Going Clear (Books: My Favorite Movies!)

Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of BeliefGoing Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've always found the topic of Scientology as a religion and social movement and its enigmatic founder L. Ron Hubbard a fascinating if a touch disturbing. While I'm sure there are a great many Scientologists out there who would find this book deeply upsetting and would dispute every word of it, its quite thoroughly sourced and even provides a substantial amount of real-estate to the various rebuttals and responses Scientology functionaries have given over the years to the events this book covers. Even though I've researched these subjects before, it's an exhaustive and authoritative investigation of L. Ron Hubbard's personal history, the founding of Scientology, and its checkered and complex history up to the modern day. A great deal of it was eye-opening, especially the personal stories of so many former Scientologists and members of the church's "Sea Org" that the author has clearly conducted extensive interviews with. It's an excellent read for people who not only want to know about Scientology specifically, but who have any interest in modern social movements and how new religions form and grow in the modern age, warts and all.

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