published on July 8, 2015
Sexuality In Three Ex-Scientology Narratives
Several recent and high-profile mainstream publications have foregrounded the matter of sexuality in their narration of life in Scientology. This paper, focusing on works by Lawrence Wright, Kate Bornstein and Jenna Miscavige-Hill, discusses the deployment of sexuality in their respective narratives, along with some brief speculation as to why this deployment in useful in the context of explaining engagement with Scientology to a non-specialist audience. Sexuality, I conclude, is widely accepted as a lever with sufficient power to explain the titanic personal realignment required of those who wish to either become Scientologists or to shed said identity in public view. As Foucault would have, modern constructions of personal truth rely on sexuality for their mystery and truthfulness – it is these two elements, I contend, that make the concept ideal fodder for popular ex-Scientologist biography.