Flunk. Start. by Sands Hall

Flunk. Start.

A captivating guide through one woman's struggle to find herself through Scientology, and how she finally escapedIs there a term for a bad choice, one you continue to make, remaining on a path even as you understand your choice is not good for you? How do you abandon that life, and attempt to live a new one, making sense of the time you had given away so willingly? Flunk. Start. is a candid, revealing memoir of what drew author, actress, and musi...

Details Flunk. Start.

TitleFlunk. Start.
Release DateMar 1st, 2018
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Religion, Biography Memoir, Biography

Reviews Flunk. Start.

  • Peacegal
    The subject of cults is a fascinating one. Extreme religious groups tend to get their hooks into people at points in their lives in which they are most vulnerable, such as a major life upheaval or tragedy. Sands Hall writes of her own experience in Scientology and the reasons she, with much difficulty, decided to leave it. The author has certainly lived an unusual life and has quite a story to tell. Scientology has its own vocabulary, and I will ...
  • Renata
    I've read a lot about Scientology (maybe...too much about Scientology?) but this is the first thing I've read that made me understand how a basically #normal person might become a Scientologist. Also it's beautifully written and expresses a lot of very #relatable #ennui . I'd recommend it to anyone who feels vaguely adrift in life even if they aren't extremely interested in Scientology.
  • Susan
    Wow what an excellent book. If you are looking for a book on Scientology that is shocking with lots of reveals and shocking details this is not the book for you. This is a book full of exploration and inner thoughts of a woman caught up in this cult. It’s very good.
  • Debbie Boucher
    A lot has been written about Scientology. Sands Hall's memoir Flunk.Start helped me understand the mind of someone who is a seeker, who had questions every step of the way, yet persisted in using Scientology for her benefit and the benefit of others. I should disclose that I went to high school with Hall, and she has been a mentor and teacher to me. I knew she had been a Scientologist and that she had regrets about it, so I read this memoir with ...
  • Marika
    Author Sands Hall grew up in a literary family where intellect was valued, and language the currency. Her brother, Oakley Hall III was a brilliant playwright until a tragic fall from a bridge left him brain dead. The accident left her family shattered, with Sands feeling unmoored and craving stability. Rules and stability are the hallmark of Scientology, so it isn’t difficult to imagine her being pulled into the organization. Scientology gave S...
  • Erika Dreifus
    It wasn't always easy to read this book, because I know and care about the author (although I knew nothing about this part of her life until she began sharing information about the book). But you needn't be a Sands fan to read it. An interest in learning about Scientology—and about what can cause any of us to make questionable choices—will suffice.
  • Len Joy
    This is an extraordinary, compelling memoir. I read it in one weekend, and I am not a binge reader. I even passed on the Academy Awards to read it. (Okay, for me that’s not a huge sacrifice, but still.)Ostensibly this is the story of the decade the author lost to Scientology. But it is really much more. It is a fascinating, heartbreaking family saga and in its own way, a coming of age tale. A spiritual journey, told with clear-eyed compassion a...
  • Dave
    Near the end, Hall tells a Scientologist friend that she's writing a memior about two cults: Scientology and the Halls, her literary family. For me, the second clan drew me in. Her father Oakley Hall wrote Warlock one the best Westerns ever.Sands' memior manages to find the good and bad in both. While Scientologists may blacklist or cut ties with her because she does critique, she makes Scientology seem slightly more reasonable. I understand why ...
  • Jan M Flynn
    An engrossing, frank, and hypnotically structured account of the author's years-long immersion, only half-willing, into Scientology, FLUNK.START is much more than an exposé. Much has been written elsewhere about the more sensational horrors of Scientology as a mind-bending, life-eating cult. Hall writes of her experiences with deep honesty and acknowledgment of the so-called Church's methods of seducing, entangling, and ultimately hijacking the ...
  • Dorothy
    Flunk. Start is named for the Scientology training key words for getting someone to try again when they make an error in reciting a lesson. While not an easy read, the book is a well-defined documentation of what goes on within the early training to be a Scientologist. The author fell under their pull at a time of particular vulnerability, after her brother suffered a life changing traumatic head injury after falling from a bridge. She worked as ...
  • Kate
    I love a deep dive into Scientology, and I love a thoughtful, well-written memoir even more. This book is both! Hall explores her upbringing in her liberal, artistic family juxtaposed with her time spent as a Scientologist and eventually leaving the organization. In the afterword, she describes how her story is relatable to anyone who has lost years of their life to anything from drugs to bad marriages; unlike other Scientology memoirs, Hall's po...
  • Stephen Ryan
    This book was basically fine. I didn't find Hall's writing style to be particularly good. There's a lot of material here that she seems to think relates to the story of her time in Scientology, but she's never really able to make, for instance, her childhood relationship with her parents really connect in the way she seems to think they should, so the book is longer than it should be. And her insights to Scientology are pretty surface level. Just...
  • Kim
    Wow. This is a messed up "religion". Have to read more.
  • Laura
    Finally! Despite reading many, many books about Scientology, I've never had a clear idea as to how this is a religion. Where is the worship? the rituals? Thanks to this book, I have a better idea (spoiler: there really isn't worship or rituals). Ms. Hall's story of getting drawn in to Scientology, her relationships with her family and friends, and eventual leaving Scientology behind will interest anyone finding themselves getting involved with an...