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January 30th, 2013
01:18 PM ET

Author of Scientology book: ‘There have been a lot of tears in this story’

By Todd Leopold, CNN

(CNN) - To Scientologists and their supporters, L. Ron Hubbard is a voice of wisdom and the church is the way to enlightenment. To antagonists and skeptics, Hubbard is a con artist and fraud, and the church is a mishmash of Freudian psychology and science fiction, a celebrity-laden scam.

Lawrence Wright doesn’t buy either generalization.

In his new book, “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Looming Tower” delves into the life of Hubbard, the writer-turned-prophet, and the church he created – one which, he says, arose out of an atmosphere of spiritual ferment in post-World War II Los Angeles. Hubbard, he says, was “a very interesting man and a man who had certain disturbing influences in his personality” – but not a con man: “If he really was just in it for money, somewhere along the line he would have taken his money and gone to Monte Carlo. He never did that.”

And the church? A religion with a rich sense of community, but also one that has allegedly engaged in questionable behavior with some adherents. Wright alleges that managers were forced to live in “the Hole,” part of a desert compound the church maintains, in which they slept on an ant-infested floor; that there were child labor abuses; and that the church’s leader, David Miscavige, browbeat and assaulted members.

Award-winning author Lawrence Wright delves into Scientology in his latest book, earning buzz - and church blowback.

The church has disputed Wright’s findings. “The stories of alleged physical abuse are lies concocted by a small group of self-corroborating confessed liars. The hard evidence clearly shows that no such conduct ever occurred and that in fact there is evidence that shows it did NOT occur,” the group’s spokesperson, Karin Pouw, told CNN’s Miguel Marquez.

“Regarding the claim that the Church made children work long hours, the Church diligently followed, and continues to follow, all child labor laws in every state or country in which it operates,” Anthony Glassman, an attorney for the Church of Scientology, told CNN.

All Scientology responses to Wright’s book can be found on CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/22/us/scientology-response/index.html) and at a dedicated website (http://www.lawrencewrightgoingclear.com/). The church is also considering legal action.

For Wright, however, the Scientology story fits into his fascination with faith in general, particularly the tensions between faith and modern society. He spoke to the Belief Blog about his interests, the conflicts between fundamentalism and modernity, and the future of Scientology. The following is an edited transcript.

CNN: Why pursue this book?

Lawrence Wright: I’m irresistibly drawn to a great story, and that’s what this is. It may be the fact it has such an electrical charge around it, (that) it was formidable and intimidating and kept some other reporters away, (that) left it more intact for me.

CNN: I was particularly struck with the biography of Hubbard – there are a lot of contradictions in the man.

Wright: I think his image is so complicated by these competing narratives about who he was and what kind of life he actually lived. If you’re in the church, he’s the most valuable man who ever lived, and if you’re outside the church, he seems like a crank and a fraud. But I reject the idea that he was a fraud. He spent his whole life articulating this religious philosophy and eccentric bureaucracy he created to support it.

CNN: I didn’t realize he was such close friends with (science fiction writer) Robert Heinlein, whose own writings have a devout following based on Heinlein’s perceived libertarian beliefs.

Wright: It’s fascinating to think about how that little circle of science fiction writers had such influence. Isaac Asimov was also in that circle, and Aum Shinrikyo, the Japanese terrorist cult, grew out of a yoga teaching of a single individual. Asimov’s books – the Foundation trilogy – were very much at the basis of that group. It’s intriguing to think that these men who may have been writing to follow their own imaginations and write popular novels had this echo in the spiritual world for many people.

CNN: What do you think is behind that? What is it in the human soul that can take harmless ideas to extremes?

Wright: I think that piety is a very dangerous emotion. I think it’s fine to have religious ideas. But there’s a competitive aspect to belief, and that’s where piety comes in – being more of a believer than your neighbor. And that becomes a matter of enforcing the dogma and creating a holier-than-thou environment. That’s where religions begin to get rigid, inflexible and dangerous.

When I was writing about al Qaeda (in “The Looming Tower”), you could see people in that organization have powerful religious motivations. But a lot of them are rather poorly informed about what the Quran actually says. In Islam there’s a body of work called the Hadith, which are the sayings of the Prophet, and there are levels of how authentic they are. And many of these disputed Hadith are at the root of al Qaeda’s teachings, but not actually in the Quran. I find the same thing true in fundamentalist Christianity. For instance, if you read the book of Leviticus … well, even fundamentalist Christians don’t adopt (all its laws). I think most religions have to make room for modernity, and that means discarding some of their outmoded theology. That’s something Scientology has a very difficult time doing. …

My feeling is that there’s only one opinion that matters in the question whether Scientology is a religion – and that is that of the IRS. Now, the IRS is an agency very ill-equipped to make theological distinctions. (But) in the face of (an) avalanche of lawsuits, the IRS crumbled – gave Scientology the imprimatur of being a religion and protected under the vast guarantees of the First Amendment. After that, everything else is just commentary.

CNN: Reading the book, I just felt so sad for so many of these people who signed billion-year contracts and gave up their lives and underwent such pain.

Wright: There have been a lot of tears in this story, more than any I’ve ever worked on. The sense of loss and shame and outrage is so pronounced among the ex-members, and the church discredits them for that because they consider them apostates. Many of the people were at the highest levels of the church and had attained the very peak of the Scientology spiritual ladder. So they’re the products of Scientology. They know better than anyone else what’s going on inside that circle.

CNN: Do you have sympathy for Scientology the religion or Scientologists as people?

Wright: I have sympathy for the people in it. A lot of the popular understanding of Scientology (is that) it’s full of cranks and superficial celebrities. But my experience is that there were smart, intelligent, skeptical, interesting personalities involved in the church. Personally, whatever people want to believe is fine with me. Why people gravitate to different expressions of faith is quite intriguing to me, and I don’t condemn them for what they choose to believe.

But the behavior of the church towards its critics, towards reporters, towards defectors, and especially towards members who are inside the clergy – in particular children who are recruited at appallingly young ages to sign these billion-year contracts and surrender their alternative lives to a life of poverty and isolation – those practices worry me considerably. And I think there’s an accounting the church of Scientology is going to have to face, if it wants to survive.

CNN: Do you see a Martin Luther kind of figure arising at this point?

Wright: There’s a large, independent Scientology movement. These are people who have left the church but still regard themselves as Scientologists. There are others who’ve left the church and feel conned or deluded and they want nothing to do with the teachings of Scientology.

But a considerable portion of the people who’ve defected really still think of themselves as Scientologists. They believe the official church of Scientology has been hijacked from the original teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, and they want that back. So there is kind of a church in waiting, and I think if there was a change at the top of the church, then those people would stream back in.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Books • Scientology

soundoff (232 Responses)
  1. Reticuli

    They sound like a sue-happy lot. According to Robert Heinlein's autobiography and wife, Hubbard created scientology as a result of a bet with Heinlein… that he could use modern psychology (for his era, however outdated now) and science fiction concepts to synthesize a religion that could rival old religions in both appeal and utility? Then I heard he just started buying into it himself. There was a guy recently who did something similar to that (minus the money aspect) and became a guru as a stunt, only to start believing it himself. Sometimes I wonder how much Travolta and Cruise really believe in that stuff or if they just find it useful.

    January 30, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • End Religion

      "The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." - Harlan Ellison

      Ellison claims to have been present during its birth:
      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-real-science-behind-scientology

      Other theories:
      http://msgboard.snopes.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=94;t=000012;p=0

      There are other theories with others claiming to have been present at the "bet" conversation or origin of Hubbard's idea.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientology_controversies

      The truth as always is likely in the unknown middle. There were probably several conversations Hubbard had with people and combined with his own thoughts over time led him to seek more money via religion.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
  2. Mohammad A Dar

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rv0NLUfObc&w=640&h=360]

    January 30, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      South Park has done some of the greatest summaries of religions! Entertaining, but still reasonably factual.

      January 31, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
  3. New Athiest

    At least the catholics will give you their holy book. I cannot understand how anyone would convert to a religion that keeps secrets about who/what god is.
    Look at how they recruit. They obviously prey on people in need of help, and taks advamtage of those in need.

    January 30, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Before the Reformation, Catholics wouldn't allow non-clergy to read the Bible and people were executed for translating the Bible into anything non-Latin. We can thank Martin Luther for changing that, and Johannes Gutenberg for giving people the means to print non-Latin Bibles.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • End Religion

      Keeping secrets about a cult is one way to impart an air of exclusivity. One isn't "worthy" of the cult until one learns the cult's views FROM the cult. It is control. Allowing the bible to be printed and shared had the duel effect of: 1) allowing many more people to be indoctrinate, and 2) allowing many more people to see fraud behind the curtain.

      Once the bible was able to be printed and shared, they had to then move the goalposts back. These days it isn't enough just to be able to read it. We are told even to this day we have to believe in order for the "truth" of the bible to be available to us.

      This is why Scientology uses its own vocabulary. You're not worthy until they tell you you are. You "just don't get it." It also mires you in the cult while you attempt to learn ts new terms. Once you have invested the time in "learning the secrets" of a religion then YOU can use it against others, claiming your hard-earned special knowledge others.
      http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Library/Shelf/wakefield/us-08.html

      January 30, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Many religions do this – but the others at least give the people something useful – genuine charity, food for those who are hungry, genuine help – even if it does come with a holy book or pamphlet. Scientologists give fake help – a reading, a supposed healing touch as part of their supposed charitable missions to disaster areas, or for addicts attempting to get over their addiction.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
  4. So . . . . . .

    The cool thing about the more recent start-up religions like Scientology and Mormonism is that they give lots of insight into what probably happened with Jesus and Mohammed and the others.

    One guy wants fame and the easy life, and plays prophet/messiah. His follower are few, but they grow, and he gets power – and people take care of him. Opposition grows to their kooky scam, but that is easily played into a victim status thing that strengthen their hold over their followers. They become so annoying that most end up getting their butts executed. And after death, their followers can now say anything about them, and it will be accepted for true. Indeed, they actively whitewash the truth about them, and in the process the Great Leader takes on a phony aura of divinity.

    January 30, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      The one difference – and there are indeed a ton of similarities – is that one of them actually said before doing it, that the way to make money was to start a fake religion. That always shocks me, that anyone who had done that can still succeed in getting people to buy it.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • End Religion

      I think Hitler said it best, something to the tune of The Big Lie is easier to swallow than The Small Lie because most of us are good-natured. We know we Small Lie to each other – yes your dress looks good on you, yes I love your new haircut – but most of us can't fathom manufacturing and maintaining a massive lie. It is just too dishonest for most of us, so we can't imagine someone else doing that either.

      In a roundabout way this may be saying that those of us who are naturally skeptics may not be as "good-natured" since we see "lies" in many more places, or more easily. I'm not sure if I buy that or not, of course, since I am a skeptic and feel I am good-natured.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • TiredOfPaying

      Monty Python's 'Life Of Brian' is a wonderfully irreverant look at just how Christianity might have gotten started. I'm sure that God has a sense of humor, so don't worry about bursting into flames if you find yourself laughing!

      June 11, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
  5. L. Ron's faux knee

    Read the Wikipedia article on L. Ron, in the section where it describes the transition from an EST guru type thing into a religion. Read what Hubbard actually says in the quotes.

    Then decide for yourself whether Scientology is a legitimate religion.

    January 30, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      It has surpassed the prerequisite level of craziness, so yes, it is a legitimate religion

      January 30, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  6. Reality

    ".............................................Hubbard is a con artist and fraud, and the church is a mishmash of Freudian psychology and science fiction, a celebrity-laden scam."

    vs. . JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

    Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694.

    Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

    Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Many contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

    Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say?

    January 30, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • TiredOfPaying

      We should care because the message of 'Love thy neighbor' is the BEST method for human interaction yet devised. Regardless of the 'truth' of the Bible, that message is better than any other religion has come up with to date. Its sure better than islam's 'deny involvement while promoting violent takeover of the world' message.

      June 11, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
  7. The Truth

    There are no religions on the planet that are any different than Scientology. Sure they have different doctrines, but the game is the same. They are all so full of shlt it's up to their eyes so it's no wonder they can't see where they are going and are so confused. The leaders should be ashamed of themselves and the followers should go get educated.

    January 30, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      There is a difference. Scientologists are a little more honest about the primary intention i.e. to fleece unsuspecting faith-heads. Just a teeny bit more honest.

      January 30, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
  8. bostontola

    Scientology is nuts. But do people of mainstream religions really think it is more nuts than theirs?

    January 30, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      I'm an atheist – can't say I know of a single religion I really see as a good thing on the whole – some provide good to some people – but all of them also have their dark side.

      And scientology is a little worse than any other – the factors that no other has:

      – Started by someone who previously declared that creating a fake religion was the way to make money.
      – More directly than any other, all about getting your money from you.
      – Typical cult factors – cuts you off from friends and relatives under the guise of suppressive persons.
      – And one of the worst – blackmail – the use of the e-meter to get your secrets from you – which are used against you if you try to leave, or if you try to let out any secret the church wishes to have kept. It's like the Catholic confessional has a tape recorder, and any time you try to leave the church, they send your tape to your parents, your spouse, and your boss.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      To be precise – on my last bullet – blackmail – they can – and have been known to – send out information from emeter sessions to others, to keep members in line.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • Jim

      I think the thing that makes Scientology in particular stand out is that it's a very young religion. It was founded only a few decades ago, new enough that I'd have thought more people would know better than to fall for that crap. All the nuttiness aside, any organization that is so litigious toward any sort of criticism automatically seems suspect to me.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
  9. truth be told

    Both so called atheists and scientologists are liars. Of the two the scientologists are to be preferred while the atheists would do the world a big favor if they would have the courage to off themselves before causing any more harm.

    January 30, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • The Truth

      Right, so your message is "kill off anyone who doesn't believe in the invisible, intangible spirit creature that the religious use as an excuse for everything, even for being too lazy to look for the real causality of the universe."

      January 30, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • ME II

      @truth be told,
      Are you advocating for others that which your religion deems a sin, i.e. suicide?

      January 30, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • truth be told

      The message is to atheists – do yourself before causing harm. Think of the millions of people and their descendants who would have lived if atheist Joe Stalins first victim was himself.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • truth be told

      @ me2
      No harm no foul. By definition an atheist is a useless sinner to this world and the next anyway. My thought is to spare the innocents that atheists will harm, So all you gutter slurping self deceived atheists out there eat a shotgun for world peace or better yet an assault rifle so you don't miss.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • The Truth

      It's okay tbt, your dying religion is in it's last throes, hopefully it doesn't harm anyone while it thrashes about with it's neck slit, bleeding out upon the world stage. Your myths and lies are all being exposed like a vampire to sunlight, and not the twilight kind, the Ann Rice, burn all the flesh to gritty dust kind. Gnash your teeth and yell and scream indignities all you like, it shall do no good and all mankind shall turn their heads away as your religion sputters and gasps it's last breath. Good riddance.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • sam

      Fuck off, troll.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      How cute! TBT discovered another system of belief that doesn't match with his. Soon he'll be learning some math and maybe some simple biology. We should be proud of our Resident Fool.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • sam

      Hey TBT – next time, we'll work on colors, and shapes! Won't that be funtastic?

      January 30, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • truth be told

      I can't post that so called atheists are liars without a whole slew of the slugs crawling out and confirming my words.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • 4qu1n45

      I absolutely can't stand the phrase "so-called" as it's used by your ilk. They do not believe in God, therefore they ARE atheists. There's no semantic angle to this. Whatever limp venom you want to spit, they aren't telling you and people like you to commit suicide, so to me this puts them (and almost everyone) on a higher moral plane than you.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • truth be told

      If you do get on a plane try backseat as a kamikaze co-pilot. You have no reference point for morality and no hope of veracity. Simple Truth spoken in love – the world would be better off without so called atheists.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • SeilnoigileR

      What harm, you sanctimonious moron? Religion is a virus specifically engineered to destroy, supress, and eliminate rational thought.

      January 30, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
  10. Thoth

    Guess Madoff's scheme didn't work out as well as Hubbard's 8;{

    January 30, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
  11. luannyeo

    Hi, I'm not a Scientology Office of Special Affairs internet patroller but I'm going to read 100,000 more interesting books than this poorly fact-checked book, also Scientology is just like every other religion.

    January 30, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Outside of Muslim countries and Utah, you can leave other religions and donations are voluntary.

      January 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      And scientology is a little worse than any other – the factors that no other has:

      – Started by someone who previously declared that creating a fake religion was the way to make money.
      – More directly than any other, all about getting your money from you.
      – Typical cult factors – cuts you off from friends and relatives under the guise of suppressive persons.
      – And one of the worst – blackmail – the use of the e-meter and the notion of thetans to get your secrets from you – which can be used against you if you try to leave, or if you try to let out any secret the church wishes to have kept. It's like the Catholic confessional has a tape recorder, and any time you try to leave the church, they could send your tape to your parents, your spouse, and your boss.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
  12. Rational Libertarian

    "Church, cult, cult, church. So we get bored someplace else every Sunday." Bart Simpson

    January 30, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
  13. Rocket

    Scientology is not a religion it's a cult glamorized by celebrities

    January 30, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Roger that

      I completely agree. If they don't pretend to feast on a 2,000 year old corpse, then they are not a real religion.

      January 30, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Christian Zombie

      Brains!!

      January 30, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • SeilnoigileR

      Religions are simply cults with more members.

      January 30, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
  14. El Rayo X

    L. Ron Hubbard was a con man and Scientology is a sham cult disguised as a tax exempt religion. Once a con man, always a con man. The reason Hubbard didn't take the money and run was because con men never retire. They continue to the next con game until they're caught or dead. This whole Scientology con will soon be dead.

    January 30, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • sam

      As long as it's trendy with celebs, and keeps making money...sadly, it'll be around.

      January 30, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Hey, whats up crazy islam, dude!

      January 30, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      He never needed to take the money and run because it was continually making more and more money, and better still giving him a mountain of sycophants.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
    • Thinker...

      Actually, I'm not sure I would call Hubbard a con-man. Con-men know they are lying and take the money and run before they are found out. Hubbard was such a good lier that he tended to convince himself. Look into his Carribean treasure hunting expedition. He made up a ton of stuff about himself and this treasure and got a bunch of rich guys to fund an expedition to find the treasure. They aborted pretty quickly as they discovered he was full of **it. But he actually went on the expedition. He truely believed all his own lies. He probably truely believed all the Dianetics stuff when he made it up too. He even made a fool of himself on stage when he attempted to prove it worked. It failed horribly of course, but he truely expected it to work. Well maybe he was just the only con-man so good he could con himself too.

      January 31, 2013 at 11:52 am |
  15. bosonstark

    Wright's book is great. I read it. But, he is wrong about a considerable portion of Scientologists still believing it. It's actually a tiny fraction of anyone who has taken Scientology courses over the years, who believes it is valuable.

    On the other hand, of the people who are vocal and outspoken, then it is a much bigger proportion who still believe but still not a majority. Most ex-members feel like they were shafted by the con, and they are embarrassed, and they don't want to waste any more of their life even protesting it. 80% of the people who took Scientology courses, would leave completely within two years. Many people leave after one course.

    January 30, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
  16. Banjo Ferret

    Volcano spirits? Bah, Tim the Destroyer of Worlds laughs at your silly Scientology beliefs. Everyone knows that the universe was created by a giant purple banjo playing ferret and that Ferretianism is the one true religion. Repent! (banjoferret d c)

    January 30, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
  17. ME II

    First, good article Belief Blog. Actual reporting, yeah.

    Second, and I will admit that I am biased in this area, but I think this is unfounded:
    "Asimov’s books – the Foundation trilogy – were very much at the basis of that group [, Aum Shinrikyo]."

    January 30, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
  18. Reasonably

    Well, if 25% of Americans believe God influences sports then Scientology has a better than average chance of continuing as a religion.

    The gelatinous masses need their optiates and most certainly don't want to have to think for themselves.

    January 30, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Hmmm

      I would guess that a sizeable majority of Americans have to much fun playing in the shallow end to ever contemplate the deep things in life.

      January 30, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  19. boocat

    L. Ron Hubbard made a bet with another sci fi writer that he could start a religion and make alot of money off of it. This writer is clueless.

    January 30, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Lionel

      Idiot, when you have an article published about Ron Hubbard come back and comment

      January 30, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      since hubbard is the creator of scientology and this is an article on scientology, his comment is relevant. idiot.

      January 30, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      since hubbard is the creator of scientology and this is an article on scientology, his comment is relevant. you're the idiot.

      January 30, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Lionel

      Why does one need to be a published writer to voice an opinion? It's also a widely held opinion. The other sci-fi writer in question is Robert Anson Heinlein. He has written on numerous occasions about the bet. Obviously the Church deny it but what else would you expect?

      January 30, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Shhh, don't say anything bad about Scientology. They might invoke one of their religious rituals and sue your ass.
      Damn Xenu loving heathens.

      January 30, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      Hawaiiguest, at last check, they still send Tom Cruise over to your house to jump up and down on our couch ranting about not need mood regulating drugs and staring straight ahead – at your adam's apple.

      January 30, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      I think I'd rather be sued.

      January 30, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
  20. Zingo

    Boy, I'll run out and buy this book, right after I finish 137,627 more interesting ones.

    January 30, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • luannyeo

      Yep, there are a lot more books by L Ron Hubbard that I'd like to read to.

      January 30, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.