By now you've probably heard of the HBO documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief that premiered last week. If you haven't watched it, track it down and see it. If you don't have HBO at home already, this is the best reason to get it. If not, you can wait until Netflix gets it at some undetermined date in the future -- at least you can put it into your "I Want This When It Is Released" queue.
This film does a complete exposé on the cult that is Scientology, based on interviews with a number of high-level defectors, showing how founder L. Ron Hubbard -- significantly a science-fiction writer -- cobbled together his weird system of belief out of his own paranoia, and was able to seduce a huge number of people -- mostly disaffected youth at the beginning -- into joining his secret brotherhood. It also explains how Scientology was able to convince the IRS that it was really a church, and thereby protect its over one billion dollars -- yes, over ONE BILLION -- in assets from being taxed.
As you would expect, the famous Scientologists are covered -- Tom Cruise and John Travolta especially, who are the celebrity faces of Scientology. The movie goes into some detail as to why they still remain in the cult and why they appear to have accepted and condoned the abuses of Scientology leaders of other members.
It's an enlightening and scary look into the inner workings of Scientology, and enough to piss you off that so many people can be taken in by simple brainwashing techniques applied to them expertly by their "auditors". These secrets are exposed by actual former cult members, many of them high-level, who came out and who are not afraid to speak out despite the many threats and legal actions the cult is willing to take towards them.
The one thing that they all feel -- and this is common among former members of any cult -- is how embarrassed they are by their former lives in the cult.
Not for the faint of heart, but still a must-see documentary.
· Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief on the IMDB.
· 10 Bizarre Snapshots from the World of Scientology on Listverse
· Top 10 Problems with Scientology on Listverse
· Top 10 Evils of Scientology on Listverse.