Lawrence Wright on Scientology

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright investigates the inner workings of the Church of Scientology. His book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and Prison of Belief is based on more than 200 personal interviews with current and former Scientologists and years of archival research. He looks at Scientology’s leaders—the science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, who invented the new religion, and his successor, David Miscavige. He also describes the ways the church pursues celebrities and uses them to advance the church’s goals.


Lawrence Wright

Comments [17]

Mary McConnell

What an excellent interview! Nonstop informative. Thank you.

Jan. 24 2013 10:14 PM
Josh from New York

I did a bit of research about the young man Wright wrote about in his book.It is truly a horrific and heartbreaking story. So many lives ruined.Rest in peace Kyle Brennan.

Kyle Brennan - Anybody's Child - Ex Scientologist Message Board

Jan. 24 2013 04:47 PM
oscar from ny

My best art works was copied from my dreams,..i also learned from Scientology that i was or will become after this life a fly.
The Goddess Sheba daughter of God told me this in my dreams, but somehow i always knew it..

Jan. 23 2013 12:51 PM
Ed from Larchmont

I guess the question is: did he do this to make money, or knowingly, or, like Sun Yoong Moon (sp?), was he mentally ill?

Jan. 23 2013 12:42 PM

I'm curious - has Mr. Wright read Kate Bornstein's account of life in the Sea Org and subsequent separation from her family?

Jan. 23 2013 12:39 PM
antonio from alderaan

Wow. Operation "snow-white?"

If you want to become a jedi-knight, please contact me at.....

sorry I couldn't resist...

Jan. 23 2013 12:37 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

John from Washington Heights - If this was an interview with Archbishop Dolan, many of us would be picking on Roman Catholicism, too. All "organized" religion is mythology.

Jan. 23 2013 12:36 PM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

It sounds to me like a combination of things:

1. Hubbard was delusional (Thetans)
2. Jungian (past lives)
3. Mormanism (outer space)
4. A mishmash of made-up science fiction

Those four things thrown into a huge salad bowl, well tossed, and presented as a religious package. This can only appeal to people who have no formal religious training or scientific background and are unable to think critically and logically. Very sad.

Jan. 23 2013 12:36 PM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

Have Scientologist lawyers come after Mr. Wright? They take legal action at any negative mention of their organization.

Jan. 23 2013 12:34 PM
John from Washington Heights

As an atheist,the thing I don't understand is why everyone seems to want to pick on Scientology. Yes, it is totally ridiculous but so are all the major religions of the world. They all ask us to believe completely made up magical stories and they all punish what they consider to be the heretics threatening their existence.

Jan. 23 2013 12:27 PM
Danielle Jensen

Even though this religion sounds bizarre to many including me,especially the "science fiction" aspect, if someone started a religion today based on some christain beliefs like emmaculate conception, angels speaking to humans, different miracles in the bible,etc.,in all fairness I can't help but believe that this established religion,in addition to others with equally questionable ideas, would be looked askance at, if not with down right ridicule. I mean no offense to anyones beliefs.

Jan. 23 2013 12:25 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

Please ask the author whether he's experienced the (personal or otherwise) usual threats of "the church" in publishing the book, for which they are famous.

Jan. 23 2013 12:24 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

But Ed--Scientology enjoys the tax-free status of "real" churches. That alone should fill most people with a bit of rage. But they're definitely following the Roman Catholics on the acquisition of real estate; when the lawsuits fly, that's solid capital!

Jan. 23 2013 12:22 PM
Ed from Larchmont

It's interesting. When people get away from real religion, they still have the longing for God. So they find themselves in these off-the-road areas.

Jan. 23 2013 12:17 PM
Ed from Larchmont

My guess is that Scientology is a method of self improvement, of aiming at personal perfection through one's own effort. Is that accurate?

Jan. 23 2013 12:11 PM
Linda from Jersey Shore

Excellent book! I'm in the middle of it now and I'm really enjoying it. It's crazy that ANYONE followed LRon Hubbard after reading your synopsis of his life. But the scariest part I have read so far is the young life of David Miscavige. He is one frightening human.

Jan. 23 2013 12:10 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Technically it's not a 'church' since it doesn't have the Eucharist, and I don't think it would be called an 'ecclesiastical association' because it doesn't confess Christ. Hmm.

Jan. 23 2013 12:02 PM

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