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Katiebabs is a self-proclaimed present day bluestocking with her head always in a book. She runs her own book blog called Babbling about Books and More!

Review: Going Clear

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

This is one of the most fascinating and disturbing non-fiction books I've ever read. For anyone who thinks Scientology is a real religion, you need to read Going Clear. It's a scary cult, run by money and power hungry people who could be compare to crazed dictators. The amount of research and real life testaments to those who were in Scientology and then left in fear of their lives is an amazing feat by Wright.

L. Ron Hubbard is a false prophet who had delusions of grandeur. He was a bigamist, a wife beater, fraud and liar. He was a science fiction writer who must have had an incredible persona in order to get people to follow him and let him start a so called religion that believes aliens are the one true saviors and created the Earth as we know it. He was a sick man who became something large for no reason that can be explained. How in the world did Dianetics, which I've never read, sell over 20 million copies? By the time he died, Scientology became this scary thing that uses threats and bullying to get people to do what they want. Auditing, (much confession) if they are Catholic, tells a priest all their sins is used against them if they decided to leave the "church" of Scientology. How in the world the IRS gave Scientology tax exemption because it's considered a religious institution is beyond me.

The most fascinating was the Hollywood section, where so many Hollywood elites are Scientologist. Why these people are susceptible to Scientology doesn't make any sense. The author has great praise of screenwriter Paul Haggis, whose own story about why he joined Scientology and left after 35 years is the basis for this book. Paul's story isn't sugarcoated and he's very honest about his failings. Also, John Travolta is treated very well here, and he comes across as a very nice person. It makes sense why he joined Scientology when he did, which is explained. Tom Cruise is mentioned, but his part in Scientology is handled carefully. The author did respect Tom, and the author believes Tom and John cannot leave Scientology because of their secrets, which again is all revealed through auditing. David Miscavige is shown as a monster, a true sociopath.

The most harrowing stories are the ones who left. These poor people wanted to believe in something and turned to Scientology to help them live a better life. Instead they were broken and hunted, losing hundreds of thousands, if not close to a million dollars to break away.

Going Clear is chilling and shocking, and it will give you the creeps. It will leave you shaking your head and looking over your shoulder in fear for Xenu and those who follow this cult. The one question remains- Why would anyone join Scientology?