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Ali's Smile, Naked Scientology

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  86 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Nonfiction. NAKED SCIENTOLOGY contains articles and letters by Burroughs critiquing Scientology, a religion with which he was involved for some time and toward which he maintains a reserved curiosity. According to Burroughs, some of the techniques are highly valuable and warrant further study and experimentation, while on the other hand he is in flat disagreement with the ...more
Paperback, 100 pages
Published June 28th 1985 by Left Bank Books (first published 1973)
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Mat
Feb 20, 2013 Mat rated it it was amazing
Superbly written and absolutely hilarious. Burroughs' tongue-in-cheek humour has never been better and more bitter.
If you ever have any interest in checking out Scientology, first read this. You will be amazed by how whacko it is.
Burroughs does praise some of the techniques and apparatuses that the organization uses but in terms of the initiation process and punishment that members have to go through, he exposes it for the dangerous cult that it is. If you need just one book of Burroughs which
...more
Rich Meyer
Jan 18, 2013 Rich Meyer rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
William S. Burroughs was always looking for new answers. He even looked into Scientology, and was one of the first people to write an expose about the wallet-draining cult. This book collects the letters he wrote doing just that (though it manages to avoid revealing any of the halfwit dogma that you have to pay $20G's to hear about in the Centers; Evil Thetans preserved in glycol in volcanos and all that crap that makes other religions look believable). Also included is a short story he wrote th ...more
Nativeabuse
Sep 10, 2011 Nativeabuse rated it it was ok
I'm a huge fan of Burroughs, but the one thing I really dislike about the guy is that he is really into weird new age bull and when he talks about it you feel like slapping him. Great artistic genuises shouldn't be won over by new age garbage!! You can argue that maybe he is just a little bit too open to new ideas.

Here he interestingly talks about how this particular new-age thing he tried is a scam. While I like burroughs a lot(as I want to reiterate!) this is probably his worst book.

Written
...more
Joshua
Sep 10, 2012 Joshua rated it it was amazing
Burroughs reveals a lot of inside information about the church of Scientology. As he was a member. He points out some of it's good points but also the gross lies that are the foundation of this organization which calls itself a non-profit organization (a lie) and a church (another lie).
Kurt Weller
Oct 22, 2015 Kurt Weller rated it it was ok
The beginning of the book is a collection of letters and essays about Scientology. The letters and the back and forth dialogue that happens in Rolling Stone magazine is rather tiresome and dated lacking any relevance to the modern day and is the weakest part of the book. Ali's Smile is quite good and I feel that the beginning preamble is just padding for this story which would probably have been justified when it was written as not much had been published about Scientology but now it just seems ...more
Linwood
Feb 04, 2009 Linwood rated it liked it
B side novella features burrough's hilarious attempt to sniff out the creeps who claim to levitate and be smarter than the rest of us.
Justin Howe
May 16, 2014 Justin Howe rated it really liked it
A collection of letters and articles Burroughs wrote after he left the Church of Scientology. There's also a short story in here, but it's not as interesting a read as the non-fiction parts.
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William Seward Burroughs II, (also known by his pen name William Lee; February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer. A primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author, he is considered to be "one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th century ...more
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