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Blown for Good: Behind the Iron Curtain of Scientology
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Blown for Good: Behind the Iron Curtain of Scientology

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  541 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
The International Base of Scientology. The sprawling 500 acre property located deep in the California desert. The local townspeople were told that Scientology lectures and films were being made there. But is that all that is happening there? It is the location of a multi-million dollar home for L. Ron Hubbard, built twodecades after his controversial death. It is the home ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published November 5th 2009 by BFG Incorporated
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(showing 1-30 of 1,182)
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Jan 22, 2013 Jacquelyn rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Scientology is a cult that convinces you to relinquish every last shred of your autonomy, pay thousands of dollars to have your personality picked apart, and puts you back together the way Scientology Chairman of the Board (COB), Dave Miscavige, wants you to be. I say Miscavige and not L. Ron Hubbard because Miscavige is the one who has been editing all of Hubbard's writings the past few decades, so unless you get your hands on early editions, there's no telling where Hubbard's ideas end and Mis ...more
Aug 09, 2010 Andrea rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those fascinated by human rights violating cults.
Shelves: read-in-2010
Blown for Good was definitely in need of an editor to finesse it a bit, but the meat of the story (Headley's time at the Scientology compound in Hemet, CA and his interactions with the little despot/dictator/wannabe pope of Scientology David Miscavige) was fascinating and more than made up for the excessive amount of job-related details and somewhat amateurish writing style.

How this turd of a cult is allowed to function (and retain tax exemption status) in this country is beyond me.
Jun 04, 2014 Polstar rated it really liked it
Perhaps I'm biased but I did like this book, possibly because every chapter was named after a Depeche Mode song, but surely that couldn't have just been it?
I have an interest in cults, possibly because I was raised in quite a cultish religion myself; Jehovah's Witnesses. However much I find out about Scientology, I still couldn't quite fathom how they have such control over their members. Blown For Good sheds some light on the crazy mind-control that the 'church' has over it's followers.
Nov 16, 2012 Joanna rated it really liked it
This is not a book for Scientology newbies. It's filled with Scientolog-ese and won't give you background on what Scientolgy is, its history, what's happening now, LHR, ect. It is, however, an excellent book for people wanting to know what things were like for the staff over at Int Base, through the 1990s up to... 2005ish? under David Miscavige, who is an incredible douche.

Image of incredible douche. I mean, just look at him! doooooooouuuche

Reading this book is not entertaining, though Headley
Buffy Turner
Jan 30, 2015 Buffy Turner rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I have been researching Scientology for years, and this book is the most fascinating I have ever read about what it was like to be in Scientology from a young age and the horrific journey the author had to have in order to escape the "religion". Marc Headley has a good life with a wife (also an ex Scientologist with her own escape story) and three kids, but how he got to this point is part horror story, part terrifying yet exhilarating adventure. Headley was a child when his mother became heavil ...more
Jan 05, 2013 Casey rated it really liked it
acronyms abound! Think back to your childhood for a moment....remember those diving sticks you would retrieve from the pool? It's like someone threw a diving stick into the water, and you dive down to get it but this is no 8 foot pool. You just keep swimming deeper, and deeper, and deeper into Xenuville until you are gasping (no, choking) for air. Screw the diving stick, where is the top of the water because you are dying here and can't breathe any longer. You need air but where the hell is it?

Julie Roy
May 05, 2015 Julie Roy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A difficult and disturbing read because I believe it to be true.

Before reading "Blown for Good" I read Jenna Miscavige's book about her experiences with scientology. I came across it accidentally and decided to read it simply because I was curious. Having lived in Tampa about 30 minutes from the Clearwater location for over 20 years I was familiar with scientology but always thought it was a harmless group of self helpers. I could not have been more wrong.

There were times I had to force myself
Kat Connors
Mar 06, 2014 Kat Connors rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion-atheism
Let's get a few things out of the way first.
1) Yes, the writing is rough and the editing is bad. Please recognize that this is a self-published book written by someone who did not have the same educational opportunities as many people reviewing this book. Just deal.

2) There is a LOT of Scientology jargon. Again, just deal with it. 9 times out of 10 it's not completely integral to your understanding of events. Read over it or look it up in the glossary at the back.

3) This book is NOT going to
Apr 23, 2015 Matt rated it liked it
This is not a book I'd recommend to someone as their first read about Scientology, but as an insider's look at the madness within this cult, it's a fascinating read. Working inside Scientology is like being stuck in a real-life version of the movie Brazil - it's a bureaucratic nightmare filled with mindless paperwork, stifling layers of management and arbitrary and horrendous punishments for the slightest infractions. It makes you wonder how it's survived as long as it has, but you also really s ...more
Lindy Baxter
Jan 17, 2016 Lindy Baxter rated it really liked it
The only issue with this book I had is his writing style is odd. This is his first/only book, and is self published. The content, however, makes up for that and is well worth the read.

Marc was well placed in Scientology, an includes an upfront view of David Miscavige's emotional and physical abuse of those in the Sea Org. He allows an inside look at how the "religion" is run, and what lengths they will go to in order to keep people from leaving. This, and the book by Jenna Miscavige, are the bes
Terrifying, Insane Life!

I can't imagine living in a cult like that and taking such abuse. I would not make a good Scientologist. I would be in the RPF and named a suppressive person immediately. The first time someone told me to grab the cans I would laugh uncontrollably. And if someone ever tried to make me scrub feces with my bare hands or with a toothbrush I'd punch them in their love chakra. But after delving into this nutty world for a spell I have got to take a break as I'm starting to bur
Nov 01, 2015 Marshall rated it it was ok
This is a memoir about a member of the Church of Scientology who escaped in 2005 and was declared a "suppressive person" by Scientology. He hasn't spoken to several of his family members, one of whom he confirmed was taken to "Rehabilitation Project Force" in Canada, which is basically a concentration camp for people who have sinned against Scientology.

This book follows the author from when he was a teenager in the late 80's, and his parents went off to join the Church of Scientology, leaving hi
Dec 15, 2013 Stringy rated it liked it
Shelves: religion
While this is not a well-written book, I found it interesting to hear from someone trapped in Scientology's Sea Org without having a strong belief in it. But it won't answer any questions you might have about how people justify staying or what makes them leave, because Headley recaps the facts but doesn't always include his thoughts or emotions about those facts.

For example, he gets married, and then 13 years later when he wants to leave he's desperate to contact his wife. But we never hear abo
Sep 27, 2011 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this book wasn't written for a more literate reader, it's story is mesmerizing. Granted, the story is biased and at times unbelievable, however this makes it that much more awe-inspiring. (How could modern day people subscribe to such submissive and oppressive behavior?? Have we learned NOTHING from studying history?? ...I'm aghast!)

I rated this book as 3 of 5 stars only because there were grammatical errors throughout, thus feel it wasn't edited very well. Further, the story dragged in
Sep 25, 2012 Valerie rated it really liked it
This book, written by a former Scientologist, was very interesting as far as it went. The author, no doubt, is afraid of his and his wife's families being punished (they are still Scientologists) by L. Ron Hubbard's successor, David Miscavige, who took the reins in 1986, after Hubbard died. He is considered the Chairman of the Board (or COB; this group is big on acronyms). Marc Headley and his wife were very fortunate to get out of this pseudo-religion, as far as I am concerned. The title of the ...more
Jan 20, 2013 Mikko rated it liked it
'Blown for Good' is Marc Headley's autobiography, documenting him growing up in a family influenced by Scientology, joining the Sea Organization and finally escaping the HQ of the Church.

Headley is not writing for the layman. The book expects the reader to be fairly well aware of the key persons and people behind Scientology. I would highly recommend that anyone interested would at least leaf through either 'A Piece of Blue Sky' or 'The Bare-faced Messiah' before starting on 'Blown for Good; bot
Apr 21, 2015 Aaron rated it really liked it
I can't imagine living in a cult like that and taking such abuse. I would not make a good Scientologist. I would be in the RPF and named a suppressive person immediately. The first time someone told me to grab the cans I would laugh uncontrollably. And if someone ever tried to make me scrub feces with my bare hands or with a toothbrush I'd punch them in their love chakra. But after delving into this nutty world for a spell I have got to take a break as I'm starting to burn out on their particula ...more
Jan 23, 2013 Tenderfoot rated it really liked it
This is a great book written by a man who grew in $cientology and managed to escape after 15+ years. Headley exposes the underside of the organization and how members of Sea Org. really live. Let's put it this way, if Tom Cruise knew what really happens to members of the CofS, I doubt he'd associate with them. Sea Org. members are subjected to long hours of work for little or no pay, deprived of sleep, poorly nourishment and psychologically abused. He also shines a garish spotlight on the curren ...more
Victoria Berry
Nov 10, 2014 Victoria Berry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An important book about Scientology

This is an in depth story about life in Scientology's gulag and a guy who had little choice in his life until he made a decision and a sacrifice. His words are brutally honest and startling proof that Scientology is poisonous to families. This book is a must read on the always controversial subject.
Dawn Wells
Apr 05, 2013 Dawn Wells rated it liked it
I don't know how much of this book is truly believable I would hope very little. But we all know when given too much power over a group of people awful things can happen. I remember reading books by L Ron Hubbard "Black Genesis," "Dialectics", battlefield earth" but I didn't really accept any of it as true. I'm not even sure why but my common sense just said no. Back then he was a known racist and homophobe as stated in this book. But because this was said about many people back then it didn't m ...more
Felicity Prentice
Jan 14, 2015 Felicity Prentice rated it really liked it
I confess I am a cult watcher, and Scientology makes the Moonies look sweet and benevolent. You need a bit of background on the subject to fully appreciate this book. Not brilliantly written (needs a good editor), but fascinating first person insight.
Linda Perkins
May 21, 2015 Linda Perkins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely worth reading

A cult by any other name is still a cult, and definite proof that absolute power corrupts absolutely. A great read.
Rebecca Jessup
Feb 04, 2011 Rebecca Jessup rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marc Headley was denied a high school education because he was pushed into Scientology as a child by his parents, and pressured into the upper levels of its secretive and bizarre upper management levels in his teens. His lack of formal education shows, in that his writing is full of little grammatical errors. But this is a fast-paced, page-turner of a book, and his courage and competence come through over and over in the tale of his survival, his fifteen years as a serving member, and his eventu ...more
Roberta Selvy
May 12, 2016 Roberta Selvy rated it really liked it
Fascinating story, full of anecdotes about the author's time spent at various bases in the Sea Org, mostly at the main base in Hemet CA.
Mar 15, 2013 Lisa rated it did not like it
I am fascinated by books from ex-Scientologists who can shed some light on why someone would believe in such foolishness. Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape is an excellent read. I also enjoyed Going Clear & Inside Scientology. However this book is very poorly written. The spelling and the grammatical errors were were distracting. Mr. Headley goes into excruciating detail about his job but offers little insight into the world of Scientology. I am very gl ...more
Jun 01, 2014 Jesse rated it liked it
Compelling and emotional, not well written:
Alli Pedersen
Oct 02, 2014 Alli Pedersen rated it it was ok
Interesting topic, pretty poor writing
Apr 11, 2016 Jon added it
May 09, 2016 Freedom rated it did not like it
Shelves: attempted-reads
I felt betrayed by the good reviews for this book. I had a genuine interest in Marc's story but the writing....? TERRIBLE. Jumbled. I felt like his stories went in so many directions, that I didn't even WANT to follow.
I literally couldn't tolerate one more line. Had to stop and will unfortunately, never know how it ends.
Ron Ross
Mar 04, 2013 Ron Ross rated it really liked it
Shelves: scientology
A self-published memoir that takes its place among the great apostate properties dying to be made into a movie. Headley, who was "educated" in Scieno schools and joined the Sea Org as a teenager, actually learned useful skills as a major events production chief and A/V expert. If Scieno was smart enough to release more such capable people "into the wild" once in a while, we wouldn't be stuck thinking Tom Cruise is the most enlightened human being in Hollywood.
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