Joe Nolan's Insomnia — September 16, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Burroughs on Scientology

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As always, I’ve been reading a bunch of books lately. One of the most interesting is a William Burroughs biography that specifically focuses in on the author’s involvement with the Church of Scientology.

Most fans of The Beats know that Burroughs joined the church for a short time during which he became enamored of their scientific approach to the treatment of neurosis, while simultaneously getting turned-off by the cult of personality that surrounded L. Ron Hubbard. I’m still in the middle of Scientologist! by David S. Wills. I’ll post more about it later.

In the midst of Wills’ Burroughs/Scientology break-down, I came across a small article archive that gathers together samples of Burroughs’ writings on Scientology. These words by the man himself are a great primer for on the subject in the form of a collection of articles and letters published by Rolling Stone, LA Free Press and the East Village Other. This trove also includes the short story “Ali’s Smile.”

Get it here.

Here is Burroughs reading “Ali’s Smile.”

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