Church Of Scientology Trying To Suppress Coverage Of Going Clear?


The Church of Scientology isn’t exactly known for being understanding when people start poking around looking into its inner workings. That makes this one of the least surprising things I’ve probably ever blogged about: it looks like Scientology is trying to discredit Alex Gibney, director of the HBO documentary Going Clear.

WKBW in Buffalo reports that representatives of the Church of Scientology are supplementing their own film on Gibney by discretely trying to reach out to Oscar voters, writers and producers. The idea is to make sure Going Clear doesn’t win any more statues since its already captured three Emmys.

The justification offered by Scientology for these tactics might be the best part:

"Gibney explains the reasoning behind the church’s strong reactions, though: “There is a doctrine expounded by L. Ron Hubbard called Fair Game and the idea is if the church is criticized, it’s done by someone who is clearly not right in their head … so it’s fair game to go after them with everything you’ve got.”"

There’s even a disagreement over whether Scientology got to represent itself in its own words for Going Clear, with the Church saying it was never invited to comment on the stories told in the documentary and Gibney alleging that the organization joined stars like Tom Cruise and John Travolta in refusing to speak on the record.

Still, I think WKBW is on the money by speculating that in this case, any publicity is good publicity for Going Clear. If people don’t want you to tell a story, it’s often because you struck a nerve. Hard to imagine that’s not what’s happening with this particular documentary.