‘Going Clear’ HBO documentary particulars Scientology’s theater of the surreal

29 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Going Clear says Scientology is exactly as bad/weird/gross as you think it is.

8 P.M. (HBO) GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE PRISON OF BELIEF (2015) The Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney directs this film about the Church of Scientology, based on Lawrence Wright’s book “Going Clear.” Details about the church (above, its building in Los Angeles), which was founded by the science-fiction writer L.

Ron Hubbard, are revealed through profiles and interviews with former members including the Oscar-winning screenwriter Paul Haggis. “Drawing from a trove of archival material, including filmed interviews with Mr. It has stamped its name, hugely, on some of the city’s most visible classic buildings, including the former Christie Hotel, the former Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, the former Chateau Elysee and the former Hollywood Guaranty Building. Dallas time HBO will air Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney’s Going Clear, his Scientology documentary based on the book by Woodrow Wilson High School Hall of Famer Lawrence Wright, who’s chief among the talking heads talking the longest and loudest in the film. Joshua Alston gave it an A and said the documentary is “bruising…Worse than the tales of the church’s unconscionable financial, psychological, and physical abuse is the pervasive sense that the scope of human suffering is wider than a two-hour documentary can comfortably accommodate.” But we once walked by the Celebrity Scientology Center while it was hosting a Jurassic Park screening and bouncy house garden, so really, how bad it could actually be? (A: Real bad, shut up, What’s On Tonight.) WrestleMania 31 (WWE Network/YouTube, 5 p.m.): Living life in this chaotic, fucked up can be trying, but there is still a light that won’t go out: resident WWE expert LaToya Ferguson is covering WrestleMania 31 for The AV Club.

There was a time you’d see members of the church out on Hollywood Boulevard, offering free personality tests to passersby; television ads were frequent. Gibney paints a profile of a church that grew by leaps and bounds through profound faith and drag-out fights,” Manohla Dargis wrote in The New York Times. “Mr.

We know this is about midwives and nuns, but if we were to play Period Piece Bingo, we’d bank on seeing some blunts, bouffants, and a healthy dose of teenage hysteria. A second segment looks at a promising effort by scientists at Duke University to kill cancer cells using a re-engineered polio virus. 7:30 P.M. (Nickelodeon) HARVEY BEAKS In this series premiere, a polite bird named Harvey is pulled into adventures by his rule-breaking friends Fee and Foo. “The series, created by C.

Chris Vognar and I reviewed Going Clear for this week’s “Reel Genius” video chitchat, which you’ll find below. (And here, just because, is the Scientologists’ review.) By way of prep, I was curious: How deep are Scientology’s roots in Dallas? Selfridge (PBS, 9 p.m.): But if you’d rather explore the dusty streets of 1919 London, turn to the third season premiere of Jeremy Piven’s favorite show starring Jeremy Piven.

The church characterizes the documentary as “one-sided, bigoted propaganda built on falsehoods.” Apart from some blurry dramatic re-creation and a few fanciful images to illustrate the church’s less advertised beliefs — its science fiction-style creation myth involving a galactic tyrant, a 75-million-year-old-world resembling 1950s America, overpopulation, tax audits, volcanoes, hydrogen bombs and the attachment of disembodied aliens to w human newborns — Gibney’s presentation is, given his hot topic, sensibly low-key. Zack Handlen will be on hand to parse through the wreckage, even if he can’t quite get on board with the spinoff’s official mandate to Fear The Walking Dead. iHeart Radio Music Festival (NBC, 8 p.m.): iHeart Radio promises two hours of the “year’s biggest acts,” which we KNOW is a lie because ZAYN WON’T BE THERE!!!!1 Killing Jesus (NGC, 8 p.m.): “A three-hour global television event” based on Bill O’Reilly’s book of the same name premieres on Palm Sunday, and if any part of that sounds appealing to you, goodbye and godspeed. Pontius Pilate (Stephen Moyer) and King Herod (Kelsey Grammer) begin to see Jesus as a rebel and political enemy. 9 P.M. (Fox) THE LAST MAN ON EARTH Todd (Mel Rodriguez) and Melissa (January Jones) continue their relationship, to the confusion of Phil (Will Forte). There is order and selection, of course — to say that this is storytelling is not to impugn its parts — but much of what he has to show you is remarkable in or out of this context.

According to The Dallas Morning News‘ archives, the first references to Scientology appeared in this newspaper on April 14, 1956: “New Church to Form Organization in Dallas.” The timing’s certainly right. NCAA Basketball: Regional Finals (CBS, 2:20/5:05 p.m.): Nothing against basketball, but we think we’d be 1000% more interested if we could have Abbi and Ilana providing commentary on the shorts situation. Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (FX, 6 p.m.): Hey, remember when there was one Pirates of the Caribbean starring Orlando Bloom with something resembling a personality, Keira Knightley rioting against corsets, and Johnny Depp as an actually fun character instead of a sentient pile of drunk dishrags? The eerie comfort of life in the Alexandria Safe Zone has an alienating effect on Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his group. 9:30 P.M. (ABC Family) HOME ALONE 2: LOST IN NEW YORK (1992) Kevin (Macaulay Culkin, left) is once again separated from his vacationing family in the holiday season when he boards the wrong flight.

The practice was to face bad memories (or “engrams”) to be rid of them, similar enough to other forms of self-help programs and, indeed, to psychiatry (Hubbard’s objections to the contrary). It’s also the year Scientology was granted tax-exempt status and first considered a religion by the Internal Revenue Service. (Going Clear, the book and movie, are determined to get that status tossed.) At the time members met at the downtown Dallas YMCA. When Marv (Daniel Stern) and Harry (Joe Pesci) see him on the street, they vow revenge for the pains Kevin inflicted upon them in the Chicago suburbs in the original “Home Alone,” and Kevin must once against devise an elaborate booby-trapped environment so he can evade them. At its conclusion, Hubbard says here, “an individual has erased his reactive mind, his unconscious mind is gone and he is totally alert and totally capable.” Scientology, which Hubbard created after Dianetics had run its course, added a many-step program that would bring a seeker to the state called “clear” — and, in the bargain, reveal to her or him the church’s intergalactic back story. And in short order, Scientology was deemed nothing more than the practice of “quacks,” per the Dallas Better Business Bureau; read the 1963 story below about Dianetics and other “menaces.” In 1969 — or, just four years after Lawrence Wright graduated from Woodrow — this paper even ran a highly critical series about Scientology.

Chris Columbus (“The Goonies,” “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”) directed the film, which was written by John Hughes (“The Breakfast Club,” “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”). “The return of Mr. It’s well-known that Hubbard started out as a writer of pulp fiction, including science fiction; but, notwithstanding his oft-repeated assertion that (as given here in the words of his unacknowledged second wife Sara Northrup) “the only way to make any real money was to have a religion, a religion where he could have an income and the government wouldn’t take it away from him in the form of taxes,” he seems to have truly believed that he had discovered a force for world-changing good. Even now it feels remarkably of-the-moment, explaining the E-meters and auditors at the heart of Wright and Gibney’s tale about a “religion” that turns its true believers’ confessions into the stuff of blackmail. And it too was built upon accounts offered by former members — the so-called “squirrels.” Later, in the 1970s, it operated out of the Mission of the Southwest Personal Expansion Center at 4303 N. More troubling, and the bulk of his case, is the testimony of former Scientologists, some of them high-ranked, some of them claiming inside knowledge.

Stern bring great gusto to their characters’ stupidity, to the point where they are far funnier just walking and talking than they are being hurt.” THE STAIRCASE The SundanceNow Doc Club is showing this serialized true crime documentary about the trial of Michael Peterson, whose wife, Kathleen, was found dead on the stairs in their home in North Carolina. Defenders of the faith will say that they are lying now when they say they were lying then, but they seem quite credible and composed to me — amazed at the people they’d been, astonished by what they couldn’t see, ashamed at their actions or inaction. The series was directed by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, who won an Oscar for best documentary for “Murder on a Sunday Morning,” also being shown here. (VOD) ALEC M.

Then it was off to Irving, where at-the-time Mayor Herb Gears welcomed David Miscavige and the Scientologists to “the heart of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex” with open arms, as you’ll see in a video that looks like an excerpt from Going Clear. His dad Don Wright “created Beautiful Dallas, led efforts to dredge White Rock Lake and was deeply involved in efforts to beautify roadsides with wildflowers,” for instance, per Bill Marvel’s story about the author.

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