Written by a Pulitzer Prize-winning author Going Clear is based on more than two hundred personal interviews with both current and former Scientologists –both famous and less well known–and years of archival research. Lawrence Wright uncovers the inner workings of the Church of Scientology from its origins in the imagination of science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard to its struggles to find acceptance as a legitimate religion around the globe.
Wright centers the book on two leaders of Scientology. L. Ron Hubbard whose mind invented a new religion tailor-made for the spiritually troubled post-World War II era. And his successor, David Miscavige who had the unenviable task of preserving the church in the face of ongoing scandals and continual legal assaults after Hubbard’s death.
We learn about Scientology’s esoteric cosmology; about the auditing process that determines an inductee’s state of being; about the Bridge to Total Freedom, through which members gain eternal life. We see the ways in which the church pursues celebrities, such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, and how young idealists who joined the Sea Org, the church’s clergy, whose members often enter as children, signing up with a billion-year contract and working with little pay in poor conditions. We meet men and women “disconnected” from friends and family by the church’s policy of shunning critical voices. And we discover, through many firsthand stories, the violence that has long permeated the inner sanctum of the church.
In Going Clear, Wright examines what fundamentally makes a religion a religion and has given us an evenhanded book that uncovers the very essence of what makes Scientology the institution it is.
Bruce Campbell is probably best know for his “sidekick” roles in Burn Notice, Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules tv series. He also starred in a couple of short-lived action comedy series: The Adventures of Brisco County Jr and Jack of All Trades. In this autobiography, Bruce Campbell takes you along on his journey from a kid in Detroit, Michigan who loved to make 8mm movies with classmate Sam Raimi to his “blue-color” career in Hollywood. Detailed chapters take you along for the ride as he and other Detroit “boys” make their first feature-length horror film, they produced, Sam directed and Bruce acted in, Evil Dead. If your a fan of his tv career you won’t be surprised that Campbell opts for humor over deep reflection in his descriptions of his work in Hollywood.
Best known to people of my generation as Jim Rockford a detective with a big heart and a since of humor, here’s his life story from Garner himself. He left home at the age of 14 after suffering physical abuse at the hands of his stepmother and tried a lot of jobs and served in the Korean War before trying acting. He was part of the end of the studio system where actors “belonged” to a studio and were paid a weekly rate no matter how many movies, tv shows, appearances etc., you were doing that week or how much the studio made from your work. He worked alongside Julie Andrews, Marlon Brando, Clint Eastwood, Audrey Hepburn and Steve McQueen. Garner became a star in his own right, despite struggles with stage fright and depression. He relates his acting career, family life and shares his personal beliefs including that he’s “a card-carrying liberal—and proud of it,” and much more. Interesting stories from a man who overcame a poor homelife as a child … because what’s the alternative … and became a well-known movie and TV star.