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Oscar snubs Alex Gibney’s Scientology documentary ‘Going Clear’ despite buzz


A day after Alex Gibney learned that he’d been nominated for an award by the Director’s Guild of America for his documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, his movie was left out of the nominations for Documentary Feature which were announced this morning for the 88th Academy Awards, to be presented in Los Angeles on February 28.

Besides the DGA nomination, Going Clear had been racking up an impressive list of other awards and nominations, and it had been HBO’s most-watched documentary in a decade. It had also enjoyed two separate theatrical runs, making it eligible for an Oscar nomination. But ultimately it was left out of the nominees, depriving Gibney of a chance for a second statuette. Previously, he had won for his 2007 film, Taxi to the Dark Side. He was also nominated for 2005’s Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.

This year’s nominees for Documentary Feature are: What Happened to Miss Simone?, directed by Liz Garbus; Cartel Land, Matthew Heineman; Amy, Asif Kapadia; The Look of Silence, Joshua Oppenheimer; and Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, Evgeny Afineevsky.

In a recent interview, Gibney talked about the possibility of a sequel to Going Clear. We hope this disappointment doesn’t deter him.


Minnesota police chief has a change of heart

Chad Loewen, the police chief of Babbitt, Minnesota and the subject of our story on Tuesday, called to let us know that the city will not continue to teach the Scientology-backed Truth About Drugs classes. He also let us know that he had seen Alex Gibney’s documentary, Going Clear. “I didn’t know a lot of that stuff,” he told us.

We’ve updated Tuesday’s story with this latest news.

Chris Shelton interviews Tim DeWall, part two

Meant to post this earlier. Please give it a look.



Bonus photos from our tipsters

Getting them young in Las Vegas…


Fly, certificate! Thank you, certificate!



3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on January 14, 2016 at 08:40

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield


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