A gritty tale of one man's journey to faith. It seemed apparent that the author went to great lengths to create an edgy, "non-religious" conversion st...moreA gritty tale of one man's journey to faith. It seemed apparent that the author went to great lengths to create an edgy, "non-religious" conversion story. Reading this account with all its vagueness and sudden turns left me unsatisfied....especially the ending. The reader is led to a cliff, with no parachute to safely land. Unless the author is setting up for a sequel, this seemed pointless.(less)
THe brevity of this book rivals no other on the subject. Much of what's covered in the book started out as an article in Rolling Stone Magazine.
I have...moreTHe brevity of this book rivals no other on the subject. Much of what's covered in the book started out as an article in Rolling Stone Magazine.
I have a cousin who's wrapped up in Scientolgy, and had a vague idea of what they believed, and it was always something we were taught by our parents to be a cult. I wanted to see for myself what it was all about.
Janet interviews those who were on the inside and within the ranks of the Sea Org and other high levels of Scientology management.
It's not hard to perceive L. Ron Hubbard (founder/creator of Dianetics then renamed/re-marketed as Scientology) as a schister. He grew up in the era of Dale Carnegie, Napolean Hill (Think and Grow Rich) when entrepreneurship was king and many set out to make their fortune. Hubbard was also science fiction writer in his early years, which was a popluar genre before the age of TV and the internet.
The basic tenent of Scientology--that you can be rid of past hurts, 'lives' and anyting that is psychologically damaging and arrive at a state of being 'clear'. You eventually reach the bridge to Freedom and obtain the highest level of OT. Scientologists who stick with it and are willing to shell out big $$ will reach this if they stick with it.
The narrative drive of the book was bit dry---(ie, 'this happened, that happened, and then this happened...") even though the book had an epilogue, I felt I had reached that point by the last chapter and thus found the organization for the book to be lacking, which is why I give it 4 stars.
In terms of content however, this book is excellent. THis is a decent expose on a practice (it doesn't deserve the title of being a religion) that is manipulative, marketed, and money-hungry will be apparent as you read.(less)
I liked this story and the way the author told the 3 main characters stories--you get vignettes of their lives chapter by chapter, so it makes for a q...moreI liked this story and the way the author told the 3 main characters stories--you get vignettes of their lives chapter by chapter, so it makes for a quick read. It's a bit tragic, but not as dark as some other books in this genre. I think the ending could have been fleshed out a bit better--it's almost like it was set up to be a sequel, but I think the author intended to keep you guessing up to the last page and that he did!
This book speaks volumes about the clash of cultures that can occur between people of different countries that come and live in America. The land of opportunity as they see it. It also makes me think about those who are born/raised as Americans, but who don't take advantage of the opportunities that exist, but just try to get through the daily grind of living-you see this in all 3 of the characters in this book.
Finally,without giving anything away you see what happens when greed and stuborness wins over reason. At times I wantet to yell at Kathy and just tell her "knock it off--let it go!" Same with the lietenant,Lester. (less)
I've read Kakauer's previous 2 books, "Into the Wild" and "Under the Banner of Heaven" so I knew what I was getting into in terms of journalistic styl...moreI've read Kakauer's previous 2 books, "Into the Wild" and "Under the Banner of Heaven" so I knew what I was getting into in terms of journalistic style. If what is written in this book is true (and the subsequent 60 Minutes report on Greg Mortensen), then this is truly damning evidence. This is being presented as a Kindle eBook for only $2.99, and 100% of Jon Krakauer's proceeds from the sale of Three Cups of Deceit will be donated to the "Stop Girl Trafficking" project at the American Himalayan Foundation.
Whether Krakauer truly enriched himself, failed to file tax returns, billed the company for travel (on chartered jets no less) under "Programs" remains to be seen. He hasn't not rebutted the book's statements. However, given his 'go it alone' tendencies, the smoking gun will undoubtedly lead to his doorstep.
At the time this book was released Greg Mortensen was being treated for low oxygen saturation and beting treated by his cardiologist. While he had to foregoe meeting in person with the author before hie book went to press, (and also requested no digital recordings of the interview be taken) Mortensen refused a phone interview. My only guess is he was equally paranoid that any such phone interview could be recorded and did not want to go on record for the things he's been acused of in the book. Damning indeed. (less)
This book was very good--very readable. IT reads like a story or synoptic account of what Cleopatra's life was like. Because she was closely aligned w...moreThis book was very good--very readable. IT reads like a story or synoptic account of what Cleopatra's life was like. Because she was closely aligned with Roman figures like Caesar and Mark Antony, you learn about her in the larger context of the Roman Empire and the conquest for power, riches and notoriety it sought. SOme intresting facts I learned from the book: Alexandria was THE ecnomic superpower of the Meditterranean during Cleopatra's rein. It's resources and riches were the envy of the ancient world. There's no firm evidence that Cleopatra was bitten by an asp--this story 'grew' out of early legends that evolved over time. Marc Anonty, despite his battle prowess and notoriety as a womanizer, was also a bit of a teetotaller and LOVED to party! (less)
If you want to read a book that will shift your paradigm about Christianity, read this book. Forget legalism, judementalism, and hypocrisy. This book...moreIf you want to read a book that will shift your paradigm about Christianity, read this book. Forget legalism, judementalism, and hypocrisy. This book which is divided up into 7 'Movements' covers with titles like "Yoke" and "True" and "Good".
This book has been criticized by many, some interpeting it to being Rob Bell's "univeralist manifesto" which couldn't be further from the truth. Love Wins attempts to start a conversation,one I believe that is long overdue.
In Velvet Elvis, Rob Bell writes: "Times change. God doesn't, but times do. We learn and grow, and the world around us shifts, and the Christian faith is alive only when it is listening, morphing, innovating, letting go of whater has gotten in the way of Jesus and embracing whatever will help us be more and more the people God wants us to be."
If you've been pigeonholed into a faith that doesn't 'fit' or just want to read something that will refresh your Spirit and repaint the Christian message in a unique,(yet logical) way, then read Velvet Elvis. You can get the Kindle version for just $4.99(less)