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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fine reporting
I remember Wright's essays on Paul Haggis in The New Yorker, and it's good to see the larger context of that story filled in here. Clearly, the book has been well-researched, and it is well written and perhaps as well organized as the multiple story lines allow. My only real criticism -- and it's not a very damaging one -- is that in covering the last 25 years or so, Mr...
Published 23 months ago by Stanley Crowe

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Why isn't this available on Kindle and why no button ...
Why isn't this available on Kindle and why no button to request the publisher for that format?

I hope someone has the guts to import the video into the UK before the fruit and nut cases of that fake religion called Scientology wreck even more families!
Published 22 days ago by Amazon Customer


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fine reporting, 24 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (Hardcover)
I remember Wright's essays on Paul Haggis in The New Yorker, and it's good to see the larger context of that story filled in here. Clearly, the book has been well-researched, and it is well written and perhaps as well organized as the multiple story lines allow. My only real criticism -- and it's not a very damaging one -- is that in covering the last 25 years or so, Mr Wright has so many stories to juggle -- Cruise, Travolta, Miscavige, Tommy Davis (Anne Archer's son), Haggis, Marty Rathbun and a few others -- that some transitions within the later chapters are a bit sudden. It's not easy to see, though, that this amount of material could have been handled in any other way. Also, earlier, I was a bit surprised by the efficiency with which L. Ron Hubbard was able to mount Operation Snow White in 1973 -- it wasn't clear to me that the cult was that well organized at that time on the scale needed to carry that off. Still, the accounts of Hubbard and Miscavige are illuminating, and the way in which we are enabled to understand the cult's connection to the entertainment industry (and through that understand why it might not have sought to maximize political connections) is testimony to Wright's clarity and diligence. There are things said here about Tom Cruise that, if untrue, would open Wright and his publisher to a libel suit. I'm betting that won't happen, and that tells you all you need to know.

In his final chapter, Wright raises the issue of what exactly a "religion" is -- an issue that for all sorts of reasons, but mainly having to do with tax liability, is important to Scientologists. He mentions that Mormonism, starting from very sketchy foundations, has now come to be accepted as "mainstream," and is at least leaving open the possibility that Scientology might make it to that level. I suppose that could happen, but I wonder whether if Mormonism had sprung up in our media-saturated internet age and connected to "entertainment" (as opposed to establishing itself politically in a limited geographic space) it could have made it to where it is today. I suspect that the early scandals would have doomed it. Wright's book might be read in connection with Jon Krakauer's fine "Under the Banner of Heaven," a book about the history and culture of Mormonism that wears its heart on its sleeve a bit more than Wright does. Wright's achievement, though, is to let Scientology condemn itself out of its own mouth -- the quotations from people inside the organization, from Hubbard on, are just devastating.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough and detailed research, well narrated., 18 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (Hardcover)
Lawrence doesn't skimp on the research and it shows. Despite a couple of known inaccuracies I found the book to be an excellent narrative that gives the reader a well rounded history of this nefarious organisation from its roots right up to the present. Some have accused the book of being too light on what attracts people to Scientology; obviously there are benefits to the philosophy that appeal otherwise no one would get involved. But then again others have accused the book of not being more clear that it is a cult, and why.

My own view is that Lawrence has done a good job of laying out most of the salient points while remaining impartial. There is also plenty of fascinating anecdotes about Hubbard and those who worked close to him for many years. It probably doesn't answer the question "what is Scientology" comprehensively, but that wasn't probably the goal of the book. To get a more rounded picture of the subject itslef, and where it's gone off the rails in recent times, Marty Rathbun's offerings, The Scientology Reformation and What is Wrong with Scientology are both recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful., 19 Feb. 2013
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M. A. Woods (Norfolk, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (Hardcover)
An incredibly insightful and brave look into the inner workings of a notorious cult of personality. Satisfying from the outset this book weaves a detailed and sometimes terrifying story of how L Ron Hubbard turned himself from author to messiah, and along the way tore apart the lives of family, followers and critics alike. Despite the immense power of the CoS and the challenges involved in writing about it without suffering the effects of the churches litigious "fair game" policy Wright has remained objective throughout, only allowing his personal opinions to enter the text where they will allow the reader to understand how overwhelming contact with the church can be. A must-read for critics and supporters alike.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and even handed look at Scientology, 15 Feb. 2013
This review is from: Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (Hardcover)
This is a comprehensive, well written book which delves into Dianetics and Scientology. Lawrence Wright is an investigative journalist and he has written a meticulous dissection of L.Ron Hubbard and his legacy. I knew scientology was nuts (operating thetans! etc) I just didn't realise that it was a cover for so much abuse; torture, intimidation, cruelty, beatings, and child exploitation.

But Wright is even handed in his approach. He explains what it is about Dianetics that made Hubbard / scientology such a magnet in the first place, how it hooks in so many people. And in the epilogue he makes that valid point that all religions have at their core stories which to non-believers seem delusional.

One of my favourite bits is that a scientologist was offended by the idea of the leader, David Miscavige, being compared to Martin Luther King, Jr. The scientologist took this comparison as a slur on Miscavige! The idea that is an unfavourable association shows what bigoted dubious "religion" this is. Other than that the amount of detail in the book is fascinating, from LRH's lies about his wartime service via abused and brainwashed members, its weird clerical equivalent level Sea Org (to which appointees sign a billion year contract!) and its hold over John Travolta and the symbiotic relationship between Tom Cruise and scientology.
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72 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deplorable indictment of British lack of freedom of speach, 8 Jan. 2013
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Stuart Hamilton "stuart hamilton" (colchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is a fine book that deserves a wider audience. The fact that it is not available in the UK is down to the publishers deciding not to publish it after all. There is wide speculation that the fear of legal action from the subjects of the book has managed to silence it. Due to the strange imbalance of the two countries' libel laws it is available in the US through the US Amazon site http://www.amazon.com/Going-Clear-Scientology-Hollywood-Prison/dp/0307700666
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He's not the messiah,he was just bonkers., 26 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (Hardcover)
Only read a few chapters but very well written.Doesnt totally ridicule Hubbard,in fact quite sympathetic at times.Does show how really barmy he was but I suppose that doesnt disqualify you from creating a religeon and not paying taxes.Really enjoyable read unless your a scientologist of course.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 8 April 2013
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This review is from: Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (Hardcover)
Fantastic, unbiased insight into the world of Scientology. I did not have much knowledge of Scientology and the book explained the basis of the religion/cult and gave many witness accounts of the nitty gritty runnings of the organisation. I found it quite shocking but believable - unlike some books similar to these, I believe that the writer has really done his research and has written as unbiasedly as possible.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best History Of Scientology Yet, 19 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (Hardcover)
I've read my fair share of Scientology criticism and history, but Going Clear is far and away the most well-written and informative of the lot. And it has plenty of information post 2008 which is missing from many other similar works.

Yes it does rehash many of the well-known stories, it also has some fantastic work around David Miscavige's early years and what really happened in the lead up to Quentin Hubbard's suicide.

This book is both an indictment of Scientology itself and, through the attempted suppression by the Church, Britain's terrible libel laws. Onwards to the reformation (or abolition) of both!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real insight into a vicious cult., 8 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (Hardcover)
One is not able to buy this book in England, since the cult has successfully threatened the publisher with legal action, thanks to England's peculiar libel laws. The book is meticulously researched and carefully documented, and reveals what a con this cult is, and the very faulty person behind it, L Ron Hubbard. The Scientology website presents a biography of Hubbard which is ludicrously out of sync with the reality of the man, who was a fabulist, conman, womanizer, and charismatic. His successor, David Miscavige, is a menacing and dangerous character. How this cult grips the lives of its members is a lesson in mind control.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Insightful, 13 April 2013
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This review is from: Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (Hardcover)
A lot of what is written here about the cult I already knew, but I enjoy Lawrence Wrights writing (Looming Tower is fantastic) so was eager to read it. It really is difficult to fathom why people would be drawn to this so called religion. Very interesting topic and great book.
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Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief
Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright (Hardcover - 17 Jan. 2013)
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