Going Clear

Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief

Wright, Lawrence

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Going Clear
"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.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0307700666
Branch Call Number: 299.936 W9518g 2013
Characteristics: xiii, 430 p. :,ill. ;,25 cm


From Library Staff

"It's about the Church of Scientology's foundations and about its current status. But it is also about religion in general, and the parallels he draws to the early stages of most major religions is disturbing and eye-opening." - Aaron Beam

150 students taking the Hubbard Qualified Scientologist Course at the Celebrity Centre simultaneously pointed towards ABC Studios and telepathically communicated instructions to hire John Travolta for which break out role?

From the critics

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Mar 25, 2015

This may be the best, weirdest, most jaw dropping book I have read in a long time. It may have ruined me for fiction. The truth is way weirder than fiction can ever be, except for Irvine Welsh of course. I thought growing up Mormon was bad but these guys make the People's Temple look enticing. I think I would rather pull a sui in Guyana than get punished by these sadistic cultists. One psychologist labeled L Ron Hubbard as a malignant narcissist among other things. I would say this label fits most of the upper echelon of this organization. I have never been more happy to be an atheist in my life. I was also proud to learn that Anonymous was founded and started around their very first hack on Scientology.

Mar 07, 2015
  • OnidaGirl rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Having lived in Clearwater for three years, I'd already learned about the abuse and mistreatment many Scientologists suffer at the hands of their leadership. Working only a couple of blocks from Flag, it was strange seeing all of the Scientologists milling about downtown between shifts, watching them come and go on their designated buses, keeping to themselves. I hope people will continue to speak out and the curtain will be pulled back entirely on this cult.

Jan 27, 2015

Seems like the film adapted from this book has been well received at the Sundance Film Festival, Iooking forward to reading this book.

Sep 21, 2014
  • rpavlacic rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The lengths the Church of Scientology will go to suppress its critics is mind bending. Its long history of anti-gay attitudes despite its headquarters being in the most progressive city in America should catch the reader's attention. It's shocking how Hubbard embellished his back story to make himself look like a legitimate spiritual leader. Or how people are made to spend thousands to learn about OT III, which is basically public information now. Even more shocking is the near slave-like conditions many low level operatives are forced to work in, with the additional hammer of a shunning policy for ex-members that makes that of the Amish seem mild by comparison - not to mention the numerous allegations of abusive behaviour by current CEO David Miscavige. If you think televangelists have mastered how to wrest good people out of hard earned money, they don't hold a candle to Scientology. To be fair, Hubbard was a brilliant science fiction writer - "Battlefield Earth" is a masterpiece in the genre - but his "religion" overshadows all the good he did.

Aug 16, 2014
  • justnina rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A well-researched book on the subject of Scientology. It's fascinating reading for anyone with an interest in this "religion".

Aug 14, 2014
  • outbythewater rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book is unbelievable. I'm afraid to make the wrong comment in case they come find me!

Jun 12, 2014
  • Eosos rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This is a fascinating look at the creation of Scientology and it's ongoing growth.
This is a highly curious religion (I do use the term loosely in this case) and extremely secretive.
The author did a wonderful job of sticking to the facts that he could find and making a clear case, through interviews and research, for calling this religion, a cult.

Feb 27, 2014
  • smichal rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

pretty creepy. Would have been better with more celebrity stories.

Feb 13, 2014
  • pattyloucor67 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Lawrence Wright exposes the Church of Scientology and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, in a compelling work that almost reads as fiction. I began this an an audio book, was forced to return the CD's, and finally got the hardcover book. I couldn't put it down. Hubbard, a science fiction writer, founded a cult based on extraterrestrial warfare and occupation of people's beings by evil forces that need expunging, hence "going clear." It's a mind over matter belief. The fact that this group has been granted religious status by the US Government is mind blowing. The group deals in intimidation, human "slavery", inhumane punishment, and stalking. Wright pens as unbiased a piece as possible, but the end of the book left me shaking my head, wondering how such famous people as John Travolta and Tom Cruise could buy into this. The beliefs are strange, but the tactics of the organizational leadership are downright scary. This is quite a read!

Feb 08, 2014
  • rootjb09 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Excellent book. The story of L. Ron Hubbard and the rise of Scientology is too crazy for Wright to have fabricated it!

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Jan 30, 2014
  • broo rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

broo thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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