A 'Clear' dispute
SCientologists rip new HBO documentary
If controversy sells, HBO may suddenly have a hit in Alex Gibney's new documentary about Scientology and renegades who left it.
The Church of Scientology struck out Friday at the movie Going Clear, which its members and leaders have not yet seen, with full-page ads in the New York Times and elsewhere detailing what it says are journalistic lapses by Gibney.
The critique guarantees a combustible debut for a movie that is scheduled to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 25, and will screen in a small number of theaters before reaching a wide audience on HBO, beginning March 16.
In its ad and in an interview with representatives, the church said Gibney rejected its 12 requests for a chance to address accusations, asking instead for interviews with church leader David Miscavige and celebrity adherents including Tom Cruise and John Travolta.
Like Wright's book, the documentary depends heavily on interviews with Scientology dropouts whose filmed accounts mostly track with earlier descriptions of claimed abuse, both physical and emotional, that were compiled by Wright.
New York Times