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Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief (2015)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 25 June 2015 (Italy)
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A film that claims to be a look at the inner-workings of the Church of Scientology.



, (book)
Won 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 4 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Spanky Taylor ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Lawrence Wright ...
Himself (archive footage)
Marjorie Cameron ...
Herself (archive footage)
Tony Ortega ...
Antony A. Phillips ...
Himself (archive footage)
Hana Whitfield ...
Herself (as Hana Eltringham Whitfield)
Kim Masters ...
Sara Goldberg ...


A devastating two hour documentary based on Lawrence Wright's book of the same name. Scientology is laid bare by a film that skilfully knits together archive footage, testimonials from former high ranking officials and public, and dramatic reconstructions.

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Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

25 June 2015 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Going Clear  »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Alex Gibney captured the footage of the Church of Scientology's headquarters by using an aerial drone and thus not requiring a permit to film the facility. See more »


(at around 8 mins) When Paul Haggis is discussing his beginnings with the church, a clip is shown claiming to be "London, Ontario." What is actually shown is a view of downtown Hamilton, Ontario, looking east from King Street and James Street. The bus clearly reads "West Hamilton". Also visible: Woolworth's, the Wright House, and Gore Park - downtown Hamilton landmarks. See more »


Paul Haggis: Cults, they prey on people, suggesting that, you know, you should be able to think for yourself and then tell you exactly how you have to think, or get out. And if you get out, there will be consequences.
See more »


Referenced in Tosh.0: RC Car (2015) See more »


Bohemian Rhapsody
Written by Freddie Mercury
Performed by Queen
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User Reviews

Important documentary on the anatomy of paranoia
31 March 2015 | by See all my reviews

There are a number of documentaries about this having accumulated since the 60s, but the phenomenon is that each new documentary reveals new more shocking facts about the business and its mentality than the previous ones, apparently because the material is still accumulating. There is very much important data from earlier documentaries missing here, many key persons are left out of the picture, which nevertheless is completed by the new ones appearing, corroborating all previous testimonies. It's a vitally important documentary, most of all because in the world society we are living in today so many, if not the majority of people, are not aware that it is an age of brainwash, and they still haven't learned to protect themselves against it. What you marvel at in this documentary, which many of the participants honestly do, is that they keep swallowing the racket for years before they can bring themselves to accept that they have been swindled, in most cases of their lives, which they don't realize until their lives are lost or completely devastated. In an effort to concentrate on the good things in Scientology I wrote an article some years back where I posed the open question - what went wrong? Apparently everything went wrong from the beginning, the founder having no self-criticism and no objective distance to what he was doing, but simply himself first of all falling a victim to the delusions of his own science fiction fantasies. Of course, there must be something good in Scientology, there must be a corn of truth in it somewhere, but whatever once was good and even of some worthwhile philosophical common sense and rational wisdom was flooded by the bolting derailing vicious circle of greed fueled by unrestricted paranoia, the constant validation of which seems to be the very substance and force of the organization.

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