Tuesday, October 20, 2015

"Going Clear" by Lawrence Wright

I heard about this book when it was being made into a movie. Then I saw it on it the shelf at the library and picked it up.

Summary: This reads like an in depth expose on the church. The book explores the biography of Hubbard and the history of the church from its founding. It starts with a look at Hubbard's life as a science fiction writer and naval officer. It reviews deception in his service record and his injuries. It then goes into the creation of dianetics which evolved into the modern church. There was a significant period where the church was mainly sea-going and struggled with prohibitions in several countries. They endured a long legal battle with the IRS and governments in Europe.

Eventually, the church is accepted as a legitimate religious organization and grows. Much of their energy is spent on recruiting and maintaining celebrity members including a strong presence in Hollywood offering classes and workshops for movie stars. This book takes a close look at how the church treated Tom Cruise and John Travolta. It also has a lot to say about Paul Haggis, a famous screenwriter, producer and director. It examines claims of physical and psychological abuse in the Sea Org (the clergy) and the many practices of the church that have given it the terrifying reputation it has today.

What I Liked: Before this book I did not know much about Scientology beyond the rumors I heard from atheists and critics of the church. After this book I have a better grasp of what the church is like on the inside and what were major events in its timeline.

What I Didn't Like: This book was exactly what I hoped it would be. The only downside to an audiobook is that I don't have the same ease regarding citations.

Rating: Very informative. I recommend it for anyone who wants to know more about Scientology.

Also Read by this Author: None.

Reviewed by: Nick

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