I’ve done some study of Scientology, and we’ve seen several films on the subject at our Friday Movies That Matter. So I was surprised at how much I learned from this HBO documentary. For starters, I was amazed at the size and opulence of their headquarters, pictured here.
Winner of three Emmy Awards including Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special, Going Clear profiles eight former members of the Church of Scientology, whose most prominent adherents include A-list Hollywood celebrities, shining a light on how the church cultivates true believers, detailing their experiences and what they are willing to do in the name of religion.
The film highlights the Church’s origins, from its roots in the mind of founder L. Ron Hubbard to its rise in popularity in Hollywood and beyond. The heart of the film is a series of shocking revelations by former insiders, including high-ranking and recognizable members such as acclaimed screenwriter Paul Haggis (“Crash”), as they describe the systematic history of abuse and betrayal by Church officials, including the current leadership of the Church.
I see valuable lessons for all of us about learning to avoid being manipulated. Come and share your ideas.