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Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief

I saw Louis Theroux's My Scientology Movie tonight. It makes a really nice companion piece to Going Clear. Going Clear is the more essential documentary if you want to get a full idea of scientology's history and practices, but Louis Theroux manages to get a more human, everyday view of the scientology mindset, like he always does in his documentaries. The doc is clearly restricted by the limitations of what they can do without getting sued on one hand, and not repeating Going Clear on the other, but it's strength lies in finding a way between these restrictions.



Having actors reenact interviews and incidents with David Miscavige and Tom Cruise sounds like bad History Channel material, but by showing the actors getting trained in the ways and mindset of scientology by defector and former scientology "fix it man" Marty Rathbun actually gives very clear insight into the behavior of the real scientologists Louis encounters. Louis also gets points for not letting Rathbun off easy. He may have left the church and have been continually harassed by scientologists, he also was responsible for these exact actions when he was still in the organisation and Louis continues to ask Rathbun about this, even when Rathbun clearly wants to steer the conversation the other way.



The film suffers a bit from not having a very satisfying ending, but it's very appropriate in showing that no matter what you do, scientology will continue to badger you any way they can and exposes how petty and misguided their followers actually are.

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