Book twenty-nine, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright, was lent to me by my sister. It’s brand new, so I’m kind of cheating. Ok, I’m totally cheating, but the book was fascinating.
Going Clear is an investigation into Scientology, the religion founded by L. Ron Hubbard. Drawing from interviews, court cases, public records, and historical accounts, the book gives a biography of L. Ron Hubbard, a history of the Church of Scientology, its involvement in Hollywood, and some of the darker aspects of the organization. Numerous footnotes give more details or opposing views of events.
The book is well researched, with hundreds of sources and interviews. It strives to be balanced, and for the most part, it is, but there are parts where a bias against Scientology creeps in. I found it fascinating, disturbing, and a bit frightening. The writing style was a bit rough, though. It jumps around in time in a manner that is confusing, and the organization of the points of the novel is odd. The Epilogue, to me, is the best part of the book. It ties together all of the facts and accounts, and gives a nice, balanced overview.