A galactic overlord named Xenu called in mass numbers of people, “ostensibly for tax audits,” and took to a prison planet (actually Earth). Remini won three Emmy awards for … About 30 mins in, your jaw will drop and stay there. In a recent interview, Remini revealed that she was punished for sharing … The possible conclusion: the recorded “audit” sessions, Scientology’s equivalent of confession. Yes, it’s difficult to definitively determine what constitutes a religion and what doesn’t. The Best Outdoor Documentaries Ever, According to You Did your favorite make the list? Scientology and Me turned out to be important less due to the documentary itself, but because of Scientology’s interference with the production, and … Members of Sea Org who criticize the church are “destressed” through tortureMuch of the film is spent discussing the Rehabilitation Project Force, a confined space created by Hubbard which ex-church member Spanky Taylor — formerly John Travolta’s handler and closest contact within the church — describes as a “prison camp.” She was sent after criticizing the church for denying medical treatment to her boss; though it was seemingly a “mistake,” she discovered that many of the church’s executives were also at RPF. Listen online, no signup necessary. Beware false prophets, indeed. But the protection of the IRS (and the first amendment) allowed for the sidestepping of otherwise required payments. World's Best Scientology Documentary Ever. Hubbard sent letters about Dianetics to the American Psychological AssociationThe religion’s early documents had a foundation of psychological concepts, such as the idea of “going clear,” based on a proposed distinction between separate halves of the brain. By Esquire Editors. Paper magazine caught up with the actor as he arrived at the Sundance Film Festival in January, just before the premiere of director Alex Gibney's buzzy documentary, "Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief." Scientology knows that we are telling the truth and the contributors of our program are telling the truth and that is why they are doing what they're doing [against us]. The church essentially went to war with the IRS over tax exemptionThe film recounts a full-on battle between the IRS and the church over the notion of tax exemption for Scientology on the basis of it being a religion. According to the documentary, Kidman’s phone was tapped and she was tailed by private investigators; Cruise’s own auditing sessions were allegedly pored over by Miscavige, who received “daily reports” on how the couple were doing. The film which takes an unconventional approach, after the Church of Scientology refused to cooperate in making the documentary. 3. The “secret” behind Scientology alienated many of the church’s membersOnce members of the church reach the rank of “Operating Thetan III,” they are given Hubbard’s hand-written notes and told the secrets of the church — a tale involving a past alien society perfectly resembling the America of the 1950s (coincidentally the moment when Hubbard came up with the story). Their spirits were shown massive films of crucified people, after which they become “thetans,” the neurosis-inducing “souls” of people within Scientology’s mythos. We want to hear from you! Scientology’s clergy formed as a response to investigationsUnder investigation in several countries for avoiding taxation, the film mentions how Hubbard “took to the sea,” creating a fleet of ships that would allow him to evade authorities. A documentary film about Scientology in which Louis Theroux teams up with former senior church official Mark Rathbun. You’ll learn so much about the lives of children who grow up in the church, of the difficulties experienced by those who try to leave the church, and of the way in which the church persecutes anyone who tries to speak up against them. Sort by. 5. Miscavige created a prison camp for Sea Org membersIn what might be Going Clear‘s most brutal bombshell sequence, talking heads describe “The Hole,” a cesspool riddled with ants where Scientology executives were held, often for years. What began as an honest examination into whether or not the organization deserved its purported disturbing reputation, quickly, and—perhaps unintentionally—confirmed that it did. Here are 10 of Going Clear‘s biggest talking points. Among Secrets’ interviewees are a former church official whose job, it turns out, was to keep tabs on Sweeney and have him followed throughout the production of Scientology and Me. This is one of the best Louis Theroux's documentaries ever made. Miscavige describes it as a place to become “destressed” through menial labor, but Taylor describes it as “30 hours on, three hours off.” Eventually, she became pregnant, something the church describes as an “unpractical burden” for members of Sea Org, leading it to pressure many into having abortions. Going Clear includes footage of a massive rally where Miscavige is shown declaring to his legions of followers, “The war is over.”. Updated on November 19th, 2020 by Christopher Fain: Following the end of the acclaimed A&E series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, audiences around the world find themselves more curious than ever to explore the world of cults. Even Hubbard’s novels were declared religious documents after current Scientology leader David Miscavige initiated mass lawsuits against the IRS, then claimed he would pull the plug on them if the church became tax-exempt. Though it has been difficult to determine how much the church earns in full, Wright says that he discovered tax records while researching his book that suggested just three of the 20 or so major organizations comprising Scientology had earned upwards of $1.5 billion. Factual information on drug abuse can save lives—a public service message. The Scientologist ex-wives of these dissenters went on TV to repeat what the film convincingly argues are coached talking points, such as the idea that they knew “every inch” of their former husbands. Before streaming services went all-doc-everything, HBO set the genre's gold standard. Alex Gibney’s thorough (and thoroughly damning) HBO film, based on Lawrence Wright’s book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief, is the documentary to see for those who are not at all familiar with Scientology, and for those with a passing familiarity wishing to possess a better understanding. But Scientology enjoys a privilege that even the ever-profiting President doesn’t: no taxation, with representation for an organization that collects fees from its constituents as part of its graduated “enlightenment.” (And at some point, the mechanism of our legal system could force the release of Trump’s tax records.). Since Theroux was categorically denied any access in order to make a straight documentary, the filmmakers chose to instead film actors “auditioning” for scenes of alleged church scandals and capture the ensuing chaos of Scientology officials’ reactions, including filming the church’s agents filming the filmmakers in some kind of demented visual evidence-gathering standoff. Available in a range of colours and styles for men, women, and everyone. The spiritual headquarters of the Church of Scientology is hailed as an awe-inspiring cathedral and a modern technological triumph. The 6 Best Documentaries to Watch While High Hannah Meadows June 11, 2017 Firing up a documentary whilst high is hardly a new idea, but it’s usually a good one (hello, Planet Earth ). 3 America's Most Dangerous Pets (2011) In one of the best Louis Theroux documentaries, he tries to uncover some of the most dangerous pets in America where he meets Joe “Exotic”. Those recruited for the Scientology army sign a billion-year contract . Fifty Best Scientology Podcasts For 2021. A number of her peers would do the hard work of scrubbing and fixing up the ship to make it seaworthy, while Hubbard would later, smoking cigarettes and “surveying his kingdom.” She also recounts how he would join the laborers after dinner and wax philosophical about the “fifth invaders.”. 1 comment. While the beliefs and organization are all under the same umbrella (and followers tend to go back and forth between the countries), it is still really interesting and shocking to hear similar stories coming from two totally different locations. 1. This is one of the saddest documentaries you will ever see, but also one of the best cult documentaries available. 6. Based in part on her 2015 book, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, Leah Remini’s very personal, alternately sassy and poignant docuseries, focuses primarily on the stories of escaped former members like herself. Watch these films from the comfort of your campsite. No such luck. Join us, now, as we look at five documentaries on scientology that provide some insight into this crazy-quilt of predatory, celebrity-focused exploitation. This documentary was one of the best I've ever seen, and I watch A LOT of documentaries. If you've ever been remotely curious about wtf the drama was about when people were talking about Tom Cruise being into Scientology, it's definitely worth a watch. Eventually, the Hole led several Scientologists, including Rathburn and now-activist Mike Rinder, to leave the church. From its heartbreaking personal accounts of abuses both psychological and physical, to its eye-opening anecdotes from former members—not to mention its deep, deep recovery of often-startling church archival footage, Going Clear makes for a brutally effective exposé of the church’s exploitation of its members and shady-to-downright-illegal practices. Episode 6 is going to blow you freaking away! Scientology and Me turned out to be important less due to the documentary itself, but because of Scientology’s interference with the production, and the chilling validation that Sweeney was being carefully observed by the church, as described in his 2010 follow-up, The Secrets of Scientology. 4. The 15 Best HBO Documentaries of All Time. (This part of the church’s belief system has also been memorably dramatized in an episode of South Park.) 2. Troubling enough, certainly. So, lest anybody take it for granted, well, let’s just say, this is not only the best time to be a Scientologist, it’s also the best time to become a Scientologist.” A DECADE FOR THE AGES In evidence of an unprecedented ten years for Scientology worldwide, Mr. Miscavige proceeded with a stunning visual presentation highlighting a parade of epic achievements: Joe has a private zoo where he keeps 167 tigers. Scientology and Me was a television documentary broadcast 14 May 2007 as part of the BBC's Panorama series. Sure, sane people can see it for what it actually is. LR: Yes, I do. Here is a list of the best cult documentaries. Scientology blackmails its members with private “audit” sessionsThroughout the film, Taylor wonders how Travolta has been continually kept in thrall to the church, particularly when he has the power to push back against many of its practices. Last night, HBO aired Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Alex Gibney’s documentary exposé of the Church of Scientology and its founder, science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. Scientology’s win over the IRS allowed the church to rake in moneyThat victory, and Scientology’s subsequent assumption of non-profit status, has allowed the church to amass enormous sums of money without necessarily spending it in the way religious organizations traditionally do. Documentary films seen (my rating for the film/out of 10): Why We Fight (7.5/10) The House I Live In (8.5/10) The underrated director of documentaries like "The House I Live In" can inform and relay the message of his films to the viewer. 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