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Going Clear

Going Clear

Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief

Book - 2013
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"Based on more than two hundred 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 skills to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology: its origins in the imagination of science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard; its struggles to find acceptance as a legitimate (and legally acknowledged) religion; its vast, secret campaign to infiltrate the U.S. government; its vindictive treatment of critics; its phenomenal wealth; and its dramatic efforts to grow and prevail after the death of Hubbard"--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2013.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780307700667
0307700666
Call Number: 299.936 WRI
Characteristics: xiii, 430 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bib Control Number: 702973

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IndyPL_DarrenS Jan 30, 2019

This was a very interesting look into the history of Scientology. As someone who didn't know a whole lot about the organization, it gives a thorough history of its creator L. Ron Hubbard and how the organization was cultivated over decades. It also delves into different controversial religions an... Read More »


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Dino789
Jan 22, 2021

An evenhanded look at Scientology. Wright seems to admire many aspects of Hubbard’s creation of his own religion, but doesn’t minimize the damage done by this cult. Three stars because the book jumps around from person to person so much it was difficult to remember who he was talking about. I also wanted to know more about the consequences to the featured individuals once they left the cult. I’d also like to know if Mr. Wright was targeted for harassment. Mr. Wright also doesn’t adequately consider the question of why religion is given a protected space by our government, and whether allowing Scientology to conduct their activities without consequences reveals the weaknesses in that policy.
This is an important book, a cautionary tale for anyone who considers joining. Scientology is dangerous, doesn’t reveal the central precepts of its religion until people have either spent tens of thousands of dollars or signed a billion-year contract, and hides the fact that it abuses members and orders them to disconnect from family members who are deemed “suppressive persons.” By all means, stay away from Scientology and try to help family and friends escape from their clutches.

r
ryner
Aug 05, 2019

Yikes. Reading this book made me feel ill. The extent to which members, dissidents and apostates alike are stalked, tormented and blackmailed, and to which the organization infiltrates an astounding and diverse range of industries and government organizations is quite terrifying. If even a portion of this narrative is factual, it paints a particularly revolting and damning picture of Scientology. As the late Christopher Hitchens maintained, "religion poisons everything."

a
agolanka
Mar 20, 2019

After watching the HBO documentary of the same name, I developed an insatiable curiosity for Scientology that I hoped this book could appease. Going Clear by Lawrence Wright definitely answered all my burning questions, as well as my glowering, flickering, and even smoldering questions. In fact, I think Going Clear went into such great depth, that I really don’t have any curiosity left for Scientology. Wright covers most points of Scientology in great (and sometimes unnecessary) depth, from founder L Ron Hubbard’s entire life, to current leader’s David Miscavige’s entire life, to Hollywood’s influence and the secretive lives of Scientologists. Don’t get me wrong, I think this book is great, thorough, and very well-researched and I would recommend it to those with the same compulsive curiosity as me. Going Clear is the definitive wild story about the secretive and paranoid “religion.” However, if you want more of an overview of the main points, and don’t need to read ~450 pages of a Scientology investigation, the documentary is a much less time consuming alternative.

IndyPL_DarrenS Jan 30, 2019

This was a very interesting look into the history of Scientology. As someone who didn't know a whole lot about the organization, it gives a thorough history of its creator L. Ron Hubbard and how the organization was cultivated over decades. It also delves into different controversial religions and how they relate to Scientology. Some of the events described in this book can be difficult to read, but give a unique insight into how this religion operates.

a
agoldsby
Nov 25, 2018

Really interesting and thorough look at Scientology. I'm surprised no mention of Leah Remini. I would imagine as vocal as she has been against Scientology that her and her family would be a major target or source of contention. Nonetheless, I can definitely see how people could be intrigued and even benefit from some of the methods prescribed. However, as we know anything in the hands of man is subject to corruption. Seems like Scientology is no different. Definitely worth the read if you have any interest in the power of belief.

n
naturalist
Mar 31, 2018

“100 Must-Read Books About Life in Cults and Oppressive Religious Sects”
by Elizabeth Allen. posted January 27, 2017, at Book Riot
https://bookriot.com/2017/01/27/100-must-read-books-about-life-in-cults/

c
candlesticktroughs
Mar 23, 2018

" In the letter, Hubbard reprimanded his followers for straying from the path he had laid out for them: ' When somebody enrolls, consider he or she has joined up for the duration of the universe--never permit an 'open-minded' approach. 'If they're aboard, they're here on the same terms as the rest of us--win or die in the attempt.'....' The whole agonized future of this planet, every Man, Woman and Child on it, and your own destiny for the next endless trillions of years depend on what you do here and now with and in Scientology.' " " While talking to Haggis, Beghe was reluctant to use the word, ' brainwashing---' whatever the fuck that is--but he did say that somehow his mind had been taken over. ' You have all these thoughts, all these ways of looking at things, that are L. Ron Hubbard's,' he explained. ' You think you're becoming more you, but within that is an implanted thing, which is You the Scientologist.' " Haggis has been a substantial supporter of the CCHR. As a boy, he says, he says he spent most of hid days staring out the window, daydreaming---a candidate for an attention deficit disorder diagnosis. ' I identified with the oddballs and the misfits, ' he said. ' those who conform have very little chance of making a difference in life.' He was sure that if his parents had medicated him, he might never have become a writer. " "Tom Cruise and David Miscavige at the Church of Scientology opening in central Madrid, 2004 (photograph, amidst paper floating through the air) "

f
fledge
Jan 22, 2017

L Ron Hubbard was a man of intellect, imagination, and great determination. How else to describe a man who invented a religion from his own mind, and who sustained that effort over decades? He was also a money-grubbing liar and philanderer who practiced mind control on his needy, credulous audience. This book gives as complete a picture of the destructive Scientology cult as there exists in print. Highly recommended.

s
Stotiskv
Jun 28, 2016

I have read many books on Scientology and this is one the best. I recommend the documentary. If you are looking for a lighthearted story, read Leah Remini's book Troublemaker. This book is not for the faint of heart.

j
Joanna_Rose
May 14, 2016

This is a challenging read, but engrossing and well written. Especially fascinating is the life and times of L. Ron Hubbard, a topic which is thoroughly examined here, and not covered in other Scientology tell-alls. There are so many names and details, but I found that I didn't need to keep all the whos and whens straight. What emerges is similar and interwoven narratives of horror! Stranger than fiction!

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broo
Jan 30, 2014

broo thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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