Cruise Control

Going Clear
Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief
Lawrence Wright
Knopf, $28.95, 430 pp.

In early 2011, Lawrence Wright published a piece in the New Yorker describing both the recruitment of James Haggis by the Church of Scientology and his defection from it thirty-five years later. This book is essentially a larger and broader treatment of the church and its practices, as seen not only by Haggis (a highly successful screenwriter) and others, but also by church officials themselves.

Scientology has three tiers,...

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About the Author

Nicholas Clifford, a professor emeritus of Middlebury College, has written about Shanghai history in the early twentieth century.