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Publisher Description

National Book Award Finalist

A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower, the now-classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack. Based on more than two hundred personal interviews with current and former Scientologists—both famous and less well known—and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative ability to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology.

At the book’s center, two men whom Wright brings vividly to life, showing how they have made Scientology what it is today: The darkly brilliant science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, whose restless, expansive mind invented a new religion. And his successor, David Miscavige—tough and driven, with the unenviable task of preserving the church after the death of Hubbard.

We learn about Scientology’s complicated cosmology and special language. We see the ways in which the church pursues celebrities, such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, and how such stars are used to advance the church’s goals. And we meet the young idealists who have joined the Sea Org, the church’s clergy, signing up with a billion-year contract.

In Going Clear, Wright examines what fundamentally makes a religion a religion, and whether Scientology is, in fact, deserving of this constitutional protection. Employing all his exceptional journalistic skills of observation, understanding, and shaping a story into a compelling narrative, Lawrence Wright has given us an evenhanded yet keenly incisive book that reveals the very essence of what makes Scientology the institution it is.

Religion & Spirituality
January 17
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

acarpender ,

Going clear

This is a very informative book and I believe every word of it...Scientology is set up so that you don't question the things within the religion that don't feel right...I know, I was in it for 10 years...What a waste of my time and money! There are so many self help books out there that would help in the same ways...

My question, how is it that Travolta and Cruise be so naive?

Kate_2476 ,

Not what you expect

If your looking for another run of the mill anti-religion, Scientology bashing "tell all" then your in for a disappointment. This is an unbiased look into the good and the bad of the church. It explores how the church actually does deserve its title as a religion.

grandmamamarazzi ,

A page turner

I almost didn't buy this one because I was so saturated with ex Scientologists stories. I'm glad I did. The enhanced version is wonderful and he doesn't take sides. Such a pleasant change. It is a shame that the Scientologists who are forced to review this book are not allowed to read it.

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