Alex Gibney: Going Clear

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

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    Audio Leak: Hear a Scientologist being declared suppressive and facing the loss of her family

    By Tony Ortega, The Underground Bunker

    Yesterday, Alex Gibney’s documentary Going Clear introduced millions of Americans to Scientology’s concepts about declaring people “suppressive” and ordering them to “disconnect” from each other, resulting in families being ripped apart.

    Today, we have one of the most dramatic examples of it ever caught on tape. The Underground Bunker has obtained a stunning audio recording which captures the moment when a woman is told she is being declared a “suppressive person” or “SP” by a Scientology ethics officer, and she realizes that it may tear apart her family.

    Even more remarkable, we hear from the ethics officer’s own mouth that Sylvia DeWall (pictured) is being declared suppressive for:

    — Watching Going Clear author Lawrence Wright being interviewed on television.
    — Watching actress and former Scientologist Leah Remini perform on Dancing with the Stars.
    — Having phone conversations with actor Jason Beghe.
    — Sending emails to former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder.
    — And commenting on the photos of former Scientologists on Facebook.

    These were the crimes that caused Sylvia DeWall to be expelled from Scientology, endangering her marriage and relationship to her own children.

    Continued here:
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  2. The Wrong Guy Member

    Leah Remini Responds to Scientology Movie Makers: “Thank you to the brave who did something about it”

    By Roger Friedman, Showbiz411

    Leah Remini and her family left Scientology in 2013 and had a brutal falling out. Attack dog Kirstie Alley went after her publicly. Her friends for life in the cult “disconnected” from her, and she’s never heard from them again. She told Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show: “These are friends that we’ve had for dozens of years. But I have great friends that are not in the church that have stood by us, and our family is stronger, we’re together, and that’s all I could ask for.”

    But Remini stood her ground. Overnight she sent out a Tweet thanking the people who made the movie “Going Clear” now showing on HBO:

    Thank you to the brave who did something about it. And to those who didn’t have a voice, you do now. #GoingClear
    — Leah Remini (@LeahRemini) March 30, 2015
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  3. eddieVroom Member

    The labels/producers put up with this shit?..
  4. The Wrong Guy Member

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  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    People were flabbergasted after watching HBO's explosive Scientology documentary last night

    By Aly Weisman, Business Insider

    Director Alex Gibney's explosive Scientology documentary "Going Clear," based on Lawrence Wright's best-selling book of the same name, premiered Sunday night on HBO.

    Many viewers tweeted along as they watched, in shock of the bombshells revealed in the film:

    Between Miscavige & Durst, @HBO is really killin it on the crazy rich white dude front...#GoingClear
    — Mario Lopez (@MarioLopezExtra) March 30, 2015

    Continued here:

    'Going Clear' Scientology Documentary Draws Strong Hollywood Reactions: 'Crazy,' 'Stunned,' 'Terrifying'

    By Joe Otterson, The Wrap
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  6. Dot Member

    It's pro-Scientology, for sure. Full of logical fallacies.

    "4. Why didn't Gibney reach out to Katie Holmes for comment? "
    Why should they?
    I'm always amazed when someone's great job is questioned in this manner. Such an outdated smear.

    This just is no longer a society that welcomes systemic abuse, and we're not fooled by outdated smears. People who believe those smears are people who believed in Scientology before the article. I'm not swayed.

    In my mind, I have discredited ET. It's not news. It's like someone's long Twitter feed. It's a troll. So I'm not feeding it with a comment.

    Thanks for sharing the link. It's interesting to see the few favorable items published.
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  7. BigBeard Member

    This needs to be on the 6 O'clock news everywhere in the country. Coming on top of "Going Clear" the outrage it will generate will crank up the heat on Congress to the point they may actually start looking at $cientologies "special" tax exemption.

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  8. RightOn Member

    Fabulous flick!
    I thought Haggis and Beghe were rock stars.
    I got teary over Spanky and Sarah Goldberg. And over Haggis too.
    Long time coming. And I hope this isn't the end of it.

    Also on a side note. I am looking forward to Gibney's Sinatra docu next week on Sunday and Monday night.

    oh I forgot Hana! SUPER rock star!
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  9. Dot Member

    It won't be the end. The volume of letters Scientology sent to HBO was intended to threaten journalism. Journalists often stand their ground together when one is threatened, at least one that's mainstream.
  10. Ogsonofgroo Member

    Good on the Boston Globe, good article, the flood-gates are opened wide and a veritable tsunami is headed cult's way me thinks. Here's another article published in the Globe from 10 days ago, another awesome read~ HERE enjoy!
    Simply not enough popcorn....
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  11. Ogsonofgroo Member

    Yup, burning questions are pretty meh for the most, ET is' meh' as far as I'm concerned too, sortta on the level of Star Weekly and other scandal rags, though exposure of any sort that gets people to delve deeper is a fine thing regardless because there's a shitttonne of info out and more almost every day.
  12. Quentinanon Member

    Well-produced and thoughtful documentary. A big win.
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  13. The Wrong Guy Member

    Church Of Scientology Made Nazanin Boniadi Date Tom Cruise | The Daily Caller

    Multiple strange stories surfaced during HBO’s two-hour documentary on the Church of Scientology Sunday night, including allegations that the church blackmails John Travolta. But perhaps the weirdest was that the church “assigned” a woman to date Tom Cruise after his divorce from Nicole Kidman.

    In “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief,” Scientology leader David Miscavige reportedly heard Cruise complaining “that he wanted a new girlfriend.”

    Nazanin Boniadi, an actress you may recognize from “How I Met Your Mother” and “Homeland,” was a young Scientologist at the time. The Church had Boniadi sign a non-disclosure agreement and bought her $20,000 in clothes, along with getting her braces removed and dying her hair a color “to Cruise’s liking.”

    Continued here:
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  14. The Wrong Guy Member

    7 Most Shocking Allegations Made Against Scientology In 'Going Clear' Documentary | Carbonated.TV

    This is why the Church of Scientology doesn't want us to know its activities.


    1. Scientology creator L. Ron Hubbard was once a part of a black magic cult.

    2. Early scientologists who made mistakes were thrown out from ships into deep water on Hubbard's orders.

    3. At the Church of Scientology's Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF), patients were treated like prisoners. In former Scientologists Sylvia "Spanky" Taylor's words, people were made to work '30 hours on, 3 hours off" and were fed table leftovers.

    4. Back in the day, Scientologists deliberately got government jobs so that they could steal confidential documents for the Church.

    5. Famous celebrity Scientologist John Travolta wants to leave but can't because the Church has a file on him with personal secrets, and it blackmails him with it.

    6. The Church wiretapped Nicole Kidman's phones at the behest of her former husband and longtime Scientologists Tom Cruise.

    7. The Church forces family members to sever all ties with Scientologists who leave. The fear of being frozen out from seeing close family members ever again keeps people from leaving.
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  15. The Wrong Guy Member

    Will ‘Going Clear’ Destroy Tom Cruise’s Career? | Decider

    By Olivia Armstrong

    Last two paragraphs:

    Paranoia, however, could aid the star’s eventual fall from grace. In a way, paranoia is as much a pillar of Scientology as auditing, resulting in keeping those afraid of Miscavige and his glorified henchmen living in fear. “Disconnecting” with family members who question Scientology’s practices is a form of paranoia: if they start asking questions, it’s time to cut the cord. You feel threat from the outside? Whether it be criticism and media scrutiny or investigations into the legality of human rights violations, there’s only one way to react: push back. As highlighted in Going Clear, acting defensively until the opposing threat is physically, financially, or morally broken is a part of Hubbard’s teachings.

    Paranoia works just as effectively in keeping information behind closed doors. Both versions of Going Clear suggest that John Travolta would rather bow his head and remain in the church rather than run the risk of having his most private auditing sessions revealed to the public. According to Wright’s research, Scientology effectively has Travolta imprisoned under the ever-looming threat of blackmail that insinuates revelations about the actor’s personal life. The same is possible for Cruise, who has been awarded a special Freedom Medal of Valor by Miscavige for his work across the world in promoting Scientology. Public figures of the religion are indebted to the cause in more ways than one, often caving under the pressure to promote Scientology and donate regularly to the church’s current and future projects. Cruise will most likely continue his crusade for the church that has given him so much and has the potential to use so much against him. So will Going Clear be the end of Tom Cruise’s career as we know it? It’s a tad too early to tell, but as of now, it merely looks like a another tiny chip away at his reputation.
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  16. RightOn Member

    No^ it was already on its way to Tank-dom

    Speaking of that audio of that women being declared...
    You know I have been working on the Big list for YEARS and so many times I have to add the word declared to a person's name and sometimes their declare story is told by them.
    As many times as I have done that, it is still not the same as listeniong to a live audio of it actually happening.
    The parroted robotic responses are so cringe worthy.

    This woman has woken up a bit and after looking outside the COS bubble, discovered a cruel "church" that she wants no part of, but still likes Scientology. And she clearly states that, but she can not make any sense out of what this guy is telling her. Nor can she believe what she is hearing. All the volunteering, and all the money and time she has spent went down the tubes.
    I hope she wakes up completely and gets out. My heart goes out to her and her family members who will be added to the list of destroyed families because of Scientology.
    I haven't said this enough, and I can never say it enough. FUCK YOU HUBBARD, FUCK YOU DAVID MISCAVIGE , FUCK YOU SCIENTOLOGY

    I guess I jumped the gun. I needed to read Tony O's article after the video.
    Glad to hear they BOTH left and "threw out all the COS books" and moved to Arizona.
    YAY!!!! A story with a VERY happy ending
    • Like Like x 6
  17. The Wrong Guy Member

    Why it’s so hard to beat Scientology | The Washington Post

    By Alyssa Rosenberg

    “Going Clear,” the Alex Gibney documentary about Scientology that aired on HBO last night, doesn’t contain much that’s new to anyone who has read the Tampa Bay Times’s investigations of the organization or Lawrence Wright’s masterful history of it. But however accidentally, “Going Clear” is an interesting illustration of just how hard it is to pursue the two-pronged strategy that’s necessary to dismantle any powerful, dangerous group: stripping it of its finances and power, and freeing its members of its influence. Gibney’s film is full of the sort of mockery that has helped make Scientology a marginal, if wealthy, organization with a negligible membership. What it lacks is empathy for the individuals who are still members of Scientology and an understanding of what might make them stay — or help them leave.

    “I mean, if you go to a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim and ask them what do you believe, they can basically describe the most important parts of their religion in a minute or two,” Tony Ortega, who started covering Scientology in 1995 when he was at the Phoenix New Times, says at one point in “Going Clear.” “Well, what does a Scientologist believe? You need to be a Scientologist for seven or eight years, and in for a couple hundred thousand dollars before you finally learn this backstory of Xenu the Galactic Overlord. Now, if you were told that on day one, how many people would join? But if they were up front about it, I’d have more respect for them. But it’s that kind of bait and switch. People are told it’s an applied philosophy to help you with your communication. Oh yeah? So why is Tom Cruise paying a thousand bucks to have invisible aliens pulled out of his body?”

    That’s the sort of argument that’s tremendously satisfying to hear if you’re outside Scientology and feeling proud of yourself for not having fallen for the group’s recruiting methods. And certainly, given the power the organization exerts and the alleged abuses it carries out, Scientology as an organization is a worthy target. But there’s a difference between convincing people outside of Scientology — including the Internal Revenue Service — that the church is a confidence scheme rather than a genuine religious organization and convincing the people who have dedicated decades of their lives to Scientology that they should, and can, leave.

    Continued here:
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  18. The Wrong Guy Member

    HBO's Scientology Doc, 'Going Clear,' Will Give You Paranoid Nightmares

    By Jennifer Maerz, The Bold Italic

    Last two paragraphs:

    The scariest bits, though, and what gave me crazy nightmares after I finished the movie, involve the spying, pestering, and intimidation tactics former Scientologists admit are part of the church's scheme to keep people quiet — methods that one of these ex-members even catches on film. The fact is, people choose to become Scientology members, to hand over their money and divulge personal secrets that the church keeps forever on file. Except perhaps for the minors, no one is forcing anyone to become a member. But Wright and Gibney detail what a harrowing experience it can be to try and get away from Scientology. It's not like you just stop going to church and still hang out with your friends. And that, in my mind, is the basic definition of a cult — a group you can join at any time, but which makes it nearly impossible to leave. It's especially freaky, as Gibney points out at the end, as the Church of Scientology's ranks shrink to under 50,000 members, but the property holdings keep growing worldwide, including, of course, an outpost here in San Francisco (located at the border of the Financial District and North Beach on Montgomery) and nearby bases in Berkeley, San Jose, Los Gatos, and Mountain View.

    Given the intimidation tactics Wright outlined in his book, it's a brave feat for him to have written Going Clear, for Gibney to turn the book into a documentary, and for HBO to stand behind the movie, especially given the shitstorm the Church of Scientology may start because of it. Hopefully this is the beginning of a growing trend where people feel empowered, instead of cowering, in the face of this frightening organization.
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  19. The Wrong Guy Member

    Going Clear & Getting Rough! Hollywood Reacts Strongly To HBO's Scientology Doc! | Perez Hilton

    On Sunday night, HBO aired its controversial documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, and as expected it got people talking. All the revelations about wire tapping, propaganda, how the organization treats Suppressive Persons, or SPs — it's pretty wild stuff!

    Of course, there's no place on Earth more affected by Scientology than Hollywood. Not only is Scientology headquarters in El Lay, but its congregation is famously comprised of movie stars like John Travolta and Tom Cruise!

    So what did Hollywood think of Going Clear? Here are some of the best celeb reactions:
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  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    Leah Remini Thanks HBO Scientology Filmmakers for Helping 'Those Who Didn't Have a Voice' | People

    Leah Remini commends 'Going Clear' filmmakers for exposing Scientology | Celebrity Cafe

    Leah Remini Speaks Out About Controversial Scientology Doc Going Clear | Us Weekly
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  21. The Wrong Guy Member

    What We — and the Church of Scientology — Learned From the ‘Going Clear’ Controversy

    By Jason Bailey, Flavorwire

    First paragraph:

    After two-plus months of sponsored tweets, film-critic pushback, Google ad buys, and an often desperate attempt at spin control that ultimately did nothing to disprove characterizations of utter control freakery, the Church of Scientology’s worst nightmare came true last night: Alex Gibney’s incendiary and excellent adaptation of Lawrence Wright’s scorching CoS exposé, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, aired on HBO. It proved, true to prediction, a bit of a bombshell, with viewers taking to social media to express shock over the film’s allegations of physical abuse, blackmail, kidnapping, wiretapping, celebrity control and more.

    Last paragraph:

    Once upon a time, the Church of Scientology could operate under a veil of secrecy and celebrity worship. And if we learned anything from Going Clear, as both a film and a media event, it’s that those days are long over.
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  22. DeathHamster Member

    It's easy to tell the articles by people who weren't paying attention.

    "OMG! Nazanin Boniadi was an arranged match for Tom Cruise!"
    "Breaking News: L. Ron Hubbard was into weird black magic with Jack Parsons!"

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  23. The Wrong Guy Member

    We Watched A Creepy Documentary About Scientology So You Don't Have To

    By Atalie Gimmel, NYU Local

    Before delving into Alex Gibney’s world of Going Clear I mentally prepared for a Blackfish scenario. That is, a cause that has been written about for over a decade, but, through the magic of film, a spotlight is finally being shown letting people like you and me see the eery truth. I definitely wasn’t wrong, although what Going Clear revealed is so full of legal accusation and basic human rights violations, that after its release last night, I don’t see the future of Scientology as being necessarily… “bright.” For two hours my mind was consistently blown, and then some.

    When I think of “Scientology” I immediately think of Tom Cruise, one brief but very public statement about leaving the “church” from The King of Queens star Leah Remini in 2013 and a really, really confusing framework based on aliens and “science.”

    Going Clear turned out to be an eye opener, a very scary, very real horror story about a cult and a never-going-back-from-this view of the legally branded, non-profit religious organization that is Scientology. Read: The Following, except instead of mass murders we’re talking gradual collection of billions of dollars worth of real estate and jail-camps where staff are voluntarily, or so it would technically seem, tortured and psychologically tampered with.

    Continued here:
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  24. The Wrong Guy Member

    Yes, but in all fairness, not all readers will be familiar with the extent of the cult's madness and desperation.

    Some of this stuff may not be great investigative journalism, but it all helps.
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  25. The Wrong Guy Member

    Church of Scientology Buys Promoted Tweets to Battle HBO's 'Going Clear' | Adweek


    "A Promoted Tweet may create more backlash," remarked David Deal, a social media marketing consultant. "Engaging in a deeper conversation would be a more effective way to influence public sentiment, which just is not going to happen on Twitter in the aftermath of a negative event."

    To Deal's point, there was a small flurry of sarcastic reactions to the Promoted Tweets showing up in people's news feeds on Sunday night.
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  26. The Wrong Guy Member

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  27. The Wrong Guy Member

    Going Clear: Disturbing allegations the documentary made about Scientology

    The alleged truth behind Scientology's hold on Hollywood will horrify you

    Sunday night, HBO unleashed yet another stirring documentary. And if you thought Robert Durst's story was creepy, Going Clear will leave you disturbed to your very core.

    We all know the very minimum about Scientology. We've probably seen that off-kilter video of Tom Cruise highlighting why he loves his church and we know it probably runs most of Hollywood. Most of us may even know there's some sort of connection between the church and aliens. But how much did we really know before HBO unleashed the frightening documentary, Going Clear? Not enough. Here's what we learned from the documentary.
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  28. The Wrong Guy Member

    10 Things We Learned From Scientology Doc 'Going Clear'

    Now that the HBO doc on Scientology has aired, we break down a few of its more damning talking points.

    By Eric Thurm, Rolling Stone

    Last night, HBO aired Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Alex Gibney's documentary exposé of the Church of Scientology and its founder, science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. While much of the information contained within the film isn't technically new (especially since the doc is based on executive producer Lawrence Wright's book of the same name), it does forcefully, brutally put faces to many of the stories, and assembles a meticulous, damning case against the church. The organization had taken aggressive action to counterattack (including a full-page ad in The New York Times) after the movie's premiere at Sundance last January, and now that the film has finally aired on the cable channel, they're likely to go on the offensive as a whole new audience begins to discuss some of the Scientology's more terrifying, disturbing practices. Here are 10 of Going Clear's biggest talking points.
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  29. TrevAnon Member

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  30. TrevAnon Member

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  31. TrevAnon Member

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  32. Juster Moderator

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  33. The Wrong Guy Member

    Inside Scientology's Auditing Process: How Members Are Pushed To Reveal Their Private 'Sexual Indiscretions'

    By Ryan Buxton, Huffington Post

    One of the many bombshell allegations in the HBO documentary "Going Clear" explains how officials in the Church of Scientology keep in-depth records on everything its members say during private "auditing" sessions and then use their secrets against them. HuffPost Live's Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani found out just how deeply Scientologists' personal lives are probed during a discussion about the film on Monday.

    Article and video:

    Longer video:
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  34. The Wrong Guy Member

    16 Things We Learned from the Shocking Scientology Doc Going Clear

    By Jennifer M. Wood, Esquire

    Here are the headings:

    1. L. Ron Hubbard is a Guinness World Record holder.

    2. His friends call Hubbard "LRH."

    3. Scientologists have superpowers.

    4. "Hip hip, hooray" is the Scientology battle cry.

    5. The book upon which Going Clear is based wasn't meant as an expose.

    6. John Travolta was in a Band-Aid commercial.

    7. Hubbard questioned his own sanity.

    8. Jason Beghe is the kind of guy you'd want to have a beer with.

    9. Marty Rathbun is the Michael Jordan of auditing.

    10. The highest order of Scientologists sign a billion-year contract.

    11. Scientology is tax-exempt.

    12. Scientologists have got pipes.

    13. Tom Cruise is the man.

    14. Being labeled an SP (suppressive person) is not a good thing.

    15. John Travolta is looking forward to a world without insanity.

    16. Tom Cruise still likes that old time rock and roll.
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  35. Random guy Member

    And thank you Leah Remini for help fanning the flame!
    • Like Like x 2
  36. The Wrong Guy Member

    'Going Clear' Production Company Receives Mass Amounts Of Letters From Church Of Scientology After HBO Premiere

    By Alex Garofalo, International Business Times


    The premiere of the HBO documentary “Going Clear,” directed by Oscar winner Alex Gibney, gave viewers a behind-the-scenes look at many of the intimidation tactics the Church of Scientology uses to silence its critics and enemies. Most notably, the movie delves into how the Church of Scientology strong armed the IRS – via mass litigation and political pressure – to grant them status as a religion with an exemption from taxes. Well, it appears the COS is taking a similar approach in attacking the people behind the documentary.

    Jigsaw Productions – Alex Gibney’s production company – posted a photo on the company’s official Instagram account Monday showing the mass amount of letters the Church of Scientology has sent to their offices. The letters – addressed to Gibney and HBO Documentary Films president Sheila Nevins – seem to list grievances with how the film portrays the controversial religion.

    The caption on the Instagram post posits that one or a few people were responsible for the letters, based on the repetitive content. Read the caption below:

    “Monday morning following the #HBO premiere of #GoingClear last night: reading through a FAT stack of letters from the Church of Scientology. Amusing at first until you realize they eerily echo the same language and claims, as if coming from a single mouthpiece…”

    The original post has since been deleted and replaced with a new picture on Instagram and Twiter and a revised caption.

    Continued here:
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  37. Ogsonofgroo Member

    This ^^^ And cult hasn't even tried shoving the shaving-cream back in the can yet (so ta speak), and having unleashed a Streisand Effect phenomena that almost seems to have its own gravity field I get the impression they're going to be very busy plugging the holes in their feet.

    "Shit-storms a-commin' Ma."
    "Yup Pa."
    *cues squeaky rocking chairs*

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