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

Average Rating 4.5
( 76 )
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(42)

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(22)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

42 out of 47 people found this review helpful.

Lawrence Wright has written a thorough book. The things that th

Lawrence Wright has written a thorough book. The things that the Church of Scientology objected to or records differently are carefully included. This book has been substantiated by people who have blown or left the Sea Org and lived to tell about it. Those who don't...
Lawrence Wright has written a thorough book. The things that the Church of Scientology objected to or records differently are carefully included. This book has been substantiated by people who have blown or left the Sea Org and lived to tell about it. Those who don't understand, please type "lisa mcpherson scientology" without the quotes into your search engine. And then take a deep breathe. Remember that the beliefs of Scientologists are no more [ir]rational than those of any other religion. Scientology is not the only organization that is guilty of [alleged] human rights violations either. The laws in the USA need changing so that way when violations such as abuse, slavery, and forced imprisonment are found to exist in religious facilities and schools, those violations can be acted upon. I do not expect this review to last as I am quite sure that Scientologists will decend upon the Going Clear listing to leave nasty reviews and to complain about anything remotely resembling the truth. They are not necessarily bad people. Just afraid that the things that they have given their lives to are not worthy of such dedication and loyalty.

posted by sapphoq on January 21, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 61 people found this review helpful.

This is nothing more than an error-filled, unsubstantiated and i

This is nothing more than an error-filled, unsubstantiated and intolerant anti-Scientology book. You'd expect to see this trashy stuff in your typical tabloid paper but not from a Pulitzer Prize winning author. Very avant-garde Mr. Wright...

posted by DanielleFord on January 21, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2013

    Lawrence Wright has written a thorough book. The things that th

    Lawrence Wright has written a thorough book. The things that the Church of Scientology objected to or records differently are carefully included. This book has been substantiated by people who have blown or left the Sea Org and lived to tell about it. Those who don't understand, please type "lisa mcpherson scientology" without the quotes into your search engine. And then take a deep breathe. Remember that the beliefs of Scientologists are no more [ir]rational than those of any other religion. Scientology is not the only organization that is guilty of [alleged] human rights violations either. The laws in the USA need changing so that way when violations such as abuse, slavery, and forced imprisonment are found to exist in religious facilities and schools, those violations can be acted upon. I do not expect this review to last as I am quite sure that Scientologists will decend upon the Going Clear listing to leave nasty reviews and to complain about anything remotely resembling the truth. They are not necessarily bad people. Just afraid that the things that they have given their lives to are not worthy of such dedication and loyalty.

    42 out of 47 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 24, 2013

    Sharp, insightful, informative. Mr. Wright has written an except

    Sharp, insightful, informative. Mr. Wright has written an exceptional book. Utilizing his exemplary investigative talents, he offers readers an intense, riveting journey through the arcane, theological concepts (and crimes) of a fledgling religion. His acumen is staggering, his research painstaking, his perspective clear-sighted and acute. Not content to cater to tabloid posturing, Mr. Wright delves deeply into an organization that, while calling itself a religion, commits crimes so heinous that they should be unconscionable. The question one is left with is this: Why have those running this organization (really, there is a central controller, who commands subordinates using intimidation and outright violence) not been brought to justice? And why do intelligent people devote exorbitant amounts of money (to say nothing of their lives) to the teachings of a person who himself spent many years evading the law while, in the process, creating his own biography, a good portion of which is in staunch opposition to facts accrued? The book is compulsively readable; with each page, one's amazement and disgust grow. Mr. Wright's work has always been discerning, well-documented, and scholarly. Such pedigree continues to be on display with this, his latest book. Prepare to be reading well into the night. Prepare also to be outraged.

    28 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2013

    Buy this version. Don't get the buggy enhanced version

    Buy this version. Don't get the buggy enhanced version

    19 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2013

    Impeccable research through extensively cited sources--most from

    Impeccable research through extensively cited sources--most from multiple corroborating sources--and a critical insight into one of the most controversial cults of our time.

    17 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2013

    Facinating.

    After reading and loving Wright's Looming Tower and Saints and Sinners, I was glad to read more of his superb investigative writing. Wright presents a fair picture of Scientology and I am appalled by the abuses of the members. I wanted to believe that the Church of Scientology should be stripped of its tax exempt status, but Wright fairly distinguished between the religion (which while I find it fantasy, others are truly helped), and the abusive behavior of the leaders. I end wishing Miscavege was convicted of the many abuses he thrust on Sea Org members.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2013

    Excellent!

    If anyone else had written this book, I might not have believed it. Lawrence Wright so diligently documents, and speaks for both sides. After reading "The Looming Tower," and articles by Wright, I believe whatever he writes. I had the pleasure of hearing Wright speak at Book People in Austin, re "Going Clear." He gave insightful, sometimes humorous answers to all questions. I was shocked at the physical abuse, especially by the head of Scientology, Miscavige. I knew it was difficult to leave Scientology, but had no idea how difficult they make it, especially how impoverished its members are. Their designation as religious non-profit by the IRS, exempts them from prosecution for horrible abuses. If you or anyone you love is considering Scientology, please read this book!

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2013

    Going Clear begins with the story of Paul Haggis, a Hollywood sc

    Going Clear begins with the story of Paul Haggis, a Hollywood screenwriter, who describes his troubled past, rejection of the status-quo, and desire for a new way to live. By individualizing Haggis’ life, Wright manages to both humanize the desire which drew Haggis to Scientology, along with the authoritarianism and lies that later forced him to reject it. First off, thank you Mr. Haggis for being brave enough to go on record and reveal the truth, warts and all. His story alone is amazing, but Wright draws on a larger historical context, documenting L. Ron Hubbard’s life and the church that spawned from his beliefs.




    Digging deep into Scientology, Wright reports on Hubbard’s own troubled past, including his fabricated war tales and damaged personal relationships. Out of this grew a vast empire, which mirrored Hubbard’s own paranoia and fear of prosecution, resulting in an isolated and secretive church. Wright also follows the tale of Hubbard’s young protégé, David Miscavige, who rose rapidly to become the church’s next chief, and the claims of abuse that followed in his leadership. The book is thorough and well documented, as would be expected from a writer for the New Yorker, and Wright avoids any personal attacks on the church. Highly recommended for anyone interested in knowing the truth behind the Church of Scientology – everything from its tumultuous roots, to the undercover infiltration of the IRS and Hollywood, and even the deep-set needs it fulfills in people searching for a higher spiritual world. Five stars in both research and captivating writing.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2013

    Absolutely fascinating

    As the New York Times book review of Going Clear stated, Wright takes care to be objective and fair in his history and explanation of Scientology. Consequently, the description of events and beliefs in Scientology is compelling and believable.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2013

    SCIENTOLOGY IS THE MOST HORRID, EVIL CULT SINCE THE NAZIS. DAVID

    SCIENTOLOGY IS THE MOST HORRID, EVIL CULT SINCE THE NAZIS. DAVID MISCAVIGE = ADOLF HITLER ; TOM CRUISE = JOSEPH GOEBBELS

    5 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2013

    Amazing

    A very articulate and thoroughly researched book. I'm so glad there are people brave enough to leave this group and speak out about the vindictive hierarchy in Scientology. Your mind is the only true thing you'll ever own, be very careful who you hand it over to!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2013

    Disturbing

    Excellently researched and written

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2013

    Thank you

    Awesome work.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2013

    I could not put the book down. I am stunned & very upset tha

    I could not put the book down. I am stunned & very upset that the cult still exists.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Riveting Account of Scientology

    This book details the mysterious inner workings of the "Church" of Scientology. Frankly, if half of what is detailed in the book is true I find it hard to see how they call themselves a church. Beatings, forced confinement, slave labor for paltry wages, camps who's security (to keep members from escaping) rivals Area 51 & signing a Billion Year contract...it's all in there. A Very Interesting Read!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 22, 2013

    Seems like the research in this book was very sloppily done - I

    Seems like the research in this book was very sloppily done - I thought it would be more insightful but the book is a boring read and it is information I have heard and read all before. Nothing revelatory in it at all - had expected more from Wright to be frank. Disappointing all round.

    2 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 21, 2013

    This is nothing more than an error-filled, unsubstantiated and i

    This is nothing more than an error-filled, unsubstantiated and intolerant anti-Scientology book. You'd expect to see this trashy stuff in your typical tabloid paper but not from a Pulitzer Prize winning author. Very avant-garde Mr. Wright...

    2 out of 61 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2014

    One of the best

    This book is at the top of my list on the lunacy that is Scientology. You would be hard pressed to find a better researched or written book on the subject. Scientology is one of the worst cults the world has seen in a long time and this lays it out perfectly.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2014

    I live in Hollywood and grabbed this book when I saw it on the s

    I live in Hollywood and grabbed this book when I saw it on the shelf. The research, very well researched, is well written, but this is one man's story. Hollywood is home to many aspects of living, and very many Scientologists, and many who are long time neighbors and friends. When I read them parts of this book over friday evening beer in the backyard, they were horrified to hear what Wright had written. I clearly don't see their lives in his description, nor do I see them as any different than mine. It was very believeable, but I cant find any truth in what i see. I've been to a couple of events. The main Scientology hotel here has lots of public events. No one looked chained up or unhappy to me. They are a very cheerful lot, very welcoming, and invited me in for a tour in which I toted my glass of wine. No one batted an eye. I just don't get it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2014

    Interesting, but dry

    The origins of Scientology, its evolution and practices are presented in a straightforward, dispassionate way. This enhances its credibility - one must always wonder about the writer's motives when discussing controversial topics - but it does not make for an engaging reading experience. I was also hoping for more discussion about religions in general, and why societies continue to embrace them and create new ones, but that is mostly limited to the epilogue.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2013

    Absolutely Unreadable

    I thought this be interesting and revealing. Not...it is boring. I couldn't make it to page 100. Save your money for something else.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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