The Reading List: Scientology
Monday 21 March 2011
The set text
'Dianetics' by L Ron Hubbard; £13.00
Last week marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard, whose Dianetics remains the canonical text of the controversial religion and is referred to as "Book One" by followers. Published in 1950, he started the movement with his assertion that we have a "reactive mind" that underlies and enslaves mankind and which we need to remove in order to be happy.
'A Piece of Blue Sky: Scientology, Dianetics and L Ron Hubbard Exposed' by Jon Atack; £14.99
Atack was 19 years old when he became a Scientologist. After completing 24 of the 27 levels of therapy, he became disillusioned with the leadership of David Miscavige, who took over in the early 1980s. Atack exposes Hubbard's bizarre imagination and behaviour and the book reveals Scientology's alleged abuses.
'Battlefield Earth' by L Ron Hubbard; £5.99
Before Scientology, Hubbard was a celebrated pulp sci-fi author, publishing dozens of novels. He mainly gave up writing in the Fifties, but in 1982, he published Battlefield Earth. Set 1,000 years in the future, when Earth is ruled by an alien race, a film adaptation starring Hollywood Scientologist John Travolta was made in 2000 and is widely considered to be one of the worst films ever made.
'Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography' by Andrew Morton; not available in the UK
In 2008, Morton published his biography of the world's most famous Scientologist, Tom Cruise. A chunk is dedicated to discussing Cruise's religion – claiming that Cruise was the organisation's second-in-command. The Church released a statement calling the publication "a bigoted, defamatory assault". Due to the UK's libel laws it is currently unavailable in this country.
'The Apostate: Paul Haggis vs the Church of Scientology' by Lawrence Wright; free online: ind.pn/haggisvscientology
Last month, The New Yorker published a 25,000-word exposé on Scientology through the eyes of a high-profile defector, the Hollywood writer and director Paul Haggis. It's a powerhouse piece, and includes the bombshell that the FBI is investigating Scientology for human-trafficking abuses, as well as plenty of other strange anecdotes and revelations.
Listen to his collaboration with Naughty Boymusic
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 3 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 4 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Gaza Banksy mural sold to 'conman' for just $175
Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
Top Gear live to go ahead: Jeremy Clarkson to join Richard Hammond and James May... just don't call it Top Gear
James May hints he will not continue on Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans