Going Clear - Lawrence Wright

Going Clear

By Lawrence Wright

  • Publication Date: 2013-01-17
  • Genre: Religion & Spirituality
4 Score: 4 (From 242 Ratings)

Book Overview

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.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Users Reviews

  • Scary & Well Documented

    By Fpiano
    I think this was a writer who had a "fair" attitude toward his subject. Unless you are a celebrity like Tom Cruise, Scientology seems to be unkind, unethical and often cruel to it's members. It is a cult!
  • Must read

    By Karenhinsd
    Although this book was confusing at times with going back in time with some players, it is still a very comprehensive book about what seems to go on at this "church." Of course, that term is used loosely because of what it preaches, or the lack or preaching. It seems that some people are helped by Scientology, others destroyed. Kirstie ally is someone who hasn't been helped, although she stopped taking drugs, she became addicted to food, cross addiction. Of course, Tom cruise would be someone enchanted with this religion since he is taller than.....exactly...get my point. From now on, I'll keep my mouth shut when it comes to this cult, as is with other cults, you can't argue with insanity.
  • Eye Opening

    By Vacation Home Owner
    I'm a skeptic at heart, but this was an excellently written, objective, thought provoking, fascinating and at times shocking read. Highly recommend!
  • Religion? No, Cult

    By ajax7771
    Anyone reviewing this book who uses the term "religion" in its description is apparently one of its drones.
  • A mighty fine read!

    By Dweener
    Engaging, enlightening and more than a little disturbing. I thank mr Lawrence for producing a factually based, thoroughly researched account of the rise of this institution and for risking the possible backlash of its leadership to bring us this almost unbelievable story.
  • In-depth and evenhanded

    By OG Snowflake
    Well researched and fascinating.
  • If this were made into a movie, you wouldn't believe it.

    By Scottus Mullatus
    The author's journalistic tone is just what this book needs. He clearly writes about the history of the "church", Hubbard, and modern Hollywood movie stars. The most effective, shocking, and ultimately sad parts of the book deal with the members of the church who join thinking that they will help the world, and end up being physically and emotionally abused. The amount of actual physical abuse that the church has done is shocking. And it is almost impossible for these people to leave their situations. I'm so grateful for Mr. Wright's book. I'm glad that people are becoming less afraid of the "church", and willing to expose what is going on in the name of Scientology.
  • A gripping, well documented look at Scientology.

    By Good Humor Man
    L. Ron Hubbard proved that if you have an idea and follow through with it, amazing things can happen. He created an amazing self-help program called Dianetics. Then he took it to another level with Scientology. Wright, and others, have documented how imagination can create believers and then eventually sufferers. "All for the greater good."
  • Excellent

    By sjsla
    Excellent and extremely readable. Could not put it down.
  • Real and insightful

    By Code chLbH2
    Unbiased and forthcoming look at Scientology. It will be discredited by those who don't want the truth out there, but this is a far cry from a bashing of the religion.