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Blown For Good: Behind the Iron Curtain of Scientology

Author: Marc Headley

Publisher: BFG BOOKS INC.; 1st edition (November 5, 2009)

With index, Glossary, and end pages map of the Hemet, California compound

Reviewed by Chris Halsted

Available on Amazon (we get a percentage if you buy through this link)

This is an engaging insider's view of Scientology, written by a former employee in a Scientology facility in California. The author describes his experiences while living for over 15 years on the 500-acre compound, culminating in his harrowing escape to start a new life outside of Scientology.

The book assumes some knowledge of the basic belief system of the Church of Scientology, as virtually no background information is given to describe why he or anyone would want to join such an organization in the first place. He refers to "Thetans" and other such concepts, without describing them. He also makes it clear that Scientologist doctrine is vehemently opposed to LSD and perhaps other drugs, and considers the psychiatric profession to be a mortal enemy, but he gives no reasons why this would be.

That said, "Blown For Good" describes in almost excessive detail the day-to-day operations of the controversial organization, and the strange lingo used by insiders, including acronyms for almost any type of activity imaginable.

The main tool used by Scientology is called an "E-Meter", which seems to be a type of polygraph machine, and it seems to be used to an extreme degree constantly, to root out Suppressives and other enemies, which must be everywhere, since a picture emerges of massive paranoia, and a degree of insularity in regard to the outside world which seems to rival that of North Korea. The comparison is apt, because the also book describes large numbers of people slaving in horrible conditions for little or no pay for years, working for ill-defined goals, and bound by a vast number of seemingly arbitrary restrictions.

Given that some seemingly smart people have been involved in Scientology, the group seems to display a vast amount of incompetence, which reaches all the way to the top. People seem to waste their time in recrimination and meetings, rather than getting much worthwhile done.

An interesting point which the author seems to avoid is how Scientology engages in, at best, quasi-legal labor practices and other activities, including holding people for years against their will and perhaps other, more serious crimes, without being severely punished or shut down. If the allegations in the book are true, it would be hard to imagine a white supremacist group, for example, getting away with any of this without a visit from the FBI or National Guard troops. In order for it to carry on as it does, Scientology may, perhaps unknowingly, serve the purposes of an intelligence agency or similar entity with enough influence to protect them. This makes sense, because it's far-flung operations and penchant for secrecy would make Scientology an excellent information gathering tool or agent of influence for any number of powerful people or organizations. There is no definitive evidence for this in the book, but one can certainly speculate.

Mr. Headley may have been a fool for putting up with such abuse as he describes for so long, but one must admire his courage at finally getting away from Scientology, and I can only wish he and his seemingly charming family all the best.

Copyright 2010 Seattle Metaphysical Library