Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief full movie review - It's crystal clear: it's time to dig deeper into what Scientology is. This HBO documentary was pretty good insight.
A lot of people might have heard about Scientology, but I really doubt, many of them, truly knows what it is.
Based on Lawrence Wright's novel, with the same name, Director Alex Gibney's Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, gives its audience, an inside glimpse, within the super-secret powerful religious organization. Without spoiling too much, the film chronicles most of the history of Scientology, starting with its founder and leader, pulp fiction writer, L. Ron Hubbard and his interest in the occult. It then moves and shows, how L. Ron Hubbard created Dianetics, a set of ideas and practices regarding the metaphysical relationship between the mind and body. After that, it shows how Dianetics turn into a religion sect, while getting hounded by the IRS for tax evasion. It wasn't until 1993, that Scientology out-best the IRS in legal-battles, and re-won their tax-exempt standard. Lastly, the film exposes the modern history of the Church, with its massive abuses of power, blackmail, violence and extreme greed. It's pretty clear, that the documentary presented, really did its research, and provide a lot of damning evidence of examples of corruption, within the religious sect. They made sure, that everything was correct, because the Church of Scientology is notoriously litigious. Very rigorous, face-checking, here. Most of these information is coming from, high ranking ex-members, such as Marty Rathbun & Mike Rinder & Tom De Vocht. Due to that reason, it's really hard, to proof that these extreme corruptions didn't happen for any Scientology defenders. As of this writing, for the first time, in their history, The Church of Scientology isn't fighting hard, against its attackers. There hasn't been massive 'fair game' attacks, so far, besides, calling the documentary, one-sided misrepresented, untrue witch hunt that didn't show anything good about the religion. Yes, probably somewhere out there, actor Tom Cruise is probably jumping onto his couch in anger, because what this controversial HBO documentary by Alex Gibney is saying about Scientology, but for the most part, key members have mostly stay quiet. It's pretty clear, by now, that Scientology might not be the bridge to total freedom. One thing, I didn't like, about the documentary, is how much information, they didn't use or mention. Some good examples are the deaths of Lisa McPherson, Noah Lottick & Elli Perkins. It's seem a bit odd, for the documentary, not to mention, Scientology modern day-leader David Miscavige's wife being missing for the last several years, now. I would have, thought they would add that in. There is no mention, about the group's negative views of gays & lesbians or the controversial belief held by Scientologists, that the practice of psychiatry is destructive and abusive and must be abolished. I'm surprise that they didn't ask, ex-member, Kate Bornstein about those questions. While, the movie does focus, a little bit on the celebrity side of the religious sect, mostly talking actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta. I'm astonish, by the lack of detail, about Tom Cruise's relationship with the religion, since he's pretty much, their poster boy. There was no mention of his marriage to Katie Holmes. There is no mention of why and how he join. Barely anything on the guy. I'm surprise, the documentary didn't mention any of the other current key celebrity members like Kristen Alley, Nancy Cartwright, Jenna Elfman and others. I'm also, pretty shock that the movie didn't get, many big name, ex-members to interview. It would be nice to see Leah Remini, Neil Gaiman, and Lisa Marie Presley talk about their time, there. There were also a few others speakers that I would love to hear, but most of all, I wish, they mention, author William S. Burroughs's time with the group. The movie makes good use with the talking heads that they got for the film. I love the use of archive footage, current main stream music and dramatic reconstructions. The best, re-dramatic sequence had to be the musical chairs scene. It was scary to watch. Another hard to watch, scene was the whole "Nazi symbolism" in Scientology's 1993 "The War is Over" rally in Los Angeles. It was very pseudo-fascist and very surreal. The religion is even, scarier that it has paramilitary unit call the Sea Org, and they look like SS uniforms. I like that, Going Clear merely uses Scientology as a lens by which it examines the depths of human psychology. Although modern life seems to pose an infinitely complex array of problems, people always join organization as a way to deal with these problems. They want to either desire to be control of their own life and be controlled by others. This documentary is a good example of that Orwellism like mentality. Despite, all this fear, I found nothing in this documentary, to be too shocking. After all, you find extremists in all historical records or cultural references of any religion. While, I'm not suggest that Scientology is evil, but I do believe the religion of Scientology is deeply flawed. It just need some reform, like every other religious organization, out there. After all, all religions started out as a cult. Some of them, start out, historical, very greedy and corrupted. While, the film can be a pretty depressing sit. The idea that Scientology can no longer has the ability to instill fear in defectors as it once did is good news. It's seem like change is indeed, happening, within its ranks. So, maybe one day, Scientology wouldn't seem so strange or alien-like. It would be, a lot cheaper, and friendlier. Who knows, it might be as common as the Abrahamic religions, one day! I can't hate the religion, just because it's strange. After all, people do have the right to believe in what-ever, nonsense, they want to. So, overall: Check the movie out. It's pretty interesting.