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.
Having little knowledge beyond "Tom Cruise is a Scientologist", I came in with open eyes, wanting to learn more about the story behind this religion. The book does not disappoint, with the history of the Church laid out plainly but intelligently, allowing the listener to easily come to understand how LRH lived and how his deification by the Church's followers may be harmful.
It won't take long to have your views on Scientology confirmed.The rest will be an eye-opening, gritty & unflinching account (from multiple sources) of an underestimated, manipulative & intimidating organization.I still struggle to understand the level of Stockholm syndrome & cognitive dissonance displayed by true believers worldwide.This is by far not the only major religion based on lies & exaggerated claims easily debunked ( Christianity etc); just a more recent one.
Enjoyed this because I wanted to learn the Scientology history and any controversy involved. Certainly this is the book for precisely that. The first 1/2 isn't as interesting as the last 1/2, but necessary to understand the "religion" and basics.
I gave it 4 stars only because the story goes back and forth instead of chronological order. I'm not sure if I was annoyed by that because it was audio or if would have also been annoying in hard copy.
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.