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 .
 >   > 
Going Clear Audiobook

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

Regular Price:$35.00
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

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 (2889 )
5 star
 (1692)
4 star
 (848)
3 star
 (250)
2 star
 (58)
1 star
 (41)
Overall
4.5 (2534 )
5 star
 (1571)
4 star
 (674)
3 star
 (205)
2 star
 (47)
1 star
 (37)
Story
4.4 (2554 )
5 star
 (1415)
4 star
 (780)
3 star
 (277)
2 star
 (46)
1 star
 (36)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    E. L. Sapp Virginia 07-25-15
    E. L. Sapp Virginia 07-25-15 Member Since 2012

    vtcheme

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too Long"

    This could have been a great book, and parts of it were. But the author spent too much time on a small number of things, making the entire book drag on. Also, the reader had no inflection, making it difficult to listen to.

    The first part of the book is the biography of L Ron Hubbard. I understand why he needs to be discussed, but there was just too much. I don't need to know every little detail about his life. It was tiring and rather boring.

    The second section is early Scientology after LRH's death. A lot could have been done here. However, there was little coherence. Instead, the book jumped from topic to topic and person to person with no break in the flow. Perhaps it would have been better in book form, where spaces can be added between sections to mark breaks. As an audiobook, there is no obvious break, making everything flow together.

    The last bit of the book could be called "The Tom Cruise section," since that's who is discussed more than anyone. I get that Cruise is a big-name Scientologist. Who cares? The book makes it clear that his experience with Scientology is very different from the normal person, so what is the point of discussing him so much? His experience is not an indication of what Scientology is like.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David San Diego, CA, United States 07-10-15
    David San Diego, CA, United States 07-10-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    123
    51
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating History"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Going Clear to be better than the print version?

    I would not, as the footnotes included in the audio version can sometimes be a distraction from the history it tells.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The details the author was able to come up with, as well as his clear effort to get the Scientology side of the story. While critical, it is not without sympathy in its own way to LRH and some of what the church has done.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann 06-22-15
    Ann 06-22-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    5
    Overall
    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 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    Overall
    Performance
    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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    43
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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

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.