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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - burningtodd - LibraryThing
Fascinating. This is a book about the inner workings of Scientology, written by former insiders to the cult. Full of good information, the book is very skewed. The gentlemen that wrote this book have a definite bone to pick and the words seem laced with venom. Read full review
Having already read "Bareface Messiah" & many other articles on LRH & Scientology I was quite familiar with most of the material, however the perspective of this author(s) added to & enhanced my knowledge/understanding of LRH & scientology. Because of the various perspectives this book contains, it provided new information (to me) as well as enhanced some of the information I had already obtained. Aside from the facts, myths & outright lies regarding LRH & scientology, this book also offered some insights into the origins of scientology. The authors not only demonstrated how the "religion" was formulated, but also from where it gained it's ideology & basic priniciples. I found it interesting that despite his constant & deep-seeded hatred of psychology & psychiatry, it is apparent that he incorperated many of their techniques & principles (ie., psychoanalysis) into Scientology. The authors also did an excellent job at providing the sources/origins behind many of the concepts, principles & general ideology that Scientology is based on. Their knowledge of various eastern philosophies & religions enabled them to demonstrate that LRH was basically taking bits & pieces of these ideologies, repackaging them & passing them off as his own. (As well as just making shit up as he went along). The specificity to which the authors were able to cite was often remarkable & insightful.
While I found this book similar to "Bareface Messiah", with respect to the facts & events that transpired over LRH's life, "Madman or Messiah" offers more information on the origins & sources of scientology's concepts, principles & overall ideology. That being said, I still preferred "Barefaced Messiah" as it was more compelling due to the particluar events it focused on & the various sources the author used & cited to explain these events. Perhaps part of the reason for my preference is due to the order in which I read the books, this being the second book. Regardless, I would still recommend this book, yet if you are planning to only read one, "Bareface Messiah" would be my first choice. However If you are like me, you'll want to read this right after your done.