Scientology has been of intense interest to many people though out the world and has been the subject of many books, videos and some documentaries, apart from the simply overflowing output of its own publications and media developed out of the original writings of L. Ron Hubbard. No, the outside feedback has not always been very encouraging.

What is interesting about Michael Piv’s book, The Golden Fleece, Diary of a Scientology Warrior, is that Michael found very valuable material in the science of Scientology but some rather grave problems with the Church of Scientology. And he is definitely a force to contend with since he was in charge of a massive number of core translations in many different countries and also fairly high in the hierarchy of Sea Org, Hubbard’s internationally often ocean-bound organization in command of many important administrative and promotional functions in Scientology.

This interview stresses certain key areas in Michael’s decades-long involvement with Scientology. One area is how he was recruited and the way Scientology very early changed his life- I think generally in a very good way- because it turned his sense of himself into a person who wanted to be of real service to others. His exploration of auditing and counselling within the scientology context produced in him a sense of the genuine value of certain areas in the scientology teachings, but it also gave him a sense of the limits of that teaching. This interview, like the book does (but in much more detail) gives various details about not only what he learned but his genuine clashes and also careful restraint in dealing with a massive bureaucracy. To me, it was very fascinating how Michael managed to keep a very high sense of his individuality in a system that was often designed to press people in a conformity generated by the fear and retribution if the need for absolute obedience was entirely adhered to.

Michael was so knitted to his individuality, even in relationship to his dealing with rules outside of Scientology- say, when in other countries- that he put himself in a certain amount of risk- especially when in the Soviet Union and dealing with some very angry members of the KGB who threatened his very existence because of his desire to propagate scientology teaching up to and including the actual fall of the Soviet Union. This book is dramatic at times, hysterical at other times, has its share of raunchiness and entirely self-conscious and intentional rebellion, but also conveys a certain respect for the core teachings of Scientology often absent in other more pejorative books and media. Some of this part (whether true or not I cannot really tell) is quite amazing, particularly his understanding of the meaning if and e-meter technology dealing with the engrams, used to uncover and eliminate often troublesome reactions to events often not understood by a person experience some pain or behavioral aberration.

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