Alex Gibney: Going Clear

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

  1. DeathHamster Member

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  2. Ten years ago Penn and Teller wanted to do something about scientology on their show "Bullshit". Showtime was too scared to let them do it. Nine years after the Trapped in the Closet episode of South Park and the entertainment and news industry is no longer scared. Hopefully they will keep it up and not get bored with it.
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  3. moxie Member

    I look forward to this doc. There are so many cult parallels in the world right now. It might catch popular attention.
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  4. anoninoob Member

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  5. Anonymous Member

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  6. Anonymous Member

    The story has begun to go viral:

    HBO is going to air a film about the notoriously litigious Church of Scientology. Directed by Oscar winner Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side), the film is slated for a 2015 airdate. It’s based on Lawrence Wright’s controversial book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief which is the story of physical abuse and imprisonment within the church.

    The HBO film “is expected to feature new revelations about…its famous followers Tom Cruise and John Travolta” and “almost certainly will draw an aggressive response” from the church.

    “We have probably 160 lawyers [looking at the film],” says HBO Documentary Films president Sheila Nevins, who is bracing for protests as well. The Hollywood Reporter reports: “If the doc is finished in time, it likely will be submitted to the Sundance Film Festival in January.”
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  7. anon8109 Member

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  8. Random guy Member

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  9. anoninoob Member

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  10. RightOn Member

    LOVE IT!
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  11. Anonymous Member

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  12. Anonymous Member

    USA Today checks in on the story:

    Heads up, Tom Cruise: HBO finishing doc on Scientology

    Words to alert lawyers (and maybe unnerve Tom Cruise): HBO is finishing up a tough documentary on the Church of Scientology.

    The Hollywood Reporter says that a "bombshell" film on Scientology and its hold on some Hollywood stars will air in 2015.

    HBO confirmed only that Oscar winner Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) is doing the film and HBO plans to run it.

    The film is expected to feature new revelations about the controversial church and its famous followers, such as Cruise and John Travolta. If it's finished in time, it will be submitted to the Sundance Film Festival in January.

    THR says the film is based on the book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lawrence Wright.

    No matter what Gibney's film says, no matter how well sourced it is, no matter how respected HBO's documentary unit is, the notoriously litigious Church of Scientology is likely to be peeved.

    The book in turn stemmed from Wright's 2011 New Yorker profile of filmmaker, Oscar winner and former Scientologist Paul Haggis, who incurred the church's wrath after he publicly left in a huff in 2009 and started criticizing its teachings and behavior toward members.

    HBO is ready for any protests, says Sheila Nevins, HBO's president of documentary films. "We have probably 160 lawyers (looking at the film)," she told THR.

    This turns out to be an exaggeration for effect, but it is true the cable network has many lawyers on standby, which they might need.

    For instance, Going Clear, a National Book Award finalist in the USA, was never published in Britain because the church exerted pressure on the British publisher, which then dropped it on advice from its lawyers.

    When THR excerpted Wright's book in January 2013, it focused on the church's "seduction" of Cruise and its role in his divorce from second wife Nicole Kidman. A church spokeswoman, Karin Pouw, responded with a long, written statement critical of Wright.

    [... a little more at the link...]
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  13. Random guy Member

  14. RightOn Member

    an early Christmas present that will keep on giving
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  15. Anonymous Member

    The story remains on the move...

    From Business Insider:

    HBO Has 160 Lawyers Preparing For Its New Scientology Documentary

    (Nothing new added to the story, unlike the report below...)

    From iDigital Times:

    HBO Hires 160 Lawyers For Upcoming Scientology Documentary ‘Going Clear’

    It’s safe to say that HBO is expecting Scientologists to be pissed off by its upcoming documentary “Going Clear." The documentary focuses on the secretive church and is expected to air next year. HBO has reportedly hired 160 lawyers to look over the scientology documentary based on Lawrence Wright’s controversial book of the same name in preparation for likely litigation from the church.

    HBO is probably wise to lawyer up before it airs its new documentary about Scientology as it’s not the first time the premium cable channel as run afoul of the celebrity church that counts Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Will Smith among its many famous members.
    Among the many scandalous revelations about Scientology the book brought to light were physical abuses in the form of beatings and imprisonment and suspect deaths that were ruled “accidental.” The Hollywood Reporter noted the church fought hard to get keep the book from getting out, resulting in its being dropped by its U.K. publisher, Transworld. So while “Going Clear” was a National Book Award finalist in the U.S., it was never released in the U.K. But now that it’s being turned into a HBO documentary film, a much wider audience will be exposed to Wright’s story.
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  16. tippytoe Member

    Top story on CNN in US. WIN!!!
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  17. Quentinanon Member

    Nail in the Coffin

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  18. Anonymous Member

    Rolling along...

    The American Lawyer Archives: The Two Faces of Scientology

    Time Warner-owned cable network Home Box Office unveiled in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter this week that it has 160 lawyers vetting a new documentary by award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney about the Church of Scientology.

    The proposed film is based on Lawrence Wright’s January 2013 book “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief.” Wright, who won a Pulitzer Prize for “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11,” embarked on the project after writing a lengthy 2011 feature story in The New Yorker about Hollywood screenwriter, director and former Scientology member Paul Haggis’ decision to speak out against the secretive organization.

    Wright’s reporting on Scientology was subject to a rigorous fact-checking process, one that saw four attorneys and 48 binders in bankers boxes present themselves in The New Yorker’s Times Square headquarters in September 2010, as noted in some reviews of “Going Clear.”

    While Scientology’s litigious ways are no secret, HBO general counsel Eve Konstan, who took over as the cable network’s in-house legal chief this past September, did not respond to our request for information on those advising the premium channel on its current documentary film project.

    Nonetheless, The American Lawyer once covered Scientology’s various legal travails—including a famous libel suit against Time Warner over a 1991 cover story by Richard Behar in Time magazine—in our own gripping feature story by William Horne.

    The 8,163-word opus from the July/August 1992 issue of The American Lawyer, which elicited a strong response from some attorney-Scientologists, can be found in its entirety below. Time Warner was an investor in The American Lawyer at the time.

    The article continues at length and goes into some great detail with respect to cult litigation tactics and case histories.

    The site isn't behind a paywall but registration is required.
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  19. Django Member

    And with all the juice surrounding this story, other outlets will be looking around for their own Scientology stories. And there's Jenna, and BFG, and Paulette, and dozens of others, each with a compelling tale to tell.

    Needless to say....

    Happy Pants.jpg
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  20. TrevAnon Member

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  21. Anonymous Member

    The story is starting to appear viral today.

    A Facebook post from Indiewire:

    HBO - Facebook Nov. 26th 2014.png

    Rolling Stone has a story (and a tweet...)...

    HBO Readies Scientology Documentary 'Going Clear'

    By Daniel Kreps | November 25, 2014

    HBO is readying a documentary that will take a penetrating look at the Church of Scientology and its influence in Hollywood. Going Clear, based on Lawrence Wright's book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief, is expected to air on the network in 2015, according to the Hollywood Reporter, with a premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January if finished in time.

    .... (the Janet Reitman Connection)

    Rolling Stone knows firsthand the wrath that follows any investigation into the enigmatic religion: After Janet Reitman's scathing ASME-nominated feature "Inside Scientology" appeared in our March 9, 2006 issue, the article – which offered an in-depth, unforgiving look at the controversial religion – was loudly criticized by Scientology officials. The article was also expanded into the book Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion, which was frequently cited in Wright's Going Clear.

    "Ms. Reitman's book is filled with inaccuracies," a spokesperson for the Church wrote in a statement. "It is neither scholarly nor well-researched and bears no resemblance to an 'inside' story." Reitman, who spent five years working on the book, stood by her sources and reporting.

    Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 08.50.12.png
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  22. anon8109 Member

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  23. anoninoob Member

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  24. Anonymous Member

    The ball continues to roll...

    The story has been picked up by Religious News but for the most part it's a reprinting of what USA Today reported yesterday.

    The headline is lulzy speculation:

    HBO’s pending Scientology doc likely to anger Tom Cruise

    Maria Puente / USA Today | November 26, 2014 | 3 Comments

    The film is HBO’s first specifically about Scientology, but it is not the first time the network has run into trouble with the church. Its 1998 documentary “Dead Blue: Surviving Depression” inspired Scientology protests at the network’s Manhattan headquarters because it presented anti-depressant drugs in a positive light.

    Scientologists oppose psychiatry in general and anti-depressant drugs in particular, a stance that garnered attention in 2005 when Cruise publicly attacked his friend Brooke Shields for taking medication for her post-natal depression. He thought she should have taken vitamins instead.

    The comment thread is interesting, as far as it got at posting time.
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  25. Kilia Member

    Who cares if this angers Cruise?? Not me! :)
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  26. laughingsock Member
    Hollywood celebrities, such as John Travolta, Tom Cruise, and Greta Van Susteren have publicly voiced their support for the controversial religion. But the long list includes some surprising followers, like the voice of Bart Simpson (Nancy Cartwright) and My Name is Earl star, Ethan Suplee.

    An Embattled History

    First incorporated in 1953 in Camden, New Jersey, Scientology has quickly spread to six continents and several cities across the United States.

    Some criticize the organization, saying it has a cult-like nature, which uses bullying tactics and oddly precise numbers to explain why some people oppose Scientology. However, the official Scientology website states that a small percentage of people are opposed because “they cannot tolerate that Scientology is successfully improving conditions around the world:”
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  27. tippytoe Member

    The story is still front page (editors choice) on CNN (US edition) today:

    And CNN International edition (5 stories not to miss):
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  28. jensting Member

    Still in that category three hours later
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  29. Anonymous Member

    Story picked up by three outlets:

    HBO's Scientology Documentary Requires 'Probably 160' Lawyers

    From -

    HBO hires 160 lawyers to prep for controversial Scientology documentary

    From Fox News:

    HBO to make Scientology film, hires 160 lawyers

    Reruns the CNN story:
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  30. Random guy Member

    This is so great!
  31. DeathHamster Member

    I care if Tom Cruise is angry. I hope he's real angry!
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  32. Kilia Member

    Got your drift, DH. ;)
  33. DeathHamster Member

    In desperation, CoS is rerunning a Fort Harassment staged cancer event press release from last week.
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  34. Anonymous Member

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  35. Sekee Member

    The Freethinker are covering the story, with space opera.
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  36. Anonymous Member

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  37. Anonymous Member

    And the event was ... attended... well, sort of... by...

    CLEARWATER, Fla., Nov. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Of the fifty attendees who participated in an Afternoon of Hats, Wine and Chocolates, only three were cancer survivors. However, in the Fort Harrison's Crystal Ballroom that afternoon, all fifty gave their support to cancer survivors and benefitted My Hope Chest.
    Guests were encouraged to wear hats, and a prize was offered to the best hat. In this case, a hat made out of a bra, worn by Emily Walet, a staff member at Nationwide Title Company. Nationwide sponsored a table and 15 of their staff attended the event.

    Serving as the Mistress of Ceremonies, Lisa Mansell, the Community Affairs Director for the Church of Scientology, welcomed the audience and encouraged them to find out more about My Hope Chest.
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  38. DeathHamster Member

    They ran the same press release last week.
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  39. jensting Member

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