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.
Mom of teens, navigating the modern world by the seat of my pants.
I do not think I would listen to it again, simply because all my questions have been answered.
Answered the mystery of how Mr. Hubbard spent his last days. Described what happened during the change of power during that period.
This book answered many questions I had about the organization, answers that were even worse than I'd imagined. The time line of events was very eye-opening. The honesty of the accounts was marked.
Books are hotter than TV
...for a book you listen too. This one is perhaps better read. So many people, events, etc that are so detailed that they are hard to keep track of. Book is great but I'd a lot to digest in this format.
Cut it in half. I got that he and they were all nut jobs.
It is a documentary, and from what I hear a good one.
I found this insiders view helpful. Seems like brainwashing is alive and well in the house of Satan. This story was engaging, insightful and horrifying.
The reader was very steady though at times you could tell he was in disbelief about the subject matter.
I really liked the book. Lots of information. It's seems long for what it covers but maybe it had to be this way. The last chapter is one of the best.
This isn't really a biography of either L. Ron Hubbard or David Miscavige, but their stories are inexorably linked to Scientology, and they have each shaped the church into what it is today. The way the church works, and how it is run makes more sense with the context of these two men, and the many others featured in this book.
For a proper biography of Hubbard, I recommend "Bare Faced Messiah" by Russell Miller, which focuses more on the man than the church, but these two books make great companion pieces.
The narrator was excellent but a little slow, i recommend 2x speed. The information of Scientology is surprising, sometimes unbelievably ridiculous but above all, it is kind of sad.