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

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

  1. fishypants Moderator

    Does look a bit Scanners.
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  2. The Wrong Guy Member

    The Secret World of Scientology | On Point with Tom Ashbrook | NPR

    Uncovering the secret inner world of Scientology with Pulitzer prize-winning author Lawrence Wright

    L. Ron Hubbard was a pulp fiction writer so prolific that he typed on an endless roll of butcher paper. He poured out book after book of wild derring-do. He created stories of cowboys and adventurers and science fiction – and then he kept right on going, to create a religion, Scientology.

    With deathless souls, billion-year contracts, endless powers and – in Hollywood and beyond – a unique appeal.

    To Tom Cruise. To John Travolta. And a dark side, too. Shocking. Secret.

    This hour, On Point: Pulitzer prize-winning investigative journalist Lawrence Wright on the world and ways of Scientology.

    The 46-minute audio clip and open comments are at

    You can also listen at
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  3. The Wrong Guy Member

    Tom Alderman: Scientology: Scary or Sacred - The Huffington Post

    The article begins with:

    "I'd like to start a religion. That's where the money is." -- L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology founder.

    "I have to remain celibate to keep my instrument pure." -- Tom Cruise to his then-wife, Nicole Kidman.

    These are just two of the oh-so-juicy morsels that New Yorker staff writer Lawrence Wright includes in his expansive and ultra-detailed audio and print book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief.

    Here are the last three paragraphs:

    Wright piles on so many first and second-hand accounts, plus every different angle and conspiracy theory, that it sometimes puts this expansive report in Oliver Stone/JFK territory -- meaning the excess of possibilities diminishes its impact.

    Cynics might come away from this parade of Scientology's singular disclosures agreeing with a line from a Preston & Child's audiobook, The Cabinet of Curiosities: "Humiliation and blackmail when used judiciously, can be marvelously effective."

    Scientologists' repeated position is that their religion suffers the same skepticism and attacks all religions have faced. If you join Scientology, you sign a BILLION year contract -- which does underscore their message that you, or some form of you, will be around that long. Is that sort of like other religions' notion of an eternal soul?

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  4. Anonymous Member

  5. Anonymous Member

    Do not believe so. Can't believe so, especially after Mimi coughed that up in her Playboy interview. Nicole has been pretty quiet. So, no.
  6. The Wrong Guy Member

    The Church of OMG - The Ventura County Reporter

    By Jenny Lower

    Lawrence Wright’s latest book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, is one humdinger of a takedown. The page-turner reads like pulp fiction — incidentally, Scientology founder and writer L. Ron Hubbard’s former genre — packed with lurid tales of bigamy, black magic, paranoia, wife beating, forced abortions, kidnapping and espionage.

    It almost sounds too far-fetched to be credible — adults, in this day and age, packed into airless trailers in the desert, deprived of food and sleep, convinced they’ll endanger their immortality if they flee? But if the journalist and his 200-plus sources (many former high-ranking members) are to be believed, these stories may be only the tip of the iceberg.

    Going Clear expands Wright’s prize-winning 2011 New Yorker article “The Apostate.” That piece mostly profiled director Paul Haggis, who publicly denounced Scientology in 2009. Haggis remains, but the expanded version (which takes its name from a state of enlightenment on the church’s Bridge to Total Freedom) now examines Scientology’s vast financial holdings, its courtship of celebrities like Tom Cruise and John Travolta, and fantastic accounts of alleged mistreatment.

    But Wright’s book doesn’t read like gotcha journalism. If anything, he displays studious fairness toward Scientology. The church’s more exotic cosmology, like its belief in an evil emperor Xenu who ruled over a Galactic Confederacy 75 million years ago, is presented without irony. Wright concedes Hubbard’s extraordinary charisma, despite the man’s obvious flaws.

    Footnotes document each disputed assertion, like the accusations of physical assault lodged against current leader David Miscavige, which the church categorically denies. (Wright cites 11 people who claim to be victims; 22 say they witnessed abuse first-hand.) Exhaustive endnotes and a four-page bibliography document Wright’s sources. An entire chapter is devoted to a meeting hashing out the church’s response to the New Yorker’s 971 fact-checking queries: the Scientology delegation arrives with 48 three-ring binders’ worth of material stretching nearly seven feet.

    The mountain of information can be overwhelming at times, but it contains unforgettable narratives. One of the many profoundly disturbing episodes Wright recounts is the case of Daniel Montalvo. Now in his 20s, Montalvo joined the Sea Org with his parents at age 5. He says he spent 15-hour workdays cleaning up asbestos without protective gear before moving, in his teens, to Scientology’s publishing division in Los Angeles. While working there with the guillotine-style machine that slices notches into each book’s appendix, he cut off a finger. Doctors, believing he’d injured himself in a skateboarding accident, tried and failed to reattach it.

    Wright acknowledges that in many religions, what seem irrational or absurd teachings to outsiders become articles of faith for their members. He compares Scientology to other homegrown religious movements, like Mormonism and the Amish. But Wright’s painstaking reporting amasses evidence of an institution that seems so flawed that, if even one-tenth of his findings were to prove true in court, for example, they would likely place the church’s survival in serious jeopardy. As it is, given this book, the court of public opinion may accomplish that anyway.

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  7. The Wrong Guy Member

    This column will change your life: Do you believe in brainwashing? | The Guardian

    'There isn't a hidden switch that lets villains control your thoughts; instead, there are TV ads and manipulative friends and guilt-inducing religions'

    By Oliver Burkeman

    The term "brainwashing" first became widespread in the 1950s, to explain why some US soldiers, taken prisoner in Korea defected to the enemy. GIs were strong-willed, patriotic, trained not to crack under torture – and so, the reasoning went, only the most sinister mind-control techniques could have defeated them. The concept was a handy way of avoiding darker questions about psychology. If brainwashing exists, the main thing is just to keep clear of brainwashers. But in fact the world's full of "hidden persuaders", large and small. There isn't a secret switch that lets villains control your thoughts; instead, there are TV ads and manipulative friends and guilt-inducing religions, and a million other ways in which we influence, and are influenced, all the time. No wonder psychologists shun the term "brainwashing" these days. It isn't really a thing – and if you don't believe me, I'll shut you in a sensory deprivation chamber and blast sound waves at you till you do.

    All this makes it more, not less, alarming to read two new books on Scientology: Lawrence Wright's Going Clear, withheld from UK publication due to legal worries; and The Church Of Fear, by the BBC's John Sweeney, who was notoriously provoked into bellowing rage by Scientologists in LA. The stories they relate are alternately infuriating, sad and hilarious. (Wright, describing one errant member's punishment, claims, "He was made to run around a pole in the desert heat for 12 hours a day until his teeth fell out.") How, you want to know, could so many people – including Tom Cruise and John Travolta, no idiots when it comes to the movie business – fall for the fantastical ramblings of an insecure pulp novelist who abused his wives and fretted that a fondness for masturbation made him evil?

    The answer, it's clear from Wright's scrupulously fair-minded account – which Scientology says is based on interviews with a "posse of lunatics" – isn't brainwashing. Sure, there are some hugely sinister allegations, but once people are drawn in, through curiosity or lostness, what keeps them there is shockingly mundane. First, there's the "sunk cost bias". Scientology costs money – hundreds of thousands of dollars, reportedly, to reach the top rung. And once you've invested cash in something, it feels "wasteful" to stop doing so.

    In other ways, too, we modify present sentiments to justify past actions. In one classic study of "effort justification", participants underwent one of two initiations to join a group – one insignificant, the other embarrassing (reading sexual words aloud). All membership involved, it transpired, was listening to a dull tape. But those who'd already made a sacrifice for the group, by embarrassing themselves, rated the experience more positively. Besides, we crave the sense of having consistent personalities, and that means not abandoning a path you've been on for months or years already.

    None of this exonerates Scientology. But it helps explain why "normal" people get sucked in. Moreover, it's worthwhile, and a bit alarming, to ask how many other projects we fail to abandon – bad jobs, bad marriages, bad wars – because we think we've invested too much to turn back. Scientologists believe some ridiculous things (for example, that humans are possessed by the souls of extraterrestrials who were brought to earth 75m years ago, and killed using hydrogen bombs). The scarier truth is that the rest of us do, too.

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    The article also appears here, again with open comments:
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  8. The Wrong Guy Member

    Book review: 'Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief,' by Lawrence Wright

    By Laurie Hertzel

    Back before L. Ron Hubbard was commodore of the Church of Scientology, he was a writer of pulp novels — westerns, first, and then science fiction. The religion that he founded in 1952 seems to have sprung from his early imaginings of intergalactic travel, reincarnation, levels of consciousness and being, and bizarre names for people and places. (In Scientology, one’s eternal soul is a “thetan.” Earth is “Teegeeack.” The evil lord who set things in motion some 75 million years ago was named “Xenu.”) Hubbard experienced his first significant revelation when he was having a tooth pulled. And yet, in just 50 years, thousands (the church claims millions) of people have been drawn into this odd new faith.


    His tone throughout is that of a person who is deeply curious, but who also is determined to hold the church accountable for its actions. “Going Clear” is a fascinating read, and a chilling one.

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  9. The Wrong Guy Member

    The Wright way: Author makes disturbing case against Scientology
    by Bob Davis

    “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief”
    by Lawrence Wright; Alfred A. Knopf; 430 pages; $28.95.

    Perhaps the best way to weigh the credibility of the sensational allegations against the Church of Scientology in Lawrence Wright’s new book isn’t to consider his impressive credentials: He’s a Pulitzer Prize winner. He’s author of the definitive book on the rise of al-Qaeda (“The Looming Tower”). He’s a well-regarded New Yorker staff writer. He’s a journalist with a reputation for meticulous research. (According to a recent New York Times profile, when a research-assistant applicant told Wright, “I think one of my faults is that I don’t know when to stop researching.” Wright responded, “I don’t think that’s a fault.”)

    No, the most telling fact is the Church of Scientology’s response to “Going Clear” — “Mr. Wright’s book is so ludicrous it belongs in a supermarket tabloid. The claims are nothing more than a stale rehash of allegations disproven long ago.”

    Even the most casual observer of Wright’s reporting would be shocked to see his work compared to the National Enquirer.

    Wright’s book alleges that the religion has held members against their will, forced them into brutal working conditions, catered to the outrageous whims of its celebrity members, subjected members to physical abuse and — in enforcing a strict doctrine of obedience to the church — forced married couples to divorce and family members to break off all contact.

    Oh, and then there’s L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology’s founder, exposed in “Going Clear” as a fabulist whose claims of miracle cures grew from his fertile imagination.

    After more than 400 pages of carefully presenting information of a religion and its misdeeds, Wright puts it this way, Scientology has used “the protections of the First Amendment to falsify history, to propagate forgeries and, and to cover up human-rights abuses.”

    In its over-the-top response to the book, the Church of Scientology has made Wright’s point.

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  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    Quoted from the end of the article: Mark Sommer is a Buffalo News staff reporter. He wrote a four-part investigative series about the Church of Scientology in Buffalo in 2006.

    ‘Going Clear’ is latest exposé of Scientology’s hidden world - The Buffalo News

    By Mark Sommer

    The 21st century continues to be a devastating period for Scientology.

    Let’s count the ways:

    •  The Internet. A torrent of criticism from defectors and critics, and once-secret doctrine that can cost members $100,000 and more to learn about, are now all over the Internet – and beyond the reach of church enforcers.

    •  Journalistic exposés. Scientology’s aggressive strategy of suing critics backed by an army of attorneys and private investigators chilled investigations for years. But series by the St. Petersburg Times, the Boston Herald and The Buffalo News, and probes by several major magazines have again lifted a veil on Scientology’s controversial practices.

    •  Pop culture. Scientology has long wrapped itself in Hollywood’s glow, but its once biggest asset, Tom Cruise, has arguably become a liability. His jump onto Oprah Winfrey’s couch, anti-psychiatry rant against Matt Lauer and others’ credible claims that Scientology leaders procured candidates for the role of Mrs. Tom Cruise haven’t helped his or the church’s public relations. Nor did a brutal takedown aired on “South Park”.

    Now, the latest assault on Scientology’s attempt at a carefully crafted image comes in the form of Lawrence Wright’s “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood & the Prison of Belief.” It arrives 1½ years after Janet Reitman’s insightful expose, “Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion.”

    The Pulitzer Prize-winning Wright’s research-driven, evenhanded approach may have church higher-ups wishing he had thrown Molotov cocktails instead. They may also regret supplying Wright with 47 binders of documents.

    Continued, with open comments, at
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  11. wolfbane Member

    ^^Nice to see such a hard hitting in-depth article in Buffalo, where the Ideal Org is so full of FAIL they had to open it / dedicate it TWICE.
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  12. rof Member

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  13. DeathHamster Member

    Mark Sommer did an excellent series of articles, and then they vanished from the Buffalo News web site within a month or so. I hope this one lasts longer.
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  14. The Wrong Guy Member

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  15. Anonymous Member

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  16. peterstorm Member

  17. rof Member

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  18. The Wrong Guy Member

    A clear look at Scientology and its believers - The Associated Press

    Last three paragraphs:

    With Scientology, Wright documents that leaving is not only a psychologically difficult thing to do (for many believers it means the loss of contact with virtually all friends and family), but even at times a physically difficult thing, as teams are willing to track you down wherever you go to try to "persuade" you to return.

    Another aspect of Scientology that comes across as troubling is many adherents' tendency to avoid investigating elements of the religion, even when something arises that troubles them. Many simply prefer to believe that the critics are motivated by nefarious reasons or are part of a plot by psychiatrists and others deemed enemies of Scientology. As more people defect from Scientology and more information proliferates on the Internet, it will be fascinating to see how the church adjusts.

    Hubbard, the endlessly interesting founder of Scientology, wrote, "If it is not true for you, it isn't true." That may help explain the reluctance Scientologists who find strength in their religion have in examining it too closely. So although plenty of Scientologists have already criticized "Going Clear" as a false representation of their faith, one has to wonder if they've actually read the book.

    More at

    This Associated Press article should be appearing in many places. One of the first to publish it is The Washington Post:

    In ‘Going Clear,’ Scientology gets some auditing of its own, and the findings are troubling
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  19. The Wrong Guy Member

    Two Necessary Additions To Your Crazy Cults Bookshelf - The Frisky

    By Amelia McDonell-Parry

    If you’re a friend of mine and have tried to make plans with me the last few weeks, you’ve likely failed, because i have been very busy planning my infiltration into the upper echelon of Scientology. And by “planning” I mean reading Going Clear by Lawrence Wright and Beyond Belief by Jenna Miscavige Hill, two new fascinating and in-depth books about the notorious cult/religion, and having extremely exciting dreams in which I am tasked by the authorities to help take down the religion. Both books are so fantastic, I couldn’t pick just one to recommend as a Crave, so I’m doing both, because I am the David Miscavige of The Frisky, only much taller.

    So, Lawrence Wright is a journalist for The New Yorker, who wrote a fantastic piece for the magazine a few years ago about director Paul Haggis and his decision to leave Scientology after 30 years of devotion. Going Clear explains the background of L. Ron Hubbard’s Scientology and the church’s various beliefs in a way that’s easy to grasp and interesting to read; his book also explores Scientology’s focus over the last two decades on recruiting celebrities, so there’s lots of juicy bits about Tom Cruise, John Travolta and others. It’s seriously a fantastic read and I couldn’t put it down.

    So I was kind of devastated when I finished and wanted more. Jenna Miscavige Hill’s memoir of growing up inside the Church of Scientology (including signing a billion year contract with the Sea Org at age seven) offered a more personal look at the religion, particularly the inner workings of the church and its members’ mindset and beliefs. Miscavige Hill’s testimony is particularly interesting because she is the niece of current church leader David Miscavige, whom ex-members accuse of various abuses. Miscavige Hill left the church at age 21 and has been tireless in her quest to get the truth out there. Her story is incredible and, given her familial connection to the church’s highest ranking member, essential to the fight against the Church of Scientology’s various human rights abuses.

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  20. DeathHamster Member

    Oh, I wouldn't say that they're gone.
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  21. The Wrong Guy Member

    Reviewed: Going Clear - Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright - New Statesman

    By James Harkin

    One summer, when I was 18 years old, I was walking along the seafront in Brighton when a skinny man in an ill-fitting suit approached me thumbing a copy of Dianetics. I hadn’t heard of the book or its author, L Ron Hubbard, but my new friend invited me to accompany him to a nearby office and fill out a questionnaire. When I answered his 200 questions, he came back with a graph whose line dipped in the middle to a precipitous fall. He’d once been a drug addict, he confided, and he felt sure that some similar weakness was holding me back. Did I have any idea what it could be?

    Thanks to Lawrence Wright’s new book, I now know that what my adviser was up to was textbook Scientology: whetting my spiritual appetite by seeking out the particular “engrams” that were preying on my psyche and preventing me from achieving my real potential. Scientology, as Wright makes abundantly clear, is not religion as we know it; its scriptures are written not as weighty morals and metaphors but in the language of self-help and engineering, allied to a cosmology that is revealed in a glittering staircase of levels as the supplicant progresses through Hubbard’s oeuvre.

    If I’d got as far as level three, I’d have known this: 75 million years ago, in a planetary system called the Galactic Confederacy, a cruel warlord called Xenu summoned an entire population of otherworldly beings called thetans and killed off the whole lot. The frozen bodies were immediately packed off to Teegeeack, which was then the name for earth, where they were hurled into volcanoes and nuked with hydrogen bombs. It’s these troubled, vacuum-packed spirits that are today the cause of most of our psychic ills. The goal of Scientology is to put believers on a path where they can eventually “go clear” of spiritual contaminants and find total freedom. If I’d progressed further up Scientology’s ladder of spiritual accomplishment, I might even have become a fully “operating thetan”, bouncing around in a jacuzzi with Tom Cruise.

    Written out like this, it’s easy to make other people’s beliefs look ridiculous. The achievement of Wright’s book is to make us realise that Scientology’s wacky eschatology was never the most interesting part. Built on the foundations of a long article published two years ago in the New Yorker, Wright tells the story of the Church of Scientology through the career its late founder, Hubbard, and the testimony of a prominent dissident from the movement, Paul Haggis, who granted him a series of interviews.

    Like most religious ideas, Scientology was a product of the cultural upheavals of its time. It arrived amid a flood of exotic new religions in the shifty, paranoid years immediately following the Second World War, at a time when many of the old ideologies had been shattered and there was a thirst for something new. Dianetics was an immediate bestseller, one of the first of a new genre of self-help writing, but Hubbard wanted more. His approach started out as a kind of alternative psychotherapy but Hubbard bathed it in the rhetoric of science and engineering and when that seemed to pay dividends he tarted it up into a religion, too.

    Eschewing the shouty provocations of some journalists who’ve tried to take on Scientology, Wright’s approach to the material is judicious and even-handed. What’s clear, according to Wright, is that from the beginning Hubbard was endowed with “an impressive capacity to summon others to join him on what was clearly a shaky enterprise”. It helped that he started out as a prolific writer of pulpy sci-fi novels, from which he seems to have learned a good deal about myth-making and self-mythology. Ingeniously, Hubbard developed his self-help potboiler into a series of veiled revelations, each of which promised greater abilities and increased spiritual power. “To keep a person on the Scientology path,” he once told one of his associates, “feed him a mystery sandwich.”

    Wright takes refuge in deadpan. One disillusioned disciple “had long since come to the conclusion that Hubbard was not an operating thetan”. For an organisation that sets such store on its ability to help addicts, its own origins seem eerily bound up with hallucinogenic experiences. Discussing an early experiment with religious ritual, Wright tells us about a ceremony that, “likely aided by narcotics and hallucinogens, required Hubbard to channel the female deity of Babylon as Parsons performed the ‘invocation of wand with material basis on talisman’ – in other words, masturbating on a piece of parchment. He typically invoked twice a night.” The secrets of human existence appear to have been disclosed to Hubbard while he was at the dentist and under the influence of laughing gas.

    The best criticism of old-time religion was that it offered empty solace to the impoverished masses but Scientology preys not on the poor but on the vain and the needy – actors and media types, for the most part. Scientologists are certainly impressively well organised when it comes to protecting their interests and the church is well known to be litigious when confronted by journalists. (Going Clear didn’t get past our plaintiff-friendly libel laws: perhaps cowed by the threat of expensive libel suits, Wright’s UK publishers pulled out.) Yet after a long career in the church, Haggis’s very public falling out with Scientology for its mild homophobia – compared to most religions, Scientology is rather forward-thinking – seems overcooked and a little too righteous. As Wright cleverly suggests, the charge of “brainwashing” leveled against Scientology comes from the same paranoid B-movie thinking that gave us McCarthyism and the Red Menace.

    As mainstream institutions crumble, it’s easy to have a go at the cultish organisations that are thriving on the margins but it’s more productive to ask why the rest of us feel so threatened by tightly knit groups with strong beliefs. Scientologists informally claim a membership of millions but, according to Wright, one former spokesperson for the organisation put membership of the Inter - national Association of Scientologists at only 30,000. The inflated network and numbers, as well as our grisly fascination, may only add to the mystique.

    Was L Ron Hubbard God? Just in case, in each of the main Scientology offices around the world, they still keep a room ready for his second coming. Much of the intrigue in this enthralling book comes from Wright’s refusal to declare him either a con artist or a nut. If anything, he was simply a masterful storyteller. Hubbard was surely right, too, that any modern religion needs a powerful dose of narcissism and a series of secrets that are only available to the chosen few. His mistake, if there was one, was to let anyone ever find out what was inside the box.

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  22. Anonymous Member

    I like that especially in an UK paper.
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  23. failboat Member

    Pulitzer Winner Sheds Light on Church of Scientology, Reveals Abuse and IRS 'War'

    Published on Feb 28, 2013
    The Church of Scientology is an organization cloaked in secrecy, but Pultzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright uncovered some of that mystery in his new book.

    KCET's historic studio and former home is the latest major piece of Hollywood real estate that the COS got its hands on. It seems that KCET has no qualms about covering COS, though.
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  24. The Wrong Guy Member

    'Going Clear' Author Lawrence Wright Calls on Celebrity Members to Reform Scientology - The Hollywood Reporter


    Responding to a question about whether the religion had the capacity to reform itself after more than three decades of leadership under David Miscavige -- leadership that Wright argues in in his book is abusive and detrimental to the overall health of the Church -- the author said a "reckoning" in Scientology is coming.

    He went on to argue that the only people with the pull and "moral authority" to bring about reform are the Church's celebrity adherents, including Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

    Wright said they have a "moral responsibility" to educate themselves about Scientology's practices and to confront any abuses within the religion.

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  25. Anonymous Member

    The cult that wants to be a religion
    From its sacred text to its absurd creation myth, Scientology is far closer to recognised religions than its critics allow. Just with a therapeutic twist.
    by Alexander Adams

    Books discussed:
    Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright and The Church of Fear: Inside the Weird World of Scientology by John Sweeney
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  26. failboat Member

    The Telegraph today has a top 20 list of books that have been banned (or otherwise censored from publication).

    Notable is that this is a UK paper.

    Going Clear made the list, alongside such luminaries as The Diary of Anne Frank, Ulysses, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, 1984, Lady Chatterley's Lover, Lolita, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Satanic Verses, All Quiet on the Western Front, and several other notables.

    This is company among whom any author would be extremely complimented to find himself placed.

    Top 20 books they tried to ban
    By Felicity Capon and Catherine Scott
    12:00PM GMT 01 Mar 2013

    In the wake of Dominique Strauss-Kahn's efforts to censor a tell-all book written by his former lover, we look at 20 books that were famously banned.

    Going Clear
    by Lawrence Wright
    Although Lawrence Wright’s controversial tell-all about the inner workings of Scientology has not been banned outright, British publishers Transworld backed out of the agreement to publish in this country after taking legal advice. It seems likely that the threat of legal action from the notoriously litigious Scientology organisation is what spooked the publishers.

    Source -
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  27. DeathHamster Member

    You know, I'm definitely no fan of the Roman Catholic Church, but they do have their moments. That was one of them.
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  28. Anonymous Member

    Paging the animal feelings thread...
  29. Anonymous Member

    Tom Cruise & John Travolta Have ‘Moral Responsibility’ To Reform Scientology Says Noted Author

    Posted on Mar 3, 2013 @ 6:12AM | By Radar Staff

    The author of the best-selling book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief, is telling Tom Cruise , John Travolta and other famous Scientologists they have the “moral responsibility” to bring about reform in the controversial church.

    Lawrence Wright, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, made the comment at a sold-out event about his book where he was interviewed on stage by The Hollywood Reporter’s Kim Masters.
    Wright argues that three decades of David Miscavige‘s leadership has been highly detrimental to Scientology.

    When asked if he thought the church has any chance of surviving the last two years of non-stop bad news and high profile defections, he said only if Cruise, Travolta and other celeb members use their “moral authority” to make it happen. And, he said, they have the “moral responsibility” to do just that.

    More and comments at source -
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  30. Anonymous Member

    Can Church of Scientology Be Saved by Tom Cruise and John Travolta?

    March 03, 2013 01:50 PM EST by Kimberly Ripley

    Author Lawrence Wright says the Church of Scientology's only shot at redemption is Tom Cruise and John Travolta. But are the two actors far too immersed to help the organization regain any respect?
    According to a report from RadarOnline, the author of the best-selling book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Poison of Belief believes the actors have a 'moral responsibility' to at the very least try.
    The past three decades the organization has been under the iron fist of David Miscavige, and its reputation has gone from bad to worse. Even Miscavige's own niece, Jenna Miscavige Hill, wrote a scathing testimony of her time in Scientology. In order for the 'religion' to regain any respect and be touted for anything more than an elitist cult, someone will have to do some heavy duty clean up.
    Of course sources from within the organization call Lawrence Wright's book nothing but a 'fantasy' account of the goings on behind closed doors. The Wall Street Journal, however, touted it a 'feat of reporting'. Who are you going to believe?
    Do you think Tom Cruise and John Travolta have what it takes to get the Church of Scientology on a better track than it's run on for the past couple of years? Too many defectors and researchers are coming clean with the secret aspects of the organization for there not to be some sound proof within these reports.
    Will Cruise and Travolta come clean as well or continue to live deep within the bizarre practices and outright lies?

    Source, comments -
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  31. Lawrence Wright has said several times that he doesn't think L. Ron Hubbard was a con artist because he devoted most of his life to Scientology and "he didn't take the money and run away with it". I disagree, LRH used his con/scam to obtain money, fame and power. Most con artists/sociopaths want it all. Just because a faith healer is delusional doesn't mean they aren't a con artist.
  32. The Wrong Guy Member

    Talking Scientology: A Q&A with Going Clear Author Lawrence Wright | Everyday eBook

    By Kristin Fritz

    EVERYDAY EBOOK: In your research for Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief, was there one thing that shocked you or stunned you the most?

    LAWRENCE WRIGHT: The exploitation of children. I was very disturbed, I am still very disturbed by the stories I was told about the way children are pressed into this clerical organization at Sea Org at alarmingly young ages. And they surrender their education, they’re impoverished by their service, and they work them, those kids, mercilessly – all day long. The church claims that it doesn’t violate the child labor laws, but when I read the child labor laws I just don’t understand how that can be the case.

    EE: What do you think was the motivation for L. Ron Hubbard? And what is David Miscavige’s motivation? Power? Sadism? Something else?

    LW: In the case of L. Ron Hubbard, in the book I compare him to a shaman because anthropologists talk about how schizophrenia is a shaman disease. And in aboriginal cultures, you see people that we would say are mentally unstable. They often have psychotic episodes and then they’re considered in some respects holy. Their mission is to heal themselves and then heal their community. It may seem like a lofty way to approach L. Ron Hubbard given the charlatan aspect of his character, but I really do think that he wrote Dianetics to heal himself. And the idea was he would heal the world. The fact that I think he invented so much of this stuff out of a whole cloth – that’s the part that makes people say he is a conman. But I do think that he believed he was trying to heal the world and I think the same impulse drove him to create Scientology. Despite that, he said, many times, that that’s where the money is – religion; that may have been a factor. David Miscavige is different from L. Ron Hubbard mainly in the fact that he grew up in Scientology. He’s a product of it in a way that Hubbard was not. He joined the Sea Org when he was sixteen, so, virtually, his entire life has been lived inside the strictures of this organization. The product of that is a glaring indictment of the church itself, because if that is what it produces – this totalistic universe, which is what the Sea Org has become, led by a person who dominates it entirely – then I think Scientology has a reckoning ahead of it.

    EE: Do you think that will happen in the near future? Is that where you think the future is headed for Scientology?

    LW: I think that it’s at a turning point in its history. It’s got a lot of money, and it has a lot of lawyers. And that will hold it together for quite a while. But I think it’s hemorrhaging members. And look at its reputation; they’ve earned the reputation of being the most vindictive, litigious, mean-spirited organization that calls itself a church in the country. And I don’t think that’s an appealing image. It’s not going to draw a lot of people to it, so it’s got to change.

    EE: What’s next for you? Any idea where you’re going to turn your attention?

    LW: I don’t know! I’m looking for something. I would love to swing through the trees and already have the next vine in my hand, but I finish a project and then I have to go hunting for a new one. And I haven’t found that new one yet. To me the big mystery about creation is not the process – and there are so many workshops devoted to process – it’s, “What do you want to do? What do you choose to spend your life on?” It’s a very central question and there are so many appealing things to write about, but why choose one thing over another? There is some internal bell that goes off and so I’m waiting to hear that sound.

    Check out more of what Lawrence Wright has to say on

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  33. The Wrong Guy Member

    Investigating the Church of Scientology – Amanpour - CNN

    March 5th, 2013

    The Church of Scientology is the famous American-born religion created by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard and well-known for celebrity followers like Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

    The church claims millions of members here in the United States and around the world. Scientology is famously litigious, with a phalanx of lawyers keeping an eye on journalists, writers and media companies who set out to cover the church.

    But now that a number of high-profile members have left and are beginning to tell their stories, we're getting rare insight into the inner workings of the church, from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright. His new book is called, "Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief."

    The Church of Scientology says, "Lawrence Wright's book is so ludicrous it belongs in a supermarket tabloid. The book is an error-filled, unsubstantiated, bigoted anti-Scientology book."

    In the video above you can watch CNN's Christiane Amanpour discuss the book with Wright.

    The Church of Scientology's response is available in full here.

    Source, and video interview:
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  34. Anonymous Member

    Found the above, but found this much more interesting. The responses. Amazing that they use the same tired old words and phrases when our language is so full of others they could choose! Even more amazing when they are found in three different responses written by three different authors. Or should I say they are found in every response written by every author.

    I also like how the last response mentions not once, but twice, how Mr. Miscavige does all the good works he does and NEVER ASKS FOR ANYTHING IN RETURN. Isn't asking someone to sign a billion year contract asking for something?
  35. failboat Member

    TWG probably knows this from incessant news searches, too, but Larry Wright wrote a play (Fallaci) that's about to premiere on March 8th about some journalist he admired.

    I think it's pretty awesome that he's giving so much time to promoting his book when he has a play to promote too.

    It's running in Berkeley, CA from March 8 thru April 21.

    In other news, Larry Wright will be on a NPR affiliate in North Texas today at noon, local time, to give an interview about Going Clear

    Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Lawrence Wright of the New Yorker walks us past the tabloid racks and through the actual, mysterious Church of Scientology as a guest of Think. He’ll talk to host Krys Boyd at noon about his book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief.

    Live stream link:
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  36. Anonymous Member

    Bump for this is about to go live.
    • Like Like x 2
  37. Anonymous Member

  38. Enjoyed listening to a longer interview with Larry Wright. Thanks for the timely link, Anon. I was there at the beginning. :)

    Probably by choice (and no doubt wisely) Wright doesn't speak much here, or in anything I've heard so far, about the substance of Hubbard's bloviations in print or on audio (beyond a brief mention of the 'affirmations').

    But, it seems to me he gives Hubbard an easier ride than he deserves, in discounting the idea that Elron was purely and simply a conman. There are so many outright lies and fatuous claims in the Hubtard 'ouvre' :rolleyes: that I would argue make it barely credible that he was anything more than a complete out-and-out fraud.

    Makes me wonder how much of Hubbard's worthless drivel Wright subjected himself to, not having read his book yet. Does he give any critique at all of what Hubbard actually said or wrote?
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  39. Anonymous Member

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  40. Anonymous Member

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