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Inside Scientology Audiobook

Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion

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Audible Editor Reviews

Janet Reitman's Inside Scientology seeks to provide the first unbiased and holistic overview of the divisive faith that is Scientology. Reitman focuses on five key elements of the Scientology story: a history of the religion's rise, as well as the rise of its creator, L. Ron Hubbard; a detailed account of the vicious internal coup by current leader, David Miscavige; the sad and shocking story of the death of Scientologist Lisa McPherson; an outline of the controversial "celebrity strategy"; and multiple narratives detailing the current mass exodus from a corrupt and abusive church.

Narrator Stephen Hoye does an excellent job with the book, which presents many unique challenges. He successfully tackles a wide range of subject matter from Hubbard's sterile, futurist terminology to some of the more personal, emotionally gripping stories. Hoye serves as a calm voice of reason, guiding us through a potentially confusing world of Orgs, Tech, and more acroynms than a high-level business meeting.

The picture that emerges is a multifaceted one. Outsiders with cursory knowledge of the faith generally associate it with a crackpot Sci-Fi writer looking to make a buck, brainwashing techniques, salacious scandals, never-ending lawsuits, and a creation myth featuring aliens, volcanoes, and movie theaters. While Reitman doesn't exactly dispel these notions completely, she does provide rich historical background and a true look inside this mysterious faith. The truth about the religion, after all, is much more complex than what's presented on the surface.

The promises of Scientology range from the enriching (freedom from mental and emotion anguish) to the humanitarian (providing aid to developing countries and ways out of drug addiction) to the transcendent (immortal life, free of an earthy body). While people are drawn to the faith for all kinds of reasons, Reitman shows us that most Scientologists are just normal people trying to do good in the world and better themselves. Unfortunately, some of these people have been swept up in a devastating new movement within the upper ranks of the church, which has become increasingly obsessed with greed, domination, and power.

Perhaps the most artful facet of this book is that, in true journalistic style, Reitman does her best to simply present the facts and leave the conclusions to the listener. After all, like Hubbard used to say, "What's true is what is true for you." —Gina Pensiero

Publisher's Summary

Scientology, created in 1954 by a prolific sci-fi writer named L. Ron Hubbard, claims to be the world's fastest-growing religion, with millions of members around the world and huge financial holdings. Its celebrity believers keep its profile high, and its teams of "volunteer ministers" offer aid at disaster sites such as Haiti and the World Trade Center. But Scientology is also a notably closed faith, harassing journalists and others through litigation and intimidation, even infiltrating the highest levels of government to further its goals. Its attacks on psychiatry and its requirement that believers pay as much as tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars for salvation have drawn scrutiny and skepticism. And ex-members use the Internet to share stories of harassment and abuse.

Now Janet Reitman offers the first full journalistic history of the Church of Scientology, in an even-handed account that at last establishes the astonishing truth about the controversial religion. She traces Scientology's development from the birth of Dianetics to today, following its metamorphosis from a pseudoscientific self-help group to a worldwide spiritual corporation with profound control over its followers and even ex-followers.

Based on five years of research, unprecedented access to church officials, confidential documents, and extensive interviews with current and former Scientologists, this is the defining book about a little-known world.

©2011 Janet Reitman (P)2011 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"A detailed and readable examination of the life of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the church, and his successor, David Miscavige." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    ES Centreville, VA 04-15-17
    ES Centreville, VA 04-15-17 Member Since 2013
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    "informative"
    Any additional comments?

    Hubbard, a sci-fi writer, was always looking for a fast easy buck. Surprised by the success of his book Dianetics, he created an organization that that had much in common with brainwashing: exploit weaknesses, repeat slogans, create rituals, etc. In order to exploit tax benefits and freedom from oversight he declared Scientology a religion. And why not? Hucksters and delusional prophets for thousands of years had created and interpreted, modified or molded religions to their own benefit. The organization of Scientology was not very much different from theological ones: a chief theocrat, a priesthood, uniforms, rituals, catechism, evangelism, etc. Of course these also have much in common with political authoritarianism like fascism, Nazism, and communism. This book reveals the history and workings of Scientology pretty well. It's amazing how the gullible and those searching for leadership easily fall prey to earthly or ethereal religions. The prophets are numerous: Moses, Jesus, Peter, Mohammed, Luther, Calvin, Smith, Young, Khomeni, Hubbard. The religions are numerous as well: Judaism, Christianity, Catholicism, Islam, Protestantism (many), Mormon, cults. Human intelligence does not always produce the intelligent.

    The narration was very effective conveying the proper note of cynicism or sarcasm.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terri 04-14-17
    Terri 04-14-17 Member Since 2013
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    "A Different Twist on Scientology"

    I have read Jenna Miscavage Hill's book and Leah Remini's book, yet Janet Reitman's account of Scientology had me come away with a less emotional, more factual viewpoint. I have realized that it's not the concept of Scientology that I object to, but the monster of a for-profit 'religion' that RLH perpetuated and DM magnified to the point where profit and obedience to their master exceeded loyalty to a principle or goal. It's the concept of a corporation thinly veiled as a religion that bothers me, not to mention the cruelty to Sea Org members that is beyond disgusting.

    This book is a factual accounting of the rise of this business, the people at the top, the celebrities that it courts, and the poor people that get sucked in at such a young age that they are molded to believe there is nowhere else in the world for them to belong. Listening to how they literally have to escape from Gold Base as if it were a federal penitentiary is truly beyond belief.

    It is time for the Church of Scientology to be held accountable for the deplorable conditions the Sea Org members are forced to live in, the work camp attitude that they are brainwashed to believe is for the greater good, the deaths (ie. Lisa McPherson) that they have been responsible for, goodness... I could go on and on.

    This book is definitely worth the read! I almost wish I had read it before the other two to give me a better background from which to appreciate on a grander scale what these women have been through.

    On that note, it is worth mentioning that the narration of this book is horribly slow. It actually kept putting me to sleep, but then I stepped up the speed, which made the narrative choppy, but at least tolerable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Launa 11-18-16
    Launa 11-18-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Informative - but very DRY! Monotone"
    What did you like best about Inside Scientology? What did you like least?

    There was great history mentioned regarding the scientology group. This is the second book I have read on Scientology, and won't be my last. I have so much sympathy for those who were (and are) dedicated to this Cult. I would NEVER call this a religion!


    What could Janet Reitman have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Because the book was so long, I got bored with the male narrator. Maybe someone with more personality would have made it easier to get through.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    No


    Do you think Inside Scientology needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Absolutely. I am so intrigued....I want to know more. Don't get me wrong, Im not interested in converting! I want to kick DM in the shins! Its maddening the guilt the leaders create and the freedom they have taken from some. And why are only a few chosen ones treated so badly?


    Any additional comments?

    How on earth were these bullies able to convince the government that they were not required to pay taxes? I hope Scientology is never off the radar and some day soon - our government will grow some balls and stop letting the Scientologists get away with the way they treat their followers. They are bullies - and have gotten away with murder, tax evasion and God knows what else goes on behind their closed doors.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven 10-25-16
    Steven 10-25-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Comprehensive exposè of a secret society"

    Detailed account of Scientology from comprehensive utopian philosophy designed by Hubbard, to authoritarian secret organisation

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Robertson 06-30-16 Member Since 2008

    By the end of the day, may you have learned something, laughed, and gotten laid.

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    "Massively Informative"

    Boatload of non-judgemental information about Scientology. A few times, it seemed a little more like a personal essay than an informative one, but I'd definitely recommend to anyone wanting to learn about L. Ron Hubbard's religion from a source that neither proselytizes or bashes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Trotta Kansas City 05-22-16
    A. Trotta Kansas City 05-22-16
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    "Interesting Topic and Story"

    This book was very detailed and surprisingly long. The author was descriptive enough to keep my attention without being boring. What an amazing "religion".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Count B 03-23-16
    Count B 03-23-16 Member Since 2015
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    "SUPERB BOOK"
    Any additional comments?

    I have read all I can about this cult, both books & internet, so was very surprised to learn so much more. It is brilliantly written & really does give on a full insight as to how insane it was when it al started & how shocking it is to this day. I would recommend though for a deeper look into the inner working as to how horrific Scientology is Leah Remini's book & also Jenna Miscarriage Hills, they will blow your socks off. They both got a full five stars from me & when started, could not stop listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TemperPolk 02-02-16
    TemperPolk 02-02-16 Member Since 2016

    Fantasy Bookworm

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    "Scientology explained"

    Wow! I was very impressed with this book. It gives you a real look inside one of the most mysterious religions movements. I always thought Scientology was a weird religion but never knew exactly what it was about. This book really lays out the movement foundations and its current state.

    The narrator was great. Never a dull moment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Therrien Ozawkie, Kansas, US 07-14-15
    Matthew Therrien Ozawkie, Kansas, US 07-14-15
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    "Very good look at the church's history"

    I have come across numerous criticisms of this book as not being hard enough on the church but I think Janet does a great job of in-depth reporting of its history and its crimes

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kevin shaun martin 06-15-15
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    "Good Listen"

    I really enjoyed this audio book. The performance was great and the content was great. I did feel that it dragged on on certain topics longer than it needed to and repeated the same things a LOT. Enough that if I were to be reading instead of listening, I probably would have put it down. It's definitely worth a listen and it's very entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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