Live Video Chat With Lawrence Wright

Enter the giveaway for Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief
(type q in front of your question to highlight that question in chat)
Patrick Brown:
Mar 12, 2013 04:27PM
Join us on Wednesday, March 20 at 2pm ET/11am PT for a live video chat with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright. We'll be talking about his new book Going Clear, a hard-hitting look at the Church of Scientology.

If you have a question for Mr. Wright, please ask it below.
Lisa Westerfield :
Mar 05, 2013 08:51AM
How apprehensive were you to take on the subject of Scientology considering the history of harassment associated with followers of that faith?

With allegations of basically forced labor camps it sounds like Scientology is primed for a class action suit: do you think this will happen?
Jenny Caneen-raja:
Mar 06, 2013 05:11AM
I saw a video of Scientology's ebullient claims that grammatical and syntactical mistakes – discovered in a large LRH series of books – had been amended, thereby obliging the faithful to repurchase an enormously expensive set of “church texts”. Do you think this was just a serendipitously unanticipated new way to sell old books, or are they genuinely serious about the “every single word counts” rhetoric about which I’ve heard so much?
Carole Grady:
Mar 06, 2013 07:32AM
q I read your book and Jenna Miscavige Hill's book. My sister was an auditor in Scientology for many years. She went to Clearwater for two years during which time no one in our family saw her. My question is she said during her audits she cured a boy of a brain tumor. Is curing part of the "deal". She was some sort of a minister too and married people. Our family are Catholic and she went through 16 years of Catholic school. Scientology grabbed her right after a painful divorce and the classes she took left her with no money. I feel that it is a real cult. Do you agree. I think the two years in Clearwater brainwashed her.
Marvin Fein:
Mar 07, 2013 12:26PM
It seems like everyone who has reported nagatively on Scientology has been the subject of expensive and intensive harassment and litigation. Have you or your publishers suffered from that so far.
Marvin Fein:
Mar 07, 2013 12:29PM
My prior response should have a "q" before it and negatively is misspelled.
Rob Jacklosky:
Mar 07, 2013 01:27PM
I love this book. It's fascinating and gripping. I did have a question about how Miscavige managed to gain control. I get that he was promoted and protected as some kind of prodigy and so broke all sort of rules (not being "clear," being abusive and crazy...and he continues to be that) but WHY was he being protected before he consolidated power? How did he get in a position go after his enemies (Sue Ellen). I'm still cloudy on that.
Mar 08, 2013 07:10AM
q Have you ever considered researching and writing about the Mormons?
Reade Adams:
Mar 08, 2013 11:42AM
In all of your research, did you run across any information on what happens to people who are Scientology lifers? Is there a "retirement plan" or do they work in Scientology until they keel over dead?
Mar 09, 2013 11:30AM
q What are you working on now?
Mar 09, 2013 05:11PM
Jim wrote: "q Have you ever considered researching and writing about the Mormons?"

Great idea! I would also love to see a book about the Seventh day Adventist church. I don't mean to offend anyone but I had a terrible experience with that church.
Mike Maiale:
Mar 09, 2013 07:37PM
q Did you notice common traits in the people that the Church of Scientology drew in?
Jeremiah Cox:
Mar 10, 2013 10:44AM
Pardon me for reverting to your earlier book on TWINS. You held that the concordance rate among twins for homosexuality was exceptionally high; but a friend pointed out that the sample size rendered the concordance rate negligible. Did he have a point?
Mar 10, 2013 08:38PM
Is this ever going to begin?
Patrick Brown:
Mar 11, 2013 09:49AM
Unfortunately, since many people cannot access the site today, we are going to reschedule the chat. We will post a new time and date once we have one. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Karin Lohiser:
Mar 11, 2013 11:02AM
Looks like not chat today... bye
Patrick Brown:
Mar 12, 2013 09:48AM
We have rescheduled this chat for Wednesday, March 20, at 2pm ET/11am PT. Hope you can all join us then!
Eoin O'brien:
Mar 19, 2013 10:55AM
q In your opinion, if Misgave had not taken the reigns after Hubbard passed away would Scientology be drastically different from the what we see today? Do you believe that the strict nature of the tenets of the faith and exploitative nature of some of their practices would have facilitated a tyrannical figure head regardless? Great book by the way, found it very unbiased. Refreshing to read something that wasn't a complete witch hunt on the topic.
Mar 20, 2013 08:53AM
q Have you ever considered writing about how much hollywood stretches the truth in historical films?
jean lice:
Mar 20, 2013 09:17AM
q How do you decide on what goes into the book, if there are multiple versions of the same story or doubtful facts? (e.g. the extraordinary life of "Snake" Thompson, or the written number of words concerning Hubbard's œuvre)
Sher Boudreau:
Mar 20, 2013 09:58AM
q Is there a real connection between Scientology and the Illuminati as some have hinted to? Is the fear and intimidation real for breaking the code of silence?
Mar 20, 2013 10:56AM
q Which of your books have you found the most difficult to research?
Mar 20, 2013 10:59AM
q Is the "musical chairs" incident the most surreal event that you found in your research? What uncovered aspects of Scientology gave you a real WTF moment?
Karen Segal:
Mar 20, 2013 11:05AM
when will it be available in Canada?
Sher Boudreau:
Mar 20, 2013 11:05AM
q Have you seen the new tv show 'Cult' and if so, have you seen any parallels between it and Scientology?
Bob Dusterberg:
Mar 20, 2013 11:09AM
q While many can agree that Scientology has its "wacky" elements, it seems that many aspects of yur critique could be considered criticisms of similar "roganized religions". Is that intentional?
Karen Segal:
Mar 20, 2013 11:13AM
How is it that Cruise and others don't see any of the abuse? I realize that they are protected but still, they'd have to be living under a rock to not see some of the abuse.
Lisa Westerfield :
Mar 20, 2013 11:13AM
Eoin wrote: "q In your opinion, if Misgave had not taken the reigns after Hubbard passed away would Scientology be drastically different from the what we see today? Do you believe that the strict nature of the ..."

I like this question!
LM Goodrich:
Mar 20, 2013 11:14AM
I stopped a the DC office to find out what Scientology was? I spent 2 hours, one movie and never could find out. What do they believe in?
LM Goodrich:
Mar 20, 2013 11:17AM
q: Can you provide a quick overview, what are the general beliefs?
Erik Grotz:
Mar 20, 2013 11:20AM
How do they go about recruiting new 'celebrity' members?
Rita Lilly:
Mar 20, 2013 11:21AM
When I was exposed to Scientology in the early 80's, their writings made it very clear (no pun intended) that homosexuality was considered an aberration and could be "healed" through auditing. Rumors that abounded, and continue to abound, about Cruise and Travolta made me wonder if they were hoping to be "cured" through Scientology. Do they still believe homosexuality to be an illness and claim that courses and auditing is a cure?
Ron Ross:
Mar 20, 2013 11:22AM
q Knowing what they know about Hubbard's motives and character faults why do you think defectors like Rathbun and Rinder still believe in the tech?
Michel Ollivier Stone:
Mar 20, 2013 11:23AM
In France scientology is not considered as a church nor a cult but a company and condemned for abuse,why do the USA allow it?
Trish Rigdon:
Mar 20, 2013 11:24AM
q Is there any interest in a documentary based on this book? Alex Gibney interested?
Cj Stein:
Mar 20, 2013 11:25AM
I am an attorney. I spent 8 years representing the one successful litigant against Scientology, and ultimately collected nerar $9 million dollars on his behalf. I have much insight into the actions of how the "machine" works.
Rita Lilly:
Mar 20, 2013 11:27AM
Going back before Dianetics, Hubbard was good friends with Alistair Crowley. Did you find that the relationship with Crowley influenced Hubbard while creating Dianetics and Scientology?
Bob Dusterberg:
Mar 20, 2013 11:28AM
q You suggest that there is a "stigma" with celebrities being associated to Scientology. But that is based on a general societal insight into the "wackiness" of Scientology. You eluded earlier to similar religious traditions (laying on of hands). Could many of your critiques be applied to more "organized religions"
Michel Ollivier Stone:
Mar 20, 2013 11:28AM
What about the word'scientology' science of science....? What about something new like medecine of medecine or geography of geography?
Sher Boudreau:
Mar 20, 2013 11:29AM
q What is the process of 'deprogramming' once you leave? Are there are any specialized personnel to help former members cope?
Sher Boudreau:
Mar 20, 2013 11:36AM
great conversation thank you so much!
Sascha Mundstein:
Mar 20, 2013 11:42AM
q In abstract terms without reference to any specific religion, according to what criteria would you draw the line between a "legitimate" religion and one that is "fraudulent"?
Reade Adams:
Mar 31, 2013 09:33AM
I wasn't able to attend the March 20 discussion. is there a recording somewhere I could listen to?
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About Lawrence Wright

Lawrence Wright is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. His new book is Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief. He is a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine.
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