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Going Clear - Chapter 2: Source 
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 Going Clear - Chapter 2: Source
Going Clear - by Lawrence Wright
Chapter 2: Source

Please talk about Chapter 2: Source in this thread.



Fri Apr 24, 2015 4:36 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 2: Source
What a long chapter! But I guess you need the background to figure out how he came up with all of this.


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I am haunted by waters.”


Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:51 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 2: Source
Wright wants to show that Hubbard was remarkable in some ways, and Wright demonstrates this. Clearly he was a brilliant man, with some qualities you could call admirable. He wasn't deterred by failure, only seemed to grow more determined and convinced of his specialness. But from another angle, sociopathy seems evident in his disregard for others and his outrageous lying. He also appeared to be a coward, for all of his bravado. He seems to be a peculiarly American type of self-inventor, not unlike Fitzgerald's Jay Gatsby. You also might have seen the late Philip Seymour Hoffman play a character modeled after Hubbard in "The Master," which also is about a religious fraud.



Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:27 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 2: Source
Found a book presentation for the book with Lawrence Wright presenting it is very good. http://www.c-span.org/video/?316330-3/b ... oing-clear. I actually liked the second link I am providing here better though.http://www.c-span.org/video/?310573-1/b ... oing-clear


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"Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.
I am haunted by waters.”


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Fri May 01, 2015 7:37 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 2: Source
DWill wrote:
Wright wants to show that Hubbard was remarkable in some ways, and Wright demonstrates this. Clearly he was a brilliant man, with some qualities you could call admirable. He wasn't deterred by failure, only seemed to grow more determined and convinced of his specialness. But from another angle, sociopathy seems evident in his disregard for others and his outrageous lying. He also appeared to be a coward, for all of his bravado. He seems to be a peculiarly American type of self-inventor, not unlike Fitzgerald's Jay Gatsby. You also might have seen the late Philip Seymour Hoffman play a character modeled after Hubbard in "The Master," which also is about a religious fraud.



I saw that movie "The Master"

I thought it was bad.



Fri May 01, 2015 11:05 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 2: Source
I'm on Ch. 2, I'm going to try to get back to the book (I shouldn't commit to anything, I always end up putting it off, it's like buying a book and then leaving it on your shelf).

in the meantime, here's an NBC segment on it




Tue May 05, 2015 5:36 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 2: Source
This chapter depicts a man who was a lot worse than the one described in the HBO doc. As I recall, the film didn't delve deeply into Hubbard's craziness. He's a megalomaniac and entirely delusional. His shrewdness was what made him really so threatening, though. He knew where the money was.

I can't find the quote, but early in this chapter Wright observes that writing science fiction is similar to constructing theology. Interesting. I wonder whether that applies to the type of SF that Hubbard wrote, rather than SF in general. Anyone ever read Hubbard's fiction? I would expect his characterization to be pretty poor, but I don't really know.

It's fascinating to see almost firsthand the development of a religion, with Scientology and Mormonism being recent enough to have origins not buried in the distant past, as with Christianity. We can see how religions develop in response to the facts on the ground, as Robert Wright showed us in The Evolution of God.



Wed May 06, 2015 6:01 am
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Post Re: Going Clear - Chapter 2: Source
I think this book is going to be a bit of a challenge to digest and discuss - there is so much mania, madness, abuse, and downright lunacy!

Just listing a few tidbits from this chapter so far:
p. 26 - A failed manic film expedition. How did LRH fancy himself qualified to do this?
p. 29 - LRH has a near death experience in a dentist chair and believes the secrets of the universe have been revealed to him.
p. 30 - LRH writes a small book about this experience. "Hubbard sent excited telegrams to publishers in New York, inviting them to meet him at Penn Station where he would auction off a manuscript that would change the world." Wow, breathtaking mania.
p. 33 - Another failed overblown voyage, the "Alaskan Radio Experimental Expedition".
p. 45 - LRH explores black magick in the manner of Aleister Crowley. Hubbard works on a ceremony called the "Babalon Working", attempting to create a "moonchild" who becomes the Antichrist. When he hears of these activities, Crowley states "I get fairly frantic when I contemplate the idiocy of these goats." Wow, when you get a reaction like that from Mr. Crowley, there's your ticket for the Clue Bus!
p. 45 - LRH's son L. Ron Hubbard Jr. states "Black magic is the inner core of Scientology - and it is probably the only part of Scientology that really works."

And we're just barely getting warmed up! :x :P :shock:



Thu May 28, 2015 9:16 pm
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Post Re: Going Clear - Chapter 2: Source
Quote:
There is a photo of Hubbard and Moulton standing in front of a small ship, which was suited mainly for harbor patrol, Hubbard is wearing his glasses and holding a pipe in his hands, with the collar of his pea jacket turned up and a determined look on his face. "These little sweethearts are tough," he says of the ship. "They could lick the pants off anything Nelson or Farragut ever sailed. They put up a sizzling fight and are the only answer to the submarine menace. I state emphatically that the future of America rests with just such escort vessels."

It is worth lingering a moment over this overblown statement. The scripted language might as well have been lifted from one of Hubbard's pulp-fiction heroes. Hubbard must have longed to be such a figure in reality, only to be thwarted by his repeated quarrels with higher authority. Each detail Hubbard offers - comparing himself advantageously with history's greatest naval heroes, asserting that he holds the future of his nation in his hands - testifies to his need for grandeur and heroism, or at least to be seen as grand and heroic. He would soon be given an opportunity. pgs. 36 - 37

It's a small item in a local paper, but even so Hubbard can't help himself, his arrogance and mania come through. Although as Wright states elsewhere, qualities such as these and the con-artist would almost be required in anyone who starts a new religion. Joseph Smith and many other cult leaders had these qualities. The Gautama Buddha might be one exception.



Sat Jun 06, 2015 12:58 pm
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