My Scientology Movie - Louis Theroux documentary

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by CommunicatorIC, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. BWW Review: MY SCIENTOLOGY MOVIE to Wow Tribeca Film Festival.

    Broadway World: BWW Review: MY SCIENTOLOGY MOVIE to Wow Tribeca Film Festival

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    The story's told compellingly, with Theroux, seeking understanding, actually casting actors - the casting efforts are shown - to play Miscavige and Scientology's most famous member, Tom Cruise, to act out scenes described by the former Church leaders, including former Church Inspector General and public Scientology critic Marty Rathbun. The scenes not only depict vividly stories that have been told as anecdotes in the past, but allow Theroux to question his interviewees, such as Rathbun and Tom De Vocht, about their recollections of these experiences and the accuracy of memories. Actor Steven Mango, who has filmed his own testimonial near-documentary of his life in Scientology also appears, adding some real poignancy: he explains that he joined the Church because of ads carefully placed in Hollywood trade magazines suggesting that actors would get better breaks - and achieve Tom Cruise's success -- from attending certain seminars, while we see actors from a casting call auditioning to "become" Miscavige and Cruise on screen.

    As word gets out during filming of Theroux' BBC documentary that it is taking place, we see live footage of Scientology reactions: their famed letters from attorneys, the emergence of private detectives tailing Theroux and company, groups of Scientologists harassing Theroux and Rathbun on the street, public access roads to Scientology's Gold Base headquarters being blocked, Scientology staff attempting to sic police on Theroux and his cameramen. It's an ugly, confrontational picture at these moments, handled splendidly by Theroux' calm and his backbone. When filmed by Scientologists seeking to harass, Theroux simply films back, and you're likely to cheer at the sight of harassers backing down and backing away at his cameraman pacing quietly towards them.

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    It's a wildly fascinating film. While little is revealed of, say, Scientology "church services" or seminar content, and while there's avoidance of the now publicly discussed stories of Xenu and the like as well as of celebrity departures from the Church, there's much presentation of something deeper: a religious organization whose public operations are a combination of recruitment hustle and of fear. The former members involved consider it a dangerous cult; if it's not, at least it shows itself as frightened of light shining upon it. When Theroux attempts, repeatedly, to hand-deliver a response to a letter from Scientology attorneys, the Church's security, administrative staff, shadowers with cameras, and calls to the police come out of the woodwork and simply don't stop, and they begin claiming that they're producing a documentary about Theroux. The portrait presented of the Church is unflattering but it feels true. And in an hour and a half, you'll feel much more educated about Scientology's behaviors, but longing for more revelation.

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  2. Tribeca: 'My Scientology Movie' Filmmakers Were Confronted by Church Members During Shoot.

    The Hollywood Reporter - Tribeca: 'My Scientology Movie' Filmmakers Were Confronted by Church Members During Shoot

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    Tribeca: 'My Scientology Movie' Filmmakers Were Confronted by Church Members During Shoot

    1:22 PM PDT 4/15/2016 by Tatiana Siegel

    “They have a reputation for following you and filming you, but we honestly didn’t expect them to do what they did,” said John Dower of Scientologists who disrupted the production by turning their cameras on the filmmakers.

    Given the controversy unleashed by Alex Gibney’s Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, there’s every reason to expect sparks to fly at the April 17 international premiere of John Dower’s new documentary My Scientology Movie and its post-screening Q&A at the Tribeca Film Festival.

    “I’d love for someone from the church to come see it,” Dower told The Hollywood Reporter. “I don’t think any of them have seen it yet. You know, hold your judgment. You might be surprised.”

    The film follows Louis Theroux — a guerilla-style BBC journalist who has been dubbed Britain’s Michael Moore for taking viewers inside bizarre American subcultures like militias and the porn industry -- in his quest to understand the psyche behind the average Church of Scientology member.

    Theroux enlisted ex-members like former top-ranking Scientology exec Marty Rathbun to tell their stories. But he and Dower also needed people to stand in for leader David Miscavige and acolyte Tom Cruise, so actors were hired to portray them. While Dower was shooting footage in 2014, Scientolgists -- presumably tipped off by the audition call -- showed up and turned the cameras on Theroux and Dower.

    “They have a reputation for following you and filming you, but we honestly didn’t expect them to do what they did,” Dower said.“They said they were making a documentary about Louis, so it all started to get a bit strange. We were making a film about them and then they started making a film about us and tailing us and filming us. We’ve still not seen their film on us, but I’m intrigued to see it. I don’t know when they’ll release that. Maybe they’ll bring it out as the same time as the film in Tribeca.”

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    Nevertheless, that didn’t stop the harassment or the legal challenges. The film, produced by BBC Films and Simon Chinn's London-based Red Box Films, which has produced such docs as Man on Wire and Searching for Sugarman, had its world premiere at the London Film Festival in October. But because libel laws are stricter in the U.K. than in the U.S. (consider that the publication of the book Going Clear was held up for three years in the U.K. and was only just published last month), Dower had to walk a fine line to get the film past the BBC’s internal censors (the film is scheduled to air on the British network after a theatrical run).

    “We had to stand up our film much more [than Going Clear], and we had a much more lengthy process with the church. But it was encouraging that the London Film Festival put it out," Dower said.

    Still, the film's inclusion in the London fest prompted a letter from Scientology lawyers objecting to the way the film had been written up in the festival's brochure, a complaint that Dower found to be over the top given that the filmmakers had nothing to do with the wording.

    "This is probably the only film I’ve done at this level of litigiousness," said Dower, whose previous documentaries include The Last 48 Hours of Kurt Cobain and the boxing-themed Thrilla in Manila. "Scientology seems to threaten a lot, and then nothing ever really happens. You get these long, detailed letters in which they object to what you’re doing, and they’re very threatening but then nothing." He laughs, "I could regret saying that, I guess."

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  3. Louis Theroux’s Scientology Movie.

    Disinfo: Louis Theroux’s Scientology Movie

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    For those of you unfamiliar with Louis Theroux, he’s the son of writer Paul Theroux and an accomplished television documentarian for the BBC. He’s one of those journalists who appears in his own films, a la Michael Moore, except far more polite and much skinnier. The conceit of My Scientology Movie is that he’s supposedly casting actors in Los Angeles to re-enact scenes featuring Scientology leader David Miscavage and main man Tom Cruise. His partner in most of this is ex-Scientologist Marty Rathbun, who is as much the star of the film as Theroux himself is. They manage to cast a remarkably good Miscavage, and the three of them feature heavily as Theroux engages with cult members who are trying to prevent the film (or at least that’s the implication).

    Theroux claims more than once that he’s interested in the teachings of Scientology, but he doesn’t actually do anything to uncover any of the positives of the organization, should there be any. The film certainly shows that the cult is a good client of English law firm Carter Ruck, self-described as “One of the UK’s best-known law firms.”

    The firm sends several letters to Mr. Theroux expressing the cult’s concerns over his association with Mr. Rathbun. The latter does a pretty good job of describing how cult-like some of Scientology’s methods are, but he’s not exactly sympathetic himself. If I was casting Marty, I’d want Bill Murray in his most on-the-edge persona. At one point Rathbun almost melts down after a confrontation with some Scientologists who confront him on camera, followed by Theroux asking him if the techniques used on him weren’t those he used himself as Scientology’s self-described Mr. Fixit. It’s ugly.

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  5. 1
    Just for showing up
  6. The Wrong Guy Member

    Today, Tony Ortega wrote:

    Finally, America gets its first look at Louis Theroux’s very funny film, My Scientology Movie, when it premieres this evening at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

    We were fortunate enough to be present when the movie had its worldwide premiere at the London Film Festival last September, and we’ll be at tonight’s screening as well. We’re sure it will generate just as many belly laughs from the New York audience as it did in Leicester Square. We’ll try to snap a photo or two with Louis and John Dower and Simon Chinn, the film’s director and producer.
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  7. fishypants Moderator

  8. Wayward Member

    Those fees you paid for lessons at charm school are paying off now.
    If you ever consider a career move think of the diplomatic corps because you're wasted here among us common mortals.
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  9. Louis Theroux talks to Daily Mail about My Scientology Movie Daily Mail Online.

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  10. My Scientology Movie Review [Tribeca 2016].

    We Got This Covered: My Scientology Movie Review [Tribeca 2016]

    Reviewed by: Lauren Humphries-Brooks

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    Louis Theroux maintains his friendly, ingenuous persona, drawing out Rathbun with questions about faith, his reasons behind “blowing” from the Church, and his own culpability as a high Church official that used to threaten and beat up “SPs” viewed as undermining to the Church or Miscavige (usually seen as one and the same).

    It is Theroux, in fact, who makes this film such a joy to watch. He approaches Scientology with genuine desire to understand it, a fact that allows the events to unfold independent of his influence. He’s a likable screen presence who asks deceptively friendly questions with humor and understanding that allow the subject – here usually Rathbun – to reveal more and more about themselves. He also maintains his cool even in the most intense moments, and backs off when things get too heated. The results are electrifying, especially in his rapport with Rathbun, who becomes a more complex and questionable figure than in his other public appearances.

    My Scientology Movie seeks more to understand Scientology, its inner workings, and what its members are searching for than it does to “catch” Scientology out. Theroux’s gentle, non-judgmental style means that the subject more or less gets to speak for itself, whenever it cares to speak. And, that the Church of Scientology obviously views Theroux, Rathbun, and everyone involved in the production as dangerous and “suppressive” people who should be threatened and hounded, says a lot more about Scientology than anything else could.

    My Scientology Movie Review

    As fascinating and bizarre as Scientology itself, My Scientology Movie is unique among documentaries for its individual, humorous approach to a very strange subject.

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  11. Incredulicide Member

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  12. The Wrong Guy Member

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  13. My Scientology Movie: How Louis Theroux documented the church (and it documented him).

    Entertainment Weekly: My Scientology Movie: How Louis Theroux documented the church (and it documented him)

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    My Scientology Movie: How Louis Theroux documented the church (and it documented him)

    The British journalist talks about his Tribeca-screening documentary


    Posted April 18 2016 — 3:00 PM EDT

    TV journalist Louis Theroux is well known in the UK for embedding himself with controversial people and organizations, such as the Westboro Baptist Church, the focus of his 2007 film, The Most Hated Family in America. But Theroux was forced to change his modus operandi for My Scientology Movie after the titular church refused to grant what he regarded as a necessary amount of access.

    Unable to spend time with members of the organization, Theroux instead staged reenactments of alleged Scientology training techniques and of an incident in which it is claimed the church’s leader, David Miscavige, lost his temper with subordinates. Theroux was assisted in his mission by church member-turned critic Marty Rathbun, actor Andrew Perez — who plays Miscavige in the film — and the movie’s director, John Dower.

    Below, Theroux, Perez, and Dower talk about making My Scientology Movie and how they, in turn, found themselves being tracked by the organization they were attempting to document. The project is now screening at the Tribeca Film Festival.

    ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I thought My Scientology Movie was informative, and funny, and disturbing. Having said which, I should point out that you make a number of allegations in the film whose veracity the church has denied.

    Louis Theroux: Well, if you weren’t saying it, I think we would have to be saying it.

    John Dower: We do it ourselves in the film.


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  14. ‘My Scientology Movie’ Is An Absurdly Funny Take On The Scientology Documentary.

    Huffingtonpost Entertainment: ‘My Scientology Movie’ Is An Absurdly Funny Take On The Scientology Documentary

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    ‘My Scientology Movie’ Is An Absurdly Funny Take On The Scientology Documentary

    Louis Theroux’s new doc is now screening at the Tribeca Film Festival.

    04/18/2016 08:46 am ET | Updated 8 hours ago

    Stephanie Marcus

    Stephanie Marcus Twitter

    Senior Entertainment Editor, Huffington Post

    Louis Theroux is a man who is used to getting access. Over the years, the BBC journalist and documentary filmmaker has spent time with members of the Westboro Baptist Church, pedophiles in Coalinga State Hospital, inmates in San Quentin State Prison and neo-Nazis.

    But the Church of Scientology does not allow access to journalists, no matter how nicely you ask or how many fringe groups you’ve managed to document in the past. But it can be relied on to provide a “kind of negative access” Theroux told The Huffington Post in a phone interview. That negative access — the tactics the Church of Scientology is known for deploying against those they see as their enemies — is the basis for his latest documentary, “My Scientology Movie,” now screening at the Tribeca Film Festival.

    The doc includes names that should be familiar to those even slightly versed in the world of Scientology, including outspoken former high-ranking church officials Marty Rathbun and Marc Headley, but it differentiates itself from other films on the subject by being strangely comical. Because of the lack of direct access, some of the film relies on reenactments of horrific alleged events that are said to have taken place at the church’s international headquarters near Hemet, Calif., and casts young actors in the roles of church leader David Miscavige and Tom Cruise.

    The film, which Theroux made with director John Dower, ended up being a documentary about what happens when you try to make a documentary about Scientology, which is what he anticipated.

    “There was a bit we didn’t use in the film. We did a bit of filming in and around [Clearwater, Fla., where the church’s spiritual headquarters are located] in 2012 and I was followed by one of their private investigators on that occasion,”Theroux explained. “I also got a message from my email provider saying that someone in Clearwater had attempted to access my messages.”

    Shot mostly in Los Angeles, Theroux said that he “wanted to give the Scientology people somewhere to come to in a sense.” That is exactly what they did — in fact, they do most of the heavy lifting in the film just by being themselves. By the time a woman and a camera man show up across the street from where Theroux and the crew were filming, he’s visibly excited.

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  15. The Wrong Guy Member

    This man made a new movie exposing Scientology's inner workings and received physical threats

    By Jason Guerrasio, Business Insider


    In the movie, many title cards giving information about alleged incidents also include counter-statements from the church. But Theroux believes Scientology's side comes through in its actions during filming.

    In a few instances, Theroux finds camera crews, allegedly Scientologists, filming him making the movie. (Scientology informed Theroux that it's making a film on him.) Rathburn also films alleged Scientology members harassing him.

    "When they show up saying they are making their own film on me, or filming Marty, as a viewer you no longer have that thought, 'I wonder how Scientology would characterize this?' It strengthens the film," Theroux said.

    But Theroux admits he may have gone too far in a key moment in the film. Following an encounter Rathburn has with alleged church members, Theroux and Rathburn discuss the incident, with Theroux reminding Rathburn that when he was in Scientology these were the kind of tactics he instructed people to use on ex-members. This sets Rathburn off, and he curses out Theroux.

    "I think I was probably over the line," Theroux said. "Every screening I've been in when that moment plays, it's tense and people think, 'I don't know what I feel about this.'"

    But director John Dower believes it needed to be addressed.

    "Louis needs to ask that question because Marty had consistently batted it away so many times before," he said. "It so happens that's the only time he could get an answer out of him."

    "My Scientology Movie" offers the impression that even if you decide to leave the church, members will never leave you alone — especially if you go public with what goes on inside it.

    Since filming wrapped, those involved with the movie have thought the church was behind bizarre moments in their lives.

    Dower knows his Instagram account was hacked by the church because, according to Dower, Scientology officials admitted to doing it in one of their cease-and-desist letters to the BBC regarding the film.

    Then there are the threats toward Theroux.

    The morning of this interview, Theroux was locked out of his email account due to, as he called it, "suspicious activity." He believes it might be Scientology-related. And a few months ago, the police came to his house telling him they'd been tipped that someone wanted to do bodily harm to him due to his Scientology movie.

    "I asked the police where the threat came from and they said Scientology called them saying they had heard it," Theroux said. "I was like hold on, that doesn't sound right. They were the ones who made the call? Now I'm on a special list where if I call the police they are on the fast track to where I am. But my take is it sounded like Scientologists were just trying to wind me up by getting the police to come to my house."

    Numerous attempts to contact Scientology to comment for this story were not successful.
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    "My Scientology Movie" is, perhaps, evidence of just how damaged the cult's power has become. Theroux is harassed and followed throughout the filming, but the "adversaries" seem like paper dragons: petty, mean-spirited, impotent. It's important to remember that there are still people trapped in the cult, people who can't communicate with their family members, or aren't allowed freedom of movement. But a movie like this is a reminder of just how far we have come. A tyrannical cult can incorporate many things into its understanding of itself. Even having enemies, threatening law suits and constant criticism can be twisted into evidence that they are doing things right, that the world is evil and they alone provide light. But one thing that cults cannot abide, cannot incorporate, cannot allow, is humor. "My Scientology Movie," which is very, very funny, could not have been made 10 years ago. And in that respect, for Scientology, the jig is up.

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  17. Louis Theroux worried church would sue over Scientology doc.

    Page Six: Louis Theroux worried church would sue over Scientology doc

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    Louis Theroux — who stars in John Dower’s Tribeca doc, “My Scientology Movie” — says his “main anxiety” about appearing in the latest film on the controversial religion was about “something actionable [that] would lead to a lawsuit, and I would be paying excessive legal fees .?.?. They have very deep pockets .?.?. They are well-known for being litigious, and L. Ron Hubbard’s policy says it’s fair enough to use lawsuits to kind of wear people down.”

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  18. The Wrong Guy Member

    Louis Theroux Was Surveilled By the Church of Scientology, and He Made a Movie About It

    By Rich Juzwiak, Gawker


    Here’s how Louis Theroux baited members of the Church of Scientology into following him: He started following them. The British journalist probably best known on these shores for his documentaries about the Westboro Baptist Church (The Most Hated Family in America, America’s Most Hated Family in Crisis) says he set out to discover a “different, more positive side” to Scientology when he embarked upon his project over 10 years ago. When it was clear that his access would be limited only to ex-Scientologists like Marty Rathburn, Theroux and director John Dower changed course to stage a series of reenactments a la Joshua Oppenheimer’s 2012 doc The Act of Killing. Using the accounts of ex-Scientologists and a cast of actors, Theroux and Dower recreated things like the alleged abuse by Scientology head David Miscavige toward members of his church in the compound at Gold Base known as “the Hole.”

    While poking around outside said base in Gilman Hot Springs, California and other Scientology properties, Theroux and his crew attracted the attention of Scientologists, who alongside hired “journalists” and private investigators, started showing up where he was making his Scientology reenactments to turn their cameras on him. That was all according to plan, Theroux told me this weekend in an interview. “My dream was that they’d come after me,” he said.

    The Kaufmanesque absurdity is captured in My Scientology Movie, which is currently screening at the Tribeca Film Festival. I talked to Theroux, Dower, and Andrew Perez, who plays Miscavige in the film’s reenactments. A condensed and edited transcript of our conversation is below.

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  19. It is a bit misleading that the articles seem to portray that Theroux made a docu because he was being surveilled when in fact the surveillance happened because of the docu if I understand it correctly. I hate when media or exes lie as it is then easy for the cult to show us as liars and prove we are “after them” and we are bigots and all that … Grrr!
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  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    My Scientology Movie Review - Tribeca 2016

    By Lauren Humphries-Brooks, We Got This Covered

    The Church of Scientology has become the big bad of documentary filmmakers. Last year brought us Going Clear, a movie that delved into the bizarre history of Scientology and the strange, terrifying figure of its current leader David Miscavige. This year brought us a book by former Scientologist and actress Leah Remini, reigniting interest in the notoriously secretive and notoriously litigious group. Now, My Scientology Movie, from British journalist Louis Theroux and director John Dower, takes us ever deeper into the weird world of Scientology and the people that…make movies about Scientology.


    Louis Theroux maintains his friendly, ingenuous persona, drawing out Rathbun with questions about faith, his reasons behind “blowing” from the Church, and his own culpability as a high Church official that used to threaten and beat up “SPs” viewed as undermining to the Church or Miscavige (usually seen as one and the same).

    It is Theroux, in fact, who makes this film such a joy to watch. He approaches Scientology with genuine desire to understand it, a fact that allows the events to unfold independent of his influence. He’s a likable screen presence who asks deceptively friendly questions with humor and understanding that allow the subject – here usually Rathbun – to reveal more and more about themselves. He also maintains his cool even in the most intense moments, and backs off when things get too heated. The results are electrifying, especially in his rapport with Rathbun, who becomes a more complex and questionable figure than in his other public appearances.

    My Scientology Movie seeks more to understand Scientology, its inner workings, and what its members are searching for than it does to “catch” Scientology out. Theroux’s gentle, non-judgmental style means that the subject more or less gets to speak for itself, whenever it cares to speak. And, that the Church of Scientology obviously views Theroux, Rathbun, and everyone involved in the production as dangerous and “suppressive” people who should be threatened and hounded, says a lot more about Scientology than anything else could.
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  21. fishypants Moderator

    Where do they say that?

    I think that's what they say, although I guess it is confused a bit by the scientology surveillance / dirty-tricks-campaign against Rathbun, which was happening already.
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  22. The Wrong Guy Member

    A Scientology movie only Louis Theroux could make

    Louis Theroux, who has made a career trying to understand subcultures in his oddball way, is the perfect man to tackle Scientology

    By John Semley, Maclean's

    There’s a shot that pops up again and again in attempts to document the Church of Scientology: two people holding cameras, filming each other, caught in a reconnaissance stalemate. It’s a cinematographic mise en abyme. The surveillance and counter-surveillance recurs in an infinite loop, feeding a sinister sense of paranoia. It’s in countless YouTube videos. It’s in news coverage of the infamous cult/Church/Hollywood pyramid scheme. And it’s there, repeatedly, in My Scientology Movie, the latest documentary starring British broadcaster Louis Theroux, which makes its Canadian bow at the Hot Docs film festival in Toronto this month.

    “What’s that thing in movies when nobody wants to put their gun down?” Theroux asks, over the phone from London. “A Mexican standoff! It’s like a Mexican standoff with cameras. When someone’s being rude and hostile, there’s a natural tendency to want to be rude and hostile back. I wanted to short-circuit that adversarial relationship.”

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  23. Their surveillance made the surveillance a significant part of the movie. If they had talked to him instead it (or ignored him) it would have been a different movie.
  24. I wonder why Karen de la Carriere did not show in the final cut. She posted so many photos of her and Louis on Facebook . Something must have happened.

    Maybe she was a little to crazy even for this film lol
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  25. Maybe Louis took pity on her for some reason.

  26. This is amusing.
    Lulz....need moar
  27. An interesting and insightful review of My Scientology Movie.

    Popoptiq: Tribeca Review: My Scientology Movie Reaches Sublime Heights

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    What’s brilliant about this take on Scientology is that L.Ron Hubbard himself had a deep understanding of the role of narrative in tapping into the human psyche, making Scientology itself based on fundamental theatrical ideas. Because he was a science fiction writer, he understood the powerful human desire to live a narrative that cast oneself as the hero making a powerful positive impact. So, the meta approach of acting out a religion based on the writings of a science fiction author reveals Scientology in an entirely fresh way.

    From huge popularity of Yelp, Youtube, Facebook and the like, the human need to feel our experiences are making a difference in the world and that our contributions matter in some way is universal. Scientology asserts that its members are saving the universe and they are chosen as the mightily warriors. My Scientology Movie hints that much of the appeal of the religion may be that it puts members in a sort of virtual reality where their actions are saving the things that they hold most dear from eternal pain and suffering. That desire to do epic good in the world may be what makes people stay. And also may point to why it’s so hard to leave. And as Louis digs deeper into Ruthburn’s complex psyche, into interviews with ex-members, and reenactments of some of the most disturbing allegations, he goes on a much wilder ride than if he would have gained access to the church.

    And, of course Scientologists begin surveillance on Theroux, following his car for hours, filming him without permission or explanation, and sending letters with disturbing private details that Louis has no idea how they discovered. And because of the theatrical roots of Scientology, the way Scientologists begin interacting with the documentary reaches a level of creepiness that is profoundly cinematic.

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  28. Very interesting interview of Louis Theroux.

    Inverse: Louis Theroux Is Being Stalked by Scientology in a Battle of Documentaries.

    Christine Jun

    April 21, 2016


    With the Scientology re-enactments, what were you trying to achieve besides baiting the Church of Scientology into a kind of confrontation?

    LT: It was about putting Marty [Rathbun], and to a lesser extent Mark [Headley] back into a headspace, a time and place, and sort of using theatrical and dramatic technique to bring up talking points. That first day when we met Andrew, I saw how Marty was kind of re-energized. And he absolutely loved it. You can see him laughing with pleasure. When you [Andrew] shout at him: You like that shit. Dont look away, he’s just like This is exactly what it was like.

    Is there anything you would've done differently in the film, given a second chance?

    LT: In general, I was pushing to do more reenactments. I just think its an amazing device, and it works incredibly well. So I’m curious to know what would have happened if we’d maybe used one more.

    Which one?

    LT: Steve Mango, who’s the character who wants to be the next Tom Cruise. He’s a young actor who gets involved with Scientology and spends $50,000. I thought, we need to reenact the scene where Steve Mango was locked in a room - and this is his allegation against the Church, and I’m sure Scientology would deny it - and more or less coerced or pressured into giving more money, and maxing out his credit cards. I thought, well, that’s a great scene to reenact. Looking back now I’m not sure it would have worked in the film, but I did like the idea of it - Steve playing himself or the Scientology sales person. We had another re-enactment that we didn’t put in the film. We had a scene where David Miscavige and Tom Cruise go out skeet shooting, which is something that they used to enjoy doing. In the background, there are these young members of the Sea Org doing this Scientology running drill, running around a tree. It was kind of an amazing scene, but it felt like it was being pushed more by me, or us as a production, rather than by Marc Headley. It didn’t feel real.

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  29. anon8109 Member

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  30. DeathHamster Member

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  31. "A powerfully subversive picture"

    The Film Stage: My Scientology Movie - Tribeca 2016 Review

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    My Scientology Movie is exactly what it promises to be: a personal journalistic rattrap that’s not quite as comprehensive as Gibney’s film. Directed by John Dower (who remains off camera), the film melds performative elements to create a kind of unintentional buddy comedy. As the opening credits suggest, the film was developed on social media as a simple inquiry that snowballed into a work of gonzo journalism, resulting in what could be considered an unintentional behind-the-scenes version of Gibney’s documentary. While Gibney inserts himself into his stories as a narrator, he retains distance required to maintain the authoritative tone of his work. Theroux is a citizen journalist who will go to great lengths for his inquiry; this presents friction later in the relationship in ways that I didn’t quite expect.A powerfully subversive picture, My Scientology Movie pushes back against the church’s attempt to control the narrative.

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  32. The Wrong Guy Member

    Tribeca Film Fest: 'My Scientology Movie' Doc Gets Church's Intimidation Tactics on Film

    By Melanie Votaw, Reel Life With Jane, April 24, 2016

    Last paragraph:

    If you have an interest in the claims made against Scientology, I recommend this film, which is an interesting progression from “Going Clear.” It’s done with much more humor, but it still packs quite a scathing punch.
  33. How Scientology Silences Its Critics: ‘It Is a F-cking Nightmare’.

    This is a very good article. I'll excerpt it only briefly below. Please read it all

    Daily Beast: How Scientology Silences Its Critics: ‘It Is a F-cking Nightmare’

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


    UNDER THE INFLUENCE 04.27.16 10:00 PM ET

    How Scientology Silences Its Critics: ‘It Is a F-cking Nightmare

    In the doc ‘My Scientology Movie,’ filmmaker Louis Theroux interviews many ex-Scientologists about how the Church of Scientology and leader David Miscavige intimidate apostates.

    “I was the baddest-ass dude in Scientology,” declares Marty Rathbun in My Scientology Movie, a surreal documentary in which British journalist Louis Theroux attempts to make a film about the most controversial religious organization of the 20th century… only to find himself in the crosshairs when they send hostile surveillance crews out to film him right back.

    Truer words have rarely been spoken about Rathbun, a devoted Scientologist for over a quarter century who served as its Inspector General and right-hand man to feared leader David Miscavige. That is, until he “blew” and left the church in 2004, thus becoming one of Scientology’s most aggressively targeted enemies.

    While acting as Scientology’s second-in-command, Rathbun revealed last year in Alex Gibney’s Going Clear, he was instructed to wiretap Nicole Kidman, a suspected “SP”—or suppressive person, aka an enemy of the church—and engineer her split from the most famous Scientologist in the world, Tom Cruise. In one interview, an ex-member remembers being sucker-punched years ago during an internal church interrogation—by Rathbun, who nonchalantly acknowledges the assault when meekly challenged by Theroux. It’s no wonder he’s been subjected to one of the church’s most fervent discreditation campaigns since leaving 12 years ago. After all, as another ex-Scientologist explains in the film: “Marty knows where all the bodies are buried.”

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

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

    Rathbun, who turns out to be a mystifying collaborator-slash-subject when it comes to his own past transgressions, remembers fleeing the church after spending just a few days in The Hole. “I thought leaving was the only thing I could do to wake [Miscavige] up. I thought because I held the keys to the kingdom, that should sober him up.”

    In the end it was Rathbun who experienced a wake-up call. As Theroux and the film’s crew captures the umpteenth confrontation by uninvited Scientologists during their shoot, two of the church’s “squirrel-busters” spark Rathbun to renew his commitment to taking Miscavige down.
    “I didn’t want to do it, but I’m going to have to pull the plug on this organization,” he tells Theroux. Later, when he refers to his former boss as if he’s Voldemort himself, Rathbun is a man on fire: “It’s as if he literally, in his warped mind, is begging me to end this all for him.”

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

    Seriously? Marty holds the "keys to the kingdom?" Marty is "going to have to pull the the plug on this organization?" What, by having Monique fire her very competent attorney and represent herself? By perhaps convincing her to take a secret settlement in exchange for her tanking her legal case?

    Pulling the plug on the organization? Right now, I don't see Marty doing shit.
    • Like Like x 6
  34. TrevAnon Member

    • Like Like x 3
  35. The Wrong Guy Member

    Hot Docs 2016: My Scientology Movie Review | Dork Shelf

    It’s perhaps a depressingly predictable spectacle, but one that is nevertheless rather disturbing and certainly paints the church in a far worse light than they would have come off from by merely participating in interviews.
    • Like Like x 3
  36. afternon Member

    Very insightful- the human need for a narrative is a powerful one- and to create a "virtual reality" whereby the Scientologist cult member is the hero is very appealing. It's the bait, the addiction of auditing and the whole "we are the authorities" bullshit.
    It also appeals to people with narcissistic personality disorder like John Mappin who can enjoy his delusions of grandeur even more- whilst he pays for them!
  37. TrevAnon Member

    I watched a segment on Dutch news show on PBO "Een Vandaag".

    The item started out about the Louis Theroux documentary and had a few seconds of it.

    As most Dutch people don't know anything about COS there was an introduction with LRH and Tom, John, Kirstie and so on. Little David wasn't even mentioned. :)

    Other than that a rehash from earlier news, like the 20/20 show with Ron, and Jenna's visit to Amsterdam in 2013 (I think), which was a part of her book publishing tour.

    The IMHO most import part: Scientology Netherlands only has 170 active members.

    Small and failing org, like Jenna already said in 2013.

    Commenting were Karen Spaink (Dutch Old Guard) and Rinke Verkerk, a journalist that infiltrated for a short while in 2015.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Like Like x 2
  38. The Wrong Guy Member

    Here's a review that showed up today on a Toronto site. Quote:

    My Scientology Movie
    Director: John Dower, UK, 100 min

    Sunday, May 8, 6:15 p.m.
    TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King St. West)

    There have been enough exposés of Scientology over the last few years (most notably Alex Gibney’s recent HBO doc based on Lawrence Wright’s non-fiction account Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief) that one wonders what else there is to say about the church. But the British documentary filmmaker and TV personality Louis Theroux, who spent years fruitlessly trying to make a Scientology documentary through proper church channels, hit upon a novel approach. Taking inspiration from Joshua Oppenheimer’s post-modern documentary The Act Of Killing, Theroux sets up shop in Hollywood to begin work on dramatized recreations of life inside the church, based on its own in-house propaganda and recollections of disgruntled former Scientologists. This includes his ace in the hole Marty Rathbun, who was once the right hand man of church leader David Miscavige before he “blew” (Scientology jargon for “quit”) the church in 2004 to turn whistleblower. Theroux’s production team build sets on a soundstage and holds auditions to cast actors to play Miscavige and his star pupil Tom Cruise, who then perform reenactments of church indoctrination tactics, as well as depictions of Miscavige’s alleged abusive outbursts at Scientology’s purported punishment facility “The Hole,” as witnessed by Rathbun.

    It doesn’t take long for the Church of Scientology to suddenly become very interested in Theroux’s project; there is a moment early on where a woman in a bikini drops by the open door of their hotel room to ask them what they are filming and the woman turns out to be actor Paz de la Huerta from Boardwalk Empire, which may or may not have been a random incident. Soon enough, Theroux receives legal warnings, is tailed by mysterious white vans while driving through LA, is confronted by church pitbulls whenever he gets anywhere near one of its properties, and finally plagued by Scientology surveillance teams showing up outside the soundstage.

    As the tension builds, Theroux starts to circle in on the story of Rathbun. In legal complaints, the church describes him as an unstable, embittered man with an axe to grind, and Theroux hears from other ex-members that Rathbun, Miscavige’s chief enforcer and self-described “Mr. Fixit,” was once an enthusiastic foot soldier in the cause; another one of Theroux’s sources tells him Rathbun once even sucker-punched him. Rathbun, clearly buckling over the course of the shoot, begins to resent Theroux’s authority on set and having to face lines of questioning about his own complicity in the church’s methods; the growing rift between the two men leads to some highly charged moments.

    Theroux is a perfect guide to this world, maintaining a deadpan tone and hardly ever going for easy laughs, despite the temptation in the face of some of the ridiculous intimidation he is subjected to. There are some absurd showdowns between duelling camera crews, with Theroux flipping the script and trying to start dialogues with the Scientology operatives sent out to bully him. Theroux maintains empathy for the members of the church who were likely sincere in their hopes that Scientology held the key to self-improvement, but paints a pretty grim picture of the leadership and alleged conduct of David Miscavige, who now seems to preside over a dwindling empire.

    Source, with open comments:
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