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Going Clear Audiobook
Going Clear
Written by: 
Lawrence Wright
Narrated by: 
Morton Sellers
 >   > 
Going Clear Audiobook

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

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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

4.4 (2817 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ann 06-22-15
    Ann 06-22-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
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    Performance
    Story
    "Well researched and balanced treatment"

    The narrator was exceptionally good. The epilogue to the book provides context and balance. This organization is truly scary, and having a good, journalistic investigation is eye-opening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 06-16-15
    Jennifer 06-16-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is fascinating"
    Would you listen to Going Clear again? Why?

    Yes! I loved this book and I will most definitely listen to it again. I have also encouraged my family and friends to read or listen.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The most compelling aspect was the murder in ClearWater Florida and finding out what people were involved. It was one small part of the book but it was amazingly fascinating.


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

    I wish I could have listened to this all in one sitting! I did not want to stop listening!


    Any additional comments?

    This book provides fascinating insight into the world of Scientology. Because the writer himself is not an ex-Scientologist his point of view is unbiased. All of the biased feelings of ex members are filtered through his perspective. The book therefore provides a very educated view on the "church".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bojan Jokic 06-14-15
    Bojan Jokic 06-14-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Great book, afraid Miscavige might read this review"

    Such an extensive and thoroughly researched book on scientology and general religion. I would highly recommend it to everyone, though those would benefit the most from it will not likely get to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Toastie Durham, NC 06-11-15
    Toastie Durham, NC 06-11-15 Member Since 2014
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    3
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    Story
    "Superb crackerjack expose narrated way too slow"
    If you could sum up Going Clear in three words, what would they be?

    Shocking, Illuminating, Engrossing,


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Focus on Paul Haggis gives us an example of a well-known person who fell under the spell of Scientology, discovered the abounding cruelty of it, and ultimately got out


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Sellers reads with crisp authority but also at a snail's pace. I eventually listened at 2.0x, and it barely felt faster than I would expect from normal speech.


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

    Scientology is so much worse than you ever imagined


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Veronica 05-28-15
    Veronica 05-28-15 Member Since 2014

    Mom of teens, navigating the modern world by the seat of my pants.

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    "Detailed, scary and factual"
    Would you listen to Going Clear again? Why?

    I do not think I would listen to it again, simply because all my questions have been answered.


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

    Answered the mystery of how Mr. Hubbard spent his last days. Described what happened during the change of power during that period.


    Any additional comments?

    This book answered many questions I had about the organization, answers that were even worse than I'd imagined. The time line of events was very eye-opening. The honesty of the accounts was marked.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawndra Delaney Portland, OR 05-20-15
    Shawndra Delaney Portland, OR 05-20-15 Member Since 2014

    Books are hotter than TV

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A little too complex ..."

    ...for a book you listen too. This one is perhaps better read. So many people, events, etc that are so detailed that they are hard to keep track of. Book is great but I'd a lot to digest in this format.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Robben 05-20-15
    Mark Robben 05-20-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
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    Story
    "Needed to be edited down"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Cut it in half. I got that he and they were all nut jobs.


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

    No


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    It is a documentary, and from what I hear a good one.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Irvington 05-19-15
    Irvington 05-19-15
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    "Wow! Unbelievable"

    Very informative and packed full of historical detail about Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard. Eye opening! Narration was really good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tammy 05-09-15
    Tammy 05-09-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Gripping, horrifying and strange"

    I found this insiders view helpful. Seems like brainwashing is alive and well in the house of Satan. This story was engaging, insightful and horrifying.
    Strongly recommend

    The reader was very steady though at times you could tell he was in disbelief about the subject matter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Stewart Long Beach, CA United States 05-07-15
    Scott Stewart Long Beach, CA United States 05-07-15 Member Since 2014

    Stew785

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    "Kind of long but really good"

    I really liked the book. Lots of information. It's seems long for what it covers but maybe it had to be this way. The last chapter is one of the best.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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