This story of Scientology certainly needs to be told. The story of L.Ron Hubbard's invention of a religion is as fascinating as the story of Mormonism as detailed in Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven. LRH was quoted, as he contemplated a career, "religion, that's where the money is."
If anything, Going Clear may be more alarming simply because of its appeal as a success system. Scientology seems only to claim itself as a religion when the tax man comes around. Other than that there is no prayer or actual scripture or claim of having a God, for that matter. Once a prospect signs the contract to be loyal for one billion years and starts investing the money to study the writings of a science fiction author, he/she is hooked.
Hubbard's claims to have been a war hero during WW2 were so silly. Early on he bragged about his wounds and medals (he was never in battle or wounded and had medals that were not real (Purple Heart with palm cluster??) or even invented until after the war - gee, like no one could check these things.) His claim to having a four year college degree was just as silly.
Well, all of this is for the reader/listener to think about. The list of celebrities in Scientology is interesting.
The reader, Morton Sellers, seemed to be plodding through the book with little interest or enthusiasm. Given the subject matter, this is understandable, but it does make the book longer. He was clear and precise.
Essential, thoughtful, important
It was well thought out. King has some excellent ideas about listening to and reading points of view that different from our normal sources. He used statistics like the tremendous decline in gun deaths when Australians said, "Enough" and changed their laws, and examples of unintended deaths from guns that were owned simply for protection (spouses who were shot when they who got up in the night to raid the fridge.) No gun = no death. I was also glad to hear some sensible comments on the number of ACTUAL "home invasions" vs imagined invaders (yes, of course there are anecdotes.) An alarm system probably really does work better than a gun by scaring the evil doer away before he breaks into the residence than having a loaded pistol under your pillow every night of your life.
This was an excellent reading. I have friends who are gun owners, but some are not readers. Frankly, I think those people might be more willing to listen to this essay. They may be arguing all the way through, but they might hear some of it.
Not a thing
I would say that this recording should be offered free of charge, but when I realized the proceeds are going to a worthwhile group, well, I guess 75 cents is a small price to pay.
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