Talk about must-see television. In 2013, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright, unleashed his new non-fiction book, “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief”. What a gutsy move, I thought at the time. The Church of Scientology is notorious for starting legal proceedings against just about anyone that challenges the legitimacy of their “religion”. In fact, I personally know a lawyer that has been involved in at least one of these cases. Publicly calling Scientology a “cult” or a “sham”, was a dangerous claim to make. But having read Mr. Wright’s lauded, “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11”, I knew I had to absorb “Going Clear” too. And with a big focus on A-list movie star Scientologists like Tom Cruise and John Travolta, it was really a no-brainer. And what a completely “can’t put down” fascinating read! Now this.
On March 29th, HBO will premiere the documentary “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief”, written and directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker (“Taxi to the Dark Side”, 2007 Documentary Feature), Alex Gibney. And despite the omission of the word “Hollywood” being carried over from the book’s title, I understand that among other recognizable faces, that there is an extended section of the movie regarding Mr. Tom Cruise–a high-ranking “official” of the L. Ron Hubbard-originated “belief system”. This promises to be very good stuff, and the reviews, so far, have been exemplary. Will this broadcast expose of the alleged abuse of church members, and the highly questionable “methods” employed by its leadership, drive a big nail into the fading star of Mr. Cruise’s career? He’s one of the biggest Hollywood giants of my lifetime, and it should be very interesting to see how this plays out. Expect a review of “Going Clear” here on the blog soon. I can hardly stand the wait!