This book began okay, and there were a couple of lines I liked, but ultimately the book felt a bit preachy/entitled/like the author just knew all thesThis book began okay, and there were a couple of lines I liked, but ultimately the book felt a bit preachy/entitled/like the author just knew all these things as a matter of fact better than anyone else and so she decided to write a book to "generously" let us all decide to be creative like her. Now don't get me wrong, I liked the message -- I AGREE with the message: Be creative, if you feel the pull, for no one for yourself, with no care for what anyone thinks or what the results may be. Be creative for YOU, regardless of "talent" or "expertise" because life isn't lived for others, it's yours to do with as you will. I like this message, I just didn't like the overall tone of the author, something rubbed me the wrong way. I haven't read anything else by her, including Eat Pray Love, so this was the first book of hers I've tried, and it was audio read by her, so that may have added to perceived tone.
Lines that resonated with me (all from early in the book): - "A creative life is an amplified life." - "I believe the planet is inhabited not only by animals, and plants, and bacteria, and viruses, but also ideas." - "Ideas are driven by a single impulse: To be made manifest."...more
I managed to get halfway through, then kind of lost the thread that was keeping me reading, so I had to step away. We'll see if I come back or not. ThI managed to get halfway through, then kind of lost the thread that was keeping me reading, so I had to step away. We'll see if I come back or not. The pace is slow and plodding, purposefully so, and I enjoy that in some ways, but I think I needed some more characteristics of the main person or purpose to be a little clearer. ...more
This is a truly terrifying look deep deep inside the world of Scientology -- how it evolved, biographical information about L. Ron Hubbard, and how itThis is a truly terrifying look deep deep inside the world of Scientology -- how it evolved, biographical information about L. Ron Hubbard, and how it persists today. I couldn't believe some of the things I read (which is to say, I could literally believe it, but some of the things were so crazy!). There hasn't been an exhaustive biography of L. Ron Hubbard, though the Church of Scientology has a biographer for him; every time a book comes out, it seems to be suppressed. I recommend this book to anyone curious about or interested in religious evolution, Scientology, etc.
p. 94 "'Our enemies on this planet are less than twelve men,' Hubbard discloses. 'They own and control newspaper chains and they are oddly enough directors in all the mental health groups in the world.' Their plan was to 'use mental health, which is to say psychiatric electric shock and prefrontal lobotomy, to remove from their path any political dissenters.' For the first time, he openly talkes about the Sea Organization, or Sea Org, an elite group who would form the committed inner core of the religion, Hubbard's disciples, a Scientology clergy."
p. 105 "... billions of thetans were transported to Teegeeack, the planet now called Earth, where they were dropped into volcanoes and then blown up with hydrogen bombs... Because Teegeeack was a dumping ground for thetans, it became known as the Prison Planet, 'the planet of ill repute.' The Galactic Confederacy abandoned the area, although various invaders have appeared throughout the millennia. But these free-floating thetans remained behind. They are the souls of people who have been dead for seventy-five million years. They attach themselves to living people because they no longer have free will. There can be millions of them clustered inside a single person's body. Auditing for Scientologists at OT III and above would now focus on eliminating the 'body thetans' -- or BTs -- that stand in the way of spiritual progress."
p. 111 "Hubbard increasingly turned his wrath on children, who were becoming a nuisance on the ship. He thought they were best raised away from their parents, who were 'counter-intention' to their children. As a result, he became their only -- stern as well as neglectful -- parent. Children who committed minor infractions, such as laughing inappropriately or failing to remember a Scientology term, would be made to climb the crow's nest, at the top of the mast, four stories high, and spend the night, or sent to the hold and made to chip rust."
p. 311 "The church discourages such examination [looking into the charges brought against the Church of Scientology over the years], telling its members that negative articles are 'entheta' and will only cause spiritual upset. In 1996, the church sent CDs to members to help them build their own websites, which would then link them to the Scientology site; included in the software was a filter that would block any sites containing material that vilified the church or revealed esoteric doctrines. Keywords that triggered the censorship were Xenu, OT III, and the names of prominent Scientology critics."
This book covers such a wide expanse of ideas, it's really very difficult to describe as a whole piece. Ultimately, upon reading the whole thing and sThis book covers such a wide expanse of ideas, it's really very difficult to describe as a whole piece. Ultimately, upon reading the whole thing and skipping some things, etc., I found the most fascinating thing to be that "queer" is a multifaceted word, used to refer to sexuality, gender identity, levels of activism. I really had to evaluate how I identify with the word. I know that for myself, I like it because it feels more all-encompassing than the gay/lesbian binary, and that it's NOT a binary ... it reinforces that sexuality, gender identity, body politics, all is fluid and across a spectrum, not a binary. That being said, there are DEFINITELY some essays I just couldn't get on board with -- the "I'm-queerer-than-you" mentality is really off-putting and exclusionary, in my opinion, and this idea is present in many of the "radical activism" essays. Also, the entitlement that some queer folk feel about telling other queer-identified people that they can't be queer because of x, basically trying to force "queer" into a definable, exclusive box, and keep the unworthy out. I think this is just counterproductive ... I'm also not a get-in-the-streets/get-arrested-for-my-radicalism person, and I feel like that's a valid standpoint. It's in fact privilege that enables some people to go out and get arrested for protests/activism-things, and know that they won't be forever in jail. But would that be the same for people of color? working-class people who can't afford to miss any work? Anyway, that's only a part of the book.
I guess the best part about this collection is that it really shows so many different approaches to queerness and activism, and philosophy, etc., that it really makes you think about your own identity politics and try to articulate the difficult-to-articulate. There were many places that I just felt an aversion to what I was reading, and I had to take a step back and try to figure out what it was making me feel that aversion ... what was it in my understanding of "queer" that didn't mesh with whatever I was reading that made me feel kind of bristly?
So read this book if you want to understand queerness for yourself -- the best part is that you WILL NOT agree with everything in here (I certainly didn't!) but it makes you think and evaluate ... ...more