Mark your calendars for March 16th and tune into HBO. You don't have to have a cable subscription to watch, now that HBO offers subscriptions delivered to your tablet or phone. And you will want to tune in, to see Alex Gibney's new film, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.
Even if you've read Lawrence Wright's book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief on which the film is based, Gibney's adaptation is an eye-opening and transformative experience. The difference between reading about Scientology's bizarre principles and seeing them up on-screen, spelled out in an easily digestible and visually exciting way is profound. The film is eerily entertaining and even funny at times, that is, until you catch yourself and remember how many lives have been ruined in the name of these far-fetched science fiction concepts.
As you might imagine, the Elron devotees are lining up a veritable parade of PR attacks on Gibney and his film:
The Church of Scientology took out advertisements in The New York Times on Jan. 16 comparing the documentary to Rolling Stone’s discredited story about campus rape—and now the Church is expanding its efforts online. A special report has been published on the Church’s Freedom website, and a new Twitter account, Freedom Media Ethics, is “taking a resolute stand against the broadcasting and publishing of false information.”
The Church claims Gibney only spoke to disgruntled former members—who they attempt to discredit one by one on the new site—and failed to allow itself to respond to the allegations in the film.
I'll bet those guys are the same ones who handle Republicans' public relations issues, too. I recognize that whole "attack the messenger" trope they're so famous for.
Personally, I cannot wait to see this. Alex Gibney is a stellar filmmaker, and it's about time this cult was shown for what it is -- a malevolent money machine.