A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the The Looming Tower, the now-classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack. Based on more than 200 personal interviews with both current and former Scientologists - both famous and less well known - and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative ability to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology.
At the book’s center, two men whom Wright brings vividly to life, showing how they have made Scientology what it is today: The darkly brilliant science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, whose restless, expansive mind invented a new religion. And his successor, David Miscavige - tough and driven, with the unenviable task of preserving the church after the death of Hubbard.
We learn about Scientology’s complicated cosmology and special language. We see the ways in which the church pursues celebrities, such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, and how such stars are used to advance the church’s goals. And we meet the young idealists who have joined the Sea Org, the church’s clergy, signing up with a billion-year contract.
In Going Clear, Wright examines what fundamentally makes a religion a religion, and whether Scientology is, in fact, deserving of this constitutional protection. Employing all his exceptional journalistic skills of observation, understanding, and shaping a story into a compelling narrative, Lawrence Wright has given us an evenhanded yet keenly incisive book that reveals the very essence of what makes Scientology the institution it is.
©2013 Lawrence Wright (P)2013 Random House Audio
“Brings a clear-eyed, investigative fearlessness to Scientology . . . a rollicking, if deeply creepy, narrative ride, evidence that truth can be stranger even than science fiction." (The Washington Post)
“A hotly compelling read. It’s a minutiae-packed book full of wild stories.” (The New York Times)
“An utterly necessary story. . . . A feat of reporting.” (The Wall Street Journal)
This gives a "biography" of the etiology of the church of Scientology, a topic I was curious about since I have heard so much in the press about it especially with movie star involvement. The author presents a balanced view with comparisons to other new religions. The fact check information at the end was especially interesting.
The reading performance was eloquent.
I was curious about this book and then, once I started listening could not stop. Extremely well done - both the writing and the performance. If you have any curiosity about Scientology, you should check this out!
Its in the top tier of the many audiobooks I've listened to.
The stories of Hubbard and Miscavige were both fascinating to listen to.
Sometimes, the absurdities I heard made me burst out laughing. Many times I would just pause it and say something like, "Wow. I can't believe it. Did I just hear that? That's crazy!"
There are so many characters involved, so its hard to keep track of them. There are many stories that get revisited from different perspectives or to add new information. Its part of the appeal, but also makes it a bit challenging to keep up with everything. However, this book definitely has re-listen value to it. I know there are many things I missed. This is not due to the author. It is due to the complexity of Scientology. Indeed, the book tells the fascinating life stories of many people and simultaneously defines Scientology to the audience. It is a tall order for any author. I will listen to this one again.
Perhaps my favourite of three books on Scientology abuse that I have listened to back-to-back over the past few months.
The author does a good job of documenting the history of Scientology, its eccentric (and I am being kind) founder L. Ron Hubbard, its celebrity connections in Hollywood, and the repeated physical and mental abuse by the church on its own members!
Avid listener and reader! Favorites are crime, mystery, thriller and paranormal. Medical science and some non-fiction as well.
Yes I would because it is very interesting to read about the upper hierarchy of Scientology and it's evolution.
Yes It was well researched and written.
He has a pleasant voice, it has good pitch.
This book is really a biography of L Ron Hubbard and not very much about Hollywood as the title would make one believe. It also differs from other books about Scientology in that it is about the executives and the upper tier of members running the Church. Other books are written by younger x-Scientologists for example and paint a different picture of this world. I found that reading this along with other books from different perspectives helped me really understand this religion which I was very curious about.It is a bit horrifying at times to believe these things are occurring in modern society and also how strongly people are "taken in" for lack of a better phrase. So cult like, I am almost afraid to write a review!
One of the best written books I've gone through in a long time.
I think the author was very thorough in his attempt to show Scientology in its true form. His presentation of the "facts" are able to be corroborated by many other accounts..
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.
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