Independent Scientology author of Arrows in the Dark pans Going Clear

CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
Independent Scientology author of Arrows in the Dark pans Going Clear.

Save Scientology Blog: HBO’s Going Clear: A Missed Opportunity

http://blog.savescientology.com/2015/03/movie-review-hbos-going-clear/

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First, a disclaimer. I’m biased; I’m an Alex Gibney fan. I’ve seen many of his documentaries and found them to be informative and artfully constructed. I’m also knowledgeable about the subject matter of Going Clear, and am the author of the recently published Arrows in the Dark, an insider’s view of the Scientology organization.[1]

Based on my personal investigation and almost 4o years as a member of Scientology – I was summarily excommunicated in 2012 for seeking internal reforms – 80% of the facts presented in the film are true. Scientology watchers have heard them all before, but for persons who haven’t, Gibney skillfully and convincingly reveals the violence, mental abuse, and downright tyrannical control over senior managers, staff and parishioners by the self-anointed “Pope” of Scientology, David Miscavige. Gibney also does an excellent job showing the special treatment afforded stars like John Travolta and especially Tom Cruise whose exceptionally close relationship with Miscavige is expertly captured.

The problem with the film is the other 20%. Here, Gibney goes beyond demonstrable abuse of power charges and instead delves into subjective issues of the religion, a subject he clearly does not agree with, or even understand. The result is an appeal to prejudice, an invitation to hate or think less of Scientologists. This impairs and threatens their fundamental right to freely practice the religion of their choice.

Gibney takes a swipe at Scientology’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard, portraying him as a science fiction writer, the clear implication being that any religion Hubbard created must be equally fictitious. Lawrence Wright, on whose book Going Clear is based, is used to falsely label one of Scientology’s advanced counseling levels (OT III) as its “creation myth.” In truth, Scientology’s actual creation theory is laid out in “The Factors,” which can be found in Hubbard’s Scientology 8-8008, as well as in many of his others books and lectures. These materials are publicly available to one and all.

Meanwhile, in a display of intellectual dishonesty, Going Clear tells viewers that the church declined to be interviewed without also revealing that Scientologists who understand and support the tenets of the religion – but who disagree with the abusive and controlling policies and practices of church leader David Miscavige – were available. Not one of these pro-Scientology voices was selected for the film.

Because Gibney is dealing with spirituality, which is entirely subjective, he’s on thin ice judging its validity, one way or the other. Contrary to the opinions of the subjects interviewed in the film, there have been, over the years, hundreds of thousands of people who feel that Scientology has helped them lead happier, more productive lives. Going Clear’s public denunciation of the religious views of Scientologists violates the fundamental principles of respect, inclusion and acceptance that most Americans honor, thus creating a socially dangerous atmosphere of us vs. them.

Gibney’s failure to differentiate between the theology of Scientology – which anyone is free to accept or reject – and claims of internal abuses and corruption leads him to naively call for Tom Cruise and John Travolta to leave Scientology. Cruise and Travolta are not likely to “leave” a religion, the practice of which they both have publicly stated over and over again has benefited them. Nor should anyone try to shame them into doing so.

What can be reasonably expected, however, is that they heed the abuse allegations and look into them. Some are easy to spot; for example the church’s policy of disconnection and the oppression it causes families. It is hoped that Travolta and Cruise will use their influence to fix what they find broken.

Gibney’s trespass into the theology of Scientology leads him to decree that it is not a real religion. Therefore, he urges the IRS to revoke the church’s tax-exempt status. In truth, American courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have delved into Scientology’s religiosity in detail, examining evidence from both proponents and critics alike, as well as the opinions of religious experts. Their conclusion: Scientology is indeed a religion.

Even Lawrence Wright, the author of the book on which this documentary is based, stated in promotional interviews: “The problem [with the Church of Scientology] is a lack of checks and balances.”

I agree. The problem has nothing to do with the religious tenets of Scientology. The problem is church leader David Miscavige’s one-man rule over all Scientology organizations. The bylaws of Scientology’s governing corporations, the drafting of which Hubbard ordered and oversaw prior to his death, call for seven boards of trustees and directors spread among three entities. This is laid out in detail on this website.

Instead of asking for revocation of tax-exempt status, why not ask the IRS to use its power to impose intermediate sanctions and require the governing corporations to implement the checks and balances called for in the bylaws submitted to the IRS in support of their application for tax exemption? Rather than ask Cruise and Travolta to leave and speak out against Scientology, why not ask them to urge David Miscavige to comply with state law, church corporate bylaws, and the written instructions contained in the estate plan of L. Ron Hubbard? Institute checks and balances, cooperate with an independent, internal investigation into the abuse charges, and abolish controlling policies, such as disconnection.

Reform is achievable. Attacking the religion itself makes the task more difficult. It will cause members of the church to avoid the film, rally around their leader, dig deeper into their pockets for donations, and heed his cries: “See. The evil media are at it again, trying to destroy Scientology.”

Going Clear alienates the very people most capable of causing reform, Miscavige’s pillars of support: the famous, wealthy and influential church members who might have been reached had the documentary stuck to objective and provable facts, such as crimes and abuses of power under the current church regime. And the majority of viewers – most of whom are, of course, non-Scientologists – end up walking away after two hours of viewing, still unable to answer the most important question of all: What is Scientology, and what do people find attractive about it?

Merrell Vannier
www: MerrellVannier.com

[1] See www.arrowsinthedark.com for more information.


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AnonyMary

Formerly Fooled - Finally Free
How predictable of him to pan it.
He's still indoctrinated... He's a Miscavige blamer and defender of Hubbard ...
Lets hope he moves out of that mindset as quickly and effectively as Marty did.

In the meantime, he's of no interest to me.
 

scooter

Gold Meritorious Patron
"... there have been, over the years, hundreds of thousands of people who feel that Scientology has helped them lead happier, more productive lives."

Oh really? Where is the proof of this?

OSA PR at its finest, Hubbardspew at its most delusional.

If proof were ever needed that Hubbard, not Miscavige, is the problem with $ciloontology, this clown provides it in bucketloads.
:puke:
 

oneonewasaracecar

Gold Meritorious Patron
How predictable of him to pan it.
He's still indoctrinated... He's a Miscavige blamer and defender of Hubbard ...
Lets hope he moves out of that mindset as quickly and effectively as Marty did.

In the meantime, he's of no interest to me.
Hasn't he been out a long time? Since 2006?

I don't think he's shifting in a hurry.
 

Techless

Patron Meritorious
As has been for a long time now, and since they just can't DEAL with the accusations (proven testimonies, etc), they just try and resort back to the eternal question (their only, last defense)-

Understanding "The Tenets of Scn vs. it's actions" - which are harder and harder to refute these days of internet-ness...and either/or actually (tenets or crimes) because the one has led directly and undeniably to the others.

But then the idea of: trying to understand the 'tenets', the religious aspects, of scn. (I could use quotes ad nuaseum here as all these words get fuzzy with scn...)

You can't ever understand IT cause it's not designed to be understood - in any sort of entirety. How to get past that hump?!?

Well, as soon as these pathetic attempts to shift the focus (the truth), and they all finally crash into the finely built wall that hubbtard built, it will end.

But just now unfortunately, we are going to have to suffer through the general public (and fed/state agencies) trying to understand scn, before just shutting the damn thing down...

UUrrghh - that GC review just pissed me off!

Can ya tell?:unsure:
 

CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
http://blog.savescientology.com/2015/03/movie-review-hbos-going-clear/#comment-30665

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ingrid smith says:
April 2, 2015 at 6:54 pm

I LOVE this review!! I am a Scientologist and I am tired of being attacked for being one, whether it be from David Miscavige or any out here. What Gibney “exposes” in the current scene with David Miscavige at the helm is NOT Scientology.

I am an auditor and have helped many many people with this Technology as many others have too. Where was that story??


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CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
So, the techniques "recommended" for handling critics of Scientology are perfectly fine and appropriate for "unfair" criticism? "Unfair" as determined by who?

http://blog.savescientology.com/2015/03/movie-review-hbos-going-clear/#comment-30674

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Merrell says:
April 2, 2015 at 9:28 pm

Great point. For virtually all the tech failures, misapplication of policy, attributed to LRH and Scientology, in the film, and in other forums on the Internet, I think the same thing. This is tech under Miscavige, this is how Miscavige applies policy. As a former HGC auditor myself I watched Beghe’s description of his reaction to being forced to continue on an auditing action he didn’t want, and it screamed OVERRUN. Anyone who has overrun — haven’t we all — knows how uncomfortable the somatics can be. We also know how quickly it can be resolved. I listen to Marty blaming mistreatment of Scientologists on Hubbard policies, and I think, one, that’s a misapplication of that policy, and, two, he should know, he used to mistreat them himself, overseeing “gang bang sec checks,” for example. That’s a gross misuse of LRH technology. The techniques recommended for handling critics of Scientology wasn’t meant to be used against fair criticism. It will only backfire. Anyone with a conceptual understanding of Scientology would not entertain doing these things.

As I mention in my book, Arrows in the Dark, starting with my role as a witness of the Bill Franks-GO takeover, I spotted dominating, out-ARC tactics emanating from an unknown source point that took me many years to identify was Miscavige. People getting in people’s faces and enforcing reality. The name given this practice was an SRA, a Severe Reality Adjustment, the opposite of ARC. Some staff members grew up in this management environment, Marty, for example, who was a fresh Sea Org member when he came onto those high management lines. That’s all he’s seen and known. His knowledge of LRH policy is Miscavige’s interpretation and misuse of it. Marty says the problem with Scientology is Keeping Scientology Working (KSW). Actually, the problem is the failure to apply KSW. Of course, if by KSW he really means Miscavige’s interpretation and practice of LRH policy, which, of course, he does, then his statement is true.

So, yes, Scientology as interpreted and practiced by David Miscavige is bad. I don’t like it either. As you say, Ingrid, it isn’t Scientology.

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WildKat

Gold Meritorious Patron
Well I do agree with him on one thing: the true believers will never watch the film and will just continue to stick their heads in the sand and "avoid entheta" and will continue to sing the praises of Hubs.

Meanwhile, the cognitive dissonance must be deafening.
 

Churchill

Gold Meritorious Patron
"... there have been, over the years, hundreds of thousands of people who feel that Scientology has helped them lead happier, more productive lives."

Oh really? Where is the proof of this?

OSA PR at its finest, Hubbardspew at its most delusional.

If proof were ever needed that Hubbard, not Miscavige, is the problem with $ciloontology, this clown provides it in bucketloads.
:puke:


Hundreds of thousands? Maybe it's tens of millions. What nonsense!

99% of people who were ever in Scientology have left.

The thousands who are left will swear it's wonderful, right up until they, or their family member is declared.

Then they join the 99%.

Scientology is cannibalizing it's public, or haven't you noticed?
 

Techless

Patron Meritorious
http://blog.savescientology.com/2015/03/movie-review-hbos-going-clear/#comment-30665

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ingrid smith says:
April 2, 2015 at 6:54 pm

I LOVE this review!! I am a Scientologist and I am tired of being attacked for being one, whether it be from David Miscavige or any out here. What Gibney “exposes” in the ...


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(My bolded text)

Oh Gawd - would she, could she - have perhaps said the exact same thing regarding being attacked by LRHubbtub? Like: choose your fearless leader lady!

The next one, I am for absolute certain and knowingly sure,, will sort everything out with all the KSW issues, and all the peace and love stuff...for certain! Just wait a bit longer for it -

(ok-just a dream, I'm slowing waking up now)
 

Miss Ellie

Miss Ellie
People believe until they don't believe any more.

They believe.
They doubt.
They question.
They review.
They double question.
They no longer believe.
They get mad.
They get embarassed.
They leave.
They wonder why others still believe.
They cannot admit how much they believed.
They get a life and move on.

The circle of life.

:yes: :yes: :eyeroll:
 

ThetanExterior

Gold Meritorious Patron
The "tech" of Scientology is supposed to produce a Clear, with abilities as defined by Hubbard, and an OT, also with abilities defined by Hubbard.

These people who are still followers of the "tech" don't seem to realise that there is no such thing as a Clear nor an OT and therefore the tech is no more useful than any other self-improvement tech.

That's why people say it isn't a religion. There is no God in Scientology. No worship, no prayers. Only self-improvement tech which may or may not be useful, depending on your viewpoint.
 

Cat's Squirrel

Gold Meritorious Patron
Admittedly this is from his own website, but if this is true I'd caution against too hard a line against him;

"Merrell’s offense: he worked with two other long-term Scientologist lawyers to write letters calling for Miscavige to step down pending internal investigations into charges of abuse and inhumane treatment which were being leveled against Miscavige by former high-ranking Scientology executives. Ironically, one of the reforms called for in the letters was the abolition of the policy of Disconnection.

When that approach proved ineffective, Merrell took his reform efforts public, first through the website http://savescientology.com, and more recently, through the publication of Arrows in the Dark, an esposé of the takeover of church management by then 21-year old Miscavige.

His book is a plea for the replacement of one-man rule to a system of checks and balances, as called for by Scientology’s founder, and as required by law. He seeks the reuniting of his family and the countless other families torn apart by the church’s oppressive policy of Disconnection."

Bear in mind that he's a true believer and was a member of nearly 40 years'standing, even going out on as far on a limb as this took a lot of guts.
 
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AnonyMary

Formerly Fooled - Finally Free
You can take the person out of Scientology but not necessarily the Scientology out of the person.

Same for former OSA / GO operatives: You can take the person out of OSA, but not necessarily the OSA out of the person.

Vannier is part of the latest wave of defectors who think they are going to Save Scientology. They should just ask Marty Rathbun how that worked out for him. Might save them some effort.
 

oneonewasaracecar

Gold Meritorious Patron
You can take the person out of Scientology but not necessarily the Scientology out of the person.

Same for former OSA / GO operatives: You can take the person out of OSA, but not necessarily the OSA out of the person.

Vannier is part of the latest wave of defectors who think they are going to Save Scientology. They should just ask Marty Rathbun how that worked out for him. Might save them some effort.
40 years in 2 years out.

I won't hold my breath on this happening in a hurry.
 
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