Going Clear: Scientology Book and Documentary (1 Viewer)

jbutler

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the Lawrence Wright book was insane and amazing and while the documentary necessarily misses a lot of what's in the book simply by virtue of the time constraints, it still puts a compelling face on a lot of the stories with the interviews. as a film, it's not perfect, but it's good at communicating the stupidity and malevolence of scientology.

here's the trailer:


it's two hours and it's DEFINITELY worth the watch. borrow someone's HBO GO password and check it out.

as a bonus, here's the Tom Cruise interview prepared for some scietology convention. it's pretty insane that the "church" is worth billions and aspires to (and fails to achieve!) the production quality of entertainment tonight. the real value in the video is obviously Cruise's coke-crazed bullshit. hilarious.


for shorter reading in lieu of watching the doc or reading the longer Larry Wright book, check out Wright's original New Yorker article which profiled Paul Haggis and on which the book expanded to a (much, much, much) broader view of the "church".
 

tommythecat

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I have seen this doc about Scientology...


I just put the Going Clear book in my Amazon cart yesterday and really want to see the Doc after I read it. I was also just reading the wikipedia page about The Hole yesterday as well. Some seriously fucked up shit.
 

MoscowRadio

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Jesus. Firstly, could Tom Cruise be any more ambiguous about what he does in the field of Scientology? Secondly, how in love with himself is this guy? Finally, on a scale of 1 to 10, how scared do you think the interviewer was for his life?

I've never ever liked Tom Cruise, but after watching that I feel like I put all that disdain in a time capsule and buried it under 12 feet of concrete.
 

Toby

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TC's interview is mangled. Edited to shit and they still couldn't get a coherent soundbite out of him.

I thought he was promoting periods. Period.

I pray to the Space Pope that if I'm in an accident the entire emergency services crew are Scientologists or I'm humped!
 

grandgnu

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HQ in Florida... OT grandgnu?

They're headquartered in Clearwater, on the other side of Tampa (I'm in Brandon). I am definitely going to be watching the HBO doc on this one and maybe I'll pull a Bieber and throw eggs at their building.
 

jbutler

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TC's interview is mangled. Edited to shit and they still couldn't get a coherent soundbite out of him.

I thought he was promoting periods. Period.

I pray to the Space Pope that if I'm in an accident the entire emergency services crew are Scientologists or I'm humped!

what made me go back and watch the full thing was that a clip was used in the movie and i thought to myself, "well that's a little dishonest because they just used the most absurd part to make him look silly." ah, no, they just pulled basically a random fifteen second clip from the video. it's pretty much wall-to-wall bonkers.

speaking purely stylistically, i'm getting a little tired of alex gibney's docs. he's had some that are undeniably important (smartest guys in the room, taxi to the dark side, mea maxima culpa) and some that are undeniably entertaining (casino jack, client 9, most of his 30 for 30s), but his tone is pretty much uniform in all of his films and something about his editing gives the subjects less weight to me. it's hard to explain, but i just don't find his style compelling for some reason.

this is obviously a case where the subject is more important than the presentation and also is just so interesting that anyone could tell the story and have be intrigued. i'm still pretty surprised that HBO was willing to air it. good for them, though. hopefully scientology will soon be mocked universally. i still hear nominally skeptical and rational celebrities refuse to take scientology to task and its disgraceful.
 

Quicksilver-75

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Meh...i can't differentiate between the bullshit he's spouting and the different flavor of bullshit any other religion spouts...
If you believe I something, good for you. It's like a sexual preference..keep it to yourself. Just the way I see it.
 

jbutler

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Meh...i can't differentiate between the bullshit he's spouting and the different flavor of bullshit any other religion spouts...
If you believe I something, good for you. It's like a sexual preference..keep it to yourself. Just the way I see it.

if you can't see the difference then it's because you're not looking closely.

i don't buy the false equivalency of "all religions are equally bad". some are more explicitly harmful than others. the failure to realize this is a big part of what allows pernicious belief systems to infect society imo.
 

ChaosRock

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i don't buy the false equivalency of "all religions are equally bad". some are more explicitly harmful than others. the failure to realize this is a big part of what allows pernicious belief systems to infect society imo.

I agree with this statement 100%. And the same goes for most of the other general equalizations we've been fed more and more.

However, I believe what Quick was trying to convey is not the 'outcome' or 'result' of a religion being better or worse but that the basis of every religion is faith in concepts that will never be proven and that sound equally otherworldly. What might appear absolutely bizarre for one faith is the basis of a different faith. I certainly don't want to use explicit examples here as not to offend any faith but they abound...

The viciousness of Scientology is equally observed in other faiths in which the penalty for detraction is nothing but death.
 

gopherblue

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Meh...i can't differentiate between the bullshit he's spouting and the different flavor of bullshit any other religion spouts...

if you can't see the difference then it's because you're not looking closely.

i don't buy the false equivalency of "all religions are equally bad". some are more explicitly harmful than others. the failure to realize this is a big part of what allows pernicious belief systems to infect society imo.

Of course, this is NOT a religion. Why the US gov't hasn't revoked its tax-exempt status is beyond me.
 

jbutler

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Of course, this is NOT a religion. Why the US gov't hasn't revoked its tax-exempt status is beyond me.

agreed 100%. apart from anything scientology-specific, maybe my main takeaway from those passages of the book and segment of the film is that the government should get out of the business of giving "religious" organizations of any kind tax exemptions.
 

Quicksilver-75

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Name one faith that isn't pernicious. History would tell us that all faiths while not inherently evil are lead to do horrendous acts by the people in control. To my knowledge Scientology, while a laughable religion ( if it can be called that) hasn't been used murder a race or wage war on a population...
 

bergs

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I believe what the director was trying to convey is that Tom Cruise is literally shithouse bat crazy.
 

ChaosRock

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Of course, this is NOT a religion!

Not disagreeing goph/jbutler but how would you define what IS a religion? Again, my tone here is not challenging but clarifying...

Regardless, I couldn't agree more with the absurdity of tax-exempt status of any religious organizations...
 

ChaosRock

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Now I'll side with jbutler's previous comments Quick... While you can say most religions have some nefarious effects, some are far more pernicious than others through history and a few even more nowadays... So an attempt to put them all on the same level is a disservice to the more 'peaceful' ones...

Name one faith that isn't pernicious. History would tell us that all faiths while not inherently evil are lead to do horrendous acts by the people in control. To my knowledge Scientology, while a laughable religion ( if it can be called that) hasn't been used murder a race or wage war on a population...
 

jbutler

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Now I'll side with jbutler's previous comments Quick... While you can say most religions have some nefarious effects, some are far more pernicious than others through history and a few even more nowadays... So an attempt to put them all on the same level is a disservice to the more 'peaceful' ones...

basically this. all religions - and many other social constructs - have the tendency to lead to groupthink and passive acceptance that can be used by those who wish to manipulate the vulnerable for their own purposes.

sometimes it takes the form of convincing people to give far more of their financial resources than is reasonable for the benefit of the leadership of the religion. sometimes it takes the form of convincing people that they should willingly give their lives and take the lives of others in service of some spiritual cause.

if we take the position that all religions are equally harmful, we rob ourselves of the ability to prioritize convincing others of the trouble with and ridding ourselves of the latter.
 

jbutler

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I believe what the director was trying to convey is that Tom Cruise is literally shithouse bat crazy.

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btw there's a hilarious clip in the movie where during his 42nd birthday party scientology got some band to play the bob seger song from risky business. of course tom jumps down, dances embarrassingly, takes the mic and sings horribly bad. doesn't do much to dissuade from the crazy diagnosis, basically.
 

Toby

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I found the Panorama doc surprisingly lightweight, considering Rinder's prominence within the organisation before he left.

The allegations regarding control and suppression of members were pretty nasty but I think the BBC missed the boat by allowing John Sweeney to spend most of the documentary 'investigating' the techniques employed by the church to make him lose it last time round during the filming of the 2007 documentary.

Struck me as a waste of Rinder and Rathbun as interviewees... They must've had access to far more damaging info about the organisation. And probably more litigious!
 

ChaosRock

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Wait! I can think of one...

Buddhists

Buddhism certainly, Rastafarianism, Taoism, Induism, and other smaller organized religions found in almost any culture. But even comparing larger religion death tolls thorough time there's clearly two of them that top the list by far and one of them has certainly been a bit more accepting the last 300 odd years...

But the point is although we can call all law breakers criminals, there's clearly a difference between a mass murderer and a pick-pocketer...

*Before any backlash, I'm only using the term mass murderer only as a comparison figure!
 
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Quicksilver-75

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But that was kind of my point. Where religion is concerned point of view needs to be taken into consideration. I totally agree that Christians have been more tolerant since the medieval ages. But the middle eastern, African and even eastern europeans would disagree. They see any military activity, whether peace keeping or missionary as a faith-based attempt at attack.
I'm not looking to argue with anybody about religion. Fact is I don't have one. My wife is a devout catholic. I respect all opinions but don't agree that cults like scientology are really that dissimilar to large religions
 

ChaosRock

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We certainly have a lot more agreement on the topic than disagreement Quick. I just feel there's a broad spectrum of perniciousness (several kinds) among different religions as there are a broad spectrum on 'goodness' (for lack of a better word) among them as well... And btw, my comment just comes from a rational perspective not from a religious one.


But that was kind of my point. Where religion is concerned point of view needs to be taken into consideration. I totally agree that Christians have been more tolerant since the medieval ages. But the middle eastern, African and even eastern europeans would disagree. They see any military activity, whether peace keeping or missionary as a faith-based attempt at attack.
I'm not looking to argue with anybody about religion. Fact is I don't have one. My wife is a devout catholic. I respect all opinions but don't agree that cults like scientology are really that dissimilar to large religions
 

jbutler

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I found the Panorama doc surprisingly lightweight, considering Rinder's prominence within the organisation before he left.

The allegations regarding control and suppression of members were pretty nasty but I think the BBC missed the boat by allowing John Sweeney to spend most of the documentary 'investigating' the techniques employed by the church to make him lose it last time round during the filming of the 2007 documentary.

Struck me as a waste of Rinder and Rathbun as interviewees... They must've had access to far more damaging info about the organisation. And probably more litigious!

i remember feeling the same after watching it a few years ago. lots of wasted airtime imo. check out the new one, Toby. much, much better.
 

NiceShot

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What does it mean when they offer you a free haircut and a robe?
 
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