My Scientology Movie - Louis Theroux documentary

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

  1. fishypants Moderator
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  2. anon8109 Member

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  3. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology film gives a welcome push to the boundaries of religious freedom

    By Lorna Dueck, The Globe and Mail


    I have no problem with Mr. Cruise employing mind-control techniques for his own uses, but Scientology, wrapped in the guise of a religiously structured church, is a system accountable to scrutiny.

    If more filmmakers turned their camera on religion, like My Scientology Movie has done, we’d have a better world.
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  4. Tel Aviv, May 19-28: Docaviv International Documentary Film Festival to show My Scientology Movie.

    Indiewire: The 2016 Docaviv International Documentary Film Festival: New World Disorder

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    The 2016 Docaviv International Documentary Film Festival: New World Disorder

    By Sydney Levine | Sydneys Buzz

    May 11, 2016 at 6:00PM

    The festival will take place May 19-28 in Tel Aviv. Over the course of the festival, 110 films will be screened.

    As the main topic of this year’s festival, Docaviv will feature a select group of thought-provoking films about a world that is changing with the collapse of physical and social boundaries, growing economic disparities, the waves of refugees and immigrants, civil wars, international terrorism, and the ultimate undoing of social solidarity.

    [BIG SNIP]

    The Panorama selection of films will include amongst others the moving Strike a Pose, by Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan about the dancers who accompanied Madonna on her “Blond Ambition” tour, Roger Ross Williams ‘Life, Animated depicting the remarkable story of an autistic boy, who learned how to communicate with his surroundings through Disney films, Those Who Jump about an African refugee who films attempts by other refugees to jump the barbed wire border fence in North Africa and Louis Theroux: My Scientology Film.

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  5. Louis Theroux's 'My Scientology Movie' converts US, UK buyers.

    Screen Daily: Louis Theroux's 'My Scientology Movie' converts US, UK buyers

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    Louis Theroux's 'My Scientology Movie' converts US, UK buyers


    EXCLUSIVE: HanWay inks key deals on documentary.

    HanWay Select has secured key territories on Louis Theroux’s impish London and Tribeca documentary My Scientology Movie, including with indie stalwart Magnolia for the US and Amy distributor Altitude for the UK.

    Deals have also been agreed for Australia (Madman), Belgium (Dalton) and Netherlands (Cinema Delicatessen).

    Directed by John Dower, My Scientology Movie sees well-known documentarian and broadcaster Theroux immerse himself in the controversial religion’s teachings and practises with one of its key defectors, Mark “Marty” Rathbun.

    The film marks Theroux’s first foray into the theatrical market.

    Two-time Oscar winner Simon Chinn (Man On Wire) produced under his Red Box Films banner. Finance came from BBC Films and BBC Worldwide.

    The UK deal was negotiated by Mark Lane for HanWay and Will Clarke and Hamish Moseley for Altitude.

    The US deal was negotiated by Josh Braun for Submarine and Mark Lane for HanWay with Magnolia.

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  6. The Wrong Guy Member

    My Scientology Movie gets cinema distribution deal

    Louis Theroux to make cinema debut with Scientology documentary

    The veteran filmmaker will make the leap to the big screen with My Scientology Movie

    Louis Theroux may be currently fronting a series of BBC documentaries on mental health, but he’s soon to take a step up to the big leagues for his first feature film appearance in My Scientology Movie.


    The film will be distributed by Magnolia in the US and Altitude in the UK, with the announcement made today by head of distribution Hamish Moseley (via Screendaily).

    “My Scientology Movie is an incredibly funny, fascinating and at times unnerving insight into the infamous and controversial religion,” he said.

    “We plan to celebrate Louis’s big screen debut with a number of unmissable events in UK cinemas in the lead up to the release later in 2016.”

    Cannes: Louis Theroux’s ‘My Scientology Movie’ Finds U.S., U.K. Deals | Variety

    Magnolia has taken North America rights on Louis Theroux’s “My Scientology Movie,” ahead of its Cannes market screening. Altitude Film Distribution will distribute the film in the U.K.

    Deals have also just been agreed for Australia (Madman), Belgium (Dalton) and Netherlands (Cinema Delicatessen). HanWay Select is handling sales on the pic, which premiered at the London Film Festival, and more recently had its international premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.

    Continued here:
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  7. First trailer for Louis Theroux film: My Scientology Movie.

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  8. Louis Theroux confirms My Scientology Movie is finally getting a theatrical release. Louis Theroux confirms My Scientology Movie is finally getting a theatrical release

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

    After it garnered a huge reaction at the Edinburgh Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival, Louis Theroux's documentary on the inner workings of the Church of Scientology looks set for a wide release.

    Speaking in a recent Q&A, Theroux confirmed that the film has a distributor and that it'll be in cinemas soon. "For me it's a big departure, because it's the first theatrical released documentary I've ever made. It was conceived and shot as a cinematic movie, it's 100 minutes, and it investigates and attempts to get under the skin of what for me is the Holy Grail of stories: America's homegrown religion created by a science fiction writer, and structured like a corporation. With Tom Cruise."

    Theroux also confirmed that the distributor, Altitude, was also responsible for the stunning Amy Winehouse documentary that scooped the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature last year. The controversy surrounding Theroux's documentary has been huge, with the Church of Scientology putting both Theroux and the filmmaking team under constant surveillance.

    Not only that, Theroux admitted that they've received numerous legal threats from the Church throughout production.

    We've contacted a number of Irish distributors to see what the story is with the Irish release date, as it's likely it'll be on the same date as the UK one. However, there might a few legal challenges to the film's release in Ireland. Alex Gibney's documentary on the Church of Scientology, Going Clear, was delayed from broadcasting over legal attempts and claims of libel.

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  9. The Wrong Guy Member

    This looks interesting, but it's only accessible to subscribers.

    A camera standoff with Scientology

    By Neta Alexander, Haaretz

    When the Church of Scientology threatened Louis Theroux, as he attempted to make a documentary about it, he turned the ensuing cat-and-mouse game to his advantage. The result is a reflexive work dotted with reenactments of events in Scientology and its psychological regime of horrors.
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  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    6 of the best moments from Louis Theroux's documentaries |

    There's not many people that can lay claim to have lived a life as full as Louis Theroux.

    The legendary documentary maker turns 46 today and it's fair to say he's packed a variety of experiences into that lifetime that most could only dream of. He's showing no signs of slowing down either having just released two new docs, Drinking to Oblivion and A Different Brain. That's not even mentioning My Scientology Movie which he's promised will get distributed in theaters this year.

    To celebrate his birthday, we've collated some of the best moments from his body of work so far. So sit back, relax and reminisce with some of the moments that have made Louis the man he is today.

    Continued here:
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  11. The Wrong Guy Member

    After trying again later, for some reason it opened up. Here are some excerpts:

    In an interview held in New York to mark the Israeli premiere of “My Scientology Movie” on Friday at the annual Docaviv Festival, which opened on Thursday night in Tel Aviv and is on through May 28, Theroux makes frequent use of a technique that he has raised to the level of an art form. Gazing at me empathetically and inquisitively, he starts to answer a question and then pauses and asks, “But what do you think about that?” It’s a highly effective tactic, so much so that it’s easy to forget that I’m here to interview him and not to tell him about childhood traumas or analyze political developments in the Middle East.

    On the “Louis Theroux spectrum” between Israeli settlers and white supremacists, where would you position Scientology?

    “On my weirdometer?” Theroux laughs. “There is no formalized scientific scale for measuring outlandishness or weirdness. I need to develop one. I don’t even think it’s a spectrum, or even from naught to a hundred – more like a color map. What’s fascinating about Scientology is not so much that many of the beliefs are so outlandish, although they are. It’s the way that it is contextualized in Hollywood with Tom Cruise and branded in a sort of corporate setting and corporate style. I remember someone saying to me, ‘What’s the big fascination with Scientology?’ Members of other cults, like Heaven’s Gate, for example, all killed themselves; there was a UFO cult in the 1990s; Zen monks beat one another as part of their discipline. So in many ways other religions or cults are far more extreme. But what you don’t understand is that this is an American religion that is styled almost like a navy, that uses a McDonald’s-type business model to sell a science fiction writer’s works. In other words, it’s touching about 10 contradictory cultural nodes at the same time: capitalism, fame, the Hollywood star system, to give but a few examples.”

    You are famous for gaining access to some of the world’s most notorious communities, but in this case all your interview requests were denied. As a result, “My Scientology Movie” is a documentary about the inability to make a documentary. Why did you decide to go ahead, knowing you would never be able to interview Scientology leader David Miscavige and his people?

    “I definitely did not want it to feel like an ‘in search of’ documentary. It was a leap of faith, but I thought there was a good chance that the church would come and start investigating us. I did have encounters with Scientologists. They weren’t formal interviews, they were more like bizarre roadside encounters. I felt like that’s different, it feels real and fresh.”

    The brilliant idea by Theroux and director John Dower – to let the Scientologists pursue them instead of the other way around – proved a highly successful gamble. No sooner did Theroux tweet that he wanted to interview Scientologists, than threats of lawsuits were launched at him. But that was only the beginning.

    One of the most powerful and disturbing scenes in “My Scientology Movie” shows unplanned meetings between Theroux and Scientology devotees who were sent to keep him under surveillance and make their own documentary about him. The project quickly becomes a nutty and funny cat-and-mouse game between Theroux and intimidating men equipped with cameras, or an anonymous woman who screams at him in the middle of the night that he is trespassing by driving on a private road, even though it’s obviously a California freeway that is not owned by Scientology. Theroux goes on to film the nameless cameramen who are documenting him, and a bizarre dance develops between them: Theroux takes out his smartphone and sashays forward, as the cameraman (who refuses to identify himself or say whom he’s working for) takes a step back. “Swan Lake” meets “Big Brother” on an L.A. expressway.


    According to “My Scientology Movie,” the secret of the religion’s attraction lies in the leader’s psychological and performative dimension. All the world’s a stage, and there is less difference between Miscavige and Tom Cruise than is generally thought. Accordingly, Theroux’s film focuses on Scientology’s manipulative training methods, which are actually not significantly different from the methods used in some acting schools. The new believers are asked to relate childhood memories and to talk about repressed anger and moments that frightened or shaped them.


    In addition to the regime of psychological horrors, Scientology makes systematic use of famous actors to draw new believers to the church. The founder himself, L. Ron Hubbard, launched “Project Celebrity” in the 1950s, offering prizes for members who recruited famous people. Similar initiatives were successful in the decades that followed. Over the years, celebs such as Cruise, Juliette Lewis, Elizabeth Moss, Priscilla Presley and others have acknowledged that they are believers.

    “Miscavige and Tom Cruise share some disturbing similarities,” Theroux says. “I think Miscavige is a charismatic speaker, and he’s also powerful. The way he projects himself in those speeches is as someone people can get behind – someone whom Tom Cruise himself has often emulated. I heard he based his role in ‘A Few Good Men’ on a Miscavige impersonation. If you look at Cruise’s interviews, you can very easily see those influences in the degree of confrontation with whoever he is speaking to. They both communicate very directly, with very forward energy, confident. I think those are the values that they valorize as a church.”

    What will happen after he dies?

    “David Miscavige? Well, first of all, he probably isn’t going to die.”

    Okay, sorry, when the visceral vehicle in which his soul resides will no longer be of service to him?

    “I don’t know. I would suspect the church will fall apart without him, what’s left of it. But it’s very hard to speculate, since they were able to build an impressive global infrastructure that could be sustained even without Miscavige.”

    How do you think Scientologists who see the film will react?

    “I think it depends on their degree of commitment. One of the things we try to be clear about is there are people in the Sea Org [referring to the church’s most dedicated members] who are absolutely, totally committed – they’re diehard Scientologists – and then there are people who are just public parishioners. People, I suppose, like [film director and screenwriter] Paul Haggis was in his time.”
    And Cruise?

    “Tom Cruise is a little different because he’s deeper in and is so close with Miscavige. He’s almost quasi-Sea Org. I think there are guys on the periphery who would think the film is pretty fair-handed and reasonable. But I think that Sea Org members – who won’t be allowed [by church leaders] to see the film – would regard it as not very nice.”

    Here's the complete article:
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  12. The Wrong Guy Member

    My Scientology Movie: Louis Theroux hints at release date of feature-length documentary | The Independent

    The long-awaited film has only recently picked up cinema distribution rights

    Despite receiving its debut at last year's London Film Festival, Louis Theroux's hotly anticipated big-screen documentary My Scientology Movie has no official release date attached.

    Excitingly, however, it was revealed earlier this month that the film - directed by John Dower - had finally acquired UK distribution following its international premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.

    While Altitude Films announced plans to "celebrate Louis’s big screen debut with a number of unmissable events in U.K. cinemas in the lead up to the release later in 2016," there was still no specific word on when the film would drop.

    Theroux himself has just revealed a ballpark date via his Twitter account.

    I think it will be released in October or November
    — Louis Theroux (@louistheroux) May 20, 2016

    Continued here:
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  13. ‘My Scientology Movie’ Reenacts the Church’s Scary Mindset.

    Cultjer: ‘My Scientology Movie’ Reenacts the Church’s Scary Mindset‘my-scientology-movie’-reenacts-the-church’s-scary-mindset

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    Heading into this screening, a question swirled around in my head as to whether we really needed another Scientology movie so closely after Alex Gibney’s fine Going Clear from last year. My thoughts concluded that we didn’t necessarily need one.

    Ten minutes in and my opinion quickly changed. Louis Theroux delivers up a new thought-out approach to the controversial church: announce you’re casting actors to play church head David Miscavige in filmed re-enactments, and before you know it, My Scientology Movie has most certainly piqued your interest.

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    * * * * * BEGIN CONCLUSION * * * * *

    Thematic comparisons will be made with Joshua Oppenheimer’s Oscar-winning The Act of Killing, but in no way is My Scientology Movie a cheap knock-off or even guilty of any kind of plagiarism. Both enforce similar trends in narrative structure, but Theroux has crafted a more in your face, demand results now approach that works perfectly. It has a fist-in-your-face, warts-and-all style that comes together handsomely with former Scientology enforcer Rathbun onboard to consult with the re-enactments of Miscavige and even, Tom Cruise. Rathbun’s reactions during these reenactments are some of My Scientology Movie’s most endearing moments, as he emerges as a far more compelling subject than any talking-head could ever serve up.

    My Scientology Movie is revealing, hilarious at times and often, absurd. It steers away from simply regurgitating facts and already-known stories, rather, it endeavors to recreate the scary mindset the so-called Church embodies. Add in Theroux’s deadpan skepticism and the fact he’s forever being hounded by Scientology henchmen, and My Scientology Movie is a hybrid documentary that cannot be compared to anything else.

    * * * * * END CONCLUSION * * * * *
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  14. My Scientology Movie: review.

    Broadcast Now UK: My Scientology Movie: review

    * * * * * BEGIN CONCLUSION * * * * *

    My Scientology Movie then proceeds on two levels. There’s the Church of Scientology’s pursuit of Theroux and Rathbun, their “squirrel-busting” posse which seemingly tracks their every move, and nuttier sequences outside Gold Base involving Theroux, the police, and Catherine Fraser, who turns out to be the ex-wife of another of the film’s disgruntled informants, former Scientology head of PR Jeff Hawkins.

    And, separately, Theroux begins to needle Rathbun himself, suggesting he might be an unreliable witness and clearly trying to goad him into making further revelations. Theroux is all dishevelled charm, but Dower’s camera documents a few tense moments between the pair. This is a film replete with cameras, however, from the iphone on up, as the protagonists warily survey each other through the lens. My Scientology Movie is free-spirited enough, though, to retain an encounter with a bikini-clad wannabe actress which took place during filming and doesn’t really leaad anywhere, except to laughter.

    Sold internationally by HanWay, My Scientology Movie is well-enough funded to rent California studios in which to film Rathbun’s scripted confrontations and open casting calls. Theroux’s ambitions here aren’t so much artistic as provocative, though, worming his way under the hyper-thin skins of everyone he comes into contact with and peck, peck, pecking away with his camera.

    * * * * * END CONCLUSION * * * * *
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  15. Sheffield Doc/Fest: Filmmaker Louis Theroux turns his focus to Scientology.

    Sheffield Telegraph: Sheffield Doc/Fest: Filmmaker Louis Theroux turns his focus to Scientology

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

    Filmmaker Louis Theroux spoke in Sheffield of his aim not to take 'cheap shots' at Scientology while making a new documentary about the controversial religion.

    Talking during a Q&A session following a screening of the film, called My Scientology Movie, at the Sheffield Doc/Fest on Saturday, Theroux said exploring the subject was a 'special thing'.

    The documentary, directed by John Dower, takes a novel approach, featuring scenes portrayed by actors playing senior members of the notorious organisation founded by the science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. Theroux was granted no access to Scientologists, and so turned to ex-devotees for help.

    But he told an audience at the Showroom: "It was crucial that we should not be seen to be taking cheap shots at Scientology, because a lot of it is odd - but religion is by its very nature odd.

    "I tried to interrogate our own methods as we went along and think 'Would we do this to the Anglican church or indeed Buddishm or, if you like, Islam?'

    "We're all schooled, with Islam especially because of the current climate, to exercise sensitivity about the prophet Mohammed for example, and to what extent we think things outside the religion seem slightly unusual, but to actual believers seem deeply ingrained."

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

    British Scientology Doc Maker Says Church Was "Worried He'd Get Hurt" After Threat by Member

    By Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter

    Louis Theroux, the British broadcaster behind My Scientology Movie, a documentary prying into the secretive nature of the church and numerous allegations of abuse, has discussed his ongoing interactions with the organization a year after making the film.

    Speaking during a Q&A at the Sheffield Doc/Fest over the weekend, the BBC journalist described how police officers came to his door in the U.K. following a call by the local branch of the church who said Scientology representatives were "worried you might get hurt."

    "They said someone had seen your film and they really didn't like it and had phoned [the Church of Scientology] with a threat," he told the audience, adding "something about that really doesn't make sense." The exact nature of the threat wasn't clear.

    Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter following My Scientology Movie's world premiere at the London Film Festival last year, Theroux said he was well aware of the church's tactics and that his "life could be turned upside down" if it chose to aggressively come after him.

    He also added that were his film to get a release in the U.S., he thought the response from the church could get "bigger."

    As it happens, My Scientology Doc, Theroux's first theatrical feature, is now set for a U.S. launch, having been picked up by Magnolia last month. Altitude will release the film – directed by John Dower, produced by Simon Chinn (Searching for Sugar Man) with funding from BBC Films and BBC Worldwide – in the U.K.

    Louis Theroux says the Church of Scientology were 'worried he'd get hurt' after threats by member
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  17. Incredulicide Member

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  18. RightOn Member

  19. Louis Theroux: My Scientology Movie - Official Trailer.

    Louis Theroux: My Scientology Movie - Official Trailer

    Madman Films

    Published on Jul 19, 2016

    "As fascinating and bizarre as Scientology itself" WE GOT THIS COVERED
    In cinemas for a limited time from September 8

    Louis Theroux hits the big screen in his first feature documentary, LOUIS THEROUX: MY SCIENTLOGY MOVIE, created in collaboration with director John Dower and two-time Academy Award® winning producer Simon Chinn (Searching for Sugar Man, Man on Wire).

    Following a long fascination with the religion, and with a lot of experience dealing with eccentric human behaviour, incomparable British broadcaster Louis Theroux won’t take no for an answer when his request to enter the Church of Scientology’s Los Angeles headquarters is turned down. Theroux’s insatiable curiosity motivates him to understand what life inside the Church is really like, and with the aid of former second-in-command at the Church, Mark ‘Marty’ Rathbun, he uses actors to replay incidents people claim they experienced with high profile members such as Tom Cruise and leader David Miscavige.

    Suffused with a good dose of humour and moments worthy of a Hollywood script, LOUIS THEROUX: MY SCIENTOLOGY MOVIE proves that what people do in the name of religion can be truly stranger than fiction.

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  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    This Is How You Make a Scientology Movie with No Scientologists

    ​And a lot of yelling.

    By Sarah Rense, Esquire, July 24, 2016


    The Church of Scientology is a well-oiled media machine. It deflects attack after attack — most notably those resulting from Leah Remini's reveals — while keeping the mystery (and suspicion) alive. You can't exactly walk up to the pearly gates of the fortress and ask for an interview. So how in the hell do you make a worthwhile documentary about Scientology?

    Filmmaker Louis Theroux certainly tried. A new trailer for his Scientology doc was just previewed — the documentary was initially released in 2015, but will receive a theatrical release in the U.S. later this year. In the film, so bluntly called My Scientology Movie, Theroux attempts to get inside in the gates (literally and figuratively), focusing on the myth and legend of infamous leader David Miscavige.

    It doesn't look like a celebrity tell-all. It is a reenactment and a casting call and a behind-the-scenes expose and a nose-to-the-ground lead chase in one. It may not be as explosive as the tell-all from Miscavige's father, but My Scientology Movie looks appropriately — and knowingly — ridiculous.

    Source, with the trailer posted above:
  21. The Wrong Guy Member

    A Terrifying New Documentary, Louis Theroux: My Scientology Movie

    Scientology can still be considered a relatively untouched topic. The truth is, not many books or movies or documentaries are publicly available to learn more about the same.

    This is in part due to the fact that those from the Church of Scientology prefer to keep things between themselves. Further, they tend to try and hush the voices of those that do speak out. All this makes Louis Theroux’s new documentary, My Scientology Movie, all the more courageous.

    Watch Louis Theroux Try to Get Through the Scientology Gates

    The trailer shows the usual sorts of things we see when outsiders try to investigate the church, with cars following him, church members turning up to film his every movement, quite a lot of shouting and, in a first for one of Louis's docs, a reconstruction of the methods used by church leader David Miscavige and sequences set inside a reconstruction of "The Hole" where it's alleged that church bosses lock up those who attempt to leave or speak ill about the firm.

    Louis Theroux made a film about Scientology and the trailer is wacky

    Although the film premiered at the 2015 London Film Festival, it is expected to hit screens in the UK on Oct. 7, 2016, and will be available in Australian theaters for limited time beginning Sept. 8.
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  22. The Wrong Guy Member

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  23. The Wrong Guy Member

    Louis Theroux's My Scientology Movie: Taking On The World's Most Secretive 'Church'

    What does the Church of Scientology have to hide?

    By Emily Verdouw, The Huffington Post Australia

    Here's the last part of the article:

    Theroux is persistent in his questioning of everyone in the film and remains the master of pursuing awkwardness, while reaming comfortable in the moment.

    He remains unshakeable even when it appears the organisation has a car tailing him for hours on end. Even as random members pop up through the course of the film harassing Ruthburn for speaking out. And even as halfway through the film, the Church of Scientology reveal they're creating their own documentary on Louis Theroux.

    It's the culmination of this bizarre behaviour by the church and Theroux's mastery of awkwardness that lead to many seriously laugh-out-loud moments in the film.

    But it's the kind of humour that's funny because it all seems too strange to be true.

    And by the end of the film one question remains: with all efforts to rebuff Theroux and his team, what is it that the Church of Scientology has to hide?

    Louis Theroux: My Scientology Movie will show in Australian cinemas for one week from September 8, 2016. You can buy tickets now here.
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  24. GibbousWaxing Member

    Golden typo:

    "Theroux is persistent in his questioning of everyone in the film and remains the master of pursuing awkwardness, while reaming comfortable in the moment.'
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  25. Was it any good ?
  26. The Wrong Guy Member

    Louis Theroux's Scientology movie is hilarious and horrifying | The New Daily


    Louis Theroux’s new pseudo-documentary on Scientology is either the funniest or scariest movie of the year. It’s hard to tell.

    In the aptly titled My Scientology Movie, Theroux takes on the powerful ‘religion’ that’s managed to both puzzle and bewitch people for the six decades since it was created by science fiction writer L Ron Hubbard.

    What Theroux discovers, through ex-members and his own tireless attempts to make contact with the church’s top dogs, is disturbing and baffling.

    Faced with the challenge of the controversial church’s complete opacity, Theroux’s investigation takes an unusual but compelling approach.

    At the start of the film, the beloved British documentary maker explains that, since he can’t get access to senior figures in the controversial church, he’s decided to hire actors to recreate key scenes in its history.

    The result is something somewhere between the most disturbing reality television show you’ve ever seen and the kind of unscripted comedy that would make Ricky Gervais jealous.


    Louis Theroux: My Scientology Movie is currently screening at the Melbourne International Film Festival. You can buy tickets here.

    It will have limited release in Australian cinemas from September 8.
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  27. Incredulicide Member

    Earlier than that in some places :D
    'My Scientology Movie' is stranger than fiction

    SunrisePublished August 8th, 8:20 am
    Bryan Seymour speaks to Louis Theroux about the documentary investigating the controversial religion.

    Video Waybacked

    LOUIS THEROUX: MY SCIENTOLOGY MOVIE is in cinemas for one week only from September 8. Tickets can be purchased from:
    Louis Theroux's Australian Speaking Tour
  28. My Scientology Movie: a perceptive mix of psychological drama and reality TV.

    The Conversation: My Scientology Movie: a perceptive mix of psychological drama and reality TV

    * * * * * BEGIN CONCLUSION * * * * *

    Throughout the film, Theroux is unflappable and calm, even as the Scientologists raise the stakes or Rathbun turns on him. At times, he offers erudite commentary about the religion. He is fair too, and while Scientologists will disagree with his representation of them, one senses he never set out to make an anti-Scientology polemic. This is clear from the probing questions he puts to Rathbun.

    My Scientology Movie is not a big picture account of the religion. It reveals little about Scientology’s complex and esoteric beliefs, or the lives of its ordinary followers. However, Theroux never treats Scientology as a wacky American curiosity.

    Rather, his film, which gives rise to critical questions about the responsibility religious leaders have in the lives of their followers, and the outcomes when that is abused, makes for brave and clever filmmaking.

    * * * * * END CONCLUSION * * * * * *

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


    Andrew Singleton

    Associate Professor of Sociology and Social Research, Deakin University

    Disclosure statement

    Andrew Singleton receives funding from the Australian Research Council for a project examining young people's attitudes to religious diversity.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
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  29. My Scientology Movie review: Louis Theroux turns lack of access into a virtue with funny, sinister results

    SBS - My Scientology Movie review: Louis Theroux turns lack of access into a virtue with funny, sinister results

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

    Inspired by Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing, where the Indonesian subjects were convinced to make astonishing movie recreations of their genocidal acts, Theroux tries a similar approach. Aided by ex-Scientology bigwig Marty Rathbun, they undertake casting sessions for the film’s head honcho, David Miscavige and other key Scientology figures. (The scenes involving Tom Cruise lookalikes are particularly delicious and reveal much about the Hollywood milieu in which Scientology thrives.) Once cast, these actors are made to perform publicly available speeches as well as recreating private meetings and typical ‘auditing sessions’ where members are brainwashed in the name of personal development. These involve practicing intimidation techniques, and speaking to an ashtray ‘with authority’.

    Disgruntled ex-Scientologist Rathbun coaches the performers, honing their delivery until it matches his memories. ‘I was the baddest-ass dude in Scientology and the hierarchy of the church was absolutely at the beck and call of me,’ he says, with some pride. And while he’s intent on exposing and ridiculing the church, the film’s main achievement is in showing how deeply scarred he remains. One moment he’s boasting about his former power, the next he’s bristling with aggression when Theroux mildly prods for details.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
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  30. Joe Rogan and Louis Theroux talk about Scientology.

    Joe Rogan Experience #835 - Louis Theroux


    Streamed live 11 hours ago

    Louis Theroux is best known for his documentaries in the television series "Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends" and "When Louis Met...", as well as his Louis Theroux's BBC Two specials.
  31. The Wrong Guy Member

    Louis Theroux talks Scientology on the Joe Rogan Experience

    By Tony Ortega, August 24, 2016


    We really enjoyed this show, and not only because Louis was good enough to mention this website a couple of times. In advance of the theatrical debut for My Scientology Movie — which opens in September in Australia, October in the UK, and January in the US — Louis talks Scientology with Rogan, who has long had an interest in the subject.

    It’s a conversation that ranges all over the place, but we enjoyed in particular Theroux’s description of the independent Scientology movement.

    “It’s called the indie movement, independent Scientology…The problem with the independent movement is that, it turns out that if you remove the rather predatory money-raising side, and the sort of fundamentalist controlling side, you get something a bit wishy-washy that’s more or less indistinguishable from many other self-help creeds. It sort of loses its potency. It’s almost that the authoritarian dimension of Scientology and the way in which it demands total obedience from its followers is intrinsic to its ability to have an effect.”

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  32. The Wrong Guy Member

    Steven Mango, who appears in Theroux film, calls police to Scientology facility over assault

    By Tony Ortega, August 25, 2016


    Steven Mango makes an appearance in Louis Theroux’s My Scientology Movie, which opens in Australia in less than two weeks and in the US in January. But last night, Mango got more than he bargained for when he tried to warn some Hollywood tourists about his bad experiences with the Church of Scientology and ended up with a sore shoulder, a police report, and plans to sue over what he characterizes as an unprovoked assault.

    We first ran into Mango when he told his story in a 2014 YouTube video about how, like so many others, he’d been sucked into Scientology as an aspiring actor in Hollywood. In Theroux’s film, he makes a brief but memorable appearance explaining that in just a short amount of time, he was convinced to pay huge amounts of money for piles of church publications and courses.


    After about four years of taking courses, Mango got fed up with the constant push to spend more money, as well as aggressive recruiting to join Scientology’s “Sea Org” and dedicate his entire life to the church. He dropped out in 2012, and since 2014 has consistently spoken out about what he went through.

    And last night, he tells us, he wanted to show a curious friend what all the fuss was about. “My friend Sarah was visiting from New Jersey, so we were on Hollywood Boulevard,” he told us last night after he got home from the incident. “She mentioned reading Leah Remini’s book and wanted to see the Test Center. So we walk over, and I see them roping in families with strollers. So I got in my activism mode.”

    The Scientology facility on Hollywood Boulevard at McCadden Place is currently in its newest incarnation after a recent renovation. It was originally the Christie Hotel, opened in 1922, then was renamed the Drake Hotel and then the Hollywood Inn before Scientology took it over. And that’s the name some Scientology oldtimers still call it as it became a berthing location for the church’s low-paid staff. For many years, the building was also known as the Scientology Test Center, but then just recently it was renovated and the organization now calls it the Church of Scientology Information Center — but very few people seem to call it that. It’s most recognizable for the vertical Scientology sign along its front, and also as the location, in the lot next door, where the church used to put up its annual “Winter Wonderland” display.

    Last night, several staff “body routers” were trying to get passersby to come into the building, presumably to see a video about Scientology or to take a personality test. Mango’s friend decided to continue sightseeing and walked away as he stayed outside the center to see if he could keep the tourists from taking Scientology’s bait.

    Mango went to his car and retrieved a “Call Me” protest sign, modeled on the billboards that former Scientologists Phil and Willie Jones put up in Los Angeles and Florida to bring attention to Scientology’s “disconnection” policy that keeps them away from their own two grown kids in the church. Mango received one of the smaller Call Me signs from the Joneses, and had used it for demonstrations at Scientology’s “Big Blue” downtown complex.

    For about an hour, Mango says, he stood outside the Information Center approaching people who had been leafleted by the Scientology staffers. “People asked me what I was protesting about, and then threw away the fliers.”

    “I was saying some things, ‘David Miscavige beats his staff,’ or ‘Scientology rips apart families,’ or ‘Scientology rips off people on Hollywood Boulevard.’ But mostly, I held my sign until someone asked about it.”

    The Scientologists got fed up with him, he says, and started taunting him. “Steve, we just sold a book, no one reads your fucking sign,” and “You failed in Scientology,” and “Go home. You and your sign are worthless.”

    “They were telling people, ‘He is insane and was released from the psych ward and isn’t on his meds, you can’t listen to him’.”

    Mango said he didn’t mind the taunts. But then, someone who hadn’t said a word to him suddenly rushed him and body-slammed him into the building’s windows.

    Usually, Mango records video when he’s protesting, as protection, and he’s usually with other people. But this time, the battery on his camera was low, so he wasn’t filming, and he was alone — and a Scientologist took advantage of it.

    The man who barrelled into him laughed while he did it, Mango says. But Mango stuck around, continuing to carry his sign. And then, about 20 minutes later, the same Scientology staffer came back, carrying fliers, and this time, he attacked Mango with a slashing karate chop on his arm, and again with a sneering chuckle.

    Mango says he threatened to call the police, and then decided to go to the nearest police station instead. He filed a report, but couldn’t put down the name of his attacker, since he didn’t know it. But then, as he was driving home, he spotted the same man, again on Hollywood Boulevard outside the Information Center, handing out fliers. Mango called police to the location.

    Continued here:
  33. The Wrong Guy Member

  34. RightOn Member

    Steve Mango, never protest alone! If your camera battery dies, then leave!

    And you can be damn sure if it was the other way around, the COS would have TONS of footage of the assault.
  35. RightOn Member

  36. The Wrong Guy Member

    Rathbun is rambling again.

    Louis Theroux’s Scientology Movie

    I found the film “My Scientology Movie” to be saddening. It evidences the degeneration of a once considerable talent, award-winning producer Simon Chinn. During my involvement in the movie’s creation I witnessed Chinn being sucked into the staged-news, infotainment vortex that seems to have consumed the erstwhile Fourth Estate. I will share a back story to the project to illustrate the concern.

    Continued here:
    • Like Like x 2
  37. sallysock Member

    Post in full follows
    Bold is mine, just things that I found of interest:

    I found the film “My Scientology Movie” to be saddening. It evidences the degeneration of a once considerable talent, award-winning producer Simon Chinn. During my involvement in the movie’s creation I witnessed Chinn being sucked into the staged-news, infotainment vortex that seems to have consumed the erstwhile Fourth Estate. I will share a back story to the project to illustrate the concern.

    In 2012 Chinn flew from the UK to my home in remote, South Texas. He and an associate producer spent an afternoon pitching my involvement in a proposed documentary. He said his film would break the cookie-cutter mold of Scientology projects to that date. That was, the lazy method of highlighting and rehashing what has been alleged before and doing some gratuitous baiting and button pushing of Scientologists to provoke aggressive responses. Chinn assured me the project would be closely supervised by him from beginning to end so that it would primarily serve as a vehicle to portray my insights into the philosophical basis of Scientology learned from practicing it for nearly thirty years within the organization and another several years outside of Church of Scientology control. He sold me on the idea of chronicling my evolution from fighting for the church, then against it and finally advocating that people transcend from fights about Scientology altogether.

    Chinn effectively stalked me for the next two years while he secured funding for the project, repeatedly reiterating the purpose and nature of the planned work. That included sending Louis Theroux and the assistant producer to Texas the next year to spend two days beseeching me to stay committed to the project. Because of Chinn’s continual promotion of his previous serious documentary work and our original agreements, I wound up spending nearly one hundred hours on film explaining and demonstrating what Scientology is, its origins, its historical and philosophical context and its battles from both sides of the divide.

    That extended filming was interrupted repeatedly by Theroux’s recurring attempts to use me as bait to incite the wrath of the Church of Scientology. When Theroux persisted with those efforts, his and director John Dower’s promises that none of that horseplay would make it into the film began to ring hollow. At that point I expressed my intention to cease work on the project.

    Simon Chinn flew from London to Los Angeles to assuage my concerns and reassure me that his original representations would be fully honored, and that Theroux’s vanity theatrics would not make the cut in the movie. I informed Chinn, Dower and Theroux that the latter’s antics were not only unprofessional but they had already been performed twice by a BBC personality in the past couple of years. We discussed John Sweeny’s BBC Panorama ‘documentaries’ as consisting almost entirely of Sweeny attempting to poke sticks in Scientologists’ eyes to get them to react on camera. All three acted offended that I would compare their work to that of Mr. Sweeny whom they characterized as being more of a publicity hound than journalist. Chinn again warranted that that was not the purpose of his project and no hint of it would find its way into the film.

    When nearly two years later I saw the product, “My Scientology Movie”, which clearly referred to being Louis Theroux’s personal movie, I came to the conclusion that Mr. Chinn had regressed into a tabloid hack, Mr. Theroux remained the ass clown Chinn had represented he would not be, and Mr. Dower was a rimless zero – a lackey assigned to pretend to ‘direct’ while he did nothing more than provide plausible deniability that ‘My Scientology Movie’ was something other than the latest unoriginal Theroux-shtick vehicle aimed at clowning with scientology.

    More troubling was the promotional roll out and press junket behaviors of Chinn, Theroux and Dower. The three repeatedly flat out lied to the press on two scores. First, they represented that they genuinely undertook the mission of understanding the core of Scientology practice and its appeal and portraying it. The film does not even begin to attempt to do such. None of the dozens of hours I spent attempting to impart that understanding appeared. Significantly, my views on Scientology were as antagonistic to the subject as they had ever been during the filming. So, the mass editing cannot be written off as avoiding Scientology public relations or promotional pitches; clarity – no matter how non-partisan – could play no part in a movie purporting to bring clarity to the widely misunderstood subject. Second, they represented that they were stalked and harassed by scientology agents for doing nothing but attempting to carry out the mission they never even attempted to carry out.

    In fact, I witnessed Theroux and Dower stalk and harass Scientologists repeatedly with no sign that the Scientologists were interested in the bait. Theroux went so far as to relocate to Los Angeles from London for an entire year, residing near to Scientology premises and regularly and loudly cavorting with Anti-Scientologists. When I pointed out to him his failure to provoke the Church of Scientology notwithstanding such extraordinary efforts, he acknowledged that that was his intent and that the effort had been made in vain.

    The jiggery-pokery Theroux and Dower attempted in provoking Scientologists – and were called out for in real time as I witnessed it – was legion. For example, on my first of several visits to Los Angeles, they put me up in a motel that was less than a block from the office and apartment of Scientology leader David Miscavige. I chastised them for obviously attempting to use my unnaturally close proximity to bait scientology. Theroux’s response was his trademark impish smirk. Dower profusely apologized for Theroux’s obvious childish shenanigans. Over the next several months of filming sessions, Theroux repeatedly attempted to convince me to do drive bys and walk ups to scientology facilities. On each occasion I noted that such pranks violated Chinn’s original agreements – the provocation route had been done several times before by tabloid types posing as journalists and he expressly guaranteed this project was not going there. After I refused on a number of occasions, Theroux and Dower found other ‘talent’ who was willing to partner with Theroux during his spates of juvenile delinquency.

    The Scientology encounters that Theroux himself initiated were so weak in terms of peculiar scientology behavior that he and Dower resorted to creating and acting out a scene where they discussed the possibility that scientology agents were following them. The basis for the suspicion they discussed in the film had already been admitted by them to me as no basis at all for suspicion. That admission of course was edited out of the film.

    Late in the project I learned that Theroux and Dower had made gratuitous representations to Church of Scientology lawyers detailing my involvement in the film. There could be no other purpose to the correspondence I reviewed than to incite the Church of Scientology to look into what I was up to. Several years into the project Theroux and Dower finally got their wish. They were able to capture Scientologists filming and confronting me during my trips to Los Angeles. Theroux and Dower reacted with a mix of relief and glee. Chinn even referred to the confrontations and their fallout as the saving grace of an otherwise potentially failed project. He effectively stated to the press that every representation that he made to me over a four-year period about the purpose and substance of the film was false and fraudulent. He stated the film was salvaged by the Church of Scientology finally taking me as bait and my venting on Theroux on film for his having used me as bait. The latter was carefully edited to ensure that the truth of Theroux’s duplicity was not included, and instead paint me as somehow duplicitous.

    In the light of these facts, I find it pathetic that media positions Theroux and Dower as exhibiting some level of bravery for having incurred the wrath of scientology. They never did incur such wrath despite years of attempting to through sophomoric capers.

    All of the infotainment play-acting by Theroux diverts attention from perhaps the greatest fraud perpetrated by Theroux and company. The film centers on a purported re-creation of a scene where Scientology leader David Miscavige blows his top in a conference room. The ‘re-creation’ was in fact a creation. Even though they worked with me for a year on that scene, I was not able to submit a script for an actual past occurrence to ‘re-create’ that could pass Theroux’s standards for lurid and shocking theater. The ‘re-creation’ portrayed is an ad lib by actors who had been conditioned for months by Theroux to disdain and fear Scientology.

    I did have input on the final scene. Upon reflection however, perhaps I had too much input. Viewing it as objectively as possible I see the final edit containing quite a bit of me projecting my own behavior on Miscavige. That my own personality would rub off on the principle actor is not surprising given the extraordinary amount of hours Theroux and Dower had him spend with me over a year-long period.

    At the end of the day, My Scientology Movie brings nothing intelligent to public discussion on Scientology. If you have shallow, preconceived and perhaps bigoted notions about Scientology and are the type who loves laughing out loud at the misfortunes or perceived imperfections of others, then you may get a kick out of ‘My Scientology Movie.’ If you wish to learn anything about the subject the movie will be an utter waste of your time, as much as I consider that my participation in the project was a waste of my time.

    I look forward to seeing it.
  38. DeathHamster Member

    • Like Like x 3
  39. The Wrong Guy Member

    I'd probably feel bad for Rathbun if he wasn't such a well-documented prick.

    He reminds me of the type whose life sometimes comes to an end in an incident that involves taking hostages.

    • Like Like x 1
  40. Steven Mango is a percipient witness to the interactions between Mark "Marty" Rathbun and Louis Theroux, and has responded on Facebook.

    * * * * * BEGIN QUOTATION * * * * *

    Steven Mango
    3 hrs ·

    I was on set with Marty Rathbun and we filmed together for a whole day during The Hole reenactment scene. HERE IS THE TRUTH of what really happened on set of My Scientology Movie!! I was there on set the whole day of reenactment scenes when Marty was threatening to never discuss Scientology or speak to the press again and he talked about closing up shop on filming further for Louis' movie. That's all true, he told me he was tired of "the same old questions" about Scientology and he seemed annoyed at Louis -- and continually lashed out at Louis and the crew. Marty and I had an interesting conversation on camera that didn't make it into the film and we did hit it off. I don't have anything against the guy, this is just the truth of the matter. During filming, I even tried getting in the middle of Marty and Louis (on camera, not shown in the film) when things went awry between them and disagreements happened. I was trying to tell them how we were on the same team and we want to use this platform to accurately depict life in Scientology and to stop arguing. He would lash out at the director and at Louis and was difficult for the crew to work with. Now, we did get scripts of a general direction from Marty himself (he denies this) and we were cast to play specific staff members in The Hole. I was Marc Yager. Marty was directing the scenes and was very pleased during the scenes of violence and dramatic recreation. He was in charge of the authenticity of what we were filming as a re-creation from his own personal experience and wrote an outline for Louis and was approved for filming. I don't buy it as a dramatic recreation of Louis' own imagination when Marty did in fact approve this scene, including dramatization of Tom Cruise and other scenes that didn't make the cut (Debbie Cook, etc). Marty went along with filming knowing full well what was happening each step of the way. This film wouldn't have happened without Marty's participation, consulting, and knowledge of Scientology that lead to the final product. He is responsible for the outcome to some degree. At the NYC Tribeca film screening, John & Louis both told me that Marty has seen the film, was unhappy with his being portrayed as crazy, and is now in revenge mode of disassociating with the project altogether. *mic drop*

    * * * * * END QUOTATION * * * * *



    Steven Mango has retweeted a news report containing his response to Mark "Marty" Rathbun and linking to ESMB.

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