"Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief" by Lawrence Wright

Discussion in 'Media' started by The Wrong Guy, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    ‘Looming Tower’ author Lawrence Wright to publish Scientology book | New York Daily News

    By Jenny Che

    Lawrence Wright, best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning work “The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11,” will publish a book on Scientology in January. “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief” will follow the development of the belief over the last sixty years, from its founding by L. Ron Hubbard in 1952 to its current role under its current head, David Miscavige.

    The book will be published by Knopf, which announced the news in a press release.

    “I was drawn to write this book by the questions many people have about Scientology,” the statement quoted Wright, who also writes for the New Yorker. What is it that makes this religion alluring? What do its adherents get out of it? How can rational-seeming people subscribe to beliefs that others find incomprehensible? Why do popular personalities associate themselves with a faith that is likely to create public relations martyrdom?”

    Couch jumping come to mind, anyone? As we know, Scientology’s most recognized champion is arguably Tom Cruise, and some sources claimed that it was Katie Holmes’ fear of some church leaders that ultimately led to the breakup of their marriage. In October, a well-timed Vanity Fair piece also chronicled the extensive audition processes that Miscavige’s wife led in 2004 to find Cruise a suitable Scientologist girlfriend.

    Over the course of his three-year research, Wright spoke to over two hundred Scientology members, past and present. He explores the church’s funding sources, their tax-exempt status, and the life of its controversial founder. “Going Clear” will also be released simulatenously as an ebook and audiobook.

    Now we wonder, will Suri be turning up in these pages as well?

    Source, and open comments:

    More on WWP:

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  2. The Wrong Guy Member

    Here's the publisher's press release:


    Lawrence Wright’s Book on Church of Scientology Coming in January

    Going Clear To Be Published by Knopf on Jan. 17th

    NEW YORK, November 14, 2012—Lawrence Wright, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower, has written a revelatory book about the Church of Scientology – GOING CLEAR – that will be published on January 17, 2013 by Alfred A. Knopf. GOING CLEAR will be published simultaneously as an eBook, an enhanced eBook, and as a Random House Audiobook.

    GOING CLEAR: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief is based on more than two hundred interviews with current and former Scientologists, as well as other sources. The book offers an exhaustive account of the church, from its founding by L. Ron Hubbard to its present-day leadership under David Miscavige.

    “Scientology plays an outsize role in the cast of new religions that have arisen in the twentieth century,” Wright observes. “I was drawn to write this book by the questions many people have about Scientology: What is it that makes this religion alluring? What do its adherents get out of it? How can rational-seeming people subscribe to beliefs that others find incomprehensible? Why do popular personalities associate themselves with a faith that is likely to create public relations martyrdom?”

    During his three-year investigation, Wright was not only able to convince former members to discuss their separation from the church, he was also able to persuade current Scientologists to speak candidly about their experiences. He looks into the church’s financial resources and examines their tax-exempt status. He presents startling new source material about its complex and controversial founder. And he examines the relationships of both Tom Cruise and John Travolta to the church.

    A portion of this material appeared in an article Wright wrote for The New Yorker.

    Knopf has set a first printing of 150,000 copies for GOING CLEAR.

    Alfred A. Knopf is the flagship imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, which is a division of Random House, Inc., whose parent company is Bertelsmann AG, the international media company. For more information about Alfred A. Knopf, visit our website at

    Media Resources:
    Download the jacket | Download the author photo
    Contact: Kim Thornton 212-572-2299 |

    Source: http://media-center.knopfdoubleday....k-on-church-of-scientology-coming-in-january/
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  3. The Wrong Guy Member

    It's already available for pre-ordering on Amazon:

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

    A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the The Looming Tower, the now-classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack. 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 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.

    About the Author

    Lawrence Wright is a graduate of Tulane University and the American University in Cairo, where he spent two years teaching. He is a staff writer for The New Yorker, and the author of one novel, God’s Favorite, and six previous books of nonfiction, including In the New World; Saints and Sinners; Remembering Satan; and The Looming Tower, which was the recipient of many honors—among them, the Pulitzer Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism. He is also a screenwriter and a playwright. He and his wife are longtime residents of Austin, Texas.

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  4. RightOn Member

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  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    Lawrence Wright’s Book on Scientology — Going Clear — Hits Bookstores January 17 | ortegaunderground

    Ever since Wright’s epic February, 2011 story “The Apostate” showed up in The New Yorker we’ve been looking forward to this book. That magazine story was about the defection of longtime Scientologist and Oscar-winning film director Paul Haggis. But with this book, Wright’s going deep on what’s tearing apart the church today.

    Not long ago, January was also announced for the publication of Jenna Miscavige Hill’s tell-all. The niece of church leader David Miscavige made major waves in 2008 when she appeared on Nightline, describing the harrowing life of kids growing up in the church. We expect her book to be a devastating expose of her uncle’s organization.

    However, just yesterday we learned that the copy we pre-ordered was moved back a month, to February. We hope that’s just a minor distribution glitch and not a sign of bigger problems.

    More, and open comments, at
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  6. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology Book About Tom Cruise and John Travolta Sets Release Date - Hollywood Reporter

    The genesis for the book was Wright's Feb. 2011 New Yorker article "The Apostate." The author interviewed more than 200 current and former Scientologists over a three-year period.

    The Hollywood Reporter reported last year that the book was originally intended to be a Scientology expose explored through the eyes of Haggis and his family, entitled The Heretic of Hollywood: Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology. But the direction of the book changed.

    More, and open comments, at
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  7. Incredulicide Member

    That's just 5 days 1 month before Jenna's book, oh my what a start to 2013 :)
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  8. The Wrong Guy Member

    According to Tony Ortega, her book has been "moved back a month, to February", as mentioned in the second post above yours.
  9. The Wrong Guy Member

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  10. Incredulicide Member

    The "hopefully a distribution glitch" shouldn't affect the publication date, but that's a bummer :(
  11. Anonymous Member

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  12. wolfbane Member

    Well that alone makes Reitman's book totally irrelevant. (thank gawd!)
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  13. sallysock Member

    Wow. I initially thought that BFG's book was due around the same time, but no- it's due in April. Something is sticking in my mind about the above release date in January ( or the 17th or 18th.)

    Edit; I remember now, CC birthday is the 17th
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  14. Born2Shop Member

    This is going to be good!

    I’m curious to see exactly what the “enhanced ebook” will be.

    In July Larry told me about making a book where one could select different parts of it (like a link) and much more would appear. For example, let’s say he interviews someone and writes a paragraph about the interview. For a normal book that would be it. But for for the type of book Larry spoke about, one could click on a link in the paragraph and a video or audio interview appears (or just a lot more information than was in that paragraph).

    That was just an example. I wonder if the “enhanced ebook" might include some of that?

    And I am sure there is going to be very good information in the book not before published.

    Oh dear but I believe the tiny one is going to have a really, REALLY bad day when he reads this one!
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  15. Anonymous Member


    Books November 14, 2012, 6:19 pm
    Knopf to Publish Pulitzer Prize Winner’s Investigation of Scientology

    wright-decoder-articleInline.jpg Kenny Braun/Knopf, via Associated Press Lawrence Wright’s next book will be “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief.”
    Lawrence Wright, who won the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction in 2007 for his last book, “The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11,” has written an investigation of the Church of Scientology, the Alfred A. Knopf publishing house announced Wednesday.
    The book, which is titled “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief,” will be released in January. Knopf, which is part of Random House, says it has set a first printing for the book of 150,000 copies.
  16. DeathHamster Member

    That sounds good but what are some other print runs to compare against? (Too bad it misses the xmas rush.)
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  17. Anonymous Member
    Print runs are based on how many copies the publisher expects to sell -- usually.

    Some genres have a core audience, readers who can be counted on to try even a new author in that genre. How large that core is varies.

    In the old days, both mass market mysteries and romances could count on a minimum print run of 30k to 80k, even for a first-time author. I have no idea how large that core audience is these days, but from friends I gather it's smaller.

    A lead title in mass market, if the publisher is pushing hard, can easily be 500k -- even these days. But that's New York Times bestseller territory.

    A hardcover by a first-time author, depending on what genre, is probably going to have a print run of anywhere between 5k and 50k copies.

    Really, the numbers vary so much that unless you have very specific information (publisher, genre, the author's advance, where the title falls on the publisher's list), there's really no "average" for print runs.

  18. Already ordered my copy this afternoon.

    This has been on Drudge all day.:D
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  19. Random guy Member

    ... aaaand next year seems like it won't be much better for the cult...
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  20. BFG to tell C.C a whole lotta stuff on his 18th....Big day:)
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  21. New book looks at Scientology finances

    Pulitzer-winner Lawrence Wright writes new book about finances of Scientology and its relationship with stars such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

    A new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright about the Church of Scientology will hit the shops on January 17, publisher Alfred A. Knopf announced.
    "Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief," will tackle the church's finances among other topics, Knopf said. It is the culmination of three years of research by Wright into the church that counts several Hollywood stars among its followers.
    Wright will examine the church's founder, science-fiction novelist L. Ron Hubbard and its relationship with celebrities Tom Cruise and John Travolta.
    "Scientology plays an outsize role in the cast of new religions that have arisen in the 20th century," Wright said in a statement.
    Related Articles
    "I was drawn to write this book by the questions many people have about Scientology," Wright added. "What is it that makes this religion alluring? What do its adherents get out of it? How can rational-seeming people subscribe to beliefs that others find incomprehensible? Why do popular personalities associate themselves with a faith that is likely to create public relations martyrdom?"
    A portion of the book was published in The New Yorker magazine in 2010 and was based in part on interviews with "Crash" director Paul Haggis, who recently left the church.
    A first printing of 150,000 was ordered, the publisher said.
    Wright, 63, won a Pulitzer Prize for his 2006 book "The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11."

    Follow Telegraph Books on Twitter

    From Todays Telegraph online (uk)
  22. Anonymous Member

    Wonder if any of those video interviews are from the SP party? How much fun would that be, being able to say "I was standing right there making faces at (fill in the blank SP). lol
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  23. pooks Member


    He's actually much better looking than this. He attended my SP Party and since the place was overflowing with exes and SP's, he got a lot of interviewing done.
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  24. Anonymous Member

    Agreed Pooks. This picture makes him look older than he does in person.
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  25. Random guy Member

    That is the statement of the year! Scientology really is a small cult with a laughable following. Their self importance is through the roof!
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  26. Quentinanon Member

    Oh Gawd. I can almost hear some staffers at OSA Int babbling that "the evil Germans" are really behind the book.
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  27. Anonymous Member

    Let them. Won't change the fact that $cientology is dead in Germany & most of the EU now.

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  28. Sam Urai Member

    I thought she did that all on her own.
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  29. The Wrong Guy Member

    From the blog of Mark "Marty" Rathbun today:

    Long Cold Winter for Scientology

    Posted on November 24, 2012 by martyrathbun09 | Leave a comment

    Beginning sometime around the turn of the new year and through the rest of the winter, the reputations of L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology are going to take perhaps the biggest press shellacking they have ever received. Some news outlets have reported that Lawrence Wright’s book about Scientology (Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief) is going to have an initial print run of 150,000 copies. That means the unbecoming photo of LRH on the cover will be peering at Americans from virtually every book outlet in the country for several months. What I expect will appear in the book will make the photo look complimentary. Wright’s publishers have invested heavily in the production of the book and will have to invest that much more in making it, and its author, omnipresent – or they will lose money. Wright will appear on virtually every widely viewed television and radio talk show. And a headline topic will be revelations about less than admirable events in L. Ron Hubbard’s life. Wright will be followed by the far less influential, but likely as scandalous, book by Jenna Miscavige Hill. That book too is bankrolled by a large publishing outfit that will roll out the ready-made, full-scale press tour for the author.

    If someone you know who cares about the future of Scientology has not read my books I recommend they do before the long, cold winter begins.

    <snipped — with a fucking chainsaw>

    More douchebaggery at
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  30. Anonymous Member

    Marty sez..
    "If someone you know who cares about the future of Scientology has not read my books I recommend they do before the long, cold winter begins."

    No amount of you preaching "read my books" can sway your followers from reading all the TRUE facts of what you call "entheta" coming out about about L. Con Failtard. They may sway for a while, but I think some will be leaving your flock, and eventually all. Then what are you going to do Marty? Come up with another name besides Scientology and start over? Good luck with that.
    I hope they read ALL OF IT and wake the fuck up.
    You can't stop the truth Marty.
    Hubbard was the creator, the start and now the finish of Scientology. Miscavige or not, it would have come to a head at some point. All the abuses, thought stopping, brainwashing and financial drain would have reared it's ugly head at some point.
    So try if you will to stop the word Scientology from getting a bad wrap. It ain't happening. It's nothing but a very dangerous way to control people. Whether someone is still "in" the COS or has migrated over to the Indies or the Zoners. You can't play with people's minds and have any good come of it. Plain and simple.
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  31. So many other things that Marty could have mentioned (but why support the critics).
    Winter has come early for $cientology and it's going to be more like a starkblast (a la Stephen King).
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  32. Anonymous Member

    Stephen King? Wait wut?


    Winter is coming.
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  33. Anonymous Member

    Rathbun is placing the blame for the books on the publishers. Because it's the publisher's fault that Hubbard did all those bad things, that were so bad that people will pay good money to read about them.

    Always blame the publishers/editors for Hubbard's failures.
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  34. wolfbane Member

    Bwahahahahaha... Marty can't get his own mediocre publishing deal because his craptastic writing style is juvenile, 200% hypemonger axe grinding and so overly loaded with Indy slang he comes of sounding like idiot stuck in a "Scientology, Inc. - raging buffoon" incident and can't get up.

    So what does he do? He bawls about everybody else getting a book publisher deal in his usual style of massive dead agenting BlackPR and tries to get ahead of the flap Wright's book will unleash. End result = he looks even moar childish than evar. This pleases me.
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  35. anonanchovie Member

    I have dared to post on Marty's Slog, politely, mind you.

    I had to avoid Marty's self aggrandising spiel, as I must admit, his postings make me physically sick. But I hope that by posting a slightly contrarian view that it will pass the blog censorship and maybe even make one or two of those very sad, mindless sycophants think.

    One has to be an optimist, otherwise one might, in a moment of abject despair, throw one's self under a train.
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  36. skeptic2girl Member

    If only Marty could stop the pharmaceutical companies from funding those book tours...
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  37. RightOn Member

    Marty says there's a Cold Winter Coming!!!!

    Never heard of this song or the band, but I like some of the lyrics:

    "Well a cold winter's coming and it isn't gonna wait
    And a church door slams in a poor boy's face
    And the fire that warms the collection plate
    Says a cold winter's comin and it isn't gonna wait"
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  38. anon4eva Member

    Aw poor Martyr, has no idea he has indicted himself from is own statements LULZ
    The complete Sci-fuck is now visible.....we'll wait for a bit Martry, you may just catch on!

    doubt it...snicker snicker
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  39. Anonymous Member

    I love how marty switches sides depending whats going on and how he can use that. When Lawrence wrote the article about Haggis, Marty was all cocksucking circle jerking him, now he is all against him. Wtf marty, make up your mind!
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