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Old November 28 2014, 06:46 AM   #1
Sleigh Ride
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HBO making Docu about Scientology

I think this belongs in this thread?

I truly want to know more, and I bet there are those here who could shed some light.

(CNN) -- HBO is backing a documentary based on "Going Clear," a book about Scientology and Hollywood -- and isn't taking any chances with the legal side of things.
"We have probably 160 lawyers" looking at the film, HBO Documentary Films President Sheila Nevins told The Hollywood Reporter. (HBO, like CNN, is a unit of Time Warner.)
"Going Clear," by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Lawrence Wright ("The Looming Tower"), digs into the life of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and the influence his church has had on its believers, many of whom have close ties to Hollywood.
Among Tinseltown's famous Scientologists are John Travolta and Tom Cruise.
Investigating the Church of Scientology
Some of Wright's findings, including claims of abuse, didn't go over well with the church.
"The stories of alleged physical abuse are lies concocted by a small group of self-corroborating confessed liars. The hard evidence clearly shows that no such conduct ever occurred and that in fact there is evidence that shows it did NOT occur," the group's spokeswoman, Karin Pouw, told CNN's Miguel Marquez in 2013.
Author of Scientology book: 'There have been a lot of tears in this story'
The documentary is being directed by Alex Gibney, who won an Oscar for 2007's "Taxi to the Dark Side."
HBO expects to air the documentary in 2015.
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Old November 28 2014, 06:47 PM   #2
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Re: HBO making Docu about Scientology

A documentary? Surely that's a matter for TV/Medi- ohhhh, "Science Fiction and Fantasy", I see what you did there.

I've read some of Going Clear, as well as the New Yorker Haggis-centric article it was based on. The story of Hubbard and his followers' early exploits is totally bonkers.

It'll be interesting to see how many visuals Gibney can find to put on screen... his documentary We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks had more visual effect sequences than the fictionalization The Fifth Estate.
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Old November 29 2014, 05:13 PM   #3
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Re: HBO making Docu about Scientology

Thanks, Gaith for the info...and, yes you did see my intentional placement in Sci Fi. But I really want to know more about this "institution" that seems to ensnare some of our more visible luminaries.
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Old November 29 2014, 05:47 PM   #4
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Re: HBO making Docu about Scientology

^ Well, in terms of straight up knowledge drops, no feature-length documentary could reveal much as much as a book of Going Clear's size. Given the inherent limitation of visuals, I'm inclined to think a dramatized miniseries would be a better fit for HBO, but that would of course require a much greater investment for relatively less publicity.

Once you get used to all the grandiose language of "Walls of Fire" and billion-year service contracts in private navies, what Scientology really boils down to is a fairly mundane self-perpetuating scam and psychological bullying system, and the most salacious things rumored to have happened in their highest offices is really not much more out-there than ordinary abusive workplace environments - it's not exactly Eyes Wide Shut-type baroque orgies.

There were rumors that select Scientology women were auditioned by Church leaders to be Cruise's girlfriend after the Kidman divorce, and that could make a really cool and creepy one-off film. But said rumors are so vague and/or unsubstantiated, AFAIK, that even HBO would have to thoroughly fictionalize names and other details, a la The Master, to avoid libel suits. That'd probably be better suited to an independent horror production, a la The Sacrament.
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Old November 30 2014, 02:12 AM   #5
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Re: HBO making Docu about Scientology

Hmmm...does not sound like the friendliest of "churches." I do recall the stories of Cruise and the auditions. Geez, what a weird deal. And the exclusivity and secrecy when you are in, and the stalking and harassment if and when you are out. I will look for that book and article. Thanks, again!
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Old November 30 2014, 02:13 AM   #6
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Re: HBO making Docu about Scientology

Just ask Jason Beghe.



As for Scientology itself: I would be much more likely to just let it go, if not for the fact that L. Ron Hubbard openly and blatantly admitted that he made the whole thing up to make money!

"Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion."
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Old November 30 2014, 04:48 AM   #7
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Re: HBO making Docu about Scientology

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Just ask Jason Beghe.
Eww, do I have to? That guy's voice gives me second hand emphysema.
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