The first trailer for HBO’s documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief reveals the disillusionment people feel after leaving the L. Ron Hubbard’s church. Men and women offer quotes like, “I was deeply convinced that we were going to save the world,” and, “They sell it all in the beginning as something quite logical.” Imagery of paperwork, graphs and the church’s opulent headquarters complement the ominous assertions. “There is no logical explanation other than faith,” the final voice says.
Academy Award winner Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) wrote and directed the film, based on Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright’s book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief. The documentary profiles eight ex-members of the Church of Scientology, including Crash filmmaker Paul Haggis, who discusses abuse within the organization. It also chronicles the Church’s roots and rise to prominence, examining its influence on Hollywood.
The film’s look at the moviemaking community has garnered it a lot of buzz. The Toronto Sun reports that the film alleges that the church played a pivotal role in the divorce of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, having wiretapped Kidman’s phones and attempted to pair the actor with a new, church-approved mate, actress Nazanin Boniadi (Homeland). The film also claims that John Travolta is afraid of leaving the church in the event that his personal life would become public, according to USA Today. The paper also reported that the movie suggests the church harasses former Scientologists who have left it.
The documentary is set to premiere on March 29th.