Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Book 34 - Inside Scientology

I have been sitting on two reviews for a couple of weeks now, I have never really had a difficulty in writing these reviews, even though some have been sub par at least they got done. I have always made it a personal rule to finish the review before moving on to the next book, but I read both of these when up visiting my family in the Okanagan then I just haven't been able to get my head wrapped around what I want to say about them. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy them. I found them both great reads although in very different ways. Last night I finished another book so today I will get my reviews done and no more excuses!

Scientology is a fascinating subject and one that I have spent a bit of time here and there reading about as I travelled the internet. "Inside Scientology" by Janet Reitman delves quite thoroughly into the life of L Ron Hubbard and also tells us the stories of former Scientologists. 

Reitman strives for an objective book, and although I am sure the church would still not approve of this book, I think that she succeeded in this goal. She interviewed only those who did not have any lawsuits against the church or any books of their own about the subject (at least at the time that she interviewed them). She also managed to interview a current member of the church, a young woman who consented to the interview without the permission of the church (often church officials would also attend permitted interviews) and it was nice to hear the side of a person who had positive things to say about the church as there must be some good to it or no one would be a member. 

Having learned more about it, I can now see the appeal (but also how people can be mislead and taken advantage of). Hubbard is somewhat like a Tony Robbins or a Dr Oz in that he promises an end to suffering and self help. He took it to a level that few would ever imagine or even dare to achieve. I still am amazed that so many invest tremendous amounts of money into something like this, and also how they can be a part of an organization with such a clouded past (and present as well I am sure). In the age that we live in, with information so free to us all, Scientology is no longer able to hide its secrets and it seems to be suffering because of it. Time will tell how it fares in the future, but it will be interesting to see, that's for sure. 

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