Anybody else excited for "Going Clear" tonight on HBO?

A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
I've been following news regarding Scientology for over a decade, destructive cults being a matter of general interest to me. I can't wait for the doc to drop tonight, although I probably won't get to watch it tonight on account of The Walking Dead. HBO docs have been super strong so far, I can't wait.


  • John_NadaJohn_Nada California
    edited March 2015
    @A_Ron_Hubbard thank you for posting this.  I can pick up the East Coast feed for HBO and still watch TWD tonight live.  I have cable.

    I have plenty of debates in regards to recovery with members of the Church of Scientology and in the past worked for a wire and cable company who made regular deliveries to their place in LA California.  Very interesting place and their methods of recovery are different.

    It am very interested in seeing this. 

  • Just watched Edge of Tomorrow so I'm primed for this one.  I'm not watching it live but I'll catch it on HBOGO sometime this week, I hope.
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    I've been looking forward to this.  Apparently there is some found footage of Hubbard speaking candidly "off the record" somewhat like The Jinx, so that alone should be extremely interesting.

  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Yeah, the live footage of LRH was the most striking thing about this documentary, that and some of the extended takes of inside footage of their conventions, etc.  What I don't get about this cult, and that this documentary makes ABUNDANTLY clear, is that none of this is new info.  Every five years or so, this info blows up, everybody's like "This is crazy, this should stop", and a week goes by and zzzzzzz...

    Right now the Jehovah's Witnesses are weathering a major child abuse scandal right now, and 99.99% of the population has no idea it's even happening.  At least 75 percent of what was said about scientology applies to JWs, just substitute science fiction for pyramidology and criminal confinement for child molestation and it's a pretty even trade. 

    I think there should be a way to destroy destructive cults.  It's pretty established law that a person cannot legally give consent to human right's violations, so if the FBI busts in to the Seaorg's prison facility and can be sent packing just because the crazies say "but we like it this way", I'm sorry, that's bullshit.  The place should be torn down and charges filed. If we can tell legitimate marketing and investment from ponzi schemes, if we can determine (albeit imperfectly) legitimate medicine from horseshit, we should be able to draw a bright line between religions and what are essentially mind control cults.
  • I knew some of the things discussed in the doc, but actually seeing some of it was very new to me. The Naval dress and saluting was just so disturbing to me. The LRH footage was unsettling too. The guy just creeped me out. 

    My jaw dropped when Miscavige used "God" in one of those convention stump speeches. I think it was the only time in the entire documentary that we heard the word. 

    And, oh my, Spanky. That poor woman...
  • The part where Spanky had her moment of clarity and described Her daughters state had me in tears.

    And as a recovered addict, a lot of the same games you play with yourself to justify it are very similar to the sates of people justifying what's going on in their cult. And you become afraid to seek help because of the humiliation that comes from telling others what kind of decisions you made. anyway, just my 2 cents on the mind set it takes to get hooked up with that stuff. It really doesn't take a total loser. It could happen to pretty much anyone if they are having a hard time or feeling powerless and every human on earth feels that way at times.

    This doc did a good job of presenting the ex-members as solid people who got caught up in a crazy world that spun out of control.
  • Watching this tonight, can't wait. I was surprised to see them steal the cross though, they should've made a model DC-8 into the shape of one :p
  • I haven't had a chance to watch this yet, but I can't wait!
  • HollyoakHollyoak Baltimore
    Yeah, what was with the uniforms and the saluting? That head guy, Miscaviage, or whatever his name is, was creepy. His wife is missing, from what I've read.

    I swear, I really like Tom Cruise as an actor, and will continue to watch his films, but the look in his eyes...jeez.

    Love the way they talk: "LRH." They had a bunch of other buzzwords, too.

    My wife is from Germany and when she was a naive teenager, she started talking to a Scientologist dude in a park somewhere. Suffice it to say that she went to the center "just around the corner," but left when they started asking personal questions. They were trying to get her wrapped up in this cult.

    She hates that it happened, but I tell her she was young and we all do stuff that we can learn from. Also, there are warning signs outside of Scientology centers in Germany.
  • I had no idea about any of the Sea Order and all the upper echelon Scientology stuff, I actually didn't go into the documentary thinking I could possibly think Scientology was any nuttier than I already did, but holy crap was I wrong.

    @Hollyoak Yeah Tom  Cruise looked so damn creepy with that absurd medal and shit. 

    Did she go repeatedly for a good while or something? I don't see anything to be ashamed of about what it seems you described, just normal curious teenager stuff. And she knew to bail when they showed they were creepy fucks trying to get personal info, so she doesn't even strike me as particularly naive, more just curious than anything.
  • Yeah this was a really interesting documentary....I had already known a bit about scientology from tv specials and other videos I've seen but this, really brought new things to light. The only thing I wish is that there were more hard evidence of the abuses the church is responsible like a undercover surveillance video or something. I didn't really learn anything new about travolta or cruz though...
  • Finally got to watch it. Thought it was good.
    While they didn't come out and say it, I definitely got the impression that they are keep John Travolta by threatening to "out" him. That is so sad and wrong for so many reasons.
    And yeah, Tom Cruise is totally creepy in this. Yikes.
  • aberry89aberry89 California
    edited April 2015
    The part where they choose a woman to be Tom Cruise's new girlfriend - choose clothes for her to wear, dyed her hair to a color of his liking. Then she was not accommodating the the church leader and was informed, by someone other than Tom Cruise that their "relationship" was over...that was insane. You forget sometimes how these mega stars live in this completely isolated world where things like that take place. It's like kings and queens of old, choosing mates from painted portraits they are strange. It sounds like a horrible existence, really pathetic and tragic, to be so powerful and yet have no real agency in your own life. 

    This doc made me want to rewatch "The Master."  That movie was incredible. Did an amazing job showing the relentless and slow manipulation that this cult fosters and yet managed to humanize and flesh out the people within it. Can't go wrong with Paul T. Anderson :)
  • HollyoakHollyoak Baltimore
    Yes, aberry89! It made me want to rewatch the Master again, also, although Paul Thomas Anderson (great director) said it had nothing to do with Scientology. (I'm sure he had to say that to avoid a lawsuit.)

    After seeing the doc, I see so many similarities. The Master is streaming on Netflix, if you have it.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Yeah, The Master is a brilliant examination of the early days of the cult, and PTA indeed did that to avoid litigation.  He'd be crazy not too.  

    The interesting thing about being in a cult is you never can be quite sure what people's mental and emotional processes are really like, as you become quite adept at hiding and denying them. Tom Cruise is a very creepy dude and seems to have benefited quite a lot at the expense of others in the religion, but I pity him, I really pity them all with the exception of Miscaviage.  I've heard numerous accounts of people interacting with him in real life, a couple of whom I know personally, and he seems very smart, funny, and kind.  The cognitive dissonance he must experience in daily life must feel like a physical strain on his mind.  
  • aberry89aberry89 California
    I think any religion, self help, process... whatever,  that makes you disassociate your pain from yourself and identify it as another entity entirely is potentially dangerous. We are people, we have shitty stuff happen to us, it makes us feel vulnerable and miserable. And that's OKAY. Pain is not going to go away because we wish hard enough. But time and meaningful connections with other people will help. You have to be humble enough to realize you are flawed. When I look at the leaders of this church I see people that are terrified of being anything but perfect. And my GOD, their life must be miserable because of it. 

    After watching the doc, I have more respect for the people who are a part of Scientology. I used to think they were all just crazy, crazy people - but they're not. It gives you this promise of self fulfillment, and then keeps you on a leash to gain your emotional and financial influence. It's always one more thing you have to do to achieve peace. And it takes you so far that once you're deep in it, how can you do ANYTHING but believe it? Your brain protects you from the pain of being wrong  and coming to terms with what you lost, so you can't help but just keep believing. It insidious. It should absolutely not be considered a religion. You could say, but hey, placebo effect, these people feel better about themselves?  Pretending to feel better, is not better. 

    @A_Ron_Hubbard  Wow, so he just had to say that his film is a total coincidence of character names and scientology ideas?  What could the church actually do, sue them? Isn't a movie considered a form of artistic expression or free speech?
  • I'm glad people learned a lot from this as I thought it was well done. For me, there wasn't much new information with the exception of a lot of the details of Tom Cruise's life. That bit about Nazanin Boniadi was totally freaky. I'm happy for her that she was able to get past those crazies and go on to enjoy some success. She was great on Homeland.

    I did a lot of research on this for a project in grad school. I even took a couple of their beginner's courses. Even at the beginning level I was on, I could sense the enormous amount of bullshit. It was all there - the Orwellian doublespeak, a whole boatload of promises and answers to happiness and life fulfillment, the hard sells to get me to sign up to more advanced and much more expensive courses. The whole environment felt very controlling and manipulative. It was scary. I could tell the people working there were under a lot of pressure to keep people advancing through the "bridge".
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Scientology kicked the IRS's ass with lawsuits.  Haha... 1000+ frivolous lawsuits are hard to handle.  It's a legal denial of service attack, and it seems weird to me the legal system wouldn't have some way to route that kind of bullshit, but I'm not a lawyer.  Then there are the cultists that would picket outside his home and studio and spread rumors that he's a child molester, etc.  It is ridiculous what people who speak out against Scientology have to deal with.
  • aberry89aberry89 California
    edited April 2015
    @AntManBee  How exactly do they get people to pay more and more for each session? How do they make it seem plausible that the next course cost more??? Is the  next level of information so special you because there are less books, less people to talk to??? Okay, well I know why, they are running and a scam and want money. But from what you saw when you went to those first sessions, how did they justify the rising costs of each level?

    Or did they even bother to justify the costs? 

  • @aberry89  They are very good sales peoples and some of their courses are actually very useful. 

    So they use a mixture of the practical usefulness of their early courses, the promise of happiness, and a bit of intimidation. From my perspective, I didn't think they did a very good job of justifying the price, but I was also biased going in. They do their best in making it seem like the higher you go across this "bridge", the more special the knowledge you are receiving is. They really make this state of "clear" as some kind of nirvana. Hell, as biased as I was, they even had me slightly buying into the idea.

    One of their beginner's courses is all about communicating and I found it quite interesting. I could easily see why they can fool people into going further through their scheme - especially when you hear all the promises of happiness and fulfillment. And if you can't afford  the more expensive courses, they give you an offer you can't refuse. You are given the option to be indebted to them and then they put you to work - for free. That's what they told me when they tried to get me to sign up for their bullshit detoxifying course, which was super expensive. 

    They are also very intimidating. When I refused to sign up for that course, they had me go through an exit interview and tried to lock me inside a room with the interviewer. That got really scary. 

    Like I said, I was totally biased going in, so I had an idea of what I was facing. However, if someone does not have any bias, I can see how they can fall for this if they are given all these promises of self-improvement. And if they are not completely sold, there is the intimidation and bullying factor.
  • aberry89aberry89 California
    edited April 2015
    @AntManBee  That's crazy. I would just keep asking, why do you not offer the high echelon information free for all? They must make the money you're giving away akin to "tithing" like it's a personal sacrifice to strengthens your faith (that's what christiany uses anyway)  and not actually say privileged info costs! Just because you have to do a lot of work on yourself, why in the world, if it's so wonderful and what you want for everybody, would you not make it free for all???

    Like, I understand schools charging more for higher degrees, but a religion? They are suppose to be offering a spiritual service of good to the public?? WTF
  • @aberry89 Yeah, it is crazy and very WTF. I did speak to some former members who went as far as OT3, the level where you are told about the Xenu origin story. I think they talked about how and why they bought into it all, but it was too long ago to recall the specifics. I would have to dig through my old notes. 
  • John_NadaJohn_Nada California
    @AntManBee that is quite intresting. Because of my situation I would only get into conversations based on drug addiction mainly based of my own recovery. Very entry level contact but based on the discussions I could tell that the individual was programmed? Always the same talking points no matter who I was speaking with.

    I am impressed by your commitment to your reasurch.
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    I'll be catching this now. Had no idea. I am also interested in cults...
  • TravisTravis CA
    edited April 2015

    That was some crazy shit. Through the first half or so of it there was no really new information for me and I figured it was just going to be a very well made refresher/filling in mechanical holes on what I already knew but then... They're like the fucking mafia. I mean, I knew there was a lot of shady stuff going on, but damn. Anyway, I don't really have much to add to the conversation, but that was a really interesting documentary.

    On a side-note, if you haven't seen it I highly recommend the Millennium episode Jose Chung's Doomsday Defense. It's probably my favorite episode of the show (or at least definitely one of my favorites), and it's a Scientology parody. If you don't know much about Millennium in general it doesn't hurt the experience very much and it's very entertaining.

  • @Travis I liked Millennium a lot, wish it lasted more than three seasons. I've been wanting to re-watch it lately, its short run should at least make that a bit easier I guess.
  • @ghm3 I need to do a re-watch one of these days too. It was a really, really great show. It's funny, it took like three seasons of Lost before I stopped calling John Locke "Watts."

  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    edited April 2015
    Things which moved me, or just things:

    1. One of the guys saying that when he came out of Scientology, he felt so free. "I didn't have to have a problem." Holy shit, that so perfectly describes my relationship with Christianity and why I now find walking into a (Christian) church a negative experience. I never fully grasped the 'why' behind that emotion until that moment. Thank you, documentary. I am so sick of having a problem, and knowing that if I solve that problem, I'll just have another problem, and another, an infinity of falling short. This isn't even addressing the mental abuse of Hell hanging over my head as a child. That's a whole 'nuther sticking point for me.

    2. Whenever Cruise acts crazy, I know to blame it on one or more BTs (Body Thetans).

    3. Someone mentioned this, but the woman realizing that while she could choose suffering for herself, she could not choose that for her child, after finding her sleeping in urine and her eyes glued shut with dried mucus. Similarly, the mother who was saying goodbye to her daughter for perhaps the last time. Trying to memorize the smell of her hair, the feel of her skin. .......... I can't even.

    4. I want to read a novel about being selected as Tom Cruise's girlfriend. I want that novel. Now. The lead-up, the duration, the aftermath. Gimme.

    5. L Ron Hubbard holds the Guinness Record for most books written. Now if that isn't great party trivia.

    6. They have to have more dirt on Travolta than him (possibly) being gay.

    7. Again echoing what others have expressed, this documentary gave me more sympathy for those within the cult. Elizabeth Moss, for example. I was so baffled hearing she was a Scientologist. Now, for all we know, she could want out.

    8. I bet Katie Holmes has threatened to reveal her dirt on Tom Cruise if they reveal their dirt on her. I bet that's why she could leave. I mean, she could have recordings of stuff, for all we know.
This discussion has been closed.