The evenhanded journalistic approach Lawrence Wright brought to this story was to me the best part. The religion manages to shed illusions and expose itself a monster without much coaxing at all.
Narrator was great, but subject matter was difficult. The first few hours of the audiobook that cover LRH's life were honestly kind of tedious to get through - I found it more relatable when the book started talking about people and situations I'd heard of. Overall it's a good read though, so if you're interested in the subject you should definitely check it out.
This well researched book sheds a lot of light on Scientology. Featuring L. Ron Hubbard and the many others involved in shaping Scientology into what it is today. Everyone even mildly interested in this movement or the characters involved with it should read this book. I was just mildly curious at the start but was shocked at how random events, and less than stable founders could come together and form an almost religion with thousands maybe millions of members and worth billions of dollars.
Read, or listen to, this book!!!
Yes, it was incredibly informative.
When you realize that L.Ron Hubbard wasn't just a science fiction writer, but a complete scumbag dictator oppressor.
The narration was pretty good. I would have preferred George Guidall... but that's always the case.
It was a long book, but I liked the part where L. Ron Hubbard is in the Navy and attacks a log at sea.
If you want to really know what Scientology is all about, listen to this book.
British Broadcaster, Photojournalist and member of LDS living in Canada.
No. As an audio book it suffers from poor narration and a total lack of inflection making it slightly less captivating than listening to child reading from the New York telephone directory. Perhaps they should have had Tommy Davis narrate it?
L. Ron Hubbard. Why? Because he first published what was to become the basis for Scientology back in 1950. Back then it was little more than a treatise he entitled "Dianetics" but it was to become much more than that. Love him, loathe him, flimflammer or modern day prophet L. Ron Hubbard was certainly not your average man.
His lack of inflection. That said, the book was "clearly" not writen for the spoken word.
How to generate recurring revenue.
This book provides a "clear" insight into not only the birth of Scientology, but the life of the man who started it all. It's well written, mostly unbiased and an example of how truth can sometimes be stranger than fiction.
Avid audiobook listener and reader. I work in the tech industry, but like to go outside my comfort zone with fiction and non-fiction.
The history of L Ron Hubbard was interesting. I had no idea how much of a "player" the man was, which is hard to believe considering how odd looking he is.
Learning how David Miscavige took over the leadership role and punished those who did not fall in line.
The book was highly enjoyable to listen to and I feel much more informed about Scientology.
I couldn't stop listening and for the life of me, I couldn't help but think how I would already be placed in a closet to die because I can't understand how anyone could allow themselves to be controlled by another person...especially if that person was mean to me.....(I'm very rebellious). I'm warning you now, this book will stir your brain cells to boiling!! Love'd it!!
How I was right all along about Tom Cruise.
Oh he was good...especially during the parts when he had to quote someone in anger....he kept it real.
Well yea! But who in the world has time for that???
No. What else do you want me to say....??? Except, I wonder if Lawrence Wright feels like he's being watched from the shadows....I know I would.
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.