize there was a Scientology group who rode the high seas and that there were different "bases" in the United States.
Although their beliefs aren't much different than any other religion, the group is friggin' scary. They hold church members "prisoner" if they do not follow certain standards and they chase down members who leave.
The book gives good examples of how normal people would get caught up in this craziness and crazy became normal.
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.
A bad reader ruins a great book faster than an SP injects body thetans into a PTS. But when I heard this guy talk I was immediately just like ... pffft. Great tone, speed, articulation, perfect. This man is Kakan.
Wright paints a very ugly picture of Scientology, it's founder, L. Ron Hubbard and more than a few people associated with the cult. I found the book simultaneously fascinating and depressing, because despite some of the dark, disturbing places it goes, it's truly interesting and informative. The "Prison of Belief" is an appropriate phrase to include in the title because many of the people described in the book really seem to be prisoners of their own fanatical devotion to a strange religion founded by troubled former pulp science fiction writer. It's hard to believe Hubbard could inspire the devotion he inspired. It speaks to the desperation many of us have to understand the world and ourselves as well as to our ability to blind ourselves to what we don't want to see.
The book some of the celebrities associated with the cult in a very unflattering light and it left me feeling angry with them and angry at our own government for not only allowing some of what's been reported by former Scientologists to go on but for allowing an incredibly well-funded cult to bully their way to tax exemption. Money and fanatical devotion are powerful tools indeed!
I found the reading by Morton Sellers adequate but it certainly takes nothing away from this book. Recommended... but you may want some lighter reading afterwards.
The ravings of Hubbard got tedious at times. I do appreciate the authors attempts to explain what draws people to Scientology, but calling it a religion abuses our tax code. It was all rather exhausting and infuriating.
Always wondered about Scientology and the people in it. This is full of crazy and troubling info about the founding of and practices within this Religion. I could not put it down. In fact I think I'll listen to it again. But I am left with "where the hell is Shelly and why hasn't she been found? Scary stuff! Must read if only to expand your knowledge.
I thoroughly enjoyed this. Concise, diplomatic, incredibly well researched and the production is clear, and so easy to listen to. Epilogue was my favorite part. Great job on all accounts!
I bought this book for what I thought would be light and entertaining reading. However, it sucked me down into a whirlpool of sadism, abuse, lying, tyranny, and mind control. L. Ron Hubbard and his successor rank with Hitler and Stalin, lacking only opportunity to take a whole country. The first courageous journalist who tried to stand up to them nearly lost her life. It's terrifying how easily this can happen - all you need to do is gain access to some key public figures who will do your recruiting for you, suggest an air of mystery and superiority, then corner and brainwash your converts. At the same time I'm reading "Crowds and Power" by Elias Canetti, and this same thing has been done countless times before and will be done again. Thank god some converts were able to leave, live and tell their tales and for the journalists who put their lives on the line.