The Afterword Episode 30: Lawrence Wright, Author of Going Clear, Interviewed

Conversations with writers.
Jan. 31 2013 9:15 AM

Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief

An interview with Lawrence Wright, author of Going Clear.

Listen to Episode 30 of The Afterword:

June Thomas June Thomas

June Thomas is a Slate culture critic and editor of Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section. 

PODCAST_the_afterword_click

This episode of The Afterword is brought to you by Audible. Get a free audiobook and 30-day trial today by signing up at www.audiblepodcast.com/afterword.

Advertisement

The Church of Scientology doesn’t release membership figures, but according to Lawrence Wright’s new book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, around 25,000 Americans belong to the church. Nevertheless, it has liquid assets of as much as $1 billion, and thanks to its appeal to Hollywood players, the church plays a significant role in American culture. Wright first wrote about Scientology in his February 2011 New Yorker article “The Apostate.” His new book looks at the church’s history; the complicated life of founder L. Ron Hubbard; its current leader, David Miscavige; and its most famous adherent, Tom Cruise. The discussion lasts about 28 minutes.

The Afterword, which appears in the Slate daily podcast feed every other Thursday, features interviews with the authors of new nonfiction books.

The show’s email address is slateafterword@gmail.com.

The podcast is produced by June Thomas. The executive producer of Slate’s podcasts is Andy Bowers.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 1 2014 12:20 PM Don’t Expect Hong Kong’s Protests to Spread to the Mainland
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?