Cert: TBC Runtime: 119 mins Director: Alex Gibney Cast: Lawrence Wright, Mike Rinder, Marty Rathbun, Paul Haggis, Jason Beghe and Sylvia Taylor
You don’t get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion
Scientology is an organization that came to my attention well over a decade ago. That was through South Park with the whole Tom Cruise and the closet skit! Trey Parker & Matt Stone depicted what this “religion” I will use that term loosely believes in. It was rather absurd in my opinion. This is not the only documentary I have watched about Scientology the most shocking was the harassment Marty Rathbun received from Scientology after leaving the church. This was shocking if you choose to leave a religion you should be allowed to do it freely as most religions teach peace and love. Both of these points are raised in Scientology but Rathbun received nothing but abuse and harassment. Alex Gibney has been working on this documentary in secret for some time for HBO, he has adapted the book of the same title by Lawrence Wright who is featured in the documentary. As we all know the church is very private and they are very protective of their “faith”. They have condemned the film and have gone to great lengths for this film not to be shown. What is the premise of Going Clear then? Gibney profiles eight former members of the Church of Scientology, whose most prominent adherents include A-list Hollywood celebrities, shining a light on how the church cultivates true believers, including their experiences and what they are willing to do in the name of religion. The film covers a broad range of material from the church’s origins—punctuated by an intimate portrait of founder L. Ron Hubbard—to present-day practices and alleged abuses as reported in the media.
Alex Gibney has revealed possibly more than you could have imagined. For a novice of Scientology this is a great introduction to the “religion” and it’s background and origins. For me it was a great reminder of the fundamental basis. The confessions we receive from the former members is nothing but brave and truthful. From the stories of Sea Corp members too it’s two prominent members Cruise and Travolta. The church deny all allegations from Gibney’s documentary. Gibney’s visual approach for Going Clear is bold and straight to the point, the Hole sequence is very haunting and disturbing. If David Mascavige has treated these people as he has he should be put through the legal system and answer for his wrong doings. Even the dialogue from the former members is haunting when it comes to certain topics. Going Clear isn’t a perfect documentary you must keep in mind, it doesn’t divulge deeper into some topics. We just get a brief over view of the majority of topics. But that’s why I believe that the whole Lawrence Wright book tie-in comes to fruition. It is a book I will be purchasing most definitely. This was my main gripe with Going Clear. It does leave you angry this documentary, it’s an important testimony of the inhumane abuses that have and is happening there. The secrecy and hidden from the light of scrutiny, the executives of this cult do as they please. The physical, mental, and emotional abuse is like Naziesque. The promise of a richer fuller life would attract any man, but once we hit the religious aspect of Scientology you have to question the intentions of the “religion”. Gibney’s work should be watched by everyone, and as a people of order and justice should now call for Miscavige and Scientology to come clean and respond to the truth that has come from these brave former members.