Going Clear

Going Clear

Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief

Book - 2013
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Random House, Inc.
National Book Award Finalist

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.

Baker & Taylor
Examines the Church of Scientology; discusses the esoteric cosmology, the auditing process for determining an inductee's state of being, and the Bridge for Total Freedom; and details how the church pursues celebrities.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2013
ISBN: 9780307700667
Branch Call Number: 299.936 W9338g 2013
Characteristics: 448 p. ; 25 cm


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This book will be discussed at the meeting on March 7, 2016.

A juicy, deeply disturbing exposé of Scientology and its bizarre relationship to American celebrity culture. The first half of this fascinating book covers Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard's meteoric rise to power, and boyyyyy, was he one zany (not to mention savvy) dude. The second half descri... Read More »

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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

" 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) "

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.

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.

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!

Apr 29, 2016

This was a very interesting book. I highly recommend it if you are curious about this whole "religion".

cmlibrary_ecrites Apr 23, 2016

Going Clear is an in-depth, well researched and well written must read.

Apr 15, 2016

This was a tough read. When you read a sci-fi book, it might be scary, disgusting, or suspenseful, but at some level you know it’s fictional and you will be OK. The problem with this book is that the subject matter is awful but true. You almost wish you had never heard of it, but then you realize one must continue to learn the truth about our country. After completing the book, one must take a shower to get the ugliness removed.

Apr 11, 2016

A massive and fully researched whopper of a book, GOING CLEAR illustrates the Church of Scientology and all that which surrounds it in exacting detail. It's a superb albeit longish read, but if you're interested in hearing the truth, this is the book to pick up. I highly recommend it.

Aug 05, 2015

There IS a sucker born every minute. This organization gives me the chills. I hate religion, but this isn't even religion; It's a strange cult that uses and abuses people. It's very well written and researched. I recommend it.

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Jan 30, 2014

broo thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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