These are the main critical books (plus a the most important reports and essays) that explore the murky world of
the cult of Scientology. Many are available over the web, and a few are still
in print. Scientology has conducted a long war against these books by trying
to ban them, buy them up, destroy them, sue the authors and remove or destroy
library copies. Most large libraries will have at least some of these books
surviving on their shelves, however.
The 3 critical books generally considered the best place to start
A Piece Of Blue Sky
An insider testimony.
L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman?
Personal accounts from people who worked with Hubbard, including his oldest son.
The true life and story of L. Ron Hubbard
A Chronological View of L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology
By Kaj Moos Publ.: Seagull Productions Year: 1995 ISBN: 8798378627
A Doctor's Report on Dianetics Theory and Therapy
By Joseph Winter Publ.: Julian Press, New York (Crown Publishing Group, New York, 1987) Year: 1951 ISBN: 051-756-4211
Winter was an early recruit
into the cult in the early 50s; he broke away when Hubbard turned his back on
science and went off into past lives and a totalitarian dogma
A Piece of Blue Sky Scientology, Dianetics and L. Ron hubbard Exposed
By Jon Atack Publ.: A Lyle Stuart book Year: 1990 (updated 2013) ISBN: 0-8184-0499-X
It was 1950, in the early, heady days of Dianetics, soon after L. Ron Hubbard opened the doors of his first organization to the clamoring crowd. Up until then, Hubbard was known only to readers of pulp fiction, but now he had an instant best-seller with a book that promised to solve every problem of the human mind, and the cash was pouring in. Hubbard found it easy to create schemes to part his new following from their money. One of the first tasks was to arrange "grades" of membership, offering supposedly greater rewards, at increasingly higher prices. Over thirty years later. an associate wryly remembered Hubbard turning to him and confiding, no doubt with a smile, "Let's sell these people a piece of blue sky."
Bare-Faced Messiah The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard.
By Russell Miller Publ.: Henry Holt, New York Year: 1988 ISBN: 155-013-0277 hardback
There are also UK and Canadian
editions, and a paperback by Sphere Books (a subsidiary of Penguin), in 1988.
520pp. ISBN 074-740-3325. (One of the most thoroughly-researched books on the
cult, Miller covers Hubbard's family origins and his life chronologically while
exploring and documenting his life-long habit of lying and exaggerating.
Includes 22 photos, many of Hubbard's family. The book is now on the web,
courtesy of the author.
Believe What You Like What happened between the Scientologists and the National Association for Mental Health
By C.H. Rolph Year: 1973 Publ.: Andre Deutsch Limited, London ISBN: 023-396-3758
About the attempt by the CoS to take over the
National Association for Mental Health. It introduces Scientology, talks about
Scn's hatred of psychiatry and details the tale. It's a bit turgid and
journalistic [would have to be, to avoid non-frivolous legal action inasmuch as
possible] and not of current interest, but has some nice quotes and would
probably be of historical interest. - David Gerard. See also "Two Disparate
Philosophies" by David Dalton.
By Dr. Christopher Evans Publ.: Harrap, London Year: 1973 ISBN:
Hardcover: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York. First American Edition, 1974.
Copyright (c) 1973 by Christopher Evans. Library of Congress CCN: 73-87694.
ISBN: 037-413-3247. (Email me to loan a copy of the late Dr. Christopher Evans'
book, Cults of Unreason, long out of print. Slightly over half of this book is
about Scientology, with good material on the early days of Dianetics, some
amazing and hilarious material about OT wins, life at Saint Hill and aboard the
ships, as well as good coverage of various Scientology offshoots, the E-Meter,
and more. Much of the material in Dr. Evans' book is not covered in the other
critical books about the cult - highly recommended reading. - Martin Hunt)
Dianetics in Limbo
By Helen O'Brien Publ.: Whitmore Publishing Co., Philadelphia Year: 1966 ISBN:
Hollywood, Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon -- The Case Against Celebrity
By Andrew Breitbart and Mark Ebner Publ.: John Wiley & Sons Year: 2004 ISBN: 0471450510
Drugs, alcohol, failed marriages, lies, deceptions, and giant egos - Hollywood Interrupted exposes
them all for what they are and does it with style and humour. It takes on the Hollywood PR machine
and exposes the seamy and not-so-hidden uglyness that is celebrity today.
One section deals with Hollywood's fascination with gurus,prohets, and other "spiritual" leaders. The
chapter on Scientology is well researched,written and presents the truth about scientology and its
celebrity schills. It exposes the front groups that scientology celebs tout from Narconon to Criminon
and WISE and ABLE.
A must read for everyone who is fed up with hollywierd celebrity ego-fests.
Inside Scientology How I Joined Dianetics/Scientology and Became Superhuman
By Robert Kaufman Publ.: Olympia Press, New York Year: 1972 ISBN:
Kaufman, who died [in 1996], explains the mechanics of the cult in this auto-biographical look into what it is like to get into Scientology, what life is like while in, and what prompts finally leaving it. Kaufman delivers stark insight into this madness-inducing cult in this book that gives the best picture of life on the inside.
By Bent Corydon & L. Ron Hubbard Jr. Publ.: Lyle Stuart, Secaucus, New Jersey Year: 1987 ISBN: 081-840-4442
Revised, Updated and Expanded Edition (trade paperback.) Corydon, Bent. Barricade Books, Fort Lee, New Jersey. 1992. ISBN: 094-263-7577. (Note: L. Ron Hubbard Jr.'s name was taken off this edition for legal reasons.) A new 1996 edition includes an index; Brian Ambry organized and wrote the update and addendum sections for this new edition and the 1992 edition. ISBN for the 1996 edition: 156-980-009X.
This large book on Scientology is fairly disorganized but it remains a vital source of first-hand testimony from ex-Scientologists about life aboard Hubbard's ship, the Apollo, and many alarming accounts of illegal and criminal activities within Scientology. Includes 21 photos, mostly of Hubbard, and two illustrations that compare Scientology's cross to that of the infamous Aleister Crowley. The two later editions are significantly different from the original hardcover with several new added chapters and some revisions to existing chapters.
By Stewart Lamont Publ.: Harrap, London Year: 1986 ISBN: 024-554-3341 hardback
Written in a clear, lucid and professional style by an English religious studies scholar, journalist and broadcaster, Lamont's book is an excellent read and puts Scientology into sharp contrast against legitimate religion. Includes 27 photos, most taken by Lamont while researching Scientology for his book.
By Kevin Victor Anderson, Q.C. Publ.: The State of Victoria, Australia Year: 1965 ISBN:
There are some features of scientology which are so ludicrous that there may be a tendency to regard scientology as silly and its practitioners as harmless cranks. To do so would be gravely to misunderstand the tenor of the Board's conclusions. This Report should be read, it is submitted, with these prefatory observations constantly in mind. Scientology is evil; its techniques evil; its practice a serious threat to the community, medically, morally and socially; and its adherents sadly deluded and often mentally ill. (quote from the prefatory note)
Although some social scientists insist that Scientology is a religion, the more appropriate position to take is that the organization is a multi-faceted transnational that has religion as only one of its many components.
By George Malko Publ.: Dell/Delacorte, New York Year: 1970 ISBN:
Malko views Scientology through the eyes of an inveterate skeptic and a newcomer to the subject; his refreshing ability to withstand all inducements to join the cult while researching for this book is commendable, as is his sharply critical mind that relentlessly confronts Scientology PR and dogma, exposing it to the light for his readers.
Scientology With(out) an End
By Tom Voltz Publ.: Walter Verlag (originally in German) Original title: "Scientology und (k)ein Ende" Year: 1995 ISBN:
Scientology - and no end. The public debate lingers on. More and more people who have been recruited in the German-speaking countries have come to realize that the way to individual freedom is not found with Scientology, and that the declared claim of saving the world from destruction is absolutely not attained with the technology of L. Ron Hubbard and the Scientology system. These people leave Scientology. (quote from foreword)
Scientology's Relationship With Eastern Religious Traditions
By Stephen A. Kent Publ.: Journal of Contemporary Religion Year: 1996 ISBN:
Scientology's founder, L. Ron Hubbard, frequently made claims that Scientology was related to or shared significant similarities with Hinduism, Theravada Buddhism and Taoism. However, careful examination of Hubbard's claims indicates that he had only a superficial acquaintance with Eastern religions, and most of his attempts to associate Scientology with these faiths are unwarranted.
Dr. Jaschke is a political scientist who was paid by the German government to research Scientology. Dr. Jaschke put to rest the rumor that Scientology was a religion by collecting, organizing and presenting information, then publishing it as a report which became freely available on the internet, but only in German. - Joe Cisar.
The Road to Total Freedom A sociological analysis of scientology
By Roy Wallis Publ.: Columbia University Press, New York Year: 1977 ISBN: 0-231-04200-0
Wallis utilized documentation and 83 interviews to write this text that covers some of the broad themes of the cult from a sociological viewpoint. Wallis sees Scientology as progressing through time, but doesn't get too side-tracked by such propaganda and PR lines in this in-depth digging into what makes the cult work, why and how people become Scientologists, and what makes Hubbard himself tick.
The Sad Tale of Scientology A short history 1950-85
By Eric Townsend Publ.: Anima Publishing Year: 1985 ISBN: 0-9510471-0-8
"His aim in writing this book is to provide a brief and balanced summary of how the subject has developed. By doing this in a way that tries to be fair to all sides, he hopes that the open- minded reader will have enough information to make a rational decision about whether to take their interest in the subject further or not."
Stripping the Gurus Sex, Violence, Abuse and Enlightenment
By Geoffrey D. Falk Publ.: Million Monkeys Press Year: 2005 ISBN: 0-9736203-3-1
"Armed with wit, insight, and truly astonishing research, Geoffrey Falk utterly demolishes the notion of the enlightened guru who can lead devotees to nirvana. This entertaining and yet deadly serious book should be read by everyone pursuing or thinking of pursuing the path of guru devotion."
- John Horgan, author of Rational Mysticism
"Stripping the Gurus is superb - one of the best books of its kind I have ever read. The research is meticulous, the writing engaging, and the overall thesis: devastatingly true. A stellar book."