Film Review – Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (2015)

L. Ron Hubbard

Title – Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (2015)

Director – Alex Gibney (Mea Maxima Culpa)

Cast – Paul Haggis, Jason Beghe, Tom Cruise, David Miscavige, L. Ron Hubbard

Plot – Documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney delves into the church of Scientology and with the help of ex-members, exposes an organisation that is both dangerous and frightening in its ways.

 “It’s so strong it sticks to you like glue”

Review by Eddie on 22/06/2015

I am as I’m sure many others are, intrigued and also bewildered by what I hear about Scientology and for many years since the so called religion has made its way into the pop culture of everyday life have found myself keen to understand more about what on earth gets good old John Travolta, Tom Cruise and many other high profile figures so gosh darn excited about “clear” minds and dominant overlords. Thankfully prolific documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney is on the case with Going Clear.

Working in partnership with HBO (when don’t they produce the goods?) Gibney has crafted an incredibly well put together and insightful documentary that pulls no punches in it’s often scathing look into the mind of Sci-Fi staple L. Ron Hubbard and his creation of Scientology and later on the dealings of his understudy David Miscavige. Gibney has gone to great lengths to uncover video footage, documentation and a raft of ex-members into his film and what’s presented before the viewer is a wealth of easy to understand snap shots of the wealthy movement that for people like me acts as a shocking examination of an incredibly off the rails organisation of tyrants and manipulators.

There seems to be still much mystery that surrounds the dealings of Scientology and Gibney understandably can’t get to the bottom of every back room deal and shady operation, yet there’s enough in Going Clear to make it abundantly obvious that there is much wrong with an organisation that fears not to ruin peoples life both financially and spiritually and is in fact based around the mind of a man with a highly questionable mental state. The most incredible titbits of information that stems forth from Gibney’s investigation all occur from the varied ex-communicated members of the church and their brutally honest memories of their time in the fold of the organisation is revelatory in more ways than one. The accounts these people make about the moment of realization that they’ve been duped is often gut punching stuff.

To the point and perfectly constructed, Going Clear is the quintessential expose of Scientology and a must watch for anyone with even a passing interest in the organisations dealings or for fans of quality documentaries in general. For anyone that may have no bad words to say about Scientology, this will come as an almighty wake up call.

4 overlords out of 5

13 responses to “Film Review – Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (2015)

  1. I haven’t seen it and don’t plan on it. As a member of a frequently misunderstood religion I have seen expose documentaries that only show one side of my faith and wanted to scream. Makes me sensitive to it happening to others. I’m not saying they are in the right and the documentary is wrong. I’m just saying there are two sides to every story. Faith is a complicated thing and no religion is without some skeletons. That’s why it is called faith. I would just say maybe look into the whole story and not just what people who are trying to tear something down or expose it have to say. I hope you get what I am trying to say.

  2. The BBC’s Panorama series did two great documentaries on Scientology, especially the second one. It’s such a strange and rather unsettling thing.
    What’s stranger though is that recently there has been a television advert about Scientology here in the UK…

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