ESMB has entered archive mode. All posts and threads that were available to the general public are still readable. The board is still searchable. 

Thank you all for your participation and readership over the last 12 years.

If you want to join in the conversation, please join the new ESMB Redux at

Reviews and Media on HBO Documentary Going Clear

Discussion in 'Movies, Plays, and Documentaries about Scientology' started by Free to shine, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. Free to shine

    Free to shine Shiny & Free

    Good Australian review after the release of the film here in main media.

  2. scooter

    scooter Gold Meritorious Patron

    Cult is now very thoroughly gone mainstream - but in the way "we" wanted, not them.:roflmao:

    Couldn't have happened to a "nicer," abusive, totalitarian organization, methinks.:dieslaughing:
  3. dchoiceisalwaysrs

    dchoiceisalwaysrs Gold Meritorious Patron

    I am 'certain' that the Charity Commission is inundated with emails and calls by people wanting to volunteer or receive help from that 'nice charity'. I'll bet, even organizations like the Catholic Family Services and the Salvation Army are relieved that scientology has taken on a lot of the load.......and to be classed as associates of the 'nice charitable' 270,000 volunteer strong relief force. :omg::no::roflmao:
  4. Lulu Belle

    Lulu Belle Moonbat

    Here's the moment HBO knew its Scientology doc 'Going Clear' would be a huge hit


    Although the HBO documentary “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief” is one of the most-watched docs in the history of the network, the head of HBO Documentary Films, Sheila Nevins, didn’t think a scathing look at the Church of Scientology would draw a lot of viewers when director Alex Gibney initially pitched her the idea.

    “I never thought it would be sensational,” Nevins told Business Insider.

    Before Gibney went to her, Nevins said she had never considered doing a film on the religion. She gave the go-ahead because she had confidence that the Oscar-winning Gibney ("Taxi to the Dark Side," 2007) could pull off a great adaptation of best-selling author Lawrence Wright’s book on the church, “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief.

    Nevins remembers the exact moment when she realized “Going Clear” was going to be a huge hit. “When I saw my name in a full-page ad in The New York Times, I knew,” she said. “Docs don’t get full-page ads, and when they do, they do really well.”


    Thinking back on the whole ordeal, Nevins still can’t believe the church was so aggressive in trying to bash “Going Clear.”

    “Scientology did their own commercial for us,” she said.

    “Going Clear” had its premiere on HBO in March and became the second-most-watched documentary on the network in the past decade.

    Read more:

  5. Free to shine

    Free to shine Shiny & Free

    Excellent interview with Alex Gibney.

  6. Glenda

    Glenda Crusader

    Excellent, yes! :yes:

    This touches my heart:

    This issue has been a big one I have faced since leaving the cult. People saying to me, in masked sneering tones, "I'd never get caught up in something like that (a destructive cult)..." It was designed to make me feel stupid and ashamed. In the early days of leaving it worked, until I got my head a bit more sorted out.

    Now days I just politely look at anyone that says something like this to me. It is a dangerous arrogant position to take, claiming one is "immune to being sucked into a cult". I was trained, like a seal, to get people into the cult. I was relatively good at it. Right time, right place, vulnerabilities dug out and made red raw, and wham I knew how to enrol people into a cult.

    I've had people say stuff like "...but you seem so normal..."

    I smile, "Yeah I guess I do look fairly normal on the outside. By inside, I have the scars and bruises from battling my way out of a prison of belief."

    Thank you Alex Gibney (& team) for bringing forth these very relevant issues for some sensible dialogue. You have done a mighty fine thing for those of us that have made our way out of system. It is greatly appreciated. :)
  7. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    The Hollywood Reporter: 'Going Clear' Director Alex Gibney Says "Every Distributor, Every Festival" Threatened as Doc Opens Internationally

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    Alex Gibney's documentary opened in several international countries in recent weeks against backlash from the Church of Scientology.

    Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is going international, but not without challenges from the Church of Scientology, which has succeeded in postponing its broadcast in the United Kingdom.

    The damning documentary on the Church, which premiered in the United States on HBO in March, did open theatrically in several international markets during the last week. It has done respectable box office numbers in each but is facing threats of lawsuits from the Church, director Alex Gibney tells The Hollywood Reporter.

    "Every step of the way, every distributor, every festival has received multiple threatening letters from the Church of Scientology. Some have come very close to buckling," says Gibney.

    In the U.K., broadcaster Sky halted plans to air the documentary in April due to concerns with Northern Ireland's libel law, which is more restrictive than Britain's 2013 Defamation Act. "Ireland has pretty bad laws if you're thinking about a free press," says Gibney.

    Sky can't show different Sky Atlantic signals in different regions for technological reasons, so the Church's threats of litigation under Irish law (reported by The Guardian's Observer) caused the company to postpone the entire U.K. airing. Sky called the decision a delay rather than a cancellation but doesn't have a confirmed air date yet, said a spokeswoman.

    However, a theatrical distributor, deliberately keeping a low profile, released the film in 18 theaters in England and Scotland on June 26 and has scheduled several more theaters into July. The documentary earned $24,950 in its first weekend and by the Friday exceeded $47,620.

    In Italy, the film was released in theaters on June 25 via Lucky Red, and it’s earned more than $20,000, and on May 8, it opened in Canada via The Archive, and it's surpassed $100,000 (in addition to VOD earnings). The Archive president Randy Manis says his company has not directly received threats from the Church of Scientology, though libel law in Canada is less liberal than in the United States and is similar to that of Northern Ireland.

    "We've not really tried to play up any kind of controversy. We're just presenting a film by a talented filmmaker. We're letting people decide for themselves," says Manis.

    For its part, Scientology has called the doc? “one-sided, bigoted propaganda built on falsehoods.” Asked for comment, a spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter on Friday: "The Church has repeatedly denounced Alex Gibney's film as biased, one-sided and containing numerous inaccuracies. The Church has posted multiple documents and videos to inform the public of the truth about Gibney's documentary, available at:
    While it's now two months from its opening, the documentary will continue expanding to other Canadian screens, with some new theaters requesting it and previous venues requesting it to return, says Manis. “I'm hoping it'll still be in theaters when Mission: Impossible starts hitting those markets," says Gibney, noting that franchise’s lead Tom Cruise is one of the greatest generators of interest in Scientology worldwide.

    Likewise, he says Cruise's relationship with Australian native Nicole Kidman has created interest in Scientology in Australia, where the film screened at the Sydney Film Festival in June. "The Sydney Film Festival got a lot of threatening letters, and they were taking them very seriously," says Gibney. "I was delighted with the way the Australians handled it."

    He recalls an audience member standing up in the middle of one festival event: "He said, 'I want you to be aware that the head of the Australian Church of Scientology is here today,' and pointed the guy out. I asked him if he would like to comment, and he declined and promptly left the room. They don't like to come out in public, because there are often ex-Scientologists there who know how things really work."

    The film's Australian theatrical release, via Madman, began on June 18 via Madman, grossing $57,307 on 14 screens its opening weekend and $80,887 its first week. The distributor received letters from the Church's lawyers threatening defamation lawsuits.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
  8. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

  9. Free to shine

    Free to shine Shiny & Free

    Scientologists pressured Sydney Film Festival to ban film
  10. dkindallas

    dkindallas New Member

    Apologies for being off-topic. Smurf would you please PM me? I'm trying to track down someone I think you know, as one of your posts indicated he is free of the church, and led me to this forum.
  11. randomx

    randomx Patron with Honors

    The dark side of Scientology

    The New Zealand Herald.

    Alex Gibney’s documentary on Scientology reveals the dark side of the celebrity sanctioned religion. The director talks to Peter Calder

    What: Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
    Where and when: New Zealand International Film Festival. Auckland -
    Civic, Sunday July 19, 11am;
    SkyCity Theatre, Saturday July 25, 10.30am and Tuesday July 28, 1.30pm.

    Wellington - Embassy Theatre, Sunday July 26, 11am, Thursday July 30, 1pm;
    Roxy Cinema, Monday July 27, 6.30pm; Penthouse, Wednesday August 5, 8.30pm.
  12. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Comic Bastard - Review: Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    Over the next few weeks, I’ll be counting down my top 5 films of 2015. Here’s number 5, Alex Gibney’s extraordinary documentary on the “Church” of Scientology.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *

    * * * * * BEGIN CONCLUSION * * * * *

    Despite focusing with laser precision on dodgy church practices, Gibney avoids sensationalism. The film’s tone is inquisative, Gibney is not necessarily aiming for headline grabbing revelations (though he gets some anyway), just to peek under the curtain to try and find out what really happens inside one of the world’s most secretive organisation. The worrying thing is, there’s almost certainly a lot more about it we don’t know. There’s not really much to criticise about the film, which is perfectly pitched and doesn’t feel overlong despite the running time. It’s a bit of shame they could not get interviews with any current church members, but as a title card at the end explains, they all either declined or ignored requests to participate.

    Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief is compelling – if sometimes horrying – viewing, and easily one of the best films of 2015, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Unless you’re David Miscavage.

    * * * * * END CONCLUSION * * * * *
  13. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Review: Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (six page PDF) by William L. Blizek, 03-09-2015 in the Journal of Religion & Film, Volume 19 Issue 1, Article 33, University of Nebraska at Omaha

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    Former members complain about being harassed by members of the organization.

    The movie actually shows a scene in which several members of the organization confront a former member with cameras attached to their heads and wearing shirts with the word "squirrel" on them – someone who leaves the organization is known as a squirrel. Although the member who speaks says that he only wants to talk, it seemed to be portrayed more as a case of harassment.

    There are other complaints from ex-members that range from being asked for more and more money, to being treated as slave labor, and even being beaten. Spokespersons for the organization deny all of these complaints. As a movie, it seemed to portray Scientology relatively even-handedly.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *

    HT - Incredulicide on WWP:
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2015