Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief Audiobook | Lawrence Wright | Audible.com
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Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief | [Lawrence Wright]

Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Ooopsie! WEST NEW YORK, NJ, United States 02-03-13
    Ooopsie! WEST NEW YORK, NJ, United States 02-03-13 Member Since 2011

    I just follow the signs!

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    "Amazing !"

    Very well investigated book on scientology ! Must read for everyone who are interested in understanding a human's need to be part of something and how that need can be taken advantage of by other humans who seek to exploit that need for their own profits.

    I feel sorry for all the scientologist who dedicate their life to Hubbard. How can these people who believe in science cannot see there is nothing scientific about scientology is beyond comprehension. But this books does give an insight to human conditioning and the power of influence.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lori United States 03-11-14
    lori United States 03-11-14 Member Since 2011
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    "after 4 tries, it bored me to death."

    i tried to listen to this book several times hoping it would strike my interest and get better, however, i found my mind wondering and forgetting i was even listening to a book thats how UN-interesting it was to me. Sad really, because i wanted to learn something, anything at all, but it just wasn't happening.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    valihugs Mesa, AZ USA 03-09-14
    valihugs Mesa, AZ USA 03-09-14 Member Since 2004
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    "Rambling disjointed tromp through LR H's history"
    What was most disappointing about Lawrence Wright’s story?

    I couldn't make it all the way through this book. I got 80% through and had to stop wasting my time. It is a rambling account of things that may or may not have happened to L. Ron Hubbard and which may or may not have shaped Scientology. I was hoping for more and to gain some knowledge about Scientology. What I got was a book filled with facts that didn't go together in any logical manner and don't lead anywhere.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    There are some interesting facts in the book and there are some interesting perspectives on Scientology but it's not worth listening to all the worthless stories to get them.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phillip arlington, TX, United States 02-14-13
    Phillip arlington, TX, United States 02-14-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Stranger Than Fiction"

    I always knew Scientology had some strange beliefs. And just seeing the clips of Tom Cruise on Oprah and with Matt Lauer are enough to see that followers of the "Church" have some pretty strange ideas. But I had no idea how sordid a past Scientology has...and a present for that matter.

    If what Mr. Wright has written is true, and based on his thorough footnotes I'd say he is certainly on solid footing, then Scientology was founded by a paranoid delusional and currently run by a dictatorial madman. L. Ron Hubbard made so many outlandish claims about himself that had no basis in reality that it is dumbfounding that anyone would follow the religious tenets the man "discovered." And if his leadership weren't bad enough, the current leader, David Miscavige, is a maniacal tyrant who stoops to physically attacking any person he perceives may be questioning his authority.

    Scientology claims that those practitioners at its highest levels actually have the power to control matter, energy, space, and time. And at the same time they claim to be the only religion based entirely on true scientific principles. So guess what? Superheroes are no longer the realm of science fiction. You need only look to Tom Cruise and John Travolta to find men who can bend space and time to their will.

    Well researched and written, "Going Clear" offers a fascinating and jaw-dropping view inside one America's strangest religions. The book is both eye-opening and terrifying. To know that in America there is still an organization who can hold people against their will and force them into slave labor is unnerving. I recommend this book to anyone interested in modern religious study and definitely recommend it to anyone who may have a family member being drawn into this dreadful cult.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cecil PORTLAND, OR, USA 03-09-13
    Cecil PORTLAND, OR, USA 03-09-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Best. Footnotes. Ever."

    Okay, I admit it, I am a sucker for books about the weird stuff people choose to believe in, and the origins of those beliefs, so I was definitely in the target audience for this book. I was fascinated by the details of LRH's biography (both the real and invented) and by the details of the Church's workings. But I have to admit, my favorite thing about the book was that, after every claim that might remotely raise an eyebrow, the author would drop a footnote: "[insert celebrity's name here]'s lawyers deny that [celebrity] ever __________." The narration was good, if occasionally monotonous (after all, how many times CAN you say "_____ denies ever doing ____"

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Memyselfhjb Arnolds park, ia, United States 04-08-14
    Memyselfhjb Arnolds park, ia, United States 04-08-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Speed it up home skillet"
    What did you like best about Going Clear? What did you like least?

    I have to say I gave up after two hours, I cannot believe the praise this book received as an audio book. Maybe in paperback where one could skip pages it would be decent but never in audio.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I don't know if it is informative, it seems that most people think so. I wanted to hear about the radical Scientology beliefs, but my attention span hated it so much I give up.


    What three words best describe Morton Sellers’s performance?

    Slow quiet boring


    Did Going Clear inspire you to do anything?

    Ha


    Any additional comments?

    I have listened to a lot of non fiction and I would have to say I normally agree with most reviews not this one. If you like to sleep get it and use it for pleasant white noise. Otherwise YouTube has some great ten to twenty minute clips on anything under the sun that is even slightly conspiratorial so hit it up.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela COLLIERVILLE, TN, United States 02-24-13
    Angela COLLIERVILLE, TN, United States 02-24-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Gripping in a clinical way"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Going Clear to be better than the print version?

    Haven't read the print version, but I really liked the narration by Morton Sellers. It was very clinical, in that way Forensic Files or New Detectives was clinical.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Paul Haggis. He is this wonderfully, amazing yet screwed up guy. I loved the fact he didn't bow to anyone (including his church's leaders), but I felt terrible for his family struggles.


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

    The narration is dry and clinical, and I love that. Like I mentioned earlier, it feels much more documentary than infomercial.


    If you could give Going Clear a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Mission Impossible IV: Revenge of the Psychiatry


    Any additional comments?

    Fun Topic, Good Narration, Lots of "Wow, that's crazy" moments.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Knight1649 Jefferson City, MO, United States 02-23-13
    Knight1649 Jefferson City, MO, United States 02-23-13 Member Since 2011

    I am a Clinical Medical Hypnotherapist with specialities in Auto Immune, PTSD, ADHD, Cancer, and Autism. I focus on very difficult cases.

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    "Fantastic in depth look at Scientology"
    Where does Going Clear rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the more interesting books I have listened to. The reason is the author in my opinion tried to be objective, neutral, and present both side of the story in a fair and balanced approach, and by the nature of the topic that is difficult to do.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    too many characters to mention


    Have you listened to any of Morton Sellers’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no, but his voice is fantastic


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    The overall structure. Regardless, if it is a religion or not, it is a business, and apparently a well oiled machine.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Max 02-22-13
    Max 02-22-13 Member Since 2011

    Max

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    "Fascinating"
    Would you listen to Going Clear again? Why?

    This was a captivating and fast moving book. It is impossible to digest all the information in one listening.


    What other book might you compare Going Clear to and why?

    19834


    If you could give Going Clear a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Fine line between brilliance and insanity.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael WALNUT, CA, United States 02-21-13
    Michael WALNUT, CA, United States 02-21-13 Member Since 2008
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    "A terrifying look into a dangerous cult"

    It's horrific how a group of bullies terrorize and profit from brainwashed members, all under the safe harbor of religion.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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