Alex Gibney: Going Clear

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

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    Mission: Possible – HBO Putting Scientology Doc “Going Clear” Back into Theaters

    By Roger Friedman, Showbiz411

    Cue the Lalo Schifrin music. HBO is taking on Tom Cruise in a big way. They’re re-releasing “Going Clear,” Alex Gibney’s Scientology documentary. They’re putting it back into theaters on September 25th, just as “Mission Impossible 5: Rogue Nation” fades from theaters. Or, “MI5″ may still be in some theaters.

    “Going Clear” fully chronicles Tom Cruise’s crazy alliance and membership in the religious cult. It’s a ballsy move. HBO is owned by Warner Bros. As I’ve said before, this makes the possibility of Tom working at that studio again ever so slight.

    Certainly, though, HBO and WB see what’s happening: Leah Remini is everywhere talking about insider stuff at Scientology, Kirstie Alley is being sued, John Travolta may wind up in court soon, too. Cult leader David Miscavige’s father is writing a tell all book. So why not jump back in?


    “Going Clear,” “Dancing with the Stars” nab multiple Emmy nominations | Realscreen

    Multiple nominations came for Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance, which each grabbed eight nominations; Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief and Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, which each took seven nominations; The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst and The Voice, which took six nominations; Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, Deadliest Catch and Project Runway, which each grabbed four; and The Amazing Race, which is up for three Emmy awards.

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  2. RightOn Member

    I was watching the Discovery Channel last night and there was a promo commercial for HBO. It featured a photo still montage of the shows and movies that HBO has to offer and it was so strange to see a photo still of Scientology's "Big Blue" included in that montage. :D
    The veil is lifting further
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  3. The Wrong Guy Member

    Barely worth mentioning:

    Crisis PR guru suffers collapsed lung | New York Post

    Crisis PR expert Mike Sitrick had a crisis of his own this month. While shuttling between clients in San Francisco he got a sharp pain. It wasn’t a heart attack, as he first suspected, but a collapsed lung.

    The canny PR man wrangles the most gnarly of topics — including the Church of Scientology’s response to Alex Gibney’s critical HBO movie “Going Clear” and the latest mogul fight between hedge-fund operator Louis Bacon and clothing entrepreneur Peter Nygard.

    When On the Money caught up with Sitrick and heard he’s back to full health, we breathed a big sigh of relief with both lungs. Sitrick tells us he’ll soon get back to his morning routine: 150 push-ups and 150 sit-ups. Since we operate on the mantra “trust but verify,” we were grateful his office sent us an e-mail photo of the healthy-looking torso in question.
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  4. The Wrong Guy Member

    Going Clear: Scientology & The Prison Of Belief

    By The Echo, Australia, July 30, 2015

    We’ve suspected for some time that the ferociously grinning Tom Cruise can’t be the full quid. Our worries are confirmed in devastating fashion by this exposé of what can only be described as the wicked ‘religion’ of Scientology.

    Adhering to the principle that ‘whatever gets you through the night’ is forgivable, I have generally considered that no system of belief is more valid or silly than another – be it Christianity or Islam, Judaism or Aboriginal Dreaming – but this alarming doco is enough to challenge any man’s tolerance.

    It comes as no surprise that the big-business of Scientology is staggeringly wealthy and holds its followers in a vicelike grip, for the Vatican also plays hand-in-glove with Mammon and those in ISIS unquestioningly behead infidels. What is genuinely astounding – incomprehensible to an outsider – is that so many otherwise intelligent people would sign up to its idiocy and remain committed to it for as long as they do. To me it was a shock to learn that Paul Haggis, writer of Million Dollar Baby and director of Crash, was a longstanding member when making those wonderful movies. He left the organisation in 2009 and is one of a handful of interviewees who throw light in its inner goings-on.

    Alex Gibney’s documentary follows a standard format of background history (L Ron Hubbard, it appears, was a compulsive and self-aggrandising liar) with archival footage and recent developments commented upon by articulate and, in the case of the actor Jason Beghe, humorous talking heads.

    It’s a tad over-long but riveting nonetheless, with the ghoulish fascination factor being ratcheted up by the later footage of David Miscavage, the corporation’s current grand poo-bah. This bloke is a creep of the highest order and his embrace with Cruise is terrifying.

    Deeply disturbing, however, is the reminder that so many people are so desperate to be told by a higher power that they are good and that if they stick to the prescribed ‘word’, everything will be fine.

    Gullibility rules, okay?

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  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology Documentary ‘Going Clear’ Gets October Release | Variety

    FilmRise has acquired U.S. DVD and non-exclusive VOD rights from Content Media to Alex Gibney’s Scientology documentary “Going Clear,” Variety has learned exclusively.

    FilmRise will release “Going Clear” on DVD and Blu-ray on October 6, and on VOD platforms, including iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, Google Play, Sony PlayStation and Xbox, non-exclusively on October 30.
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  6. Quentinanon Member

    He should have taken a cue from the founder of his client's organisation, spin an injury or illness into a heroic deed like, "I almost killed my body confronting the 'wall of fire'(OT 3 incident 2 garbage)".
    Also, Sitrick should drink moar Jameson's and smoke Kools.
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  7. anon8109 Member

    Darn it, I was hoping it would go to Netflix.
  8. The Wrong Guy Member

    This article mentions several documentaries. I'll quote the one that's relevant.

    Jinx, Cobain,Grim Sleeper, Scientology - HBO DOCs Winning

    2015 is the Year of Incredible Documentaries at HBO

    There is one thing I want (and a lot of people want) and that is for Scientology to stop being weird fucks and also be more open about what is really going on behind those doors. Thanks to the March documentary, GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE PRISON OF BELIEF, we are one step closer to having some semblance of answers regarding the cult of belief. This doc is based on the Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright’s book and was directed by Oscar winner Alex Gibney. This intense feature profiles eight former members of the “Church” of Scientology. This alone is a big deal as most former members NEVER speak out. Even more so they speak out about the horrors they faced while in the church and the psychological impact that the church used to break them down then keep them as members as well as how they attract new members and scare long term members from ever leaving. It’s almost too crazy to believe.
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  9. RightOn Member

    Someone send this guy the Big List! :D
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  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    There's a related post here:


    “Both Sky, and the producers of the film, have sought legal advice at every stage of the process and are confident that the film complies with legal requirements in the territories in which we are screening the film,” said a spokesman for Sky.

    Sky is to air the film, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, on 21 September on Sky Atlantic at 9pm. It will be available to Sky’s 12 million pay-TV customers in the UK, including Northern Ireland, as well as the Republic of Ireland.
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  11. anon8109 Member

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  12. The Wrong Guy Member

    10 Ways Organizations Manipulated Social Media For Political Agendas | Listverse

    Here's the relevant excerpt:

    When Alex Gibney’s documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief was to air on HBO in March 2015, the cult scrambled to respond on social media while keeping their hands clean. Much of the documentary focused on the dark history of the church and its dirty laundry, being harshly critical of the corruption and abuse of founder L. Ron Hubbard, current leader David Miscavige, and celebrity spokesman Tom Cruise.

    Through the Twitter account of the Scientology tabloid organ Freedom Magazine, the church attacked the filmmakers as biased, lying home-wreckers without any friends, “bitter vengeful apostates,” and “admitted perjurers, admitted liars and professional anti-Scientologists.” They paid money to Twitter to promote their tweets, ensuring that Scientology propaganda would appear as the top result for “#GoingClear” searches, and posted tweets attacking Gibney as a propaganda artist who abused his ex.

    As the airdate loomed, they switched to posting stock pictures of people asleep at movie theaters, claiming the documentary was “talking heads, insufferable music, way too long . . . Zzzzzzzz.” Hilariously, the discrediting campaign only served to further promote the film, with the Twitter-spamming tactics seeming to back up the documentary’s arguments against the organization. Many simply laughed at the ham-handed attempt at propaganda or criticized Twitter for selling promoted tweets to a cult.
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  13. anon8109 Member

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  14. The Wrong Guy Member

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  15. The Wrong Guy Member

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  16. The Wrong Guy Member

    Alex Gibney compares ‘cult’ of Apple to Scientology | Page Six

    Documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney — whose last film was HBO’s “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief” — bites into Apple in his latest, “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine.” And he even says there’s a parallel between the two.

    “There is a cult of Mac and there are certain parallels with the Church of Scientology,” Gibney revealed at a Soho screening on Thursday. “I’m not aware, though, of Apple technicians showing up on doorsteps with GoPros on their foreheads,” he joked. “But nevertheless...there is this feeling like there is a passion for the person, and the products, that’s so deep that any criticism cannot be tolerated.”

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  17. anon8109 Member

    I don't think the comparison makes sense, and Gibney of all people shouldn't be publicly making it because it cheapens the suffering of the Scientology corporation's victims.

    Miscavige's victims lose so much more than the cost of a few Apple products.
    SeaOrg slaves work for pennies an hour, 80+ hours a week, with no days off, no family contact, subject to the RPF and the RPF's RPF.

    Apple users' friends and family won't be disconnected if they criticize Apple, and they don't have to send their kids to work at the factory.
  18. Hedorah Global Moderator

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  19. Ersatz Global Moderator

  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    The Overarching Lesson Of This Year’s Scientology And Apple Docs, According To Director Alex Gibney

    By Maxwell Strachan, The Huffington Post


    Alex Gibney knows a thing or two about about powerful institutions.

    The Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker has worked on movies about corrupt corporations (“Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room”), and he’s worked on movies about the U.S. military (“No End in Sight”). He’s worked on movies about the Catholic Church (“Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God”), and he’s worked on movies about the Church of Scientology (“Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief”).

    In his latest movie, the director takes a look at yet another enormous institution in Apple. “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine,” which comes out Friday, explores the complicated world that the Apple co-founder inhabited and created -- sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. (Gizmodo, the Gawker tech blog that features prominently in the film, has referred to the movie as “The Steve Jobs Documentary Apple Doesn't Want You to See.”)

    The are inescapable similarities between the subjects of “The Man in the Machine” and “Going Clear,” Gibney’s film about Scientology from earlier this year. Both films take hard looks at massive and, at times, controversial institutions forever associated with their domineering and brilliant founders -- Jobs in Apple’s case, L. Ron Hubbard in Scientology’s. (Of course, the depiction of Hubbard and his church is much more damning.)

    When HuffPost asked Gibney this week about the lessons he has taken away from covering large institutions and the powerful people who head them, he took a moment, then said: “The stuff about power and power corrupting is definitely a lesson. You see it over and over and over again, and it happens both from inside and out.”

    “At Enron and also at Scientology and at Apple, all in different ways, there is a kind of corruption that happens with power and, so, I think thats why it’s important to make films like this,” he added. “These powerful institutions persuade people that they are all good and that they should be left alone."

    Rumors have circulated in recent months that Apple employees walked out in protest of a screening of "The Man in the Machine" earlier this year at South by Southwest. HuffPost asked Gibney if it matters to him when he hears the people most closely affected by his films don't take heed to their message.

    "It matters," he said. “But I think one of the things I’ve learned -- and Lawrence Wright talked about it a lot with his book [Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief] -- is this idea of the Prison of Belief. Some people get imprisoned by the need to believe in something so fervently that they’re not willing to accept that there could be flaws."

    That's not simply the fault of human instincts, though. In Gibney's opinion, the people up top bare a large brunt of the responsibility as well.

    "If you look to some extent at the way that Apple has related to this film and also the way Scientology reacted to 'Going Clear,'" he said, "it’s all about trying assure the faithful that ‘We’ve got your back. Apple is all good. Don’t pay any attention to that man behind the curtain.'"

    The Master

    Steve Jobs plays like a secret sequel to Going Clear

    By Amy Nicholson, OC Weekly


    Director Alex Gibney's choice to follow this spring's Scientology slam Going Clear with the fascinating portrait Steve Jobs: The Man In the Machine might seem like an about-face. The first documentary clinically eviscerated a religion that everyone loves to loathe. Apple CEO Steve Jobs, however, is adulated to an incredible degree: Last week, I wandered into a small Korean restaurant that had his picture hung on the wall.

    But to Gibney, the pairing makes sense. Steve Jobs: The Man In the Machine is practically a sequel. Both Scientology and Apple were founded by now-dead gurus who commanded devotion. Both are corporations that claim to stand for something purer than greed. Neither pays fair taxes. And neither functions openly, speaks freely nor tolerates critics.

    Where the two films differ is us. Dismantle Scientology, and audiences will cheer. Chink away at the cult of Apple, and we all feel accused. I imagine that people will slink out of Steve Jobs keeping their iPhones guiltily stashed. When they make it a safe distance from the theater, they'll glide their smartphones in front of their faces, swipe the black monoliths awake and disappear into the dream machines, following their own desires: where they want to visit, what they want to hear, and who they want to reach. As MIT professor Sherry Turkle describes it, the iPhone that was meant to connect the globe instead made us "alone together." In the future, will historians wondering how society fractured look to Jobs' Apple as the original sin?

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  21. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology’s sad facts finally revealed in Going Clear

    By John Doyle, The Globe and Mail


    There was no conspiracy. There was no fear of repercussions. When HBO Canada failed to air Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief (Sunday, HBO Canada 9 p.m.) at the same day and time as HBO in the United States, the reasons were mundane.

    It’s a documentary, not an HBO series or movie, and in Canada it was scheduled to screen at festivals and in theatres before airing on TV. A simple issue of contract and intellectual property in the separate territory that is Canada.

    Still, the amount of grumbling about the matter and the copious online commentary suggesting either conspiracy to protect Scientology, or fear of pushback from the church, was revealing. It underlines how the public’s picture of Scientology has become saturated in weirdness. Anyone who covers the entertainment industry has felt the weirdness for years. There are actors who will bolt if any mention of Scientology arises during an interview or press conference. And not just Tom Cruise and John Travolta. A question about a strange casting decision on a TV show will be answered by an insider’s nod-and-wink suggestion that a bunch of Scientologists on the show hired another Scientologist.

    Going Clear doesn’t answer all your questions about Scientology. It explains a lot. And it’s far from the sensational exposé that some people imagine. Filmmaker Alex Gibney (who also made the great docs Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God) is simply methodical. The gist of the doc is finding answers to three questions: Where did this contentious religion come from? What are its core beliefs? And why does it attract so many people in Hollywood?

    It paints a devastating portrait of L. Ron Hubbard, the sci-fi writer who cooked some sci-fi ideas into a religion. A troubled, charismatic man emerges, a con artist turned therapist. And yet, when the doc deals with the matter of those celebrities who have embraced the Church of Scientology, a good deal of the lure of Hubbard makes sense.

    There is nobody more insecure than an actor in mainstream entertainment. Some can turn their insecurities into great performances. Many exist in a permanent state of anxiety. Scientology offers them succour and security. As we’re told about the core beliefs, it becomes clear that the long – and expensive – journey to enlightenment is a safety net for people who are in a permanent state of apprehension. Hubbard’s great act of cunning was in spotting where a great mass of deeply insecure people live and work.

    It is the tactics of the Church of Scientology that shock – the bullying, the fierceness of the isolation techniques and the blithe interference in personal and family relationships. One realizes that, like so much of religion, hatred of others and the diminishing of non-believers is a vital element.

    In the end, after listening to the stories of those who embraced Scientology and then left, it’s not a sense of outrage that viewers are left with. It’s sadness.

    Yes, there is a lurid quality. A former high-ranking official claims he was tasked with expediting the breakup of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s marriage in order to get Cruise back to the church’s clutches. Another interviewee says Travolta is “the church’s captive.” Paul Haggis talks about leaving Scientology and what he witnessed.

    Yet, now that all of us can see the documentary on TV in Canada, the defining impression is of deep melancholy. A sadness about the vulnerability that allows people we admire to sink into the depths of fear and loathing inside a church that, like many, resembles an extortion racket. There was no conspiracy, no fear of repercussion that prevented Going Clear from airing earlier in Canada. But what it’s about, in the end, is a church steeped in conspiracy and fear of repercussion.

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  22. The Wrong Guy Member

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  23. The Wrong Guy Member

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  24. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology Probe ‘Going Clear’ Wins Emmy For Best Documentary – Creative Arts Awards | Deadline

    The TV Academy gave a show of support to HBO’s controversial Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, naming it best documentary or nonfiction special.

    “This is a great honor,” said director Alex Gibney in picking up the statuette, adding the project would not have possible without the “courageous support” of HBO execs. He also paid tribute to the “courage of witnesses who stood up against… the human rights abuses.”

    Gibney’s adaptation of Lawrence Wright’s similarly named Pulitzer Prize-winning book, looks at the inner workings of the multi-billion dollar organization, using archival footage and interviews with former members. Scientology had launched a major attack on the project, that details the origins of Scientology and its creator/science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, ahead of its HBO debut, challenging the reliability of former members who’d been interviewed by Gibney, including Haul Haggis, who practiced Scientology for more than three decades, exiting in 2009. Scientology’s close ties to the Hollywood community had been expected by some to work against the project at Emmy time.

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  25. The Wrong Guy Member

    2015 Creative Arts Emmys: Winners List | Variety


    (WINNER) Alex Gibney for “Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief” from HBO, HBO Documentary Films in association with Sky Atlantic and Jigsaw Productions


    (WINNER) Alex Gibney for “Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief” from HBO, HBO Documentary Films in association with Sky Atlantic and Jigsaw Productions


    (WINNER) “Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief”
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  26. The Wrong Guy Member

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  27. The Wrong Guy Member

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  28. The Wrong Guy Member

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  29. anon8109 Member

    Now that this has won multiple emmys perhaps Gibney will get the mini-series he wanted to make?
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  30. Malory Member

    Perfect timing and nice publicity ahead of the UK debut.
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  31. The Wrong Guy Member

    Paul Haggis, Lawrence Wright react to Alex Gibney’s Emmys sweep for ‘Going Clear’

    By Tony Ortega, The Underground Bunker, September 13, 2015


    Lawrence Wright was a winner himself. Not only was the movie based on his book, but he was one of the producers of the film and so he also wins an Emmy for the Outstanding Documentary nod, along with producer Kristen Vaurio, supervising producer Sara Bernstein and executive producers Sheila Nevins and Chris Wilson.

    “I think Hollywood was taking stock of what is going on in its own community. It was a stand-up declaration on the part of the Television Academy,” Wright tells us.
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  32. mojo Member

    Great news and well-deserved! Shut these Scilon scammers down!
  33. The Wrong Guy Member

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  34. The Wrong Guy Member

    This article has been updated and has a new title:

    'Going Clear' Director On Tom Cruise & Sequel To Scientology Docu - Creative Arts Emmys | Deadline

    The updated article is referred to in this one from Ireland:

    Alex Gibney says there's a sequel on the way for Scientology doc Going Clear |
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  35. The Wrong Guy Member

    I just noticed that they uploaded it to YouTube back in April, so here it is in case it hasn't already been posted.

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  36. East Grinstead Online: Gibney Gets Emmy for Scientology documentary

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

    Quoting a prepared statement in relation to the documentary, Graeme Wilson, the PR for Saint Hill said:

    “The Church has documented evidence that those featured in Gibney’s Going Clear film regurgitating their stale, discredited allegations are admitted perjurers, admitted liars and professional anti-Scientologists whose living depends on the filing of false claims.”

    The statement ends with Scientology’s claim that “millions of parishioners worldwide” who represent the organisation worldwide were “intentionally ignored” in the making of the programme.

    Other sources put global membership of Scientology at around 25,000.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
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  37. The Wrong Guy Member

    Church of Scientology Rushed to Hospital after Going Clear wins Three Emmys | OTVIIIisGrrr8!

    Last two paragraphs:

    “An MRI confirmed that the Church of Scientology has a very serious and advanced case of third degree butthurt. There is no known treatment for these episodic panic attacks; they are a part of the psychopathology of butthurtus extremis.”

    “The long term prognosis for the Scientology Cult is not good,” Dr. Needel solemnly concluded. “Scientology appears to have developed chronic and irremediable butthurt and may need to be put into an assisted living facility such as a prison.”
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  38. The Wrong Guy Member

    Alex Gibney at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards Red Carpet

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