I knew next to nothing on Scientology, aside from the fact that it is widely regarded as a cult of celebrity crazies. I came across an article in the New York Times about the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright, who is about to release an expose novel about Scientology.
I then read this New Yorker profile about a Scientology defector written by the writer referenced above. It’s pretty long, so I recommend utilizing the 1-page option, as it might get tedious clicking through 26 separate pages. But for those who have very little understanding of the religion, it’s a worthwhile read and engaging throughout.
Quick overview: Paul Haggis, Hollywood screenwriter and 34-year Scientologist, defected from the church due to blatant duplicity among the church spokespeople, as well as the church’s stance on homosexuality. This account basically details the arc of his involvement in the church, as well as his admission that the church teachings seemed – for the most part – ineffective and/or fraudulent. He stresses how the church specifically sought out members in Hollywood so as to gain celebrity acclaim. This is probably one of the most bizarre religions I have ever read about. Check it out.