Going Clear Book Summary By Lawrence Wright

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Going Clear by Lawrence Wright is a captivating dive into the world of Scientology, its founder L.

Ron Hubbard and its controversial practices.

This eye-opening book offers an exposé on the secret history and beliefs of the Church as well as a riveting examination of its founder's complicated personal life.

Readers will discover the murky tactics employed by Scientology to deflect criticism, their fervent attempts at recruitment from celebrities, and more concerning aspects that have influenced the public’s perception of this controversial religion.

Going Clear offers an insightful and educational look into an organization whose activities are not always transparent - essential reading for anyone interested in learning about one of the most mysterious religions in existence today.

Going Clear Book

Book Name: Going Clear (Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief)

Author(s): Lawrence Wright

Rating: 4.2/5

Reading Time: 23 Minutes

Categories: Book Summaries

Author Bio

Lawrence Wright is a prolific writer with several accolades to his name.

He's a staff writer for the New Yorker, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and has written numerous critically acclaimed plays and books, including The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11.

This book earned him a Pulitzer Prize.

Most recently, he wrote Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief which offers an in-depth look into some of the more controversial aspects of Scientology.

His work is praised not only for its high quality but also its impactful content.

Uncovering The Secrets Of Scientology: How It All Began And Why Hollywood Is So Fascinated


If you’ve ever wondered about Scientology and its mysterious nature, then Going Clear is your answer.

In this book, you’ll find out the real story behind Scientology – from its founding by a dentist to why Hollywood stars like John Travolta are so devoted members.

You’ll also get an insightful look into some of the intriguing developments in Scientology’s history and practices, including psycho-therapeutic techniques, allegations of abuse and battles with governments all over the world.

Plus, you’ll discover the details of L.

Ron Hubbard’s Guinness World Record!

Going Clear gives you a comprehensive understanding of the philosophy that has captivated millions around the globe.

So be sure to read up and learn more about Scientology before diving in head first!

Is Scientology A Religion? Determining Its Tax-Exempt Status Has Proved Difficult

Scientology considers itself to be a scientific kind of religion, although it is difficult to know how many members actually follow this belief.

According to estimates, there are only about 25,000 people in the United States who label themselves as Scientologists.

In 1957, the US government officially granted Scientology religious status but ten years later the IRS ruled that Scientology was not a religion, but rather a commercial enterprise.

Unsatisfied with the decision, in 1977, church members enlisted experts on religious movements to prove the religious nature of Scientology.

Their expert witness Frank Flinn asserted that Scientology had a spiritual system of beliefs and rites and ceremonies like other religions.

It also had special powers attributed to its founder L.

Ron Hubbard which were similar to visions attributed to Jesus or Muhammad or Abraham.

Paradoxically, Scientologists maintain that their beliefs stem from science as developed by Hubbard through extensive research.

First time students are told they have entered a process of realizing scientific results such as immortality which independent experts strongly question due in part to Hubbard’s long distrust of psychiatry and its contrary theories on mindbody interaction making it difficult for objective observers both inside and outside the organization separate truth from fiction effectively institutionalizing conjecture instead of hard evidence regardless if it is presented lawfully or not when deemed unfavorable under legal duress by vested interests perpetuating perceived entitlements owed from an embattled legacy at all costs .

How Scientology Is Linked To Science Fiction Through Its Founder L

Scientology teaches that we are all immortal beings, or Thetans, born into mortal bodies.

According to their founder, L.

Ron Hubbard, 75 million years ago an evil leader named Xenu created a galactic empire in which he imprisoned these immortal beings on the prison planet Earth by planting “triggers” in their minds.

Meanwhile, they viewed a gigantic motion picture which etched images into their minds that are still present today in human consciousness.

The only way to escape this cycle of self-destruction is by means of psycho-techniques as taught by Hubbard.

By doing so, Thetans can gain access to memories from past lives and eventually realize the true nature of the universe: that we are actually immortal beings unnecessary trapped on Earth.

The Dark Tale Of The Struggling Writer Behind Scientology: Lafayette Ronald Hubbard

Ronald Hubbard

Before his crisis, L.

Ron Hubbard was an astonishingly productive science-fiction writer.

During the period of 1934 to 1936 alone, he averaged a staggering 100,000 words per month – that’s 3,333 words every day!

His literary works were so prolific that he eventually posthumously received a Guinness World Record in 2006 for having published more books than any other writer, at a total of 1,084 titles.

That being said, Hubbard did not limit himself exclusively to fictional writing.

He also produced factual texts and began seeing publication while still attending college.

Construction of a financial security cushion seemed to be on the horizon until, following his service in the Second World War and distancing from his wife and children, things took an unfortunate turn downhill for him as paranoia settled in and he entered a state of psychological distress.

Dianetics: From Concept To Controversy, Exploring L. Ron Hubbard’S Breakthrough Mental Health System

In order to heal himself, L.

Ron Hubbard developed an innovative system of psycho-techniques called Dianetics.

It was based on his own personal experiences with painful memories and their effects and featured a series of steps that he believed to be important in dealing with them.

The first step was for Hubbard to recognize and confront the sources of his pain.

For example, he faced the shame he felt from his time as a soldier by revering those memories over and over again, not wanting to deceive himself or anyone else about what happened.

The second step was for him to counter his negative feelings associated with these memories using self-hypnosis and positive statements about himself.

He would remind himself of the strengths and talents he possessed, saying things like “my physical pain isn’t real” or “I’ll live 200 years”.

He soon began treating people professionally with a process called auditing: through hypnosis they were able to bring up early treasured memories, which Hubbard would then “erase” using post-hypnotic commands.

People also reported discovering previously forgotten experiences form past lives during this process as well as overcoming them in fewer than 20 hours of treatment!

All of these techniques were eventually catalogued in the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health which was received with great success- reaching 55000 copies sold two months after its release !

The theory became essential to Scientology and without it could have easily been forgotten altogether.

How L. Ron Hubbard Founded The Church Of Scientology And How It Grew In Popularity

When L.

Ron Hubbard first began working on his popular book, Dianetics, he had no intention of founding a new religion.

But when interest in Dianetics started to fade and his foundations were forced to declare bankruptcy in 1952, Hubbard realized the potential power of a religious organization to attract and retain an audience, as well as bring in financial stability.

This was one of the main reasons why he founded the Church of Scientology in 1954—as a way to make money and gain followers.

By tapping into people’s desire for community and promises of salvation with a pre-packaged belief system, Hubbard found success that continued through the decades.

Though it was likely part of his original mission to make some cash with Scientology, it has proven much more than that now, providing structure, meaning and security for its vast community.

The Strategic Recruitment Process Of Scientology: Building Trust To Earn Conversions

Earn Conversions

When Scientologists set out to recruit prospective members, they have a plan and leave nothing to chance.

The process begins by making contact, then working to disarm any potential hostility towards Scientology.

Recruiters are trained to build rapport and instill trust with potential members, so that the person feels comfortable confiding his or her personal problems.

Once trust is established, recruiters use a specific strategy to persuade prospects to take the appropriate courses.

This could include psychological testing, drug rehabilitation through Narconon or managerial seminars offered by the Church.

With this methodical recruiting process in place, Scientologists work hard at getting new members onboard so they can start helping them solve their issues and move forward with positive change in their lives.

How Scientology Uses Celebrities To Bolster Its Image

From the very beginning, Scientology has had its sights set on celebrities.

After all, as founder L.

Ron Hubbard correctly deduced, having high-profile public figures associated with his religion would be a great way to make it look attractive and desirable.

As early as 1955 — one year after Scientology was founded — members were being urged to target famous people, such as Marlene Dietrich and Walt Disney.

In 1969, Hubbard opened the first Celebrity Center in Hollywood specifically to attract stars to Scientology.

Since then, satellite centers have been established in major cities across America and Europe — each one offering special courses and facilities meant to keep celebrity members engaged and interested in the organization.

Tom Cruise is probably the church’s most well-known member today, enjoying exclusive privileges that no other members get — from Miscavige inviting him personally to certain sites, to the organization sending members to repair and renovate his home for his 42nd birthday celebrations on board their cruise ship, The Freewinds.

It’s clear that Scientology has always placed an emphasis on recruiting famous individuals for their own benefit – and it looks like it works!

The Church of Scientology has been known to go to great lengths in order to gain political influence and fight adversaries.

Operation Snow White is an example of this, initiated in 1973 due to growing animosity coming from American and British governments as well as France supposedly planning to indict the Church for fraud.

Scientologists infiltrated 137 government agencies worldwide to seek out any unfavorable files on the Church, including major organizations such as Interpol, the national police and immigration offices.

In addition, Scientology often uses extreme methods against critics; journalist Paulette Cooper was sued nineteen times, followed and harassed, had her phone tapped and false accusations about being a prostitute and child molester sent to her neighbors.

In 1977 an FBI raid revealed a file outlining the goal of ‘Operation Freakout’, which aimed to have Cooper “incarcerated in a mental institution or jail.” This isn’t isolated incident either – according to investigative reporter Richard Behar, such threats are common occurrences when it comes to people speaking out against the organization.

The Church Of Scientology: Underlying A Veneer Of Respectability Is A Culture Of Abuse And Oppression

Culture Of Abuse

The history of Scientology is riddled with evidence of abuse.

Numerous cases of Hubbard’s barbaric behavior have recently been made public, such as his kickings of his second wife in the stomach during her pregnancy with the intent to cause a miscarriage and similar stories from his first son about physical abuse.

Then, there is evidence from 1977 when the FBI located a group of 120 individuals displayed in degrading clothing huddled together at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, which was owned by the Church.

After careful investigation, it was found that these individuals were part of Scientology’s so-called Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF) where hard labor and Hubbard’s spiritual healing techniques were used to punish members who had failed to pay for their courses taken on credit.

Although David Miscavige has denied all allegations against him, eleven former Church members have come forward and claimed they experienced physical abuse directly from him like being thrown to the ground or pushed around.

One executive was sent to the RPF where he was subjectedto run around a pole in the desert for 12 hours a day without cause or explanation.

These troubling accounts paint a picture of an organization mired in immense physical and psychological pain inflicted upon its members.

There is no doubt that the history of Scientology is peppered with evidence suggesting extreme levels of abuse within its corporate structure and hierarchical system.

Wrap Up

The book Going Clear provides a fascinating account of the history and legacy of Scientology, which is considered by many to be among today’s most enigmatic organizations.

It’s not easily labeled, as it consists of elements of a religion, secret society, gulag and celebrity meet-and-greet.

This book strips away the mystique by taking an in-depth look at the organization and its inner workings.

From examining the influence of its founder L.

Ron Hubbard to tracing its evolution from a small religion to a multi-billion dollar organization that wields considerable influence worldwide, this book offers an authoritative look into why and how Scientology affects us all.

In doing so, readers gain valuable insight into one of the most controversial institutions in modern culture.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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