Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Going Clear Book Report

        Going Clear details, the life of Ron L. Hubbard and his creation of Scientology. It originated from a book Hubbard wrote called Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. This idea quickly became popular, and people reported seeing improvement in their lives because of it. This book formed the basis for the religion Hubbard came to call Scientology. He claimed that our souls were not of this world, and that Scientology was the only way we could truly reach enlightenment, gain superhuman abilities and will ultimately be free from the body in death.


            Most of the people that became Scientologists were drawn in because they were told that they would be able to affect their environment and be able to leave their bodies at will. Once they joined the religion and started the introductory classes, many of them started to see improvements in their lives and mental states and immediately became hooked. But they didn’t realize that once they joined the Scientology ranks, it would be practically impossible to leave unless you escaped, which only ended up with them returning. Hubbard had background checks done on every member so that if they tried to leave or expose anything the church did to the public, they would use whatever dirt they found to blackmail them into submission. The premise of this religion is to obtain spiritual enlightenment and freedom, but they didn’t realize they gave up their freedom the minute they joined the church.


            My favorite part of the book is when Hubbard is describing his out of body experience during his dental operation. In this experience, he that he gained knowledge of how life began, where we go after we die, and if there were past lives before he was pulled back into his body because it was not his time yet. This knowledge that he supposedly received from dying during the surgery would later heavily influence the foundational beliefs in Scientology. This is my favorite part of the book because it shows that the beliefs of Scientology were not discovered threw actual spiritual growth but threw a hallucination due to the anesthesia he was given. It proves that the only real gain of Scientology was the money that Hubbard received from his followers. Out of body experiences like the one Hubbard experienced have also been shown to be a hallucinatory side effect of the anesthesia used on the patient.


            This book is related to our course because it talks a lot about out of body experiences. They believed heavily in dualism, and that they came from a race of aliens driven from their home planet, and that they would be reborn once they died. This belief is like the Heaven’s gate cult who believed that they were communicating with aliens, and that they were meant to join an alien ship by allowing their souls to leave their bodies. One of the main differences between the two is that the Heaven’s Gate cult committed suicide to move on to a higher existence, whereas Scientologists believe they will move on once their time on Earth has come to an end. Both groups are completely sperate from each other and are only linked by their shared belief in aliens and dualism. 


            I believe that this book addresses a current issue because although Scientology seems like a peaceful religion, it is quite the opposite. Whenever the church came under scrutiny by the public, Hubbard or those closest to him would retaliate to try and save their image. Some Scientologists were tasked with planting incriminating evidence to get their accusers thrown in jail. A good example of this would be the reporter Paulette Cooper, who was writing against the church of Scientology to expose their wrongdoings. To get her out of their way, they imitated her on the phone and made threats to Arab consulates in New York, mailed a threatening letter to an Arab consulate posing as her and impersonated her threatening the president at a laundromat; this incident was then reported to the FBI, and she was arrested.

This is a link to an interview by Larry King where former Scientologist Leah Remini talks about the inner workings of Scientology:

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