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)
Shocking, Illuminating, Engrossing,
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
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.
Scientology is so much worse than you ever imagined
Mom of teens, navigating the modern world by the seat of my pants.
I do not think I would listen to it again, simply because all my questions have been answered.
Answered the mystery of how Mr. Hubbard spent his last days. Described what happened during the change of power during that period.
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.
Books are hotter than TV
...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.
Cut it in half. I got that he and they were all nut jobs.
It is a documentary, and from what I hear a good one.
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.
The reader was very steady though at times you could tell he was in disbelief about the subject matter.
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.
This isn't really a biography of either L. Ron Hubbard or David Miscavige, but their stories are inexorably linked to Scientology, and they have each shaped the church into what it is today. The way the church works, and how it is run makes more sense with the context of these two men, and the many others featured in this book.
For a proper biography of Hubbard, I recommend "Bare Faced Messiah" by Russell Miller, which focuses more on the man than the church, but these two books make great companion pieces.
The narrator was excellent but a little slow, i recommend 2x speed. The information of Scientology is surprising, sometimes unbelievably ridiculous but above all, it is kind of sad.
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