In the film, some bombshell, behind-the-scenes information is revealed, like the claim that Nicole Kidman’s phones were tapped at the suggestion of her then-husband Tom Cruise and church head David Miscavige in order to sabotage the celebrity marriage.
While the Alex Gibney-directed documentary received a standing ovation during the Sundance premiere, the Church of Scientology unsurprisingly isn’t happy with the film.
According to one PageSix source: “Movie insiders believe some Scientologists may have snuck into the packed theatre at Sundance Sunday night and secretly recorded audio of the documentary, which their lawyers are currently poring over.”
The litigious church has set up an official Twitter account to hit back against HBO, which worked with 160 lawyers ahead of the film’s March 16 premiere.
The Scientologists’ Twitter account is titled Freedom Media Ethics, with the handle @FreedomEthics, and in its bio says it is “taking a resolute stand against the broadcasting and the publishing of false information.”
There are only a few posts so far and few followers, but the message is clear — they’re not happy:
In the account’s first-ever post earlier this month, there is a link to a “Statement Concerning Alex Gibney’s HBO Documentary” on the Scientology site FreedomMag.com.
The statement begins: “More than two years after Alex Gibney, Lawrence Wright and HBO started secretly working on their film glorifying bitter, vengeful apostates expelled as long as three decades ago from the Church, the one-sided result is as dishonest as Gibney’s sources.”
The statement continues:
“The Church has documented evidence that those featured in Gibney’s film regurgitating their stale, discredited allegations are admitted perjurers, admitted liars and professional anti-Scientologists whose living depends on the filing of false claims. All have been gone so long from the Church they know nothing of it today. Yet Gibney and HBO stonewalled more than a dozen requests by the Church to offer relevant information about them, with more than 25 individuals with firsthand information eager to speak.”
Read the Scientologists’ full response to HBO’s “Going Clear” here.
Previously, the Church of Scientology published a full-page ad in The New York Times earlier this month accusing the film of reporting false claims about the controversial religion.
The Scientology ad calls out “Going Clear” director Alex Gibney for supposedly not allowing the organisation to respond to claims made in the film.
Specifically, the ad asks whether the documentary is “a Rolling Stone/UVA Redux” — a reference to a now notorious article in the magazine about rape at the University of Virginia.
But former Scientology members hope “Going Clear” will have the power to force major shifts within the church.
“I hope this movie increases public pressure for the church to change its abusive practices,” one former Scientology member told The Times.
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