Scientology is Making Me Want to See the Anti-Scientology Movie

Going Clear Movie

HBO Documentary Films

It’s not that I don’t like Alex Gibney. The Oscar-winner has done yeoman’s work exploring modern problems so large that we tend to ignore them instead of face them head-on. He digs into the dirt, especially American dirt, that we’d rather not see on our own hands, and he does it all without the bombastic agenda sales of Michael Moore. All good things.

My problem is that I’m not particularly interested in Scientology. Those who believe praise it wholesale, opponents claim that it’s responsible for murder, but overall it seems like another bit of antique hokum polished up with a Hollywood shine. As soon as you demand payment for having faith, my ears turn off.

But consider them back on. After reading Kate’s review of Gibney’s new doc, Going Clear, based on Lawrence Wright’s book, she hooked me by talking about how unsettling it is. Then, we got an email from a spokesperson for Scientology, that sealed the deal on my wanting to see the anti-Scientology movie.

In the email, the representative:

  • Implored us not to be a “mouthpiece for Alex Gibney’s propaganda”
  • Chastised us for not first contacting the church for comment before posting a review of a movie

For the record, it’s not our policy to contact anyone before feeling double plus free to post our takes on movies we’ve seen (although Chris suggested we should get a statement from Ultron before reviewing Avengers 2). Also for the record, asking someone to post your official statement without vetting often goes better if you don’t open by accusing them of being propagandists by proxy.

I wasn’t all that interested before, but now I’m definitely going to see Going Clear. Good work, Scientology Media Relations.