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Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief Audio CD – 2013


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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Books On Tape (2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385393067
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385393065
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 5.4 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,093 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

I found this book to be a very interesting read.
L. Fortier
This is a good book to read if you have any interest in Scientology or cult religions.
lawrence j helhowski
It is very informative and very well researched.
Dean Blair

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

683 of 707 people found the following review helpful By Bill Gallagher on January 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Imagine if you were reading a novel that included a character who wrote sci-fi novels, was obsessed with wealth and status symbols, was paranoid about the government, treated others badly, and yet started a religion as a business venture that attracted thousands of devoted followers. You'd probably say, "yeah, right; a nice allegory for an aspect of the American psyche, but I don't think so." Although, if you were familiar with Scientology, you might not be so surprised.

Many aren't familiar with Scientology, in part because the Scientologists have been relentless and devoted to stamping out dissent and negative portrayals of their religion (previous books on L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology's founder ended up with the publisher abandoning the project due to law suits and the British publisher of this book, dropped it for fear of libel law suits [which are easier to win in the UK]). New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright, who is known as one of our great investigative journalists, has prepared himself by doing an incredible amount of due diligence and fact checking (apparently the fact checkers at the New Yorker, which first published an article on Scientology by Wright, made herculean efforts to make sure they got the facts right).

Scientology does not come off well in Going Clear. Wright portrays Scientology as in large part an expression of L. Ron Hubbard's whimsy: "Even as Hubbard was inventing the doctrine, each of his decisions and actions would become enshrined in Scientology lore as something to be emulated -- his cigarette smoking, for instance, which is still a feature of the church's culture at the upper levels, as are his 1950s habits of speech, his casual misogyny, his aversion to perfume and scented deodorants, and his love of cars and motorcycles and Rolex watches.
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338 of 356 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on January 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I've read another summary of Scientology - Wright's is far superior, and I especially like his detailing of the church's beliefs. He traces Scientology from its origin in the imagination of science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, its struggle to become accepted as a legitimate (and tax-exempt) religion, efforts to infiltrate governments (placed up to 5,000 Scientologists as spies in government agencies around the world, charging them with finding officials files on the church to help generate intimidating lawsuits,' vindictive treatment of critics (favorite weapon - lawsuits intended to bury the defendant in legal costs) and many who leave its ranks (often incarcerated in deplorable conditions for years and further punished if they tried to escape), and its impressive wealth. The objective, per Wright, of Scientologists, is to climb up the Bridge to Total Freedom's innumerable steps and then achieve eternal life. The organization's major goal is recruiting new members, increasingly achieved via exploiting celebrities such as Tom Cruise, John Travolta - he credits Scientology with putting his career into high-gear), and enlisting young members into its Sea Organization clergy - often as young 10 - 12 year-old children signing up for billion-year contracts and work under poor conditions for little/no payment (eg. 90-hour weeks for $50/week, with one day off for schooling) and pressured to undergo abortions if they became pregnant. (A billion years is but a temporary job in Scientology - they contend the world is already four quadrillion years old, and attaining immortality should certainly extend beyond one billion more years.)

Scientology informally claims to have 8 million members (based on the number who have contributed members) and welcomes another 4.4 million new people every year.
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236 of 250 people found the following review helpful By J. Johnson on January 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wow, this book is amazing. Both this and Reitman's Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion are required reads for those interested in Scientology. The Scientology website does not tell you the whole story. That is a proven, documented, fact. I also say this as a former Scientologist that left a few months ago. This book not only follows the story of a prominent Scientologist that left after a long 34 years as a dedicated Scientologist, but also provides great insight into the founder of the organization, as well as the host of controversy that has followed Scientology since its founding.

If you're considering joining Scientology, I encourage you to not only read what they say about themselves on their website, but also read the neutral and critical perspectives of Scientology as well, including this book. This organization is not a joke. I quietly left in November, and to this day, I still receive daily phone calls, texts, emails, letters, etc. They wanted me to forget about my education and work for Scientology, since they view their religion as the most important thing in the whole world, of all time. I was told by one staff member that studying for a graduate entrance exam was not as important as studying Scientology. I was also pressured to buy books and lectures, even when I said that I didn't have enough money. I was pressured to join staff at "the org", even after repeatedly stating that I had no time with school and work, and even after explicitly stating that I didn't want to. If you value your time, your education, and most importantly your money, do not join Scientology.
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