Scientology pressured Sydney Film Festival to ban film Going Clear

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Scientology pressured Sydney Film Festival to ban film Going Clear.

The Australian: Scientologists pressured Sydney Film Festival to ban film

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/art...ival-to-ban-film/story-e6frg8pf-1227422386462

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The Sydney Film Festival almost buckled to pressure from the Church of Scientology to ban screenings of the documentary about the contentious religion, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. The church’s Australian legal representative, Kennedys, sent legal threats to the SFF and the film’s distributor, Madman, claiming the film was “highly defamatory”, particularly its allegations a leader of the church placed an illegal wiretap on Nicole Kidman, the then-wife of Tom Cruise. Reel Time understands the SFF board opted to pull the film from its screening at the festival before the late intervention of artistic director Nashen Moodley. Madman continued with its commercial release. Unlike many enterprises, the church can sue for defamation in Australia because it is a “not for profit” corporation. The church’s “not for profit” status is a point of contention in the film, and is likely to be an emerging issue for the church in the US and Australia if any legal action arises. CS Australia president Vicki Dunstan says “none of the allegations in Going Clear relates to the church in Australia” and “The Church of Scientology International (CSI) has already responded to the baseless allegations” the film raised on its website (
Code:
www.freedommag.org
). She says the church will not “publicly discuss” its legal rights. The legal threats are part of a campaign against Alex Gibney’s film by the church. “The church is passionate about both freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion,” Dunstan says. “HBO and the producer ignored the church and the result is a ridiculous fairytale by a handful of bitter individuals with their own personal agendas.” The legal action is also believed to claim the film will breach the television codes of practice, when subsequently broadcast on subscription television (Foxtel), by perpetuating “intense dislike, serious contempt or severe ridicule” against a group on the grounds of religion. It is believed the film has been turned down for screening by Qantas too. Qantas ambassador and high-profile Scientologist John Travolta is featured in the film. Sydney Film Festival chief executive Leigh Small and Madman Entertainment did not comment.

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secretiveoldfag

Silver Meritorious Patron
If I get this, CoS in Australia is damned if they sue and damned if they don't. Since the first point that Madman would raise would be their right to non-profit status and capacity to sue, and that would take the lid right off the can of worms.

Some such argument has certainly been working in the US where I'm sure Gibney held his breath for a while but the cult backed down.
 

Panda Termint

Cabal Of One
“intense dislike, serious contempt or severe ridicule”

This is the wording used in many ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) rulings. They're hanging their hopes on previously successful ACMA rulings.
I think it's a losing battle in this instance.
 

scooter

Gold Meritorious Patron
“intense dislike, serious contempt or severe ridicule”

This is the wording used in many ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) rulings. They're hanging their hopes on previously successful ACMA rulings.
I think it's a losing battle in this instance.

I dunno about that, Panda - I've seen Ms Dunstan/Hanna/Robinson express intense dislike, serious contempt and severe ridicule all at the same time. Usually toward juniors or critics.:biggrin:
 

Boson Wog Stark

Patron Meritorious
Gibney was under no obligation or had any responsibility to write a glowing advertisement for Scientology's mind control cult. It would be redundant, since that's what Scientology has been expending effort on doing for 60 years -- telling lies that sound good to lure in unsuspecting people.

The documentary features mostly people who had been in the cult for years and told their fascinating stories. The film would have been a crashing bore if Gibney had interviewed some robot like Vicki Dunstan. Gibney and Wright have talked about their viewpoint in a thoughtful and articulate manner. That alone is something active Scientologists in the cult can't do, since all they are allowed to do is try to get people to buy into the cult, or ruin critics utterly, and claim "it is all lies."

Ultimately, trying to prevent the film from being shown just generates more interest in it. Scientology is just going to have to face that they're the new zombie-vampires, and people are going to be interested in hearing genuine stories, not the babble of brainwashed drones. The Tom Cruise video portrays the Scientology fascist/fanatic who is not really telling anything personal, or a real story of his experiences. And get a clue Vicki, he thinks Scientologists are the only ones who can really help at car accidents. Instead of a fairytale, it's brainwashed delusion.
 

ThetanExterior

Gold Meritorious Patron
It's funny how they usually claim that bad publicity results in more people walking into orgs to find out about Scientology yet they also try their best to stop it.
 
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