Belief Systems Similar to the Helix: Background information when reading Woke Up Lonely

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Woke Up Lonely

by Fiona Maazel

Woke Up Lonely by Fiona Maazel
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2013, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2014, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Morgan Macgregor

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Belief Systems Similar to the Helix

Print Review

In book reviews for Woke Up Lonely, Scientology is often invoked as a cultural reference for the Helix. The reasons for this are clear enough: both are worldwide organizations committed to individual and social change, both are led by one man who claims to have the secret to happiness, and both are largely suspected, by outsiders, to be cults (the Church of Scientology has been riddled with controversy with former members claiming to have been incarcerated extensively).

The primary "truth" upon which Scientology is constructed is this:

"Man is a spiritual being endowed with abilities well beyond those which he normally envisions. He is not only able to solve his own problems, accomplish his goals and gain lasting happiness, but he can achieve new states of awareness he may never have dreamed possible."

In other words, much like the Helix and other belief systems and religions, the focus is on betterment of the individual (although the methods of reaching this goal vary).

The Church of Scientology L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology's charismatic leader, purports to have divine wisdom; according to the Church of Scientology:

"In July of 1952, L. Ron Hubbard became the first to scientifically isolate, measure and describe the human spirit, while objectively demonstrating spiritual potentials well in advance of scientific thought. Moreover, those potentials were found to be possessed by every human being and just as universally attainable. Thus developed his description of Scientology as accomplishing the goal of every great religion: Freeing the soul by wisdom."

In Woke Up Lonely, Thurlow Dan is a regular guy whose claim is less grandiose: he offers the belief that the only way to live through our pain is to talk about it.

Another real-life reference for the Helix could be an organization called the Landmark Education, a limited liability company that focuses on self-improvement through educational seminars. This group-awareness program, called the Landmark Forum, promises to help you "experience a positive, permanent shift in your quality of life." The flagship program takes place over three consecutive days, whereby group leaders propose topics of discussion, and attendees are encouraged to share their personal stories. This is, essentially, what Maazel's Helix is; though they identify as a "therapeutic community," the core of Helix's program is simply getting people together and sharing. The Landmark Forum promises to cultivate specific communication and life skills, while the Helix promises a more therapeutic cure for loneliness.

There are crucial distinctions between the Helix and The Landmark Forum on the one hand and the Church of Scientology on the other. For one thing, the latter promotes itself as a religion whereas the Helix and the Forum do not. Furthermore the Forum and the fictional Helix espouse the betterment that comes from the healing powers of a group. Unlike the Church of Scientology, the Forum does not purport to have the answers for life's larger questions. They are, in essence, group therapy sessions.

Picture of the founding Church of Scientology from Wikipedia

Article by Morgan Macgregor

This article was originally published in June 2013, and has been updated for the April 2014 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    My Name Is Leon
    by Kit De Waal
    Kit de Waal's striking debut, My Name is Leon, has inspired this big, long, complicated question: ...
  • Book Jacket: New People
    New People
    by Danzy Senna
    Danzy Senna has spent virtually her entire writing career exploring the complicated intersections of...
  • Book Jacket: Hunger
    Hunger
    by Roxane Gay
    In this penetrating and fearless memoir, author Roxane Gay discusses her battle with body acceptance...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
News of the World by Paulette Jiles

A brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Heart's Invisible Furies
    by John Boyne

    A sweeping, heartfelt saga set in Ireland from the author of The Boy In the Striped Pajamas.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Hame

Hame by Annalena McAfee

A rich, sultry novel about a young American fleeing a crumbling marriage for a remote Scottish island.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A F Out O W

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.