Hammerman Ikon

Hammerman Ikon Film Guide

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
Director: Alex Gibney

Alex Gibney's documentary tells the brief history of Scientology. The movement was founded by L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986), a science fiction writer whose theory of Dianetics formed the base for the religion. Former members (including film director Paul Haggis) describe what made them join and what ultimately made them leave the church. The last third describes the reign of the current leader David Miscavige, who turned the Church of Scientology into a multi-billion dollar business, but is accused of exploiting, intimidating, and abusing the members in the process. The film is thought-provoking, disturbing, and (probably) truthful in depicting the controversial aspects of Scientology, but it fails to illuminate why people are drawn to the church and why more people have not abandoned it under these horrendous circumstances. Based on the book of Lawrence Wright, who is one of the talking heads.