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

Book cover of Going Clear - black with white lettering
Lawrence Wright
4
Monday, Sep 30, 2013

Lawrence Wright’s journalistic writing is the perfect voice for the subject of Scientology. In the hands of most other writers, Scientology would float into the ether, a dark and unfathomable history left unread by sensible readers. That said, though Wright offers Scientology an even-handed approach, his book is full of strange stories, made stranger when compared to the seemingly (sometimes) sane and healthy lives of people who are associated with Scientology.

Wright’s aim, he tells us, is to “learn something about what might be called the process of belief.” He describes in detail the experience of Scientology members, its origins, its development into a religion with tax-exempt status and its great wealth. Most fascinating are the people who remain Scientologists despite awful treatment and the descriptions that suggest why such an incomprehensible choice was made. This book would appeal to anyone who shares Wright’s curiosity about belief. That normal people get involved with an organization steeped in crazy sauce is perhaps the question to answer, and Wright gives it a fantastic effort.

Michelle H.

Written by Michelle H.

Fun fact: I once knew someone who held the world record for leaning the farthest forward with her feet flat on the floor.