After much anticipation, I sat down to watch Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief
, the Alex Gibney documentary on the religion of Scientology based on the book of the same name by Lawrence Wright. By all measures, it lived up to my expectations and I'm still kind of in shock that HBO was capable of producing, and releasing, a piece of this nature that is so critical towards an organization that is notorious for litigating harmful information into oblivion.
You are likely familiar with the belief system of Scientology thanks to South Park
but, honestly, I don't really care what wacky backstory is involved in the foundation of their tenants. I don't care that L. Ron Hubbard was a science fiction writer or that volcanoes on our planet are supposedly inhabited by lost alien souls. It's certainly not for me
but if someone wants to believe it, go for it.
What does shock me is the organizations able manipulation of the government to establish themselves as a religion, the punishing Rehabilitation Project Force
, blatant lying and their comfort level with labeling someone a Suppressive Person
and, thus, tearing families apart.*
Long story short, great documentary. Terrifying religion. I am going to dive into the book for more details on everything but I can't recommend this enough. Definitely scary how much power, money and influence they have. Hopefully this film opens up some new conversation about it - even if Scientology themselves says its all lies
See also: 10 Things We Learned From Scientology Doc 'Going Clear'
*other religions do this as well. I'm looking at you Amish!