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Scientology hits back at Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear’ with predictable smears

FreedomTrioYesterday morning, we told you which eight former Scientologists we guessed were interviewed for Alex Gibney’s documentary Going Clear, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival later that day.

Turns out we went eight for eight.

How’d the church do?

A sad one for six.

After the film let out and we were chatting with folks, one of our sources let us know that Scientology had posted videos of the people the church assumed were going to be in Alex Gibney’s movie. Of those, they only got one right — Jason Beghe. The others — Jesse Prince, Garry Scarff, Graham Berry, Mark Fisher, and Karen de la Carriere — aren’t in the movie at all.

Scientology had apparently assumed that because Lawrence Wright had talked to these people for his book, Alex Gibney would include them in his movie.


Wow, Scientology’s advance intel was really bad.

And what trouble the church went to! For each of them Freedom, Scientology’s propaganda magazine, put together slimy, smearing videos with old, irrelevant information.

The short video about Jason Beghe, for example, wants us to believe he’s a sinister and untrustworthy source because he can cry on cue — and they show a brief clip of him doing so.

But that’s because Jason Beghe is an actor, and crying on cue is something he does for a living.

Sheesh. Scientology can’t even smear people without looking like dicks.

Later in the night, we could see that Freedom had scrambled and put up smearing statements about the people who were actually in the movie. (But they left up the others apparently because hey, they’d spent the money on the videos, right?)

Each of the hastily posted articles rehashes old accusations about Marty Rathbun and his “posse” of former members as liars and thieves and worse.

And some are practically indecipherable. One person is condemned because her son had once employed Mike Rinder (huh?), and the same person is also smeared because of something she had done on church orders decades ago. Yes! Scientology smearing a former member for the things she did as a Scientologist! The mind boggles.

We’re not going to post links to this garbage, and we can bet the rest of the media will ignore the smears entirely. When is Scientology going to understand that no one pays attention to their incoherent ravings about their former members?

But even more sad is the way Freedom tries to make Lawrence Wright, Paul Haggis, Alex Gibney, and HBO Documentary Films president Sheila Nevins look bad.

We have to think that’s going to backfire in Hollywood, where these are respected figures, and there is going to be some serious discussion about this movie among the people of film-land.

Just keep smearing people, Scientology. At some point, Tom Cruise and John Travolta are going to have to answer for that, along with all the rest.

Now, getting back what was fun about yesterday, we’ll post this video of Gibney being interviewed on the red carpet, flanked by Mike Rinder and your proprietor. It gives a little flavor for how much fun we had…


The Goldbergs with Headley, Rinder, and your proprietor, mugging before the screening…


Very friendly Access Hollywood correspondent, no doubt thinking, who is this guy again?


Morgan Spurlock joined us in the green room…


It was a bright, sunny day in Park City…



Posted by Tony Ortega on January 26, 2015 at 07:00

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