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.
Scientology has two major, landmark buildings in the Hollywood area, both of which appear in the film's cut-away footage. The Scientology Celebrity Center is located on Franklin Ave, near the bottom of the Hollywood Hills. It is the castle/mansion-like building seen in this film when first discussing John Travolta. The more iconic baby blue building photographed by drone and shown much more frequently in the film is the primary church and office headquarters of Los Angeles. It is located at 4810 Sunset Blvd. 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 »
Scientology really is a journey into the mind of L. Ron Hubbard and the further you get into it the more like L. Ron Hubbard you become.
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I was involved with Scientology from 1978-1990 and encountered some of the human rights abuses that Alex Gibney exposed in his documentary. The Sea Org people, who sign Billion Year contracts, bore the brunt of the mistreatment and are well represented in this film. Most former members will know of details that were not included in the show, but the topics that became the focus received a more complete treatment as a result.
The humanity of these survivors shown through in each interview and should evoke empathy in anyone willing to accept the truth in the story. I never felt that someone was embellishing or seeking attention; in fact, quite the opposite.
A huge thank you to HBO for having the guts to air this and not back down.
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