Last night I watched the above documentary written and directed by Alex Gibney and largely based on the book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (2013) by Lawrence Wright that I favorably reviewed here. That review provides a lot of the information that is in the film so I will not repeat it here.
It is a film that is well worth seeing. It sticks pretty much close to the book but has some new information and seeing the people talking about their own experiences makes the experience more powerful, especially seeing the church’s tactics of defending itself by viciously going after its ‘enemies’ (usually former members who got disillusioned and left and started criticizing it) by relentlessly stalking and harassing them.
Here’s the trailer.
In an interview at the Sundance Film Festival where the film was screened, Gibney and Wright discuss how they were fascinated by the question of how it could be that people who were smart and idealistic and caring, by no means simpletons, could get sucked into an organization that was so exploitative and abusive. These people, once they left, were themselves shocked at how they did not see what was so obvious to them now.