The Church of Fear

  • by John Sweeney
  • Narrated by John Sweeney
  • 10 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Tom Cruise and John Travolta say the Church of Scientology is a force for good. Others disagree.
Award-winning journalist John Sweeney investigated the Church for more than half a decade. During that time he was intimidated, spied on, and followed, and the results were spectacular: Sweeney lost his temper with the Church's spokesman on camera, and his infamous 'exploding tomato' clip was seen by millions around the world.
In The Church Of Fear, Sweeney tells the full story of his experiences for the first time and paints a devastating picture of this strange organisation, from former Scientologists who tell heartbreaking stories of families torn apart and lives ruined to its current followers who say it is the solution to many of mankind's problems.
This is the real story of the Church by the reporter who was brave enough to take it on.
John Sweeney is a reporter for BBC Panorama. He is the author of six previous books including the novel Elephant Moon.

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What the Critics Say

"A bold and swashbuckling reporter...let him shout: at least he shouts the truth." (Mail on Sunday)
"Gripping." (The Economist)
"A brave book." (Liverpool Daily Post)
"Blackly comic." (The Humanist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Interesting look into a secretive religion...

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

"The Church of Fear" gives readers a little known look into a well known but little talked about religion in which members are secluded from the unbelieving family members and forced to pay exorbitant improvement fees. Scientology's cult status is clearly with each page.


Who was your favorite character and why?

John Sweeney was a favorite in his no holds barred quest for the truth.


Have you listened to any of John Sweeney’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not. In "Church of Fear" Sweeney was energetic and fired by his convictions which made for a fascinating listen.


If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

"You can join but you can never leave."


Any additional comments?

“Church of Fear” by John Sweeney is a wonderfully interesting and informative read. If you’re interested in cults, human nature and organizational control pick the book up today and if you’re in the mood for a special treat, be sure the version you buy is the audio book.

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- Rabid Readers Reviews "Avid Reader"

Wonderful story

Where does The Church of Fear rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It would rank a 3 for me. I haven't read a lot about this subject, but I am trying to get a grip on the subject. Most of the books on this subject seems to repeat the others.


What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Hard at times to keep up with who is saying what. Speaking very fast.


What does John Sweeney bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I don't think I would have read very much of the book itself..


What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

As most people, I believe, knows that scientology is a cult. Why is the FBI doing nothing about it. Any church I go to does not ask my past or record my confessions. I know they are teaching from the Bible. Your personal choice is to believe or not believe.


Any additional comments?

The books I have listened to so far bring Tom Cruise and John Travolta up a lot. They are not the only people in scientology. I have seen a lot of clips with Tom and he does seem to be a little off in the head. But John seems to just keep away from the press getting on with his life and his loss.

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- Linda

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-19-2015
  • Publisher: Audible Studios