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Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion

Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion

Написано Janet Reitman

Озвучено Stephen Hoye


Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion

Написано Janet Reitman

Озвучено Stephen Hoye

оценки:
4/5 (27 оценки)
Длина:
15 часов
Издатель:
Издано:
11 июл. 2011 г.
ISBN:
9781452673257
Формат:

Описание

Scientology, created in 1954 by a prolific sci-fi writer named L. Ron Hubbard, claims to be the world's fastest-growing religion, with millions of members around the world and huge financial holdings. Its celebrity believers keep its profile high, and its teams of "volunteer ministers" offer aid at disaster sites such as Haiti and the World Trade Center. But Scientology is also a notably closed faith, harassing journalists and others through litigation and intimidation, even infiltrating the highest levels of government to further its goals. Its attacks on psychiatry and its requirement that believers pay as much as tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars for salvation have drawn scrutiny and skepticism. And ex-members use the Internet to share stories of harassment and abuse.



Now Janet Reitman offers the first full journalistic history of the Church of Scientology, in an even-handed account that at last establishes the astonishing truth about the controversial religion. She traces Scientology's development from the birth of Dianetics to today, following its metamorphosis from a pseudoscientific self-help group to a worldwide spiritual corporation with profound control over its followers and even ex-followers.



Based on five years of research, unprecedented access to church officials, confidential documents, and extensive interviews with current and former Scientologists, this is the defining book about a little-known world.
Издатель:
Издано:
11 июл. 2011 г.
ISBN:
9781452673257
Формат:

Об авторе

JANET REITMAN is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone. Her work has appeared in GQ, Men's Journal, the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine, and the Washington Post, among other publications. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University, and was a finalist for a National Magazine Award in 2007 for the story "Inside Scientology."


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  • (5/5)
    A must read for anyone who has ever heard of Scientology. Could barely put it down when I started. Scientology is not a religion, it is business that preys on people's weaknesses. I just hope Scientology continues its downward slide in popularity.
  • (4/5)
    Those poor people.
  • (4/5)
    Very good run-down and history of Scientology, and not the polemic like too many of these books can be.

    Whether it's deemed a self-help phenomena/practice or a religion, Scientology seems to help some people. Alas, there's far more people decrying its negative practices at the higher ends.

    It's only cemented my opinion that the guys in charge (both LR Hubbard & David Miscavige) were/are narcisstic and petty and egalomaniacal to serious extremes and have little connection with what their alleged religion espouses.
  • (3/5)
    This is a thorough discussion of L Ron Hubbard, the origin of the Church of Scientology, and the activities of the Church of Scientology from an insider's perspective. The level of detail is sometimes too much but it proves the veracity of the information provided. The information provided appears to be from past members, some of which were in positions of authority. I learned a lot about Scientology. The bottom line is that it is a scam that preys on the naive. The church sucks money and service from its adherents. Those sucked into this cult are brainwashed and coerced into continued involvement by peer pressure or sometimes brutal tactics. I recommend the book to anyone curious about Scientology.
  • (2/5)
    Seriously I cannot brains the people who blindly follow the religion invented by someone who failed to show the real virtue in life - the Hubbard himself screwing his life, doing immoral things (cheating his wife and his wife cheating him, too), etc. So how on earth people could ever worshiping this man, after bunch of immoral thing surrounded his life? Where's gone the good exemplar?

    Seriously insane and unimaginable!
  • (5/5)
    The confirmed facts alone are cause for nightmares. They implemented (and were convicted of) an extensive plan to overtake the U.S. government - making Watergate look like child's play. They so harassed IRS agents (stalked them, intimidated their families, filed thousands of law suits against them individually) that we just gave them the distinction out of fear. A group that believes aliens inhabit our bodies based on the writings of a science fiction author is not a religion - it's a cult. God has no place in Scientology.
  • (3/5)
    The book was very enlightening and I'm glad I read it. It's one of those books where the truth might lie in a fuzzy cloud. I do believe Scientology is much like a cult and will steal all your money but was it responsible for the death of a member? Did it throw people overboard? How much of this is factual or just ideas? I can say that before reading this book, my knowledge of the subject was strictly based on South Park and hearsay but now I feel I grasp a better understanding. This understanding has actually scared me a little. Biggest cult ever? Yes. Read the book if you like controversy and sociology, it's quite interesting to say the least.
  • (4/5)
    A brilliant investigation into a little-understood and culturally significant contemporary religion. If you want to understand all of the references in the latest Tom-Cruise-Katie-Holmes-divorce-stories to things like "the Sea Org," this book will fill you in. More importantly, if you want to see the journey from inspiration to idea to institution to insane-protection-of-said-institution, this is the book for you. Makes one wonder about religions, ideologies, institutions well beyond Scientology. I was fascinated...often horrified, but fascinated nonetheless.
  • (2/5)
    Read from February 12 to September 01, 2013In February when I started this one, I was very curious about Scientology. Now it's May, I'm 53 pages in and I am VERY bored learning about Hubbard. Maybe I'll read a couple more chapters eventually, but it's been three months...It's September...it's been 7 months. I'm 78 pages in and I've realized I don't really care about Scientology. I learned from the first 3 chapters that it is, in fact, as crazy as I thought it was. This one is being shelved as unfinished (which is a bummer since I paid at least $3 for this ebook).
  • (4/5)
    Scientology, created in 1954 by a prolific sci-fi writer named L. Ron Hubbard, claims to be the world’s fastest growing religion, with millions of members around the world and huge financial holdings. Its celebrity believers keep its profile high, and its teams of “volunteer ministers” offer aid at disaster sites such as Haiti and the World Trade Center. But Scientology is also a notably closed faith, harassing journalists and others through litigation and intimidation, even infiltrating the highest levels of the government to further its goals. Its attacks on psychiatry and its requirement that believers pay as much as tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars for salvation have drawn scrutiny and skepticism. And ex-members use the Internet to share stories of harassment and abuse. Now Janet Reitman offers the first full journalistic history of the Church of Scientology, in an evenhanded account that at last establishes the astonishing truth about the controversial religion. She traces Scientology’s development from the birth of Dianetics to today, following its metamorphosis from a pseudoscientific self-help group to a worldwide spiritual corporation with profound control over its followers and even ex-followers. Based on five years of research, unprecedented access to Church officials, confidential documents, and extensive interviews with current and former Scientologists, this is the defining book about a little-known world.
  • (3/5)
    It is what it is, the book and what the book is about. The whole deal felt as trashy as fleece pants but I couldn't stop listening. And it made me feel dirty. Reitman's use of the paint-by-the-numbers journalistic nonfiction rulebook serves her purpose well but probably won't get her the same hysterical praise as other popular nonfiction writers that write no better or worse than her about creepy subjects.
  • (3/5)
    I will confess that the only reason I picked this book up in the first place was because I wanted to learn if there was any truth to the story (which I love) that Heinlein and Hubbard sat down one night and bet each other that they could each make up a religion and have a huge number of bona fide believing converts in 5 years. Heinlein's Church of All Worlds didn't really take off like Hubbard's Scientology. Sadly, Reitman doesn't mention this story, though this will not prevent me from continuing to tell it.

    I soldiered on, despite my disappointment, and was rendered speechless with horror any number of times. I am not a religious type, and I find all of the religions I know anything in-depth about deeply weird, but the Scientologists are batshit. I knew about the aliens. I didn't know about the billion-year contracts, or the tossing people overboard from the yacht for minor infractions. Or the locking them up, or the letting them die from dehydration resulting from psychosis brought on by "auditing". I knew about the money, the corporate model, but not how punishingly avaricious the church was with its rank and file.

    It was a fascinating book on a lot of levels. My only minor quibble is that I didn't get a real feel for what, exactly, the devotees get from the various classes/auditings/e-meters & etc. I got a clear picture of the trauma, of the betrayals, of the reporting on one another, of the keeping of files on people- but I really have no understanding of what benefits (and there must be some) there are.
  • (4/5)
    An impressively researched story - good journalism about a modern 'religion' and its secretive and destructive means. Also has good background on the cult's dirty history, about the mercurial personality of its leader, as well as the abuses and aggressive hounding of its members. Useful.
  • (3/5)
    Detailed but not insightful; really the only interesting thing about this book is the sheer amount of information about the Church of Scientology that Reitman was able to dig up.
  • (4/5)
    Reitman’s look at the history of Scientology provides a good background and fills in the more sensationalized version of the story to make it, if possible, even more disturbing. Actually, the “Xenu the galactic overlord” part isn’t even the craziest or worst thing described. Reitman tries to be balanced by discussing some of the positives about Scientology and noting that much of her information comes from former and disgruntled members of the church. She also describes the appeal of many aspects of the church (at least initially for some) as well as the charisma and attraction of its founder. However, it’s difficult to be balanced as the history of L. Ron Hubbard is very spotty and can be easily contrasted to the overly positive portrait of him in the religion. His successor, David Miscavige, comes of as extremely controlling and creepy. Even so, much of the negative culture associated with Scientology – extreme litigiousness, ill-treatment of members, a constant push for profit – started with Hubbard. The first parts of the book focus on Hubbard’s life. Some of the episodes that have been subsequently blown out of proportion, like his military service, are examined in detail. The picture that comes through is one of a charismatic and ambitious con man. Hubbard’s career as a churn-it-out sci-fi writer later led to the publication of Dianetics, a self-help book with some elements that now sound, frankly, crazy but that Reitman puts in context of a number of flourishing self-help ideas, religions and cults. Some of the creepy (or unintentionally hilarious) bits are quotes taken from Hubbard’s writing – for example, his assertion that the average woman had multiple self-induced abortions or the trauma caused by an incident known as “The Clam”. Dianetics made Hubbard briefly rich but he was unable to control the practice. This experience would make him extremely controlling with all the Scientology branches and tech as well as litigious. Dianetics set forth the reason for people’s problems – past traumas that had to be worked through and cleared in auditing sessions, which had to be paid for, of course. After the Dianetics fad ended, Hubbard came back with Dianetics plus – Scientology. Many of the ideas were the similar but the notorious E-meter was used and various sci-fi aspects filtered into the new movement. People had to pay to be audited, pay to set up a branch of Scientology, pay part of the money they received from auditing, pay for the tech, and so on. The evolution of the church from one stocked by 60’s idealists to a tightly controlled, hierarchical structure under the increasingly paranoid Hubbard is mostly related by a high up ex-member. It would have been nice to have multiple sources for this but Reitman did note that she had cross-checked as much as she could and interviewed a wide range of people. Later, describing the elite Sea Org and Hubbard’s Messengers, Reitman has stories from multiple Scientologists. Sometimes the organization of the church could be confusing as there were so many branches and acronyms and titles. Hubbard was quite paranoid but there was opposition to the church – both from people concerned about its cult-like aspects and the government, as Scientologists did things like harass the IRS and break into government buildings. The description of the controlling behavior by Hubbard and others certainly sounds like a cult. Hubbard continually moved around, trying to find a base for Scientology, at times running it from a ship that was always on the move. In his later years, he was almost a caricature of a wealthy, crazy recluse. One of his most trusted underlings was the ambitious David Miscavige.After Hubbard’s death, Miscavige moved quickly to take power, rolling over his rivals and expelling anyone who opposed him. He continued Hubbard’s policy of harsh retaliation against ‘enemies’ and used lawsuits and harassment. He also tried to increase Scientology’s reach with various campaigns – new marketing efforts, outreach to celebrities, charities and good works. The church also made a hard push to be granted tax-exempt status and Reitman’s opinion seems to be that it was a mistake and a response to the harassment of the IRS. The more recent history of Scientology is told through the personal stories of several famous and ordinary people – Lisa McPherson, a longtime devoted Scientologist who died under mysterious circumstances and whose death led to a criminal investigation, celebrities like John Travolta and Tom Cruise, and defectors high up in the organization as well as some who grew up in the church and are still Scientologists. Through the McPherson story, Reitman describes the development of Clearwater – the Florida town that became a Scientologist base, with tensions between the locals and the church. McPherson’s story also illustrates the high cost (social and financial) of her rise in the church as well as the tight-knit but controlling community. Cruise and Travolta have been ridiculed for their involvement with the church but Reitman’s description of how Miscavige and the church chased and pressured celebrities is a bit creepy. Miscavige comes off even worse in the stories of former high-ranking Scientologists – he lounged in luxury while the staff worked around the clock for meager pay, he was paranoid and had poor managerial skills, and he became violent and cruel which set off another round of purges and defections. The Scientology community is shown in a good and bad light from two women, one of whom left the church and strained her relationship with the family. The other woman remained in the church but went to college and is shown as poised, intelligent and clear-eyed about the good and bad aspects of Scientology. With the instant connection and anonymity of the internet, many of the secrets of Scientology have been leaked. It has also allowed former Scientologists to connect. There’s not much of a religion outside the official church, but Reitman shows the start of some Scientologists outside of Scientology. Very interesting and detailed portrait of a secretive religion. The author tries hard to be balanced, but the book will probably make you Google map your nearest Church of Scientology and resolve to avoid it.
  • (4/5)
    This book offers a fairly thorough look at the history and current state of Scientology, based in large part on information from former Scientologists (many of them high-ranking), as well as at least one unmonitored interview with a still-practicing member. Reitman has, perhaps wisely, chosen not to use outspoken critics of the church as sources, believing that people who have generally been quieter about their experiences in Scientology are likely to provide a less biased account. The book is divided into four parts. Part I offers a detailed history of Scientology, from its origin as a gleam in L. Ron Hubbard's eye in the 1950s, through a period of growth and scandal in the 1970s. Part II takes the story through the 80s and into the early 90s, including massive changes in the structure of the organization after Hubbard's death. Part III focuses on the case of Lisa McPherson, who, as "treatment" for a psychotic break, was confined to a room in a Scientology-run hotel for many days, where she eventually died. The Scientologists were accused of neglecting to provide proper care for her, despite her deteriorating physical condition, but nothing ever came to trial. Part IV takes Scientology to the present day, including its rise in popularity among Hollywood stars and its careful recruitment of Tom Cruise. It also offers the perspective of a third-generation Scientologist still in the movement, and describes the experiences of several people who left the organization in response to its leader's erratic behavior and what they describe as an "Orwellian" atmosphere.The tone here generally feels very even and not at all sensationalistic, but the picture Reitman paints of Scientology is strange and often quite disturbing. It's also sociologically fascinating. Over the course of the book, I found myself asking all kinds of interesting questions. What is Scientology, really? A religion? A cult? A business? A self-help movement? A pseudoscience? A scam? All of the above? How similar is it to mainstream religions, really, in its origins or its techniques for controlling its parishioners? What should the limits on freedom of religion be, and does Scientology push those limits too far? Why do some people find spiritual value in what to others sounds plain old crazy? The book doesn't directly address these questions, and it certainly doesn't offer any answers, but it does provoke a great deal of thought. I would, perhaps, have liked a little more exploration of the day-to-day experience of life as a Scientologist. I'm particularly curious about the details of what goes on in the "auditing sessions" that form the backbone of everyday Scientology, and which Reitman discusses only in very vague terms. Still, even without that, it's an interesting and eye-opening read.
  • (4/5)
    Very well researched and written.
  • (5/5)
    Good book that sheds light on the origin, background and current state of Scientology. A lot of facts I didn't know about - quite shocking. The author really just touches on the key principles of Scientology doctrine. I would like to see more deep analysis of Hubbard's teachings - although it is probably a subject of a separate book.