Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Books Read in 2015: "Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood & the Prison of Belief" by Lawrence Wright


This book has been on my "to read" list for a while, and after watching the HBO documentary I decided to give it a go. It was good, although I've read a lot of the background information in other books about Scientology, so there wasn't much groundbreaking on that front. (I'd recommend Janet Reitman's "Inside Scientology" as a better overview of the history of the "church".)

But each time another one of these books comes out, a little bit more has changed. Some high ranking official has "blown" (i.e., left the org(anization)), or a high profile celebrity member who once touted the LRH Tech and regarded skeptical outsiders as "suppressive persons" and religious bigots has quietly moved on. Or not so quietly. This book actually started as an article in The New Yorker, "The Apostate", about writer/director Paul Haggis's very public separation from the church after more than 30 years of membership. Testimonies like his are the greatest strength of the book.