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

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

by Janet Reitman


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“A masterful piece of reporting . . . Reitman tells a spellbinding story of a larger-than-life personality whose quirks, ticks and charisma shaped America’s newest homegrown religious movement.” — Washington Post

Scientology is known for its celebrity believers and its team of “volunteer ministers” at disaster sites such as the World Trade Center; its notably aggressive response to criticism or its attacks on psychiatry; its requirement that believers pay as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars to reach the highest levels of salvation. But for all its notoriety, Scientology has remained America’s least understood new religion, even as it has been one of its most successful.

Now Janet Reitman tells its riveting full story in the first objective modern history of Scientology, at last revealing the astonishing truth about life within the controversial religion for its members and ex-members. Based on five years of research, confidential documents, and extensive interviews with current and former Scientologists, this is an utterly compelling work of nonfiction and the defining work on an elusive faith.

“A meticulously researched history and revealing exposé, a frightening portrait of a religion that many find not just controversial, but dangerous.” — Boston Globe

“This book is fearless.” — Wall Street Journal

A New York Times Notable Book Best Books of 2011, Nonfiction
San Francisco Chronicle Top Ten of 2011

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547750354
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 08/06/2013
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 339,487
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

JANET REITMAN is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone. Her work has appeared in GQ, Men's Journal, the Los Angeles Times Sunday MagazineMarie Claire, 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."

Table of Contents

Introduction: The World's Fastest-Growing Religion ix

Part I

1 The Founder 3

2 Dianetics 22

3 The Franchised Faith 39

Part II

4 The Bridge to Total Freedom 67

5 Travels with the Commodore 89

6 Over the Rainbow 111

7 DM 125

8 Power Is Assumed 146

Part III

9 Lisa 175

10 Flag 192

11 Seventeen Days 208

12 The Greatest Good 224

Part IV

13 The Celebrity Strategy 253

14 The Seduction of Tom Cruise 272

15 The Bubble 295

16 Int 316

17 Exodus 337

Epilogue: What Is True for You 355

Notes 371

Selected Bibliography 414

Acknowledgments 423

Index 426

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"A detailed and readable examination of the life of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the church, and his successor, David Miscavige." —-Publishers Weekly

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Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 60 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"inside scientology" is a very hard to put down book. the writer has done an amazing job researching this questianable organization for over many years interviewing many former members of the church of scientology and how this group has a control over its members and how they use certain abusive tactics to pursue individuels and media out lets who questian their motives and practices and money. great gift for a friend or family member.
Gore More than 1 year ago
This is a well researched, objective stidy of an organization that can only be compared to something like Stalin's Soviet Union, or Hitler's Nazi party. It is both a totalitarian organization and a criminal enterprise, with institutionalized purges, thought police, intimidation, and spying (and reporting on ) one's family, friends, and neighbors.
L.A.Carlson-writer More than 1 year ago
We always hear so much about Scientology and the famous who are associated with it but Reitman goes much further and starts at the beginning with L. Ron Hubbard. How after his death this franchised faith became stronger. There is obvious controversy, cover-up and most of this organization thrives,succeeds on power and especially MONEY. The more you pay the higher your understanding of the "study of truth" becomes. With millions of members in 165 different countries, numerous real estate holdings and the statement that 50-60,000 people pay for some type of information on Scientology every year is jaw-dropping. Reitman provides notes, bibliography and index. She's a graduate of UCal-Santa Cruz and has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very well-written and thoroughly researched book that pulls back the curtain on the snake oil salesman's wagon. What I found most interesting is that the largest threat to Scientology is not the naysayers and critics of the "religion" (as they woyld like you to believe), but those who are involved in (and promote it) most passionately. Always ready to strike with litigation and harassment and cry "bully" (or whatever choice buzz word they opt for), you'd think they would focus more on not shooting themselves in the foot. Which, of course, is the fault of the media. Until next time when they've come out with a new, updated Scientology 4.0, the biggest curiosity to me is that people continue to pay to be duped. Fascinating.
NYMetsNo1 More than 1 year ago
It's amazing. One man, that anyone that took psychology 101 could describe as having extreme bipolar disorder with a predaliction of compulsive lying, could rise to such wealth and power. Hey, did you know the word "Gullable" is written on the ceiling?? Really!! Look up, it's there.
ALNY More than 1 year ago
Almost impossible to stop reading! The writing and facts are astounding! Very entertaining - but frightening at the same time! Unbelievable how facts were kept hidden from the people of this world - until now! MUST READ!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Because it's not true. It is insane. It is a "religion" created be a sci fi writer. Isn't that enough to tip you off? It is also dangerous. THINK! If you still can.
ireadtoomuch2 More than 1 year ago
There are plenty of books out there that discredit the existence of Christ. No one is "telling" you that your religion is or isnt right, freedom of speech people! This is a wonderfully researched and well written book that provides some insight as to how Scientology came to light. I enjoyed this book just as much as i enjoyed books explaining The Big Bang theory
Howee More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's a long book but a very in depth analysis. I learned a lot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Exhausting and long, but clear and well chronicled story of a terrifying organization.
everfresh1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
JonathanGorman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very well researched and written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gotta love it when the scientologists like that crazy one below posting in all caps try to defend their cult. Oh silly clams when will they learn? ;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An excellent account of the rise of scientology, the life of Hubbard, the many controversies of the church, and as fun and interesting to read as a popular fiction novel.
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