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Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion Hardcover – July 5, 2011
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Amazon Best Books of the Month, July 2011: Whatever your opinion of Scientology, the truth is more extreme. Inside Scientology is journalist Janet Reitman's incredible book-length follow-up to the Rolling Stone cover story of the same name, a 2007 finalist for the National Magazine Award. Founded by wayward science-fiction writer and historical revisionist par excellence L. Ron Hubbard, "America's Most Secretive Religion" is perhaps best known for high-profile adherents like Tom Cruise and John Travolta, but its tenets, processes, and internal organization form a story as surprising and captivating as that of any investigative work released this year. Reitman's extensive research--including hundreds of interviews with devotees and defectors alike--culminates in an expansive, page-turning survey of the origins, development, crises, beliefs, and scandals of this fascinating incorporated religion, all with a fair-minded approach that favors diligent curiosity over judgment at every turn. "It has been my goal to write the first objective modern history of the Church of Scientology," Reitman writes in the book's introduction, and to this end, Inside Scientology succeeds in spades. This book will remain the definitive study of the subject for a long time to come. --Jason Kirk
"The most complete picture of Scientology so far." –Garry Wills, New York Times Book Review"Reitman's book delivers all it promises, and it promises a lot… [Reitman] has put together the most masterfully written, narratively rewarding, and thorough yarn about L. Ron Hubbard, David Miscavige, and Scientology and its strange past, present, and possible future….In Inside Scientology, we have a thorough, brave journalist backed by a major publisher, and soon what no doubt will be a major publicity push: Reitman's book should soon become Scientology's biggest headache in years." - Village Voice"This book is fearless" - Wall Street Journal"[A] meaty, engaging new book" -Slate.com"[A] meticulously researched history and revealing exposé, a frightening portrait of a religion that many find not just controversial, but dangerous…Throughout the book, the author displays consummate journalistic skills. Her accumulation of evidence is particularly impressive and gives rise to one of the more memorable works of investigative nonfiction in recent years."- Boston Globe
"A well-researched and compelling read" - Los Angeles Times"[A] richly narrative history of the organization… The book is convincing and compelling. It will be interesting to see how the Scientology leadership responds." - St Louis Post Dispatch"So most journalistic accounts of Scientology fall into two categories: ax-grinding expose or fawning apologism. Fortunately Janet Reitman finds a third way in her authoritative, absorbing "Inside Scientology": nuanced reporting that lets the facts speak for themselves..."Inside Scientology" will remain a thoughtful, fair-minded record of its tumultuous first generation." - San Francisco Chronicle"Inside Scientology is a masterful piece of reporting....a compelling introduction to "America’s most secretive religion," as the subtitle has it. Even for those who have no interest in parsing when cults become religions or why faith upends fact, Reitman tells a spellbinding story of a larger-than-life personality whose quirks, ticks and charisma shaped America’s newest homegrown religious movement." - Washington Post"INSIDE SCIENTOLOGY is notable for its depth and sweep. Reitman's research pays off not only in rich portrayals of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and current leader David Miscavige, but in intimate portraits of people who have been swept up along the way….Reitman's analysis of Scientology's ability to survive scandal and mockery is compelling and persuasive." - Seattle Times"The inside scoop on Scientology, the steeped-in-secrecy religion of L. Ron Hubbard." - Minneapolis Star Tribune"Inside Scientology leaves no scandal unturned in the life of L. Ron Hubbard, underlings, celebrities and cult "slaves" in this story of America's most secretive religion....It is a riveting read not only for its thorough research, and winning style, but because [Reitman] has left no greed undescribed in the 396 page-turner." - Seattle Post Intelligencer"Inside Scientology" by Janet Reitman is an amazing book...a masterful telling of the church’s history and the division among its members" - Asbury Park Press"Inside Scientology is an engrossing, groundbreaking work that brings a welcome sense of fair-mindedness to a subject that is, for many journalists and scholars, too hot to touch. Reitman has accomplished the miracle of adding light without heat."- Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11"Inside Scientology goes beyond the celebrities and the scandals -- though they're here in all their absurdity and horror, too -- to find in Scientology a more profound story about "technology" as an article of faith and faith as a vessel for science, or, at least, science fiction. With courage, empathy, and clarity -- if that word can be reclaimed from L. Ron Hubbard -- Janet Reitman has with this definitive investigation laid bare the genesis and possibly the endgame of America's strangest religion".--Jeff Sharlet, bestselling author of The Family and C Street
"Thoroughly engrossing page-turner on the shape-shifting Church of Scientology...A bizarre and complicated history told with masterful control." -Kirkus Reviews starred
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Top customer reviews
I heartedly whipped through this informative book and I highly recommend for general readers,as well as current and former members.
The most important thing I came away with after reading it was that this well researched and written book is an must read for anyone wanting to know why Scientology is so controversial.
The subject and history of Scientology and it's leaders current and past, is such that it would fill volumes. So, I think Janet Reitman accomplished, in good part, what she set out to do with this book:
"It has been my goal to write the first objective modern history of the Church of Scientology," Reitman proclaims in her introduction. "It is the goal of Inside Scientology to translate [L. Ron Hubbard's arcane] language and separate myth from fact."
What to include must have been a real dilemma. As a former member, I just wish there had been more. But for the outsider wanting to know the inside story of the secretive religion called Scientology, they will come away very informed and quite surprised. It does not provide all that there is to know but she provides the essential information and gives the reader enough so that they will have an historical understanding. She compliments earlier works and provides such that one will want to read up on previous works if they have not read them already.
She really did her homework. Hence the large Notes Section and 'Selected Bibliography at the end of the book. Additionally, the internet played a large part in the history of Scientology and she provides information on where to find information, as well.
Reitman does a very good job on the things she covers and for those not intimately aware of the cult as I am, the book provides riviting accounts of members recollections aided by well researched information on the organization, it's policies, procedures and culture. She does this in the most unbiased manner and backs up her work with meticulous researched references.
I was glad to see that she included interviews and information which I either did not expect to be in it, or never knew about before. I was also dismayed that certain events and names were not mentioned but, as I said, it would take volumns. She did her best to fit in what she could without overwhelming the reader. Shje explains scientologese and did it in a very easy to digest style. The research is excellent, as well. The book flows and is an enjoyable read. All that says a lot about this book and the author.