I have a hard time reading/listening to true fiction books. I think this is because my main reason for reading is to learn and not necessarily just for enjoyment, although I do read many historical fiction books. Favorites history/biography books and science/tech info books.
Love how much actual first hand knowlege Lawrence Wright got from former high ups in scientology to put into this book. Also like how he describes a lot of the wierd beliefs these people have but didnt make fun or criticize the beliefs, only criticized the human rights violations the church has committed. Someone can look at any religion and find all kinds of wacky things about it, but this one ruins your life if you try to escape it.
Musician, die hard atheist. Father of two. Photoshop hacker.
While exhaustive this book managed to avoid being exhaustive.
Difficult to like anyone in this book though the few who had the will and courage to break with the church do inspire.
Perhaps the most important question for humanity to ask itself: why do we believe what we believe. This book is certainly provide much food for thought on that question. While it doesn't explicitly come to a conclusion it does lay out an important case study (so to speak) about how a charismatic personality can entrance a significant number of people despite glaring contradictions in that person's behavior and teachings.
This is a world up to it's eyeballs in bunkum, some of it malicious, but much of it stemming from desires that are all to easy to relate to. We want some sort of control over our lives. We all want to have a light shown on the best path forward. And these desires blind us.
Though it seems not the purpose of this book, I found myself disgusted and repelled by the key figures in the church, certainly by L Ron himself. But, and this is to the credit of the book, also sorry for him. Perhaps therein lies the rub.
This book is well worth the read.
author of books for teens and children
This is an extremely well-researched book about L.Ron Hubbard's life, the history of Scientology, and present-day Scientology. I knew that Scientology was a nutty cult and that Tom Cruise was a pompous idiot, but after reading this book I found out that Scientology was also very frightening and powerful and that Tom Cruise was also a total a-hole.
This audiobook--with its accounts of Hubbard's history of wife-beating and child kidnapping, the horrible abuse and jail conditions inflicted on many people by Scientology leaders, and the huge amounts of money and property held by Scientology leaders--is horrifically frightening. Truth really is stranger than fiction.
Lawrence Wright did an amazing job with this book, that reads like the best of suspense meets roman å clef meets psychological thriller. Really, it is fascinating.
The huge fail is Audible's choice of a narrator who will in turn either put you to sleep or irritate you with his propensity to pronounce all "wh-" words as though they are "hwh-" words. "Hwhere", "hwhat", and all the rest where he inserts a completely unnecessary "h" at the beginning of the word was just so, so irritating. To the point that I'm considering returningn it to Audible in the way of a protest against their choice of narrators which, when it's not the author, are often really poor.
But Lawrence Wright is a powerful, perfectly polished writer and I was glued to my iPhone for the entire 17+ hours that this book's narration takes.
Seriously? OK, since no scientologist can be a favorite character, it has to be Lawrence Wright, then.
Lawrence Wright. At least he has a grasp of what he was wrote.
I'm sure there are other good narrators out there; Morton Sellers is not one of them. Could he be more monotone? And of course as I mentioned about, the "hwhere", "hwhat", "hwhich" are enough to drive one batty.
Actually I would add more dissenters.
Morton sellers does an excellent job relaying a large amount of information in a very enjoyable way. Be sure to listen to it out loud while working around people you don't want to talk to. They will leave you alone thinking you are listening to a recruitment tape and might ask them to join up.
The revelations about Tom Cruise are astonishing yet not surprising.
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
All I knew about Scientology before I started reading this book was the "space opera" mythos it subscribes to. This audiobook does a good job of investigating the movement in ways that aren't overtly biased. I learned about the motivations of the movement, their internal politics and how it has changed since foundation.
You'd be surprised, and occasionally horrified, at the things that were done in the name of Scientology.
Yes because I listen while I drive
None I can think of
When they discussed the murders they are suspected of being involved in & the calculating plans and steps taken to intimidate former members, joirnalists and any outspoken opponents.
Be preparred to give up your Tom Cruise movies...I can't bring myself to watch any of them anymore...I have no respect.
I have not read the print version, but I was drawn to the audio version as I think the print version might lost my attention.
When they discussed the people who have gone missing and are believed to be imprisoned on church owned compounds. It really gave me a spooked feeling to know this is taking place in the US today.
Have not listened to any other Morton Seller performances but I did enjoy his reading.
All the Scientology lingo was interesting. I have heard several people use this vocabulary before but had no diea what they were talking about.
Lawrence Wright reveals precisely what Scientology doesn't want its members and the public at large to know. It makes this book an extremely valuable contribution to whoever wants to know what Scientology is really about.
It's a collection of memoirs, interviews and diary entries, stitched together with little in the way of narrative, or common thread. There are a lot of incredibly trivial details of the lives of minor celebrities and other people associated with Scientology, tangentially or directly. There is certainly a wealth of "information" here, but very little of it is enlightening, and even less is entertaining, especially in the audiobook format. The reader's delivery is competent but very dry. I found myself skipping entire chapters, which I seldom do.
I guess I learned something, and Scientology remains a peculiar and elusive topic. This book could have been perhaps a third of its current length, added some sort of consistent narrative thread, and have handled the topic just as well while being a better book.