Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief

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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.


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Additional Information

Publisher
Vintage
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Published on
Jan 17, 2013
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Pages
448
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ISBN
9780385350273
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Language
English
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Genres
Religion / Christianity / History
Religion / Scientology
Social Science / Sociology of Religion
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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To a young, teenage girl, Scientology seemed to be just what the author was looking for; a way to improve herself and attain spiritual enlightenment. But it was only after she joined Scientology’s elite inner circle, the Sea Organization, and signed a Billion Year contract that she discovered the dark world of fanaticism and abuse at the center of Scientology’s vast empire.

For more than two decades she worked at all levels of the organization, from serving as a personal aide to the founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, who placed her in charge of the religion’s worldwide expansion to becoming the head of Celebrity Center, the organization that caters to it’s celebrity members.

Early in her Scientology career, she spent five years as a covert agent engaged in espionage activities for the Church’s shadowy Guardian’s Office. After leaving the Sea Org she spent an additional two years as an undercover operative for the “reformed” Guardian’s Office, the Office of Special Affairs, which continued the same pattern of covert intelligence and dirty tricks against the Church’s perceived enemies while using intense legal attacks and bolstered by hire private investigators. She personally experienced the Sea Organization’s Rehabilitation Project Force; a labor camp where erring members are “re-educated”.

When her loyalty came into question she was subjected to weeks of grueling interrogation, ending up in restraints after being rushed to a hospital by ambulance, unable to even recognize her husband.

It is a shocking story of abuse, imprisonment, espionage, lies, mental torture and suicide- vital reading for anyone who wants to know what goes on behind Scientology’s curtain.

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