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Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief Paperback – Illustrated, November 5, 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 2,270 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A New York Times Notable Book

A Best Book of the Year:
The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, New York magazine, Slate, Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, Newsday, Entertainment Weekly, People, The Week, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews 

A GoodReads Reader's Choice

“An utterly necessary story. . . . A feat of reporting.” —
The Wall Street Journal

“Brings a clear-eyed, investigative fearlessness to Scientology . . . a rollicking, if deeply creepy, narrative ride, evidence that truth can be stranger even than science fiction." —
The Washington Post

“A hotly compelling read. It’s a minutiae-packed book full of wild stories.” —
The New York Times

“Courageous. . . . Devastating . . . will come as news even to hardened Scientology buffs who follow the Church’s every twist and turn.” —
The Daily Beast

“Essential reading. . . . Lawrence Wright bend[s] over backward to be fair to Scientology. . . . This makes the book’s indictment that much more powerful.” —
The New York Times Book Review

“Not to be read home alone on a stormy night:
Going Clear, Lawrence Wright's scary book about Scientology and its influence. . . . It’s a true horror story, the most comprehensive among a number of books published on the subject in the past few years, many of them personal accounts by people who have managed to escape or were evicted from the clutches of a group they came to feel was destroying them. . . . Wright’s book is a tribute to fact-checkers as well as to his personal courage.” —The New York Review of Books

“Insightful, gripping, and ultimately tragic.” —
The Boston Globe

“A fearless, compelling, exhaustive work of muckraking journalism and a masterpiece of storytelling. . . . A ripping yarn about ego, money, abuse, faith, and the corrupting nature of power when wielded by the wrong people. It’s as lurid, pulpy, and preposterous-seeming as anything Hubbard or Haggis ever wrote, but it’s much better, because it has the benefit of being true.” —
The A.V. Club

“Invaluable. . . . Completely and conclusively damning.” —
Salon

“Who’d have thought a history of religion would offer so many guilty pleasures? Lawrence Wright’s enthralling account of Scientology’s rise brims with celebrity scandal. To anyone who gets a sugar rush from Hollywood gossip, the chapters on Tom Cruise and John Travolta will feel like eating a case of Ding Dongs.” —
Los Angeles Times

“Admirably judicious and thoroughly researched. . . . Being Clear is an inducement to darkness and disarray. You may laugh at it at first, but get ready to weep.” —
The Guardian (London)

“Not only a titillating exposé on the reported ‘you’re kidding me’ aspects of the religion, but a powerful examination of belief itself.” —
Entertainment Weekly

“A fascinating read, and a chilling one. . . . The power in Wright’s book lies as much in his meticulous investigative reporting as in his evenhanded approach.” —
Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“Absorbing and important. . . . Scrupulous parsing is vintage Wright; his footnotes are as vital as those of any nonfiction writer alive.” —
The Plain Dealer

“Mr. Wright’s reportorial techniques seem impeccable. . . . Lawrence Wright shines a light on a world that prefers to keep its players off stage, and the public in the dark.” —
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“A powerful piece of reportage. . . . Detailed, intense and at times shocking.” —
The Miami Herald

“Wholly engrossing stuff.” —
The Austin Chronicle

“Wright’s brave reporting offers an essential reality test. . . . Poses larger questions about the nature of belief.” —
Publishers Weekly

“Devastating. . . . Wholly compelling. . . . Each page delivers startling facts that need no elaboration.” —
Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“Jaw-dropping. . . . A fascinating look behind the curtain of an organization whose ambition and influence are often at odds with its secretive ways.”—
Booklist

About the Author

LAWRENCE WRIGHT is a staff writer for The New Yorker, a playwright, and a screenwriter. He is the best-selling author of the novel, The End of October, and ten books of nonfiction, including Going Clear, God Save Texas, and The Looming Tower, winner of the Pulitzer Prize. He and his wife are longtime residents of Austin, Texas.
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Vintage; Illustrated edition (November 5, 2013)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 560 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0307745309
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0307745309
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.15 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.21 x 1.09 x 8.01 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 2,270 ratings

About the author

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Lawrence Wright (born August 2, 1947) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American author, screenwriter, staff writer for The New Yorker magazine, and fellow at the Center for Law and Security at the New York University School of Law. Wright is best known as the author of the 2006 nonfiction book The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. Wright is also known for his work with documentarian Alex Gibney who directed film versions of Wright's one man show My Trip to Al-Qaeda and his book Going Clear.

Bio from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Photo by U.S. Department of State [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
2,270 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 21, 2013
76 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on April 15, 2013
3 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Stephen Sennitt
1.0 out of 5 stars Great book - rating is for the shoddy Amazon production
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on October 6, 2018
14 people found this helpful
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Tony Ryan (author)
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, detailed, well-written and important.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 8, 2019
4 people found this helpful
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Ian Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview and analysis of Scientology
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on February 28, 2022
Tim Burgess
5.0 out of 5 stars A very factual book. A must read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on May 8, 2018
7 people found this helpful
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Russell LEAK
5.0 out of 5 stars Page turning revelation
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on January 30, 2021