Review of "Going Clear" on HBO From The TV MegaSite

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"Going Clear" review by Suzanne 4/8/15
Airs  various times on HBO

This is a very good documentary, and everyone should watch it.  Eight former scientology members are interviewed; some of them were very high up in the organization. Scientology has always tried to keep things secret, but this documentary tells all.

It's quite shocking what people do in the name of religion, and it's especially stunning to hear about the physical and psychological abuse (brain-washing) that members undergo. The famous scientologists like Tom Cruise and John Travolta are mentioned a lot.

On the one hand, it's amazing that anyone can take it seriously as a "religion" when it was created in the 20th century by a science fiction author. Then again, Mormonism also started in the 20th century. Where does a religion end and a cult begin? It's hard to say, I guess. To me, not being religious, they all seem equally crazy (as well as anything magical or supernatural).  On the other hand, when you hear them talk about the story behind Scientology, it does seem particularly crazy.

I would have promoted it sooner if I'd heard about it. I watched it On Demand tonight. I don't normally watch many shows that aren't fiction, but this sounded really compelling, and it is. It's definitely worth watching.


Following the HBO documentary “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God,” his investigation into sex abuse in the Catholic Church, Academy Award®-winning director Alex Gibney (HBO’s “Taxi to the Dark Side”) turns his gaze to Scientology in GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE PRISON OF BELIEF, based on the book by Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright.

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, detailing their experiences and what they are willing to do in the name of religion.

This powerful new film highlights the Church’s origins, from its roots in the mind of founder L. Ron Hubbard to its rise in popularity in Hollywood and beyond. The heart of the film is a series of shocking revelations by former insiders, including high-ranking and recognizable members such as acclaimed screenwriter Paul Haggis (“Crash”), as they describe the systematic history of abuse and betrayal by Church officials, including the current leadership of the Church.

A provocative tale of ego, exploitation and lust for power, GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE PRISON OF BELIEF will open in theaters in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco on Friday, March 13, prior to its HBO debut.

GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE PRISON OF BELIEF is written and directed by Alex Gibney; based on the book by Lawrence Wright; producers, Alex Gibney, Kristen Vaurio and Lawrence Wright; editor, Andy Grieve; director of photography, Samuel Painter. For HBO: supervising producer, Sara Bernstein; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.

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