William S. Burroughs and Scientology: Setting the Record Straight - 2013-10-08
We recently reached out to David Wills, author of a book on William S. Burroughs titled Scientologist!, telling him that we hadn't noticed when it first hit bookshelves earlier this year, but it sounded like the kind of thing our readers might find fascinating.
He said he was interested in what we thought of the book, and after we read it, we had a conversation, which we've included below.
In Scientologist!, Wills is very clear about his mission. Burroughs (1914-1997) is best known for his involvement in Scientology because of his denunciation of it in the early 1970s. By then, he was fed up with L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology's layers of control. But Wills says that although Burroughs' disaffection with Scientology is well known, there's been a real misunderstanding of just how deeply into Hubbard's ideas Burroughs had become, and how much it was reflected in some of his best-known work.