Alex Gibney: Going Clear

Discussion in 'Media' started by DeathHamster, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. BigBeard Member

    'Streisand Effect' is just too small to describe what Miscaviges troops are doing with regard to 'Going Clear'.

    We need a new meme for 'Streisand Effect' raised to the umpteenth power. Trying to think of a suitable descriptor is making my head hurt.

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  2. Very good article. The author has done her homework.

    Religion News Service: “Going Clear:” Scientology’s coverup efforts against the HBO documentary

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

    The narrative that arises from former Church members is that Scientology has a playbook, and an important part of their strategy is to attack the credibility of their detractors. This has led, in part, to their reputation for litigiousness, and seems to have come straight from L. Ron Hubbard (or “LRH,” as they call him) himself, from this 1966 policy letter:

    (1) Spot who is attacking us.
    (2) Start investigating them promptly for FELONIES or worse using own professionals, not outside agencies.
    (3) Double curve our reply by saying we welcome an investigation of them.
    (4) Start feeding lurid, blood sex crime actual evidence on the attackers to the press.

    Don’t ever tamely submit to an investigation of us. Make it rough, rough on attackers all the way.

    Making it rough, rough on attackers hasn’t stopped with lawsuits, though. In light of the HBO premiere of Going Clear, set for March 29th, someone within the Church’s ranks has set up a Twitter account (@FreedomEthics) made to look like a media watchdog but actually running a smear campaign against Going Clear filmmakers and participants. They are paying to promote tweets that accuse ex-Scientologists in the film of being liars or, in the case of Mike Rinder, a “deadbeat wife abuser.” Rinder tells a very different story on that front, of being confronted by seven Scientologists while in a parking lot, and says the ensuing scuffle left his wife with cuts on her arms.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
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  3. Random guy Member

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  4. Ogsonofgroo Member

    Lolol ^^^ me too RG! (9/10 btw, that was was fun of them to do :p )
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  5. anon8109 Member

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  6. White Tara Global Moderator

    Thank you so much, I was dying for someone to snag this I had heard it was so 'In your face Scientology' :D
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  7. The Wrong Guy Member

    Just bumping this up for any who missed it.
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  8. The Wrong Guy Member

    Restoring L. Ron

    Going Clear and the shadow campaign to redeem the father of Scientology.

    By Maria Bustillos, The Awl, March 18, 2015

    Second paragraph:

    The audience last Thursday afternoon enjoyed Going Clear immensely. There was laughter and whooping throughout, spirited applause at the end, and after the house lights came up, it seemed obvious that perhaps as many as half of the audience were ex-Scientologists themselves; they recognized and greeted one another with a mixture of gladness and relief. Twenty or so lingered for a while. They hugged, shook hands, and posed for cell phone photographs. I overheard one fifty-something man say, “Oh, I was in for thirty-two years!” with a dazed laugh, as if unable to believe it himself. It felt like a party, but against a sober, frightened background — a reunion of survivors.

    Last paragraph:

    As far as the movie is concerned, sure, go see it. It is honestly worth the sixteen bucks just to watch Tom Cruise and David Miscavige literally saluting each other and posters of “LRH” every five seconds in their faux-naval finery.
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  9. DeathHamster Member

  10. As is my wont, I created a thread about the recent Awl article.

    Re: the recent article, I think she got some bad information from someone (the old "Marty is planning to take over the COS" paranoia) and/or simply didn't do recent research and is one or two years out of date.
  11. The Wrong Guy Member

    ‘Going Clear’ fallout: Imagining the fate of Scientology and David Miscavige | The Underground Bunker

    Maria Bustillos contacted us recently, telling us that she was working on a review of Alex Gibney’s film Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, and she wanted to ask us a question, which turned out to be quite good.

    We were familiar with Maria’s work because of a story she did at The Awl in 2011 lauding the work of Los Angeles Times reporters Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos, who wrote about Scientology in a number of stories in the 1980s, culminating in a huge series in 1990. She also referred to earlier work done by Pulitzer-prize winners Charles Stafford and Bette Orsini at the St. Petersburg Times.

    Maria’s point was that there were great and brave journalists who had done much of the heavy lifting before Lawrence Wright came along in 2011 with his massive story on Paul Haggis in The New Yorker. That point is well taken, and here in the Underground Bunker we have tried to give credit to brave journalists where it is due, going back to the likes of Paulette Cooper, for example. (Ahem, shameless plug.)

    Anyway, here’s the question that Maria asked us: “The film is so damning of David Miscavige that it’s difficult to believe that there won’t be repercussions for him. Can you speculate as to how a succession might be managed?”

    Wow. Great question. We decided it deserved a full and lengthy reply, some of which Maria generously excerpted for her story. But we thought you might want to see the entire thing, including our disclaimers and qualifiers. So dig in. We’re sure to hear some interesting responses.

    Continued here:
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  12. anon8109 Member

    Not sure when this was broadcast.

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  13. anon8109 Member

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  14. The Wrong Guy Member

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  15. Thanks for posting these, 8109! These are the vids I was asking about in the other thread (BlackRobs).
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  16. The Wrong Guy Member

    The Clearwater Beacon, a weekly paper that seems to exist to sell advertising, is owned by Tampa Bay Newspapers. Today it published the most cautious article on the Going Clear documentary you may see, with about half of it provided by the cult. Anyway, here it is:

    Documentary focuses on Church of Scientology | Clearwater Beacon

    Here's an article another puff piece that's about the author, Logan Mosby:

    Back in 2011, the Clearwater Beacon was mentioned in this thread:
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  17. Anonymous Member

    The third link (to the 2011 thread) puts the 'newspaper' in context.
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  18. Django Member

    So now, with Gibney doing some of the big Late Night shows (Myers here, have there been others?), how are these guys not going to ask Cruise/Travolta/etc. about the doc when they're on the show plugging their latest flick?
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  19. The Wrong Guy Member

    You'd certainly expect that, but remember that before doing an interview, many celebrities will make sure that the producer receives a list of things they will not discuss, which are not to be mentioned.
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  20. The Wrong Guy Member

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  21. This is a great article.

    Rolling Stone: 'Clear' and Present Danger: Alex Gibney on His Bold Scientology Doc

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

    "The response from Scientology has been much more organized and much more brutal," says the director, who adds that several of the former Church members interviewed in the movie have caught it worse than he has. "Some of them have had physical threats, people threatening to take their homes away, private investigators following them. That's the part that's really heartbreaking."

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
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  22. Ask the Scientologist: Going Clear – The Obvious Question that Scientologists Cannot Even Think


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

    If these books and this film are, as the church claims, filled with lies, libel and slander – the law would be very much on the church’s side. The law allows the church to sue publishers, authors, filmmakers to completely shut down “lies, libel and slander”. Certainly, an injunction could have given the church almost immediate relief from such defamation.

    So the obvious question that Scientologists must not even think is:

    Why didn’t the Church of Scientology stop the books? Why doesn’t the church stop the film? The church makes lots of noise and accusations of their own but takes no action. Why?

    The question is obvious but Scientologists must not even think this. They must not think the question because the only answer then becomes indisputable.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
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  23. Interview Magazine: E-Meter Blues

    Very insightful.

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

    "I became obsessed with this term ‘noble cause corruption,'" explains documentarian Alex Gibney of his decision to investigate Scientology in his latest film, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. "The idea that once you believe in some cause, everything you do is somehow sanctified."

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

    Otherwise known as doing the greatest good for the greatest number of "dynamics -- the old Utilitarian "the ends justify the means" problem.
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  24. The Wrong Guy Member

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  25. RightOn Member

    So I guess FOX won't be running any news about Going Clear?
    The CEO is a scilon. Big 'ol Roger. He is an OTVIII and he is 74 and still holds that job as far as I can see.
    Wonder how much he is responsible for suppressing over the years?
    I know he must have been discussed here before? but I forgot all about him.

    Edited: I guess this article was BS
  26. DeathHamster Member

  27. RightOn Member

    it's here too by an "alleged account" of course the link is no longer there

    "From an alleged account by an OTVII Scientologist, who talks of his association with Ailes:
    There is one level VIII per major facility and 2 in the PAC base. I know them both intimately, as I have spent the majority of the past 3 years under their close supervision. One man is Roger Eugene Ailes, the president of Fox News. The other is Dick Ackerman, representative of California’s 33rd district. I don’t see Roger as often, he’s a very busy man. Dick I’ve spend the most time with. "

    Edited, guess it's BS!
  28. The Wrong Guy Member

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  29. anon8109 Member

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  30. The Wrong Guy Member

    Going Clear is a ‘must-see’ Scientology documentary | BBC

    By Owen Gleiberman

    First paragraph:

    For all the brave and insightful exposes that have been written about the Church of Scientology, an aura of impenetrable mystery remains. Is it a religion? A cult? A useful form of therapy? A dangerous form of mind control? A powerful global corporation? A borderline illegal mob? Maybe all of the above. In recent years, Scientology members have been leaving the Church with greater frequency, and many of its secrets have been spilled. Yet the revelations have only given rise to further questions. How, for instance, could someone as seemingly shrewd, worldly and compassionate as the Oscar-winning screenwriter Paul Haggis have become enmeshed in its web? How did Scientology get so cult-like in the first place? And what about Tom Cruise and John Travolta? Are they die-hard converts or, in fact, celebrity hostages?

    Last paragraph:

    Going Clear makes you empathise with Scientology’s rank and file, who come off as victims of Church leaders’ eager advertising. Yet what’s most resonant about the film is that, like Scientology itself, it speaks to the tendencies of our age. The impulse to purge yourself of doubt and neurosis, the desire to seek out a leader who can save us – these are things that just about anyone can relate to. The twisted genius of L Ron Hubbard is that he figured out a way to define and exploit contemporary soul sickness. He was right about the disease. But Going Clear makes a powerful case that he came up with a cure that only made it worse.
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  31. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology Shocker: Ex Church Member Claims He Ordered Wiretaps On Nicole Kidman’s Phone | Radar Online

    Nicole Kidman’s phone was tapped on orders of Church of Scientology officials, ex-church member Marty Rathbun claimed on TODAY Friday regarding the ex-wife of Tom Cruise.

    Rathbun, a member of the church for 27 years until he “escaped from Scientology” in 2004, claimed that he “ordered that [the phone tap] happen on the order of [church leader] David Miscavige,” adding that he knew what he was doing was illegal.

    Rathbun was appearing to speak about Oscar-winner Alex Gibney’s soon-to-air documentary, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, an expose on the controversial church based on the 2013 book by Lawrence Wright.

    The full article and an NBC video clip are here:
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  32. The Wrong Guy Member

    Since posting today's article, Tony has added an update:

    Hollywood Arclight getting some late enturbulation

    A tipster passed on to us a couple of communications from someone who works in the massive call center that handles calls for the Hollywood Arclight theater.

    Alex Gibney’s documentary ‘Going Clear’ opened at the theater a week ago, but it’s apparently only in the last few days that an onslaught of calls have come in from locals who claim that they’re outraged about the theater showing the movie, and threaten to boycott the Arclight because of it.

    This is classic Scientology behavior. Too late for it to have any real effect, someone at the church noticed what was going on and an “all hands on deck” order was put out to get people making calls. It’s so Scientology.

    Then, yesterday, our tipster received this text message from their friend at the call center:

    Ohhh My God. I’m in call center at Arclight and on the caller ID “Church of Scientology” shows up. And I answer and the woman is asking to speak with one of our administrators who helps decide which movies we show at arclight. And I was like no one is in right now, can I help you with something? And she said “it’s… About… An… Issue… We have. With arclight. I’m not going to say anything else.” Super mean. And eventually I just told her to email our management team. It’s scary because she’s clearly trying to get us to stop showing that movie Just like the movie says.. If someone speaks out against their religion they attack that person or group and that’s what they r trying to do to this guy at arclight! Scary as fuck!!!

    Continued here:
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  33. Very nice list of seven linked articles.

    Longreads - Inside Scientology: A Reading List

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

    Alex Gibney’s much-talked about new documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief—based on Lawrence Wright’s similarly titled 2013 exposé—has been making headlines since it made its Sundance debut in January. It opened on limited screens across the country last Friday and will premiere on HBO in two weeks. In the meantime, the Church of Scientology has gone into overdrive attacking the film: taking out full page ads in major newspapers to denounce it; buying up Going Clear-related search results on Google; and trying to discredit the filmmakers and their subjects in a series of videos on the Church’s website. Scientology has long been shrouded in mystery—doubtless in large part due to the Church’s secretive practices—but the Church is also notorious for terrorizing critics and defectors. Suffice it to say they are not an easy institution to investigate. In honor of their inscrutable reputation, and with Scientology-talk nearing zenith zeitgeist, I decided to put together a reading list of stories that explore the Church from a variety of angles. Please don’t kill my dog.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
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  34. Killer Movie Reviews - GoingClear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief


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    And this is the bedrock of Gibney’s film. The lengths that Scientology was and is willing to go to survive, including taking on the IRS and making that imposing institution blink, are disturbing. Its success even moreso, but Gibney is interested in more than another example of power corrupting those who wield it. That is an old and oft-told story. What sets this film apart is the examination of smart people who fall for con with all their heart, and why they cling to it after the sham should have become clear. It’s a superbly crafted, compassionate study of the state of mind that made them believe that acquiescing was their only ticket to eternity. In that, it asks the larger question of what constitutes a religion, what constitutes a cult, and, in an aside that should send the real shivers down our collective spine, why it is that the IRS, a group made up of lawyers and accountants, are the only entity with the legal authority to grant religious status to a group.

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  35. Another very interesting take on Going Clear from a different perspective. The article is well worth reading in its entirety.

    Ravishly: Exposing Scientology's Abuses Against Women

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    But in reading the book and, now, watching the movie, it was another facet of the church's shadowy workings that caught my interest: its abuses against women.

    This is an organization that feminists should be on the frontlines attacking.

    Of course, many religions hold patriarchal views that hurt women, but Scientology's abuses are particularly egregious, from forced abortions to rape cover-ups to sexualized labor.

    These abuses trace their way to the very top—all the way to L. Ron Hubbard, the church's founder. LRH, as he's affectionately known in Scientology ranks, was by many accounts an abusive misogynist who set the tone for the church's treatment of women. The film Going Clear shares the writings of his ex-wife Sarah Northup, who claims he frequently assaulted her (he once hit her across the face with a pistol) and abducted their 13-month-old child.

    After being targeted by the IRS for tax evasion, Hubbard took to the high seas on a ship called the Apollo, where he called himself the "Commodore" and "Messengers" fetched his drinks, recorded what he said, drew his bath, and otherwise served his every whim. According to accounts, many of these messengers were "comely teenager girls" who wore hot pants and halter tops, comprising a sort-of underage sexualized servant force.

    Hubbard sought total subservience from the women in his life. Once, he wrote an essay about 19th-century war hero Simón Bolívar and his mistress Manuela Sáenz that stated, because Sáenz has not adequately supported her man, Bolivar had died a failure.

    This misogynistic mentality is shared by Hubbard's successor, Miscavige. The controversial leader (and Tom Cruise BFF) has been accused of abusing not just members, but his own wife, Shelly, whom he assigned as his "assistant" and demanded total servitude from.

    When Shelley didn't get prior approval from David before sending out a list of organizational changes to members several years ago, she mysteriously disappeared, and hasn't been heard from since. Actress Leah Remini, after defecting from the church, even filed a missing persons report for Shelly. Many suspect Shelly was spirited away to one of the church's secretive detention camps to undergo interrogations and perform brute labor—all because she deigned to defy her man.

    The church's abuses run deeper, though, than the men at the top. Systemic sexism is built into the very foundation of the cult.

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