HBO’s Scientology Exposé Going Clear Is Jaw-Dropping

Discussion in 'The Howard Stern Show' started by boognishstern, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. boognishstern

    boognishstern Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    27,770
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    3,127
    Likes Received:
    4,487
    i can't wait to see this! long read, but a good one
    Sundance: HBO’s Scientology Exposé Going Clear Is Jaw-Dropping
    [​IMG]
    The revelations in Alex Gibney’s new documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief won’t come as a huge surprise to folks who’ve read Lawrence Wright’s devastating, similarly-titled book-length exposé. But any way you cut it, this is still spectacular stuff. The film, which will air on HBO in March, debuted at Sundance to a jam-packed overflow audience and a rousing standing ovation – not to mention the sight of fest volunteers forming a human chain around Gibney, Wright, and their subjects at the end of their post-screening Q&A, presumably as a safety precaution. (There were no evident Scientology protesters at the screening, though one interview subject did note that he and another interviewee were photographed by the same person at the Salt Lake City airport.)

    The film starts, much like the book does, with writer-director and longtime Scientology adherent Paul Haggis discussing how he was drawn to the cult in the early 1970s, a lost, lovesick young man and aspiring filmmaker looking for meaning and entertaining a healthy sense of curiosity. Much of the first section of the film, however, discusses Scientology founder and sci-fi novelist L. Ron Hubbard’s rather nutty life and career, as well as the ways in which so much of Scientology’s belief system reflects aspects of the sci-fi genre – stuff that makes for entertaining, imaginative worlds as fiction, but sounds crazy when presented as fact.

    Several of Gibney’s interview subjects were at the topmost levels of Scientology – including Marty Rathbun, who was essentially the church’s second-in-command and chief enforcer for many years – and they offer insights into how Scientology actively pursues celebrities, and the tactics by which it keeps them bound. Among these celebs, of course, are the church’s two crown jewels, Tom Cruise and John Travolta. Travolta, it’s suggested, is kept in the group because they have mountains and mountains of dirt on him, the result of years of spiritual “auditing” (the process by which Scientologists basically reveal their deepest secrets, which are then cataloged and brought out whenever someone needs some, uh, encouragement, as the Mafia likes to say). In Cruise’s case, he had actually put some distance between himself and Scientology in the 1990s, but the group insinuated itself back into his good graces by working overtime to wreck his marriage to Nicole Kidman, who had always been skeptical of them.

    Why do people even get wrapped up in such a crazy cult? As the film makes clear, Scientology presents itself initially as a set of tools to help you live a better, freer, more purposeful life. Unlike other religions, it doesn’t actually tell you what its core belief system is until you’ve spent years and years (and, most likely, tens of thousands of dollars, maybe even more) as a member. It’s only when you ascend The Bridge and get to that Operating Thetan level that you’re given the sacred text – L. Ron Hubbard’s handwritten notes explaining humanity’s crazy backstory, about how Earth is a slave planet, how humans were brought here billions of years ago by the intergalactic dictator Xenu, placed in volcanoes and blown up with hydrogen bombs, etc. (When he finally read Hubbard’s notes, Haggis says he thought, “Maybe it’s an insanity test? Maybe if you believe this, they kick you out?” No such luck.)

    It’d be funny, if it weren’t so tragic. As Going Clear posits, for all the crazy mumbo-jumbo, Scientology is also a brutal, heavily retaliatory organization. Its current leader, David Miscavige, who took over after L. Ron Hubbard’s death, sticks to the founder’s credo, “Never defend, always attack.” The brave souls who spoke out for Wright and for Gibney, some of whom were at the uppermost levels of the organization, have been harassed, followed, threatened. But many of those still in the religion fare worse, with elaborate punishments that would be considered assault and torture if you or I did it, but in Scientology’s case are protected under the First Amendment protection of religions. (Indeed, the group spent decades trying to get the IRS to classify it as a religious group, and finally managed to get it done in part by launching a vast number of countersuits, then promising to pull them in return for religious group designation.)

    If Gibney’s film sometimes seems a little shapeless, that’s understandable: There’s a lot of stuff in Going Clear, and it doesn’t lend itself easily to a feature-length structure. The salacious celebrity stuff has to live alongside the sad tales of lesser-known individual members who had their families torn apart; the heavily modernized, fascistic recent iteration of the group has to live alongside Hubbard’s own kooky antics; the legal intricacies of Scientology’s defense have to live alongside the dramatic tales of surveillance. Gibney’s a bit like a kid in an expose-candy store here, and you can sense him trying to cram as much as he can into the film. Good for him: Going Clear is jaw-dropping. You wouldn’t really want it any other way.

    here's a GREAT article about the book which the doc is based on
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articl...tions-from-lawrence-wright-s-going-clear.html
     
  2. Peau de Soie

    Peau de Soie Edit Button? Thanks LaserTilt!

    Reputations:
    11,162
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,617
    Likes Received:
    2,078
    Calling it "jaw dropping" three times doesn't make it so. Where's the news? Where's the beef? This is the same old shit. Anyone paying attention (I.e., nobody) knows more about the virulent little "org" than is present in what I skimmed here. Movie sounds pretty fucking boring to be honest.
     
  3. Beth143nacho

    Beth143nacho Well-Known Member VIP

    Reputations:
    65,395
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Messages:
    19,980
    Likes Received:
    16,849
    How can a cult be successful with their horrid design sense?
     
  4. BrerJimmy

    BrerJimmy Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    49,080
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Messages:
    7,667
    Likes Received:
    9,311
    As far as social impact, it's basically someone drawing a picture of Allah and expecting to be controversial.

    The only reason people don't do it is out of fear of lawsuits.

    The cult's on its last legs. Membership is down to like 50,000 and dwindling by the day. That being said, they've got enough money to remain in the headlines forever, but as far as being taken seriously or having celebrity drawing power, its days are done.

    The same can be said for most religions - except Islam. (No belief in birth control and the constant need for the next-generation of suicide bombers guarantees they'll be fucking up your family's airport experience for generations to come.)
     
  5. BrerJimmy

    BrerJimmy Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    49,080
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Messages:
    7,667
    Likes Received:
    9,311
    Actually, their new center may be one of the most beautiful buildings I can recall seeing. They're got that going for them, which is nice.
     
    Cheri likes this.
  6. MyLazyHand

    MyLazyHand Russia and France Know What to Do

    Reputations:
    162,029
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2010
    Messages:
    15,280
    Likes Received:
    23,040
    That building is frightening.
     
    x76 likes this.
  7. BrerJimmy

    BrerJimmy Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    49,080
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Messages:
    7,667
    Likes Received:
    9,311
    The spiritual headquarters was originally valued at $80 million.
    [​IMG]
    But the church delayed construction to raise more funds.
    [​IMG]
    They obviously are training Bond villains here.
    [​IMG]
    Just walking into this place would leave your jaw (and all of your money) on the floor.
    [​IMG]
    "It's so beautiful, how could they possibly be wrong?"
    [​IMG]

    The atrium is three stories tall and spans the length of an entire block.
    [​IMG]
    Now, there is even an in-church cafe where the workers spend their money, instead of walking to other shops in the downtown area.
    [​IMG]
    Scientology churches often have Sunday services and even perform weddings, although it is all very expensive and often happens behind closed doors.
    [​IMG]
    The ministers that preside over them are volunteers and the services aren't well attended. They are just trying to prove they aren't that different from Christianity.
    [​IMG]
    Although, in these churches, L. Ron Hubbard's nonsensical quotes cover the walls.
    [​IMG]
    The building includes book stores where "pre-clears" can buy all of their introductory material.
    [​IMG]

    All of the ancient-looking texts that members are encouraged to buy.
    [​IMG]
    The "planetary dissemination" office is responsible for providing Scientology materials throughout the world.
    [​IMG]
    A hallway filled with "auditing" rooms.
    [​IMG]
    Their bridge to total freedom (hmm, I wonder how many donations are included on that list).
    [​IMG]
    An expensive and exclusive E-meter that they use at the headquarters.
    [​IMG]
    And it's starting to look more than a little futuristic...
    [​IMG]
    The church offers courses at their headquarters.
    [​IMG]
    A private terrace for high-level donors.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. BrerJimmy

    BrerJimmy Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    49,080
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Messages:
    7,667
    Likes Received:
    9,311
    Their digital, interactive displays educate visitors on how benevolent Scientologists are.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    Scientology has numerous front groups with different goals, like A-B-L-E and WISE.

    [​IMG]

    And of course, L. Ron Hubbard has an office in every Scientology organization, to symbolize that it's true to his ideals and teachings.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Lemmy

    Lemmy Douchebag Extraordinaire Gold

    Reputations:
    430,006
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Messages:
    30,358
    Likes Received:
    31,174
    The book was good. Creepy fucking cult.
     
    One Fat Vegan likes this.
  10. teehee

    teehee Friend Of The Friendless VIP

    Reputations:
    179,220
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    Messages:
    4,361
    Likes Received:
    19,221
    There is a scientology center in Times Square. When I was 21 my boyfriend at the time dragged me in there as a goof. They gave us a test, then showed a movie starring Karen Black. She kept hitting her kid with her pocketbook..:giggle: It was showing how we learn all this awful behavior and must be cleansed. Then some guy looked at our answers and told us how we could be helped by scientology. There was some major moolah discussed, it cost a lot to be cleansed. I was so happy to get out of that place.
     
  11. HowieStearn

    HowieStearn HateClub

    Reputations:
    80,296
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Messages:
    14,504
    Likes Received:
    14,285
    [​IMG]
    any questions?
     
  12. HorsetoothBeth

    HorsetoothBeth Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    80,804
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Messages:
    7,056
    Likes Received:
    16,384
    Greatest video ever.




     
    EndOfLine and ZosoHitler like this.
  13. markluke

    markluke Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    24,346
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Messages:
    5,147
    Likes Received:
    4,613
    You mean like coming to Earth in something that looks like a DC-8? Couldn't he have picked something else?

    [​IMG]

    Having read Battlefield Earth (the book, not watched the horrific movie) as a kid it was a good read.

    I also read the Mission: Earth 10 book series, which was also somewhat entertaining, but should have been edited better into 3 volumes. The whole "dekaology" thing was just PR, not because it was needed.
     
    JameGumb and ZosoHitler like this.
  14. Halloween

    Halloween Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    13,964
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Messages:
    1,704
    Likes Received:
    3,387
  15. markluke

    markluke Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    24,346
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Messages:
    5,147
    Likes Received:
    4,613
    The only question is "Where does Kelly Preston get her cock from if John doesn't give it to her?"

    Damn, she's a fine woman.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  16. HS Cult Leader

    HS Cult Leader Elite Member Gold

    Reputations:
    102,023
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    Messages:
    13,128
    Likes Received:
    18,458
    Sundance: Scientology Film Subjects Called "Brave," Get Standing Ovation

    by Borys Kit
    1/25/2015 5:39pm PST



    [​IMG]
    Alex Gibney

    Scientology documentary Going Clear premiered Sunday at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival to a standing ovation from a crowd that included several Hollywood luminaries.

    The Alex Gibney-directed film, based on Lawrence Wright's controversial book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief, was one of the hottest tickets at the festival. It drew several Hollywood names, including Tobey Maguire, Alec Baldwin, Jason Sudeikis and AMC exec Charlie Collier. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd was also spotted in the audience.

    The film, focusing on the power of Scientology and its controversial leader David Miscavige, as well the religion's ties to Hollywood, received a partial standing ovation after it screened, but it got a full standing ovation when the film's participants appeared in front of the crowd.

    Wright spoke after the screening and said he had faced "predominantly legal" harassment since penning the book. "[But what I've faced is] nothing compared to what the people who left the church have gone through," he said.

    Wright acknowledged that the Constitution protects religious freedom, adding: "But there is nothing in the Constitution that allows people to surrender their freedom."

    One of the most emotional parts of the movie is the story of Spanky Taylor, who was John Travolta's liaison at the Church until she broke away in the late 1970s. Taylor was kept separated from her newborn, and one of the film's more thrilling moments is the account of her escape from a compound with her baby.

    When Taylor showed up as a "surprise" guest at the end of the screening, her now-adult daughter in tow, the crowd greeted them with rapturous applause.

    "I had no idea what a charlatan he had been his entire life," Taylor said of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and how she fell under his sway. "We were taught to believe he had all the answers. You are wholly indoctrinated."

    Some had speculated that Scientology officials might picket the screening or distribute a church response to the claims in the film. But there was no church presence visible at the screening. However, Scientology did run an ad in The New York Times in the run-up to the festival comparing the allegations in Gibney's film to the problematic allegations of rape at the University of Virginia made by Rolling Stone magazine.

    After the screening, outspoken church critic Tony Ortega, who is featured in the film, said he and a fellow film subject, former high-ranking church executive Mike Rinder, "were both photographed by the same private investigator at the airport [upon arriving at the fest]."

    Marty Rathbun, another former church official/current critic who is featured in the film, said attorneys don't go after the Church of Scientology because it would take an entire career of litigating to make any headway. He said that Scientologists are in a "prison of belief" and unable to leave.

    Gibney, speaking after the film, said that the filmmakers reached out to the major networks to license footage but they all refused out of fear of the church. The director also publicly thanked his subjects for their bravery in speaking out. "For a film like this to get made, people have to come forward," he said. "That is the only way to encourage the end of abuses."

    Rathbun said he hopes that public awareness can effect change within the church. "Do I hope that there is more media to step forward and report what is really going on? Absolutely," he said.

    The Church of Scientology sent THR a statement regarding the making of Going Clear that read: "As we stated in our New York Times ad on January 16, Alex Gibney's film is Rolling Stone/University of Virginia redux. Despite repeated requests over three months, Mr. Gibney and HBO refused to provide the Church with any of the allegations in the film so it could respond. They also refused to speak with any of the 25 Church representatives, former spouses and children of their sources who flew to New York to meet and provide them with firsthand knowledge regarding assertions made in Mr. Wright’s book and presumably in Mr. Gibney's film. Their sources are the usual collection of obsessive, disgruntled former Church members kicked out as long as 30 years ago for malfeasance, who have a documented history of making up lies about the Church for money. The Church is committed to free speech. However, free speech is not a free pass to broadcast or publish false information."
     
    ZosoHitler likes this.
  17. HS Cult Leader

    HS Cult Leader Elite Member Gold

    Reputations:
    102,023
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    Messages:
    13,128
    Likes Received:
    18,458

    [​IMG]
     
  18. DontFlipYourWiggy

    DontFlipYourWiggy Member Banned User

    Reputations:
    92
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2014
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    31
    Interesting. David Allen's "GTD" is basically just like Scientology.
     
    Mr Pink likes this.
  19. Tipsey Russell

    Tipsey Russell VIP Extreme Gold

    Reputations:
    124,745
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2013
    Messages:
    11,015
    Likes Received:
    25,965
    that's a pretty gnarly church they got going there
     
  20. Peau de Soie

    Peau de Soie Edit Button? Thanks LaserTilt!

    Reputations:
    11,162
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,617
    Likes Received:
    2,078
    They can't even get their own cheapass logo. Just a cross with a couple of extra lines.

    Anyway, thank you for the very special Kelly Preston shots. I still confuse her with Kelly Lynch, and I'm not at all sure that it matters. :). I hope Preston's life is happier than it appears to be. She's Claire Underwood without the career.