Congratulations to our second winner, Guildenstern, he’ll have his choice of the remaining books in this year’s giveaway! The giveaway continues this week! Lav your comments below and you’ll entered to win a book of your choice from the list. Below is another short review for one of the books in the giveaway, Going Clear. This review originally appeared in the San Francisco and Sacramento Book Review.
Lawrence Wright, a New Yorker staff writer best known for his study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack, The Looming Tower, has just published his latest book, Going Clear. If you thought his previous work was daring and provocative Going Clear is going to shock you. Going Clear is a detailed, exhaustive history of America’s youngest homegrown religion, Scientology, and its founder,science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard. Wright’s dive into the enigmatic Hubbard and the religion he created, with it’s seemingly bizarre cosmology and ecclesiastical jargon, leads him to an even more troubling subject: Religion. What is a religion, how do we decide, what does it mean to believers? As Wright attempts to answer these questions for himself and his readers he introduces his readers to the complicated and turbulent history of the Church of Scientology from the internal struggle for power after Hubbard’s death to its recruitment of Hollywood royalty, and it’s decades long fight with various branches of the United States government. Wright does not shy from the controversial aspects of Scientology, but nor does he irrationally attack the church, its leaders, or followers. He presents the information he has in a powerful narrative that is damning all on its own.
Addendum: What I found most sinister about the church of Scientology, as presented in the book, are the numerous disappearances of members to remote locations where they are kept in worse than prison like conditions… All at these members own volition?!