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Blown for Good - Behind the Iron Curtain of Scientology (BFG Paperback) Paperback – 2010
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Nominated by Foreword Magazine as 2009 Book of the Year Award Finalist. Marc Headley provides an insider's view of life as a member of Scientology's "Sea Organization". Marc worked at Scientology's secret desert compound, which houses all Scientology management, for 15 years. The 500 acre property is located deep in the California desert. The local townspeople were told lectures and films were made there. But is that all that was happening? It is the location of a multi-million dollar home for L. Ron Hubbard, built two decades after his death. It is the home of Scientology's current leader, David Miscavige. So what really happens at the Int Base? Are the stories on the internet true? How does Scientology conduct management of its day to day operations? Could stories of armed guards, weapons, staff beatings, and razor wire fences be true? If so, how could a facility like this exist in modern day America? Hundreds of staff tried to escape over the years. Some succeeded but were never seen or heard of again, most failed. Why were people kept here? What really went on at the headquarters of Scientology? This is the story of what happened behind the Iron Curtain of Scientology. "...the Scientology cult, is I guarantee you, a thousand times more bizarre than you could have ever imagined." The John & Ken Show, KFI AM 640 "Headley's book also provides stunning material that has rarely been collected in one place... a damning account of life working for Scientology leader David Miscavige at the secretive desert base..." Tony Ortega, The Village Voice "...a new book exposing alleged details about not just Scientology -- but Tom Cruise's association with the church -- is available..." The Washington Post "Marc Headley , a former insider at the church, has written a tell-all book, called Blown for Good, about his 15 years of work with Scientology. And folks...you can't handle the truth..." The Frisky "
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There were times I had to force myself to continue reading "Blown for Good" because I was so disturbed by how horrific the conditions are in Scientology for it's most ardent supporters, members of the Sea Organization. While reading Jenna's book I felt mostly anger. Her childhood was stolen from her, she was clearly brainwashed and mentally tortured. Although I understand her parents were also brainwashed they should have protected her. That makes me angry.
Marc Headly's story is also infuriating but there is whole other element to his tale that literally made me feel physically ill. Forcing people to work with no sleep and little food on tasks that no well rested, nourished human could possibly complete in the time frame given, is enough to make you question the humanity of this "church." Then it becomes clear that these tasks are intentionally designed to be impossible so that when the workers fail David Miscavige has an excuse to punish them. Punishments are not only harsh but are demeaning and twisted. Forcing people to run for hours in the dark, sleep on gravel and play a violent game of musical chairs where all the losers are told they will be shipped off to foreign countries never to see their families again is certainly disturbing. But punishing them by forcing them to pick up dried human excrement with their bare hands for 8-10 hours at a time is unfathomable. These are just a few examples Marc Headley describes where Sea Org members are physically and mentally tortured by this cult and yes Scientology is a cult. If this were the only book I read on the subject I would have my doubts but I have done some research. The same stories are told over and over again by other people who also escaped. They can't all be lying. Also Scientology controls it's members through classic cult like manipulation, sleep deprivation, starvation, verbal abuse designed to destroy self esteem, separation from the outside world, poor nutrition and of course brainwashing. Again it is not just Jenna Miscavige and Marc Headly telling the world about the the cult like atmosphere in Scientology. Go online and read and if at all possible watch the HBO special "Going Clear."
Also please google Tom Cruise and his Scientology rant. I have no words to describe how odd his behavior is in this video. Clearly you do not have to be a Sea Org member to experience some Scientology brainwashing. I have to wonder if the "famous" public scientologists know what really happens at their compounds? Tom Cruise says it is a "privilege" to call himself a Scientologist. Great, fabulous let's see him spend a year in the Sea Org sleeping on a cot in rooms with 4 or 5 other guys , making less than an $1.00 an hour, working 20 hour days fixing up John Travolta's mansion and scarfing down all his crappy meals in15 minutes. Who would ever want to live like that if not brainwashed into believing you are a thetan and this lifestyle is the only way to save the world? It is simply absurd. Tom Cruise uses his fame to endorse Davis Miscavige and Scientology. Does he not have a moral responsibility to investigate the allegations of abuse and if found to be true help stop it?
I suppose I went off on my own rant while doing a book review but my rant is indicative of how much Marc Headly's story affected me. It is unnerving to think that heinous people like David Miscavige exist and that they have control over others. To anyone who blew like Marc Headley I applaud your courage. The fear of retaliation alone must have been paralyzing but to also start over from scratch takes tremendous strength and character. I sincerely hope this book helps expose this cult and David Miscavige is one day held accountable for his crimes.
I have become very interested in the overwhelming abuse that stems from Scientology--especially in the Sea Org. The names, and stories, are so consistent and similar in the ways that matter that it is impossible that it's not true. That makes these stories stand out. I first read a story about the history of, then the book by Jenna Miscavige Hill, then this book Blown for good. The stories are written in different styles. This book is written in a style that is sprinkled with sarcasm and rye humor that I found endearing.
He has a memory for detail, humor in the face of despair, and has been a remarkable source for others who "blow". I find that so inspiring. To not only escape, but in the face of continued abuse in being vocal, Marc (and those like him) still speak out and do all he can to make his experience help others. That, to me, is remarkable and a great reason to read this book. I do recommend reading Jenna Miscavige Hill's book first. I saw some people report having trouble following the terminology. I did not, however I was already familiar with it because it wasn't my first Scientology expose. I thought he explained the acronyms well, but I have already seen them. Both books are excellent, in a different way. They also make it clear that these stories are real.
I have read probably 8 of the Scientology expose's out there and this one is at the top for information. Jenna Miscavige Hill's is Second.