Inside Scientology

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright descirbes 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 [16]

adrienne from UWS

It's hard for me to believe that people can't make a distinction between Scientology and the tradition religions, no matter how flawed...I'm waiting for their great piety, culture, art, literature, music, their great ethics and morality.

It's the voice of the Hebrew Prophets that speaks out against evil, let's listen to them.

May. 01 2013 09:37 AM
kevin from ULS

...doesn't speak well regarding the intellect of the average celebrity,does it...

Apr. 30 2013 06:52 PM

@ JT from LI, 12:53 p.m.,:

Excellent refutation of "michael from NYC"s simplistic, reflexive inanity.

Apr. 30 2013 01:16 PM
JT from LI

@michael from NYC
Here's Parker of what I was referring to. It's an old 60 minutes broadcast so the quality is pretty bad:

Apr. 30 2013 01:03 PM
JT from LI

@michael from nyc
Looking at religions from the start I don't that the Catholic or any other church started out as a get rich quick scheme. Some started as a seemingly sincere belief in something spiritual. In that sense Scientology is very different.

I don't know any Scientologists but I know people from many other faiths. They all seem to get something important out of their faith without having to pay for the privilege. The main requirement for Scientology seems to paying for it. The use of phony technology to further people's dependence on the group goes far beyond what other faiths do. Also, quitting the Catholic Church doesn't get a bunch of lawyers after you. Speaking negatively of most churches doesn't lead to smear campaigns against you. I read that Scientologists even planned to murder a writer that wrote a book about them in the '70s. If I can track down the article I'll post the link in a few minutes

Apr. 30 2013 12:53 PM
michael from NYC

JT -- Does scientology own entire countries the way the Catholic chirch did? Does it control entire armies and launch invasions that kill millions that way the church did> ? Did L ron Hubbard sleep on a golden-pillow the way the pope did??? NO. So who is the bigger scam-artist???? Not even close.

Apr. 30 2013 12:34 PM
Henry from Manhattan

Yes… Why do people commit themselves to stories that sound so outrageous?

Wait, are we still just talking about Scientology?

Apr. 30 2013 12:32 PM
michael from NYC

Yes Leonard, the story of Jesus doesn't sound ridiculous at all... No, the Book of Genesis isn't ridiculous at all, WOW how BAISED do you get???! I can't believe he just said that....

Apr. 30 2013 12:31 PM
JT from LI

@michael from nyc
As an atheist I generally agree with you, but Scientology seems to be a more blatant money making scam than others.

Apr. 30 2013 12:30 PM
JT from LI

I've always wondered at what level do people realize its a scam. I can see new members being fooled into believing for various reasons, but the "therapists" using the e-meters must know that it's bogus.

Apr. 30 2013 12:23 PM
michael from NYC

Yes, let's all blame Scientology for making money off its followers and claiming prophetic revelations.... how dare they! The Christian church never did that..... the Jewish leaders never did that..... Hindus never extracted money and alms from their followers... Buddhists just built gold statures of Buddha out of thin air...... ITS ALL BULLSHIT.

Apr. 30 2013 12:18 PM
michael from nyc

As an atheist I can't stand the religion vs cult debate.... ALL RELIGION IS A CULT. How can one argue between sets of magical beliefs? Because one is older than another??? Ridiculous and biased views show how small-minded ALL religion is. Its 2013, lets get real.

Apr. 30 2013 12:12 PM
Henry from Manhattan

Ed from Larchmont asked:
“Does Scientology make any claims at all about God? Does it mention or believe in God at all? (If not, is it a religion?)”

No. That’s what gives it greater credibility over other religions. (rimshot!)

Apr. 30 2013 12:11 PM

I tried reading a copy of 'Dianetics' 40 years ago. It struck me as just so much 50's era electrical engineering text packaged to look like self-help. I have just finished listening to the audiobook of 'Going Clear...' on Sunday. Great work.

The religious exemption granted by the IRS certainly needs to be repealed. It is not even run like a non-profit! The tactic that Hubbard and scientology does is closely analogous to a DDOS attack - distributed denial of service. They flood the supposed offending individual or organization with so many nuisance lawsuits that there are no clicks left to do 'real work'. Nothing would please me more than for Anonymous to clip their wings. [even though some of Anonymous' tactics are odious.]

Tommy Davis and his wife appear to be out of the church's leadership. Do you know if this is because he took his own logical analysis of the implication of Hubbard's fraudulent naval records to heart?

Lastly, in your opinion to what degree was Hubbard insane versus just a huckster running a con.

Thanks for you work.

Apr. 30 2013 09:22 AM
David Drumheller from New Mexico

Hubbard emphatically said that it was not a religion. He said that the religious aspect was there for the accountants and the lawyers. The head of the IRS, Fred Goldberg, under tremendous pressure from lawsuits, decided it was a religion though the Supreme Court said it was not. Critics call it religious cloaking. And, no, they don't talk much about God, leaving the notion up to the individual. It is not a religion in Canada, France, Britain, Germany and most other countries that give tax advantages to religions.

Apr. 30 2013 06:18 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Does Scientology make any claims at all about God? Does it mention or believe in God at all? (If not, is it a religion?)

Apr. 30 2013 05:47 AM

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