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Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (2013)

de Lawrence Wright

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaConverses / Mencions
1,6801027,585 (4.08)1 / 119
"Based on more than two hundred personal interviews with both current and former Scientologists--both famous and less well known--and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative skills to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology: its origins in the imagination of science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard; its struggles to find acceptance as a legitimate (and legally acknowledged) religion; its vast, secret campaign to infiltrate the U.S. government; its vindictive treatment of critics; its phenomenal wealth; and its dramatic efforts to grow and prevail after the death of Hubbard"--From publisher description.… (més)
  1. 10
    Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology de Leah Remini (akblanchard)
    akblanchard: Both books deal with the Hollywood-Scientology connection.
  2. 10
    Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson de Jeff Guinn (akblanchard)
    akblanchard: Although he never joined the group, Manson dabbled in Scientology. It is interesting to draw parallels between Manson's treatment of his "Family" and life in the Scientology's Sea Org.
  3. 00
    Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion de Janet Reitman (sparemethecensor)
    sparemethecensor: Two similar journalistic exposes of Scientology, both of which take a surprisingly even-handed view of the group. I preferred Inside Scientology, although both are great primers on what is going on under David Miscavige's regime.
  4. 01
    Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America de Barbara Ehrenreich (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Although Wright missed it completely, Scientology seems to be yet another in a long line of American religions/self-help groups influenced by the Positive Thinking Movement. If you want a wider vision of how these groups function, I highly recommend Ehrenreich.… (més)
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» Mira també 119 mencions

Anglès (101)  Alemany (1)  Totes les llengües (102)
Es mostren 1-5 de 102 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Fascinating read about the cult/religion of Scientology. Very detailed and downright scary. Though Wright does come down on the evils and craziness of Scientology and ultimately presents it as a cult, he does acknowledge that major religions sound just as foreign when examined closely. I like that he explores the reasons why it is so successful and how powerful the group is, as well as the myriad examples of people who are still involved and have fled. It was so much more detailed than I expected and I couldn't put it down. ( )
  JustZelma | Dec 20, 2020 |
Lawrence Wright doing what he does best. This sh*t is f*cking crazy. ( )
  sjanke | Dec 9, 2020 |
A remarkable story about deception, politics, power and control. Why people believed its originator, why they continue to believe what is clearly claptrap is beyond me. ( )
  ichadwick | Dec 7, 2020 |
Excellent history and analysis of the Church of Scientology. ( )
  Steve_Walker | Sep 13, 2020 |
Wright exercises restraint in this book on scientology. While he documents the abuses of this church in some detail, he stands back from them and puts it all in context. I was surprised by this approach, perhaps because the title led me to believe it would be more of an attack on the religion.

As a way of leading us through the origins and history of the church and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, Wright introduces us to Paul Haggis. Haggis was 21 when he first encountered the "bible" of Scientology, Dianetics, in an encounter on the street. I well remember the Scientologists on the streets of Hollywood and their funny little machine, the e-meter, in the 1970s. I remember the glassy, obsessed look in the eyes of the acolytes who tried to bring people into their glass-fronted spaces. I don't know what exactly grabbed Haggis when he gave in, said sure, I'll try it. What we do learn is that the process of "auditing" had an appeal for him and even seemed to help clear his mind.

Haggis is introduced, then left to the side as Wright takes us through Hubbard's life story, bit by bit, and introduces other followers to illustrate different phases of Hubbard's journey.

Hubbard was a fabricator. He embellished his own military history with tales of heroism that never happened. He went on adventures that he later described as marvelous that others said were horrifying. And he used his imagination to write literally hundreds of pulp novels.

I have heard a few of these novels on the now-defunct Book Radio (it enjoyed a brief life on satellite radio). I think they define "pulp fiction". There has always been an audience for such adventures so the books sold well and probably still sell well.

Drawing from various older sources, Hubbard developed a process called "Dianetics". He claimed that what blocks us from becoming better, more successful humans were experiences and fears from the past. If we face those experiences and fears again and again, until they no longer have a hold over us, we will be "clear".

There is some truth to the concept. It is an extension of Freud's belief that if we learn what our problems come from we will be free of them. It takes more than knowledge, we have learned, and in this sense Hubbard was onto something. In treating phobias doctors expose patients to the source of their fears and urge them to face them directly, without any protection mentally or physically. This isn't exactly what Dianetics does but there are similarities and I think this is why many people find it successful for themselves.

Wright does not go into whether or not it works, except to repeat claims by some who practice it. He is careful throughout not to make any claims that are not backed by sufficient evidence to stand.

It is through claims by individuals that we learn of the abuses. The imprisonment, the beatings, the constant auditing when considered necessary. Above all, this church teaches that if something is wrong it is your fault. Not the church's. And thus many keep trying to find solutions within themselves.

We learn, too, of the major battle waged with the IRS over Scientology's tax-exempt status. The whole legal wrangle hinged on what separates a church from a for-profit business. This topic alone deserves treatment in a separate study, I think.

And most of all, we learn of the deliberate courting of Hollywood celebrities. We are all familiar with John Travolta and Tom Cruise, for example. Their belief in Scientology has brought in many other converts.

The church promises that belief in Dianetics will bring success. This church does not preach about a god or heaven, but instead about becoming higher beings and heading for some other planet when you die. Here is where one could certainly shake one's head and walk off, and that is eventually what Paul Haggis did. But it wasn't the spaceship theory that got to him. It was rather the physical abuses and his need to expose them.

It's an enlightening book, and not in any way Hubbard would have imagined. ( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 102 (següent | mostra-les totes)
That crunching sound you hear is Lawrence Wright bending over backward to be fair to Scientology. Every deceptive comparison with Mormonism and other religions is given a respectful hearing. Every ludicrous bit of church dogma is served up deadpan. This makes the book’s indictment that much more powerful.
afegit per lorax | editaNew York Times, Michael Kinsley (Jan 17, 2013)
 
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"Based on more than two hundred personal interviews with both current and former Scientologists--both famous and less well known--and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative skills to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology: its origins in the imagination of science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard; its struggles to find acceptance as a legitimate (and legally acknowledged) religion; its vast, secret campaign to infiltrate the U.S. government; its vindictive treatment of critics; its phenomenal wealth; and its dramatic efforts to grow and prevail after the death of Hubbard"--From publisher description.

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