Scientology retaliates against filmmaker investigating church by making a documentary about him

Louis Theroux Samir Hussein Getty
Louis Theroux tweeted that he has heard from the Church of Scientology. Samir Hussein/Getty

Following the sensational release of Alex Gibney’s HBO documentary, “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief ” —  which became the cable network’s most watched premiere in close to a decade —  it looks like there’s another film coming out on the controversial religion.

But this time, Scientology is actively striking back.

British documentary filmmaker and broadcaster Louis Theroux, who is known for his funny TV series on off-beat cultural subjects like “America’s Most Medicated Kids” and “Twilight of the Porn Stars,” is working with the BBC on his first theatrical feature that will focus on Scientology, titled “Stairway to Heaven: Louis Theroux and the Church of Scientology.”

It doesn’t seem Scientology is pleased.

Thursday, Theroux tweeted that he got some interesting news from Scientology’s lawyers.

But from what Theroux is tweeting, his film is going to be very different from Gibney’s HBO documentary. 

He hasn’t been shy in letting the world know he’s making the film.

And hasn’t worried about the religion knowing he’s at their front door.

Theroux has made a point to let us know he’s not making “Going Clear.”

What exactly is Theroux making? Here’s a hint posted by Tony Ortega over at his The Underground Bunker blog. 


Here are excerpts from the above text:

Louis Theroux’s first theatrical feature documentary from the Oscar winning producer of “Searching for Sugar Man” and “Man on Wire”

One of the world’s newest and most mysterious religions, that numbers Tom Cruise among its followers… A scientific-seeming “technology” which, if properly followed, is said to make the able more able…

On the face of it, who wouldn’t be intrigued — even seduced — by this grand rhetoric?

For more than 10 years, Louis Theroux has been in the grip of a personal fascination with Scientology. Now living in Los Angeles in the heart of the world’s largest population of Scientologists, he has decided to immerse himself in what he regards as “the Holy Grail of Stories.”

This is not the first time Scientology will releases materials on a director or reporter before a story comes out the church thinks puts them in a negative light. 

In 2007, leading up to an episode of BBC’s Panorama series focusing on the church, Scientology posted a rant on YouTube by BBC reporter John Sweeney captured during his interview with Scientologist spokesman, Tommy Davis. 

Then leading up to “Going Clear,” the church released videos trying to discredit Gibney

But if Theroux’s tweet is correct, this will be the first time the church does a documentary on someone examining the church.

Scientology did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

“Stairway to Heaven” currently has no set release date.

NOW WATCH: 6 Crazy Things Revealed In HBO’s Explosive New Scientology Documentary ‘Going Clear’