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.
Sheila Nevins, HBO's president of documentaries, said "probably 160 lawyers" worked with them on the film to avoid litigation from the Church of Scientology. 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 »
I finally get to OT 3 and they give me the secret materials, which I've been hearing about all this time. They're hand written by Hubbard. You'd have to keep them in a locked briefcase, be very cautious because they would always say if this gets out it's dangerous to people. It can actually do them harm if they are not adequately prepared. And I read it and it doesn't make any sense... I think, I remember for one fleeting second thinking well maybe it's an insanity test. Maybe if we believe ...
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I didn't know much about Scientology before, but been awaiting this documentary for all the publicity it generated. And I wasn't disappointed. It unfolds rather slowly, but reveals details and time line of Scientology in way that makes sense for someone like me who knows little about it. I just wished I had read up about Scientology beliefs before watching, as I didn't quite understand the whole aliens reference, and sci-fi beliefs they have as part of Scientology. I wondered if this was really part of their beliefs or the documentary was exaggerating it. Turns out it's all factual! The whole of 2 hours I was just going, 'wtf?!!', and the intensity only escalates as the time line and events unfold. It was occasionally borderline cheesy, especially when the interviewee emotions seemed a bit forced. But overall, it's well written and the interviewees do a great job of narrating their experiences.
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