Remini won three Emmy awards for … This could be very Pollyanna of me and very naive, but I do believe that good will win out in the end. All 10 episodes of Infiltrating Scientology, The World's Best Scientology Documentary Ever. Paper magazine caught up with the actor as he arrived at the Sundance Film Festival in January, just before the premiere of director Alex Gibney's buzzy documentary, "Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief." Sadly, the Peoples Temple is most famously known for their mass suicide, which ended in the deaths of over 900 cult members, including 300 of their own children in their Guyana settlement of Jonestown. The 15 Best HBO Documentaries of All Time. But Scientology enjoys a privilege that even the ever-profiting President doesn’t: no taxation, with representation for an organization that collects fees from its constituents as part of its graduated “enlightenment.” (And at some point, the mechanism of our legal system could force the release of Trump’s tax records.). About 30 mins in, your jaw will drop and stay there. Going Clear includes footage of a massive rally where Miscavige is shown declaring to his legions of followers, “The war is over.”. Watch these films from the comfort of your campsite. Shop high-quality unique Scientology T-Shirts designed and sold by artists. save hide report. These ships (three in total) were manned by the so-called Sea Organization, leading to the creation of the church’s clergy known as “Sea Org.” Original member Hana Eltringham Whitfield attests that she was secretly invited to join Sea Org, and was then brought to a dilapidated ship in the Canary Islands. Listen online, no signup necessary. A number of her peers would do the hard work of scrubbing and fixing up the ship to make it seaworthy, while Hubbard would later, smoking cigarettes and “surveying his kingdom.” She also recounts how he would join the laborers after dinner and wax philosophical about the “fifth invaders.”. Miscavige created a prison camp for Sea Org membersIn what might be Going Clear‘s most brutal bombshell sequence, talking heads describe “The Hole,” a cesspool riddled with ants where Scientology executives were held, often for years. Before streaming services went all-doc-everything, HBO set the genre's gold standard. Sep 29, 2019 Courtesy. Scientology and Me was a television documentary broadcast 14 May 2007 as part of the BBC's Panorama series. 3 America's Most Dangerous Pets (2011) In one of the best Louis Theroux documentaries, he tries to uncover some of the most dangerous pets in America where he meets Joe “Exotic”. Now that the HBO doc on Scientology has aired, we break down a few of its more damning talking points. And, once the relationship was over, the church apparently attempted to “assign” Cruise a new girlfriend — Homeland actress Nazanin Boniadi. What 2020’s Hardships Taught These Seven Business Leaders About Community, ‘Saved by the Bell’ Star Dustin Diamond Diagnosed With Stage 4 Cancer, New York Dolls Guitarist Sylvain Sylvain Dead at 69, ‘I Don’t Think She Deserved to Die’: Black Activist Who Filmed Ashli Babbitt Shooting Speaks Out, With Stay-at-Home Mandates in Place, These Companies Are Helping Couples Do Date Night In, ‘Steven Universe’: How Rebecca Sugar Turned TV’s Most Empathetic Cartoon Into an Empire, Sects, Cults, Cannibals: Reza Aslan on His Controversial Fringe Religion Show, 10 Best, Worst and WTF Moments at 2016 MTV Movie Awards. I don’t want my daughter to ever get caught up in this.” Filed under church of scientology , katie holmes , leah remini , scientology , suri cruise , tom cruise , 8/12/20 Share this article: From Paris is Burning to Amy, 13th to Honeyland, see TIME's list of the best documentaries you can watch now. Their spirits were shown massive films of crucified people, after which they become “thetans,” the neurosis-inducing “souls” of people within Scientology’s mythos. Scientology’s clergy formed as a response to investigationsUnder investigation in several countries for avoiding taxation, the film mentions how Hubbard “took to the sea,” creating a fleet of ships that would allow him to evade authorities. This is one of the best Louis Theroux's documentaries ever made. Join us, now, as we look at five documentaries on scientology that provide some insight into this crazy-quilt of predatory, celebrity-focused exploitation. The late Christopher Reeve was best known for playing Superman in the '70s and '80s, but he was also a Scientologist for a while. So, lest anybody take it for granted, well, let’s just say, this is not only the best time to be a Scientologist, it’s also the best time to become a Scientologist.” A DECADE FOR THE AGES In evidence of an unprecedented ten years for Scientology worldwide, Mr. Miscavige proceeded with a stunning visual presentation highlighting a parade of epic achievements: 100% Upvoted. They are meticulously recorded and conveyed to church officials, allowing the revealed secrets to be used as leverage against dissatisfied members. Based in part on her 2015 book, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, Leah Remini’s very personal, alternately sassy and poignant docuseries, focuses primarily on the stories of escaped former members like herself. The assembled auditing sessions constitute a perpetual Sword of Damocles, capable of, in theory, bringing him or any other member down at any moment. John Dower and Louis Theroux’s hilarious documentary—almost mockumentary—is almost less a film than it is a direct provocation of the church. World's Best Scientology Documentary Ever. Throughout the documentary, Louis keeps asking Joe and other animal owners whether they … LR: Yes, I do. Scientology and Me turned out to be important less due to the documentary itself, but because of Scientology’s interference with the production, and … We want to hear from you! Scientology: the Donald Trump administration of religions. Episode 6 is going to blow you freaking away! Best High “They said heroin would be the best high I ever had… They lied.” Between 1995 and 2002, the number of American teens aged 12 to 17 who used heroin at some point increased by 300 percent. Hubbard sent letters about Dianetics to the American Psychological AssociationThe religion’s early documents had a foundation of psychological concepts, such as the idea of “going clear,” based on a proposed distinction between separate halves of the brain. What began as an honest examination into whether or not the organization deserved its purported disturbing reputation, quickly, and—perhaps unintentionally—confirmed that it did. Even Hubbard’s novels were declared religious documents after current Scientology leader David Miscavige initiated mass lawsuits against the IRS, then claimed he would pull the plug on them if the church became tax-exempt. Joe has a private zoo where he keeps 167 tigers. Scientology’s win over the IRS allowed the church to rake in moneyThat victory, and Scientology’s subsequent assumption of non-profit status, has allowed the church to amass enormous sums of money without necessarily spending it in the way religious organizations traditionally do. Plus, John Travolta and Tom This documentary was one of the best I've ever seen, and I watch A LOT of documentaries. The book was simply fascinating, the kind you just can’t put down. Sign up for our newsletter. The spiritual headquarters of the Church of Scientology is hailed as an awe-inspiring cathedral and a modern technological triumph. This is one of the saddest documentaries you will ever see, but also one of the best cult documentaries available. But those sane people can only stare in disbelief as they observe others surrender their money and basic human rights to an authoritarian body. 8. While the beliefs and organization are all under the same umbrella (and followers tend to go back and forth between the countries), it is still really interesting and shocking to hear similar stories coming from two totally different locations. The Scientologist ex-wives of these dissenters went on TV to repeat what the film convincingly argues are coached talking points, such as the idea that they knew “every inch” of their former husbands. © 2021 Paste Media Group. 1. Miscavige describes it as a place to become “destressed” through menial labor, but Taylor describes it as “30 hours on, three hours off.” Eventually, she became pregnant, something the church describes as an “unpractical burden” for members of Sea Org, leading it to pressure many into having abortions. 10. Though it has been difficult to determine how much the church earns in full, Wright says that he discovered tax records while researching his book that suggested just three of the 20 or so major organizations comprising Scientology had earned upwards of $1.5 billion. She covers a lot of topics specific to believers, using jargon that only other Scientologists would be … Filmmaker and infamous former Scientologist Paul Haggis describes learning this story in Going Clear, recalling that he initially saw it as a test of sanity: It had to be denied in order to prove that you were not crazy and had become sufficiently clear. Scientology blackmails its members with private “audit” sessionsThroughout the film, Taylor wonders how Travolta has been continually kept in thrall to the church, particularly when he has the power to push back against many of its practices. The film which takes an unconventional approach, after the Church of Scientology refused to cooperate in making the documentary. (Photo: Robson Hatsukami Morgan) Abbey Gingras. The church essentially went to war with the IRS over tax exemptionThe film recounts a full-on battle between the IRS and the church over the notion of tax exemption for Scientology on the basis of it being a religion. Also, Louis almost got into a lot of trouble while trying to make this one, guys. Anyone who likes Dawkins, Hitchens, or Maher (etc) will love this. The organization had taken aggressive action to counterattack (including a full-page ad in The New York Times) after the movie’s premiere at Sundance last January, and now that the film has finally aired on the cable channel, they’re likely to go on the offensive as a whole new audience begins to discuss some of the Scientology’s more terrifying, disturbing practices. Sort by. No such luck. That tradition continues in the latter film, though agents from the church did not even bother being clandestine this time, openly stalking the production and refusing to answer Sweeney’s questions, or even confirm who they represented. Beware false prophets, indeed. © Copyright 2021 Rolling Stone, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media, LLC. A documentary looking at the inner-workings of the Church of Scientology. 4. ... 10 Best, Worst and WTF Moments at … 3. The film premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.It received widespread praise from critics and was … share. Available in a range of colours and styles for men, women, and everyone. reports that he left the church after using a story from Greek mythology to lie about having been reincarnated. Out of all of Going Clear‘s revelations, this one might be the smoking gun. With Paul Haggis, Jason Beghe, Spanky Taylor, David Miscavige. If you've ever been remotely curious about wtf the drama was about when people were talking about Tom Cruise being into Scientology, it's definitely worth a watch. By Esquire Editors. The “secret” behind Scientology alienated many of the church’s membersOnce members of the church reach the rank of “Operating Thetan III,” they are given Hubbard’s hand-written notes and told the secrets of the church — a tale involving a past alien society perfectly resembling the America of the 1950s (coincidentally the moment when Hubbard came up with the story). According to the documentary, Kidman’s phone was tapped and she was tailed by private investigators; Cruise’s own auditing sessions were allegedly pored over by Miscavige, who received “daily reports” on how the couple were doing. Eventually, the Hole led several Scientologists, including Rathburn and now-activist Mike Rinder, to leave the church. World's Best Scientology Documentary Ever. Latest was Sensibly Speaking Podcast #279: Scientology, Miscavige and Marketing ft. Jeff Hawkins. 5. Look no further than My Scientology Movie for a take on the subject that’s more absurdist fun than it is seriously alarming. The most she's ever spoken publicly about her relationship to Scientology was in 2015, when she appeared on the cover of the organization's Celebrity magazine. In a recent interview, Remini revealed that she was punished for sharing … Among Secrets’ interviewees are a former church official whose job, it turns out, was to keep tabs on Sweeney and have him followed throughout the production of Scientology and Me. Because the series aired well after Going Clear, it was a smart decision on Remini’s part to focus more on her interviewees’ first-hand accounts of their time with the church—there wasn’t much of any substantive exposé left to go around after the earlier film. As in legal threats were made by the church against Louis in response … Documentary films seen (my rating for the film/out of 10): Why We Fight (7.5/10) The House I Live In (8.5/10) The underrated director of documentaries like "The House I Live In" can inform and relay the message of his films to the viewer. (Part 3 of 6) "The World's Best Scientology Documentary Ever" (New episode every Monday) In this episode of "The Worlds Greatest Scientology Documentary ever," we explored the first step everyone must take along their Scientology journey: the Purification Process. Her decision to speak out against the powerful organization comes with some dire consequences. Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is a 2015 documentary film about Scientology.Directed by Alex Gibney and produced by HBO, it is based on Lawrence Wright's book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief (2013). E News! 9. While much of the information contained within the film isn’t technically new (especially since the doc is based on executive producer Lawrence Wright’s book of the same name), it does forcefully, brutally put faces to many of the stories, and assembles a meticulous, damning case against the church. Those recruited for the Scientology army sign a billion-year contract . Alex Gibney's HBO documentary 'Going Clear' reveals some of Scientology's most controversial secrets. Alex Gibney’s thorough (and thoroughly damning) HBO film, based on Lawrence Wright’s book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief, is the documentary to see for those who are not at all familiar with Scientology, and for those with a passing familiarity wishing to possess a better understanding. Scientology knows that we are telling the truth and the contributors of our program are telling the truth and that is why they are doing what they're doing [against us]. Troubling enough, certainly. Learn its history and its significance in meeting the needs of Scientology’s ever-growing congregation. Yet as much as Hubbard claimed Scientology wasn’t a form of psychiatry or psychology, and even as the church eventually took the mental health professions to be its enemy, Hubbard sought validation from those some people, sending materials about the book to the American Psychological Association. Members of Sea Org who criticize the church are “destressed” through tortureMuch of the film is spent discussing the Rehabilitation Project Force, a confined space created by Hubbard which ex-church member Spanky Taylor — formerly John Travolta’s handler and closest contact within the church — describes as a “prison camp.” She was sent after criticizing the church for denying medical treatment to her boss; though it was seemingly a “mistake,” she discovered that many of the church’s executives were also at RPF. Here is a list of the best cult documentaries. It's so sick the number of people who comment, we read them all. 2. You’ll learn so much about the lives of children who grow up in the church, of the difficulties experienced by those who try to leave the church, and of the way in which the church persecutes anyone who tries to speak up against them. Now that 'Going Clear' — the HBO exposé on Scientology — has aired, we break down 10 things we learned from the damning documentary. To get her message to the masses, Remini has launched a podcast and worked on multiple critically-acclaimed documentaries — including the Emmy-winning series, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. But authorities took the work to be “psychological folk art” and dismissed it as “a passing fad, like the hula hoop,” suggesting a possible part of the reason for Hubbard’s later vehement disdain rage at the profession. (This part of the church’s belief system has also been memorably dramatized in an episode of South Park.) Remember: even if one isn’t paranoid, that doesn’t mean that somebody isn’t out to get them. If you only ever read one book about Scientology, make it Jenna’s memoir. D: Do you think the Church will ever go away? Coming in at a lean 30 minutes, John Sweeney’s 2007 BBC documentary can be thought of as a “first shots fired” of films critical of the church. Scientology and Me turned out to be important less due to the documentary itself, but because of Scientology’s interference with the production, and the chilling validation that Sweeney was being carefully observed by the church, as described in his 2010 follow-up, The Secrets of Scientology. Updated on November 19th, 2020 by Christopher Fain: Following the end of the acclaimed A&E series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, audiences around the world find themselves more curious than ever to explore the world of cults. L. Ron Hubbard’s life was built on a series of lies and bullyingThough much of Scientology’s early doctrine revolved around Hubbard having been cured of wounds and illnesses during his military service, the actual records paint a different story, suggesting that he only suffered from “mild arthritis and conjunctivitis.” He went on to use the threat of suicide to bully his second wife, Sara Northrup, into marrying him; the film recounts an incident when Hubbard violently woke her up for smiling in her sleep, which was allegedly indicative that she was thinking about another man. A galactic overlord named Xenu called in mass numbers of people, “ostensibly for tax audits,” and took to a prison planet (actually Earth). Factual information on drug abuse can save lives—a public service message. Scientology: The Ex-Files is a great documentary about Scientology, with a special focus on the Australian arm of the notorious cult. The aforementioned movie is one of the best political documentaries ever … John Sweeney’s 2010 documentary can be read as something of necessary continuation of his 2007 film; part of its subject is the earlier film itself. The possible conclusion: the recorded “audit” sessions, Scientology’s equivalent of confession. Buy/rent on Amazon Buy/rent on iTunes. The 6 Best Documentaries to Watch While High Hannah Meadows June 11, 2017 Firing up a documentary whilst high is hardly a new idea, but it’s usually a good one (hello, Planet Earth ). They would suffer beatings, were doused with water, and were forced to play “musical chairs” — set to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” All of this was designed to elicit confessions of their crimes against Hubbard and Miscavige. 7. The Best Outdoor Documentaries Ever, According to You Did your favorite make the list? Everyone seems to really be loving this series. Sure, sane people can see it for what it actually is. Here are 10 of Going Clear‘s biggest talking points. The 25 Best Documentaries of All Time by malthe-tuxen | created - 22 Jun 2017 | updated - 2 weeks ago | Public My 25 personal favorite documentaries of all time Refine See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven't rated, etc. 6. The church broke up Tom Cruise’s marriage to Nicole KidmanFormer church spokesman Marty Rathbun says that because Kidman’s father was a psychologist, she was deemed a Potential Trouble Source, and threat to one of the church’s biggest stars. This documentary was one of the best I've ever seen, and I watch A LOT of documentaries. Close • Posted by 1 hour ago. Nothing ever came of it. Veteran documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney returned to Sundance this January with his latest powder keg of a documentary, “Going Clear: Scientology and … Since Theroux was categorically denied any access in order to make a straight documentary, the filmmakers chose to instead film actors “auditioning” for scenes of alleged church scandals and capture the ensuing chaos of Scientology officials’ reactions, including filming the church’s agents filming the filmmakers in some kind of demented visual evidence-gathering standoff. It’s also the one to see as exemplary investigative journalism by way of filmmaking. Want more Rolling Stone? All Rights Reserved. Yes, it’s difficult to definitively determine what constitutes a religion and what doesn’t. A documentary film about Scientology in which Louis Theroux teams up with former senior church official Mark Rathbun. Log in or sign up to leave a comment log in sign up. But the protection of the IRS (and the first amendment) allowed for the sidestepping of otherwise required payments. Reporter John Sweeney visited the United States to investigate whether the Church of Scientology was becoming more mainstream. He later kidnapped their daughter, Alexis, and repeatedly claimed that he had hacked her into pieces before returning the still-alive child — only to take all of the couple’s money preceding their divorce. She then went on to investigate the church further through the lens of her own experiences in the documentary series, "Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath," which ran from 2016 to 2019. Remini wrote a best-selling memoir in 2015 titled "Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology," which shone a light on her ordeal with the church. Danny Masterson is best known for starring on "That '70s Show," and being featured on lists of celebrity Scientologists. Fifty Best Scientology Podcasts For 2021. Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened (2016) Atlas Media. Send us a tip using our anonymous form. Directed by Alex Gibney. 1 comment. Last night, HBO aired Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Alex Gibney’s documentary exposé of the Church of Scientology and its founder, science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. From its heartbreaking personal accounts of abuses both psychological and physical, to its eye-opening anecdotes from former members—not to mention its deep, deep recovery of often-startling church archival footage, Going Clear makes for a brutally effective exposé of the church’s exploitation of its members and shady-to-downright-illegal practices. Arm of the church of Scientology 's most controversial secrets controversial secrets service message to blow freaking. S memoir Dawkins, Hitchens, or Maher ( etc ) will love this I believe! … Directed by Alex Gibney 's HBO documentary 'Going Clear ' reveals some of Scientology a religion and what ’. 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