Item #104 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this paperback 2013 Beatdom Books first print edition of David S. Wills' Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the 'Weird Cult'. 220 pages, it measures about 6" x 9" and is in very good condition. The provenance is that I acquired it via Amazon. Mr. Bezos, once again -- you are welcome.
I gave this book a very positive review on The Daily Beat on April 19, 2013. Click here to read that review. Wills' thesis can be summed up as follows (from p. 119):
He [Burroughs] was a deeply scarred human being with a mind full of awful memories and what he perceived to be handicaps - his homosexuality and drug addictions. He had sought to fix his problems through therapy, yet evidently Scientology was a quicker and more effective fix. As intelligent as Burroughs was, he was nonetheless fragile, and as wary as he was of being a "mark," he was so desperate to find a cure for his pains that he would have walked into any trap set just for him. And looking back at his history of beliefs, and his long line of particular problems, no trap was as custom-made for this man as the Church of Scientology.
Given that Burroughs was one of the Beat triumvirate along with Allen Ginsberg and our hero, Jack Kerouac, this is a fascinating read and a fitting item for one's Kerouac bookshelf.
Below is a picture of Shelf #3 of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this book (24th from the left/first item on the right) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: New Editions 2: An Anthology of Literary Discoveries.
Shelf #3 of my Kerouac bookshelf