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Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the…

Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (original 2013; edition 2013)

by Lawrence Wright

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995698,604 (4.09)1 / 90
Title:Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief
Authors:Lawrence Wright
Info:Knopf (2013), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 448 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Non-Fiction, Sociology, History, Religion

Work details

Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright (2013)

  1. 00
    Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini (akblanchard)
    akblanchard: Both books deal with the Hollywood-Scientology connection.
  2. 00
    Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson by Jeff Guinn (akblanchard)
    akblanchard: Although he never joined the group, Manson dabbled in Scientology. It is interesting to draw parallels between Manson's treatment of his "Family" and life in the Scientology's Sea Org.
  3. 00
    Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion by Janet Reitman (sparemethecensor)
    sparemethecensor: Two similar journalistic exposes of Scientology, both of which take a surprisingly even-handed view of the group. I preferred Inside Scientology, although both are great primers on what is going on under David Miscavige's regime.
  4. 01
    Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America by Barbara Ehrenreich (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Although Wright missed it completely, Scientology seems to be yet another in a long line of American religions/self-help groups influenced by the Positive Thinking Movement. If you want a wider vision of how these groups function, I highly recommend Ehrenreich.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
Narrated by Morton Sellers. What an odd and scary religion: billion-year contracts, a background and beliefs straight out of a science fiction novel, abusive punishments for adherents who don't toe the line, and horrific, lying leadership. The one thing about Scientology that made sense to me was a line to the effect of "don't believe everything you're told; listen and decide what makes sense to you." (Which apparently, Scientology leadership doesn't go by!) If you're curious about what Scientology is, the controversy, and why so many celebrities like Tom Cruise are aligned with it, this is a clear-headed presentation (but obviously with a bias against it). Sellers reads in a stern tone that presents the facts and condemns them, too. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Okay so maybe Tom Cruise doesn’t rule the world, but it seems he’s second in charge at the Church of Scientology. This is a fascinating, well-researched delving into the world created by L. Ron Hubbard (LRH) and the world that was after he dropped his body. The Church revealed is one chock full of the dungeons that the supposedly misguided have been relegated to, hidden stories behind the founder’s checkered past and steamy stories of what went on onboard LRH’s fleet of ships. If you’ve seen _The Master_ you’ve gotten a taste of what it’s all about. Suffice to say: It is a world that is both enthralling and frightening. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Please read my full review here: http://realbooks4ever.tumblr.com/post/120950652909 ( )
  BooksOn23rd | Nov 25, 2015 |
  rosies | Nov 17, 2015 |
5+ out of 5. How are you supposed to rate this book, actually? On the one hand, it is exceptional journalism. Wright's measured and readable tone (of which I have been a fan for many years) in considered, intelligent, and knowledgable - you come away wishing that everyone was so well-spoken in their delivery of sensitive and inflammatory information. But that same information is truly disturbing, at least in my opinion. Even as I sit here working on this review, several hours and things and stories later... I feel my palms a little sweaty, a pall over my visage, and a furrow in my brow. I am disturbed in a way even few horror novels have ever been capable of achieving. I do not seek to feel this way, no matter how enjoyable horror novels usually are, and I will never be able to walk down the North side of 46th St without looking over my shoulder or a shudder as I pass the Scientology building. And yet, I cannot do anything but wholeheartedly recommend this book - it sheds light onto the darker parts of human nature in a way that we all should come to understand.

More at RB: http://ragingbiblioholism.com/2014/04/10/going-clear-scientology-hollywood-the-p... ( )
1 vote drewsof | Sep 30, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
That crunching sound you hear is Lawrence Wright bending over backward to be fair to Scientology. Every deceptive comparison with Mormonism and other religions is given a respectful hearing. Every ludicrous bit of church dogma is served up deadpan. This makes the book’s indictment that much more powerful.
added by lorax | editNew York Times, Michael Kinsley (Jan 17, 2013)
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Scientology plays an outsize role in the cast of new religions that have arisen in the twentieth century and survived into the twenty-first.
London, Ontario, is a middling manufacturing town halfway between Toronto and Detroit, once known for its cigars and breweries.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307700666, Hardcover)

A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower, the now-classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack. Based on more than two hundred personal interviews with 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:34 -0400)

"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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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