Review: ‘Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief’
A chilling look at what constitutes a tax-exempt religion and how they spend that money to stalk, harass, and sue the rest of society into silent acceptance. Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is a 2015 documentary about the history of Scientology, including some really damaging interviews with former high-ranking members. Directed by Alex Gibney and produced by HBO, it is based on Lawrence Wright’s book of a similar name.
Since receiving its tax-exempt status in 1993, the Church of Scientology has amassed billions of dollars and real estate holdings that would make Donald Trump jealous. The documentary lays out a laundry list of other activities the Church has spent its tax-exempt money on over the last two decades, including:
- Stalking and harassing former Church members and private citizens — including BBC journalists
- Wire tapping Nicole Kidman’s private residence
- Paying Sea Org. members $0.49 an hour
- Using Church funds and labor for Tom Cruise’s personal benefit
- Imprisoning senior executives in “The Hole” and forcing them to fight each other
- Operating websites whose only purpose is to discredit and defame private citizens
- Hundreds if not thousands of lawsuits over the years
- Producing a really embarrassing music video
- Creating a fake girlfriend for Tom Cruise, which included a $20,000 wardrobe from Burberry as part of the Church’s “humanitarian effort”
- Using Tom Cruise and other celebrities to influence politicians and “opinion leaders”
The documentary leaves you without a doubt that the 50,000 remaining members are not the ones being bettered by the Church’s massive resources.