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

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

  1. Anonymous Member

    • Like Like x 2
  2. DeathHamster Member

    The New York Review of Books
    Scientology: The Story April 25, 2013 Diane Johnson

    Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief View attachment ir?t=thneyoreofbo-20&l=as2&o=1&a=03077
    by Lawrence Wright
    Knopf, 430 pp., $28.95

    Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape View attachment ir?t=thneyoreofbo-20&l=as2&o=1&a=00622
    by Jenna Miscavige Hill, with Lisa Pulitzer
    William Morrow, 404 pp., $27.99

    Quite long, with an almost good list of other works at the end:
    * Memoirs by people who have left Scientology make fascinating reading. See, for example, Mark Rathbun, The Scientology Reformation: What Every Scientologist Should Know (CreateSpace, 2012); Mark Rathbun, What Is Wrong With Scientology?: Healing Through Understanding (CreateSpace, 2012); Amy Scobee, Scientology—Abuse at the Top (Scobee, 2010); Nancy Many, My Billion Year Contract: Memoir of a Former Scientologist ( CNM, 2009); Mark Headley, Blown for Good: Behind the Iron Curtain of Scientology ( BFG, 2009); and Kate Bornstein, A Queer and Pleasant Danger (Beacon, 2012).
    • Like Like x 3
  3. DeathHamster Member
    • Like Like x 2
  4. The Wrong Guy Member

    Understanding Scientology -

    A new book examines the controversial church

    By Hugh Urban | April 13, 2013

    The last several years have been rough ones for the Church of Scientology. Since 2008, a number of high-ranking defectors have come forward and condemned the church’s current leadership, followed by a long list of books by ex-members that detail a shocking array of abuses within the church. Withering exposés of Scientology have appeared in The St. Petersburg Times and on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, while the faith’s innermost secrets were mercilessly ridiculed in a 2008 episode of South Park. Most recently, the church has been the focus of three major books: my own academic work, The Church of Scientology, and two journalistic accounts: Janet Reitman’s Inside Scientology and Lawrence Wright’s Going Clear.

    Of these last two, Wright’s book is arguably the more balanced, thoughtful, and empathetic, offering not an “exposé” but rather an attempt to understand the effects of religious beliefs in people’s lives, exploring the allure, the benefits, and the perils of involvement in this complex new religion. Indeed, at certain points, Wright bends so far over backward to be fair to the church that he risks undermining the credibility of his own narrative.

    Continued at
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Anonymous Member

    Yes, Hugh Urban did just use Scientology's favourite term.
    Umm.. did he just set up the perfect segue to Jenna Miscavige Hill's "Beyond Belief" then pretend it doesn't exist, or does he actually not know about her book?
  6. Anonymous Member

    that would be just a big axe
  7. Anonymous Member

    He can't have it both ways. If he wants to know "What is it like to grow up as a child in the Sea Org" and active members are forbidden from discussing anything but their mandatory "wins" in the Church, he's limited to either former members or nothing.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Incredulicide Member

    Yep, and Tony Ortega also picked up on it:
    "Our jaw literally dropped open as we read those words. Could Urban seriously be ignorant of the fact that not three weeks after Wright’s book came out, another major book about Scientology was published by William Morrow, the memoir of Jenna Miscavige Hill, who did, indeed, grow up as a child in the Sea Org? And that other books, perhaps not with major publishers, have addressed the other things Urban says have gone unwritten? Vance Woodward, for example, who spent 22 years in Scientology without “going Clear” or learning the Xenu story, and who wrote a rollicking, hilarious, and very personal account of what it’s like to be a nobody in Scientology’s byzantine bureaucracy?
    We find it stunning that Urban, who proclaims to be an expert — indeed, he pimped his own title as a “major book” in the review’s first paragraph — can be so ignorant of what’s going on in Scientology publishing.
    Maybe he ought to pay a little more attention to a certain blog and keep better informed. Just a thought."
    • Like Like x 3
  9. Anonymous Member

    • Like Like x 2
  11. Anonymous Member

    "In fact, the Church has not filed suit against a media organization in more than two decades."

    That's referring to the case against Time magazine, which Scientology lost.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Anonymous Member

    Mike Rinder's take-down:
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Anonymous Member

    "Seems to me Corporate Scientology simply accuses everyone else of doing what THEY do so facilely: Lying, while assuming the mantle of victims and oppression."
    There's no seems about it Mike, you know they do it because you did it while you were in.
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Karin Pouw

    To the Editors:
    Diane Johnson’s sophomoric line claiming that you can spot a Scientologist by their “glazed look” tells you everything you need to know about her bias and prejudice toward the global religious movement and why she was the wrong person to objectively review Lawrence Wright’s book [“Scientology: The Story,”NYR, April 25]. This does a great disservice to readers of The New York Review of Books.
    Among Ms. Johnson’s misstatements:
    • Like Mr. Wright, Ms. Johnson regurgitates the false allegation that L. Ron Hubbard once said that “he’d like to start a religion because that’s where the money is.” This myth was exposed years ago via several court judgments in two countries that established that Mr. Hubbard never made such a statement.
    • Ms. Johnson seeks to perpetuate the myth that lawsuits “are Scientology’s principal weapons against its outside critics.” Yet she can cite no example more recent that 1971, and for good reason. In fact, the Church has not filed suit against a media organization in more than two decades. While we reserve the right to sue over defamation and the spreading of egregious falsehoods, the public record is clear: we go to great lengths to avoid litigation.
    • She extols Lawrence Wright’s fact checkers, but omits completely that the Church has documented dozens of factual inaccuracies and undermined the credibility of key sources for his book. These inaccuracies include everything from citing an interview with a source with whom Wright never corresponded or met to claiming that the Church owns banks and schools in Clearwater, Florida, which a simple check of public records shows is false. He even botched the year a prominent celebrity Scientologist was married even though the wedding was covered by scores of media worldwide. Add to that tales Mr. Wright printed from news clippings without mentioning they were later recanted, along with allegations he prints from court cases that conveniently neglect to mention they were tossed out as baseless during judicial proceedings. In one case, Wright attributes a bizarre, unsubstantiated tale about a phantom crime even though police and court records show no such crime ever took place. Mr. Wright’s source: a man who once publicly claimed that his daughter and father had committed suicide with the Reverend Jim Jones in 1978, but later admitted he made it all up.
    • Her sweeping pronouncement that “Scientology is a moneymaking outfit” flies in the face of six decades of reasoned conclusions to the contrary reached by judges, government administrative bodies, and religious experts worldwide.
    • Ms. Johnson refers to Lawrence Wright relying on the work of Dr. Robert J. Lifton to condemn Scientology. Something Ms. Johnson and Mr. Wright failed to note is that in 1987 Dr. Lifton himself sharply criticized any use of his theories of coercive persuasion when applied to participation in new religious movements.
    • The review happily embraces a small collection of former Scientologists and self-promoters behind an orchestrated media campaign. In an attempt to sell self-published books, they invent new, increasingly bizarre tales while “corroborating” each other. Yet they can’t find outside sources, police reports, public records, or any other objective, third-party means to verify their allegations.
    We believe your readers should be able to judge for themselves whether Mr. Wright did his homework, or whether he merely compiled a laundry list of exaggerated claims and allegations made to newspaper and TV reporters by disgruntled ex-members. Publishers in the United Kingdom and Canada chose not to publish the book, which we believe speaks to quality of the facts, allegations, and sources Mr. Wright used. And while we are aware libel laws are stricter in those countries, if a book and its sources tell the truth there should be no cause for concern by a publisher….
    Karin Pouw
    Public Affairs Director
    Church of Scientology International
    Los Angeles, California

    My reaction: Ha, Ha what a skank!,indeed it is readers that decide what to think not what the cult dictates

    has the phrase "writing a penny for a word, when a man wants to make a million dollar he starts a religion" went to court, EVER is is Pouw lying her face off as usual Davis at least tried to back up his accusations Pouw here seem to be pulling these "facts" from her ass
  15. Anonymous Member

    They slap her name on these, but she doesn't write them.
  16. she doesn't have the balls confront & shatter suppression does she, I miss davis already at least he had the balls humilatiate himself on national mediums, why is this did they finally learn from the flops of Heber, Mike and finally davis that it is not generally a good idea to send a cult spacegoat to be utterly butchered by investigate press or somone who actually reads all of the related books, articles etc; someone who know what they are talking about?

    I don't get the cults course of action in these PR shenanigans. can somone enlighten my WHY they don't handle these matters directly anymore, they instead use stantard copy-and-paste tech when harassing magazine editors or anyone that mattered have the gone that lazy?

    just how short sighted are these cult representatives are? they just don't give about people respond them with it seems
  17. The Wrong Guy Member

    Evening With Lawrence Wright on Scientology

    Published by TheLBJLibrary on May 10, 2013

    Based on more than two-hundred interviews with current and former Scientologists and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright discussed his book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, which offers an exhaustive account of the church, from its founding by L. Ron Hubbard to its present-day leadership.

    In a conversation with Library Director Mark Updegrove, Wright explained why celebrities like Tom Cruise and John Travolta are drawn to Scientology and discussed the future of Scientology.

    Wright is a playwright, screenwriter, and staff writer for The New Yorker. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for his book The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11.

    Co-sponsored by the Texas Book Festival.
    • Like Like x 4
  18. Anonymous Member

    It was unfortunate that an audience question that took up almost all his time answering was entirely unrelated to this book.
  19. wolfbane Member

    Has anybody else noticed there is something extremely weird about the dust jacket for Going Clear?

    It seems to be a magnet for dust, grime, funky smudges and greasy fingerprints. It also grows to feel quite icky with time, kind of like Scientology itself. So I can't help but wonder if that's why the dust jacket feels so weird - a subtle YHBT message? Or just plains sucks. Hard to decide.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Anonymous Member

    Lawrence Wright: How I Write

    Long read profile is long, but quite good. These two bits particularly good...
    • Like Like x 5
  21. The Wrong Guy Member

    Religion or cult? Inside the Church of Scientology

    By Diane Johnson, May 31, 2013


    Scientology is a neat reflection of the worst aspects of American culture with its repulsive veneration of celebrity; its weird attitudes towards women, sex, healthcare and contraception; its promise of equality among its followers but actual crushing inequality…. It is, in its own dark way, the inevitable religion to emerge from 20th-century America.
    • Like Like x 2
  22. DeathHamster Member
  23. The Wrong Guy Member

    Back on January 18th I posted this video in the sixth page of this thread [ ] and decided to share it again.

    Scientology: Going Clear exposes more of the cult's and Tom Cruise's secrets

    Scientology exposed: In Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, Pulitzer prize-winning Lawrence Wright takes aim at Scientology, Tom Cruise and David Miscavige in his exhaustively investigated book on the cult from its founding by L. Ron Hubbard to the present day.
    • Like Like x 2
  24. Would anyone know why a handful of Scientology books are no longer available on Kindle? I went to download Lawrence Wright's book and it's not available on Kindle in the UK or US. The same for Janet Reitman's, which I bought a while back on Kindle. I can't find Addicted to Scientology either, by Vance Ashley Woodward, and his website doesn't seem to be live. Have they been pulled as a result of pressure or are they unavailable for more innocent reasons? I don't get why Wright's and Reitman's are available in hard copy but not on Kindle.
  25. wolfbane Member

    Woodward voluntarily pulled his book.

    Wright's book is showing as available for download on Kindle for me:

    So is Reitman's:
  26. Thanks very much for the links and clarifying availability. Interesting that they're not showing up for me as Kindle options. I'm in the UK and have used a (cough, cough) fake US address in the past to download ebooks from that aren't available in the UK, but they might have tightened up their systems.
  27. TrevAnon Member

    • Like Like x 1
  28. The Wrong Guy Member

    Opium eaters: Book review of ‘Going Clear’ by Lawrence Wright

    By Lisa Westerfield

    A quote attributed to P. T. Barnum is, “There is a sucker born every minute.” Although it is only my opinion, L. Ron Hubbard took advantage of extremists and suckers who wanted to expand their understanding of the world around them. Nothing about Going Clear is shocking in and of itself except for the idea that Scientology tends to go to extremes in trying to protect its reputation which ultimately is the reason why many people stay clear of it. Overall, Scientology is the pyramid scheme of tax-exempt faiths.

    Continued at
    • Like Like x 4
  29. The Wrong Guy Member

    SPIEGEL Interview with Lawrence Wright on His New Scientology Book | SPIEGEL ONLINE

    'It Is Like a Drug Trip': Author Explains Allure of Scientology

    In an interview, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright discusses his new book on Scientology, the organization's ability to manipulate people, how some followers voluntarily spend years in penal compounds and his fascination with L. Ron Hubbard.
    • Like Like x 4
  30. DeathHamster Member

    Barf! Guinness really needs to get their nose out of Scientology's butt and turn loose their fact-checkers on Scientology's claims. Hubbard never wrote 1000+ books, unless they're counting every HCOB as a book. Odds are that CoS has massively padded out the number with fluff and multiple editions of the same books (with and without semicolons).
    • Like Like x 4
  31. Anonymous Member

    They're probably also counting all the translations of each book too.
    • Like Like x 1
  32. DeathHamster Member

    Including the "translations" that could have been done better by running them through Babelfish.

    Besides, it's mostly vanity press anyway. Isaac Asimov definitely beats Hubbard in real publications.
    • Like Like x 5
  33. Anonymous Member

    • Like Like x 7
  34. Nancy Beazley Member

    Very excellent news that Wright's book nominated for National Book Awards.
    • Like Like x 2
  35. Anonymous Member

    Scientology to slavery: Nonfiction long-list for book awards
    Best-sellers "Going Clear" and "The Unwinding" made the cut for the long-list of finalists in nonfiction for the National Book…
    NEW YORK — A pair of best-selling works by staff writers for The New Yorker, Lawrence Wright's "Going Clear" and George Packer's "The Unwinding," were among 10 books chosen for the nonfiction long-list of the National Book Awards.
    Besides Wright's investigation of Scientology and Packer's
  36. Anonymous Member

  37. Anonymous Member

  38. Anonymous Member

    Yeah Larry!

    Finalists for National Book Awards Announced


    Published: October 16, 2013

    The finalists for the National Book Awards were announced on Wednesday, one month before the winners will be named at a ceremony in Manhattan.
    In fiction, the finalists are Rachel Kushner for “The Flamethrowers” (Scribner); Jhumpa Lahiri for “The Lowland” (Knopf); James McBride for “The Good Lord Bird” (Riverhead); Thomas Pynchon for “Bleeding Edge” (Penguin Press); and George Saunders for “Tenth of December” (Random House).
    The nonfiction finalists are Jill Lepore for “Book of Ages” (Knopf); Wendy Lower for “Hitler’s Furies” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); George Packer for “The Unwinding” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux); Alan Taylor for “The Internal Enemy” (Norton); and Lawrence Wright for “Going Clear” (Knopf).
    • Like Like x 3
  39. Quentinanon Member

    Lawrence Wright has an accurate understanding of the scientology organisation and expresses that eloquently in his book, Going Clear.
    My favourite book on the cult.
    • Like Like x 3

Share This Page

Customize Theme Colors


Choose a color via Color picker or click the predefined style names!

Primary Color :

Secondary Color :
Predefined Skins