We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Inside Scientology Audiobook

Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion

Scientology, created in 1954 by a prolific sci-fi writer named L. Ron Hubbard, claims to be the world's fastest-growing religion, with millions of members around the world and huge financial holdings. Its celebrity believers keep its profile high, and its teams of "volunteer ministers" offer aid at disaster sites such as Haiti and the World Trade Center. But Scientology is also a notably closed faith, harassing journalists and others through litigation and intimidation, even infiltrating the highest levels of government to further its goals.
    • 1 audiobook per month
    • 180,000+ titles to choose from
    • $14.95 per month after free trial

Audible Editor Reviews

Janet Reitman's Inside Scientology seeks to provide the first unbiased and holistic overview of the divisive faith that is Scientology. Reitman focuses on five key elements of the Scientology story: a history of the religion's rise, as well as the rise of its creator, L. Ron Hubbard; a detailed account of the vicious internal coup by current leader, David Miscavige; the sad and shocking story of the death of Scientologist Lisa McPherson; an outline of the controversial "celebrity strategy"; and multiple narratives detailing the current mass exodus from a corrupt and abusive church.

Narrator Stephen Hoye does an excellent job with the book, which presents many unique challenges. He successfully tackles a wide range of subject matter from Hubbard's sterile, futurist terminology to some of the more personal, emotionally gripping stories. Hoye serves as a calm voice of reason, guiding us through a potentially confusing world of Orgs, Tech, and more acroynms than a high-level business meeting.

The picture that emerges is a multifaceted one. Outsiders with cursory knowledge of the faith generally associate it with a crackpot Sci-Fi writer looking to make a buck, brainwashing techniques, salacious scandals, never-ending lawsuits, and a creation myth featuring aliens, volcanoes, and movie theaters. While Reitman doesn't exactly dispel these notions completely, she does provide rich historical background and a true look inside this mysterious faith. The truth about the religion, after all, is much more complex than what's presented on the surface.

The promises of Scientology range from the enriching (freedom from mental and emotion anguish) to the humanitarian (providing aid to developing countries and ways out of drug addiction) to the transcendent (immortal life, free of an earthy body). While people are drawn to the faith for all kinds of reasons, Reitman shows us that most Scientologists are just normal people trying to do good in the world and better themselves. Unfortunately, some of these people have been swept up in a devastating new movement within the upper ranks of the church, which has become increasingly obsessed with greed, domination, and power.

Perhaps the most artful facet of this book is that, in true journalistic style, Reitman does her best to simply present the facts and leave the conclusions to the listener. After all, like Hubbard used to say, "What's true is what is true for you." —Gina Pensiero

Publisher's Summary

Scientology, created in 1954 by a prolific sci-fi writer named L. Ron Hubbard, claims to be the world's fastest-growing religion, with millions of members around the world and huge financial holdings. Its celebrity believers keep its profile high, and its teams of "volunteer ministers" offer aid at disaster sites such as Haiti and the World Trade Center. But Scientology is also a notably closed faith, harassing journalists and others through litigation and intimidation, even infiltrating the highest levels of government to further its goals. Its attacks on psychiatry and its requirement that believers pay as much as tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars for salvation have drawn scrutiny and skepticism. And ex-members use the Internet to share stories of harassment and abuse.

Now Janet Reitman offers the first full journalistic history of the Church of Scientology, in an even-handed account that at last establishes the astonishing truth about the controversial religion. She traces Scientology's development from the birth of Dianetics to today, following its metamorphosis from a pseudoscientific self-help group to a worldwide spiritual corporation with profound control over its followers and even ex-followers.

Based on five years of research, unprecedented access to church officials, confidential documents, and extensive interviews with current and former Scientologists, this is the defining book about a little-known world.

©2011 Janet Reitman (P)2011 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"A detailed and readable examination of the life of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the church, and his successor, David Miscavige." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1406 )
5 star
 (516)
4 star
 (557)
3 star
 (256)
2 star
 (49)
1 star
 (28)
Overall
4.1 (1192 )
5 star
 (477)
4 star
 (446)
3 star
 (202)
2 star
 (41)
1 star
 (26)
Story
4.1 (1181 )
5 star
 (454)
4 star
 (442)
3 star
 (229)
2 star
 (37)
1 star
 (19)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    seeker 04-05-14
    seeker 04-05-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    97
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating...."
    What made the experience of listening to Inside Scientology the most enjoyable?

    Having been in a cult myself, I was impressed by the accuracy and understanding shown by the author.


    Any additional comments?

    Everything you ever wanted to know about scientology but were at loss for someone to ask.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Motes Tampa 03-24-14
    Sam Motes Tampa 03-24-14 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    194
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    381
    226
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    22
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Scientology exposed"

    Needham makes a compelling case why Big Data technologies like Hadoop are allowing more and more companies and researchers work at internet speed and scale. The super computer clustering capabilities at unbelievably low costs will change everything for companies struggling to keep up with the Von Newman centric computing paradigms that just can't keep up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Toronto, ON, Canada 03-19-14
    David Toronto, ON, Canada 03-19-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very creepy."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this interesting read.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It didn't seem to go out of its way to ridicule the subject. It seems like a fairly comprehensive history and benefits from testimonials given by various ex-members.


    What does Stephen Hoye bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    This is the second book I listened to narrated by Stephen. It was a non-fiction as well. He has a good steady voice for this type of book. There was something distracting about his voice when I first started listening to him, but the distraction did not last long.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not in one sitting. It is a compelling book, but found I needed a break from time to time. The way people were treated was pretty creepy.


    Any additional comments?

    One of the parts of the book that really struck me was about a celebrity who was working his way up through the organization until he reached the part about Zorg. His response was something like "What's all this Science Fiction shit" and he stormed out. They went to work on him and eventually sucked him back in. Pretty persuasive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen 01-24-14
    Stephen 01-24-14

    A Private investigator in Texas. I listen to Audiobooks during the long surveillance work.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    28
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Will open your eyes about a very secret cult."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Inside Scientology to be better than the print version?

    I can't say.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Inside Scientology?

    When you see how they treated one of their own, causing her death. Also the cover up after.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes, I thought the narration was very good.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    The book makes you want to listen to find out what else these people would do.


    Any additional comments?

    this covers a subject that is mostly hidden, but we have all heard. I had no idea that this cult was this bad. The things that they do and have done should be stopped and they should be in prison. This book really brings home the threat that this group presents to us all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LifetimeRoad 01-20-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    86
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    85
    59
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    12
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Captivating"
    Would you listen to Inside Scientology again? Why?

    No. I was ignorant about Scientology , now I'm not.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    How desperate people are imprisoned by false teaching.


    What about Stephen Hoye’s performance did you like?

    Comfortable voice.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Seduction of the beautiful.


    Any additional comments?

    I hope that this is only the beginning to exposing this destructive cult. I'll be relieved when one day it crumbles into the dust.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine Georgetown, Ontario, Canada 01-19-14
    Katherine Georgetown, Ontario, Canada 01-19-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    173
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    144
    141
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    12
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well worth reading"

    I got this book as the only one on a $4.95 list that I wanted, but I enjoyed it very much. I thought I knew a lot about Scientology, but this book goes far beyond the basics and is impeccably researched. There are other personal accounts by ex-members, but this has to be the definitive one done by a reporter. She didn't mention any harassment she has personally received, but one wonders.

    The author takes a low-key, objective approach and lets the information stand for itself, which works well. Everything in Scientology is already so over-the-top, presenting it in a cool manner grounds the story. It's hard to believe that we could have and allow to happen such things happening in Scientology in democratic countries. I'm all in favour of religious freedom, but Scientology manipulates that human right for wrong purposes.

    The epilogue for me was a bit odd, where I think the writer allowed in her own feelings, but that didn't detract from the overall experience. It's an important book containing information everyone should know.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Victoria A. Mccargar Los Angeles, CA 12-20-13
    Victoria A. Mccargar Los Angeles, CA 12-20-13 Member Since 2015

    Vicky Scheibe

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "All those legends are apparently true"

    Living in L.A. all my life I've heard stories about Scientology and driven past its Hollywood Celebrity Center castle thousands of times. I've known journalist colleagues whose lives threatened during an investigation and heard of endless preemptive lawsuits when any articles were in the works.

    This book admirably fills in the historic gaps among the legends -- most of which are true. Unlike the books by disgruntled former Scientologists, this is a journalistic account from a disinterested third party whose research and writing are first-rate. It's a "legitimate" history of L. Ron Hubbard's sci-fi self-help philosophy, not a tell-all by an ex-member or a puff-piece by the brilliant Scientology propaganda machine.

    I have a much better understanding of the so-called religion, and if anything it's even scarier. What are these people thinking? As it attempts to go mainstream, the more light shed on Scientology the better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Petry Santa Barbara, CA USA 10-26-13
    David Petry Santa Barbara, CA USA 10-26-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    28
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Perfect overview"

    When I was ten, eleven, twelve, I used to stop by the Scientology storefront in Hollywood occasionally and grab one of their questionnaires. I'd take it home, answer it, and bring it back in. They'd analyze it very quickly (as I recall) and sit me down with someone who would talk about what my answers revealed. It was my first exposure to personal analysis of any kind and was surprisingly useful and telling for me.

    But I never went beyond that, never paid, never read a book, never considered believing.

    Then, many years later, I realized I had a very dark view of the organization and I wanted to reconcile my various naievetes. This book, certainly slanted to the negative side of the story, provides some hints to the positive side, and gave me an excellent understanding of why I have seen the organization with such dark lenses. It also helped me better understand how I could explore the positive and effective areas of Hubbard's work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert North York, Ontario, Canada 10-23-13
    Robert North York, Ontario, Canada 10-23-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    86
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Teflon"
    Would you try another book from Janet Reitman and/or Stephen Hoye?

    I'd be skeptical in doing so. I don't feel there was much for surprising information introduced here.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment. Claims of fees raised through self-improvement courses is no surprise to anyone who's passed a facility/org, the only tale of interest was the stalking of the IRS for tax exemption.


    Any additional comments?

    Cults and churches attract people in need of something and the rise in those identifying with spirituality goes to show that people are seeing through this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie 10-22-13
    Stephanie 10-22-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    87
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I've become obsessed with this subject!"

    I read "going clear" first, and this book is just as good. The information is interestingly told, and relies on both believers are former believers, as well as others outside the organization for their insights. While it becomes obvious what the author thinks about the subject, it is a clear and straightforward telling of events. I recommend this book highly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.