Going Clear Brings Light to the Darkness That is Scientology. They’re Not Happy.
The article written by Sophie Jane Evans and Michael Zennie titled “The film Scientology really doesn’t want you to watch: Sect lashes out at documentary in rare public video claiming director’s father published CIA propaganda” Daily Mail, February 20th 2015 (http://dailym.ai/1w80KAX) explains the response the church of Scientology made to a new documentary released about them. Scientology is widely regarded as a cult among a lot of the world due to such things as their members prisons, attacking people oppose to them, and threatening member trying to leave. Most of the people who don’t see Scientology as a cult are probably just unaware of all the horrible things it has done. Going Clear a documentary by Alex Gibney attempts to shed light on those horrors and show the public the truth of the Scientology.
The church has not liked this publicity one bit claiming that the film is “’propaganda’ ‘one-sided’, full of ‘false information’ and features ‘vengeful’ sources”. In response they have taken actions such as taking out a full page ad in the New York and Los Angels Times papers smearing the film. They also sent out over 200 tweets discrediting the films sources and complaining about how horribly the film lies about the church. Then the church started attacking Gibney personally. In a full out assault on Gibney, the church started attacking his father. In a video the church released attacking Gibney’s character, they also attacked his father saying that he, acclaimed journalist Frank Gibney released CIA propaganda. The hate video claims “was part of a covert CIA operation to release propaganda through book publishing and the media”. This video also explains that Gibney refused to meet with the church members 14 different times, only using ex members as sources. The video also references one portion of the movie regarding a church prison where there are ants on the wall. They claim the ants are a total lie and showed footage of what it supposedly looks like.
Overall the religion seems like they are trying to hide the darker parts of their church. I will be fair to say that it is possible that the film is exaggerated in parts. Even Gibney admitted the film includes “a little dramatic reconstruction”. The argument that Gibney only chose bias sources such as ex-members is a valid one, but those biases are most likely also a correct interpretation of the church. Overall I think the reason the church is fighting back so much is because they are basically a business that doesn’t pay taxes. In my essay on Scientology for assignment 1, I learned that Scientology is basically a business that exploits its members for money. They play on peoples weaknesses and use them to get people to pay large amounts to the church. The more popular this film gets, the less potential members they will have and the less money they will have. This film also brings to light all the ways the church is actually a cult. If society deems it a cult, there is much more potential for them not paying taxes to be put into question and protested. This puts their profits at a further risk which is why they are working so hard to keep their image clean. It seems like the church is dirty, they know they are dirty, and now someone is showing they are dirty and they are doing everything in their power to convince people they are clean.