Tom Cruise in a scene from the documentary, Going Clear.
Tom Cruise in a scene from the documentary, Going Clear. Contributed

Why getting info from Scientologists is mission impossible

GOING Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is a devastating two-hour documentary, based on Lawrence Wright's book of the same name.

Scientology is laid bare in this a film, which skillfully knits archive footage, testimonials from former high ranking officials and dramatic reconstructions.

There is a code of silence enforced upon Scientologists as part of the religion, and that is why so many myths and misconceptions are wrapped around the church's public image.

It is also against the Scientology religion to co-operate with the demands of civil law or to "rat out" another Scientologist.

This is directly from the Scientology Ethics Codes Book.

"Suppressive acts" which are grounds for expulsion include: "Public disavowal of Scientology or Scientologists in good standing with Scientology Organisations, public statements against Scientology or Scientologists, testifying hostilely before State or public inquiries into Scientology to suppress it, reporting or threatening to report Scientology or Scientologists to civil authorities, and bringing civil suit against any Scientology organisation or Scientologist including the non-payment of bills or failure to refund."

It is notable that five former senior Church of Scientology executives have agreed to speak out about it in such a candid way.

The film also has explosive allegations about the role Hollywood actors John Travolta and Tom Cruise have played in the church, and how it has affected their personal lives.

It is true that this documentary paints a grim and sometimes creepy picture of the organisation.

The only flaw in this documentary is the fact that no current member of the church agreed to be part of it and defend it.

The film is a gripping, well-edited, nicely shot documentary that tries to explain the phenomenon that is the Church of Scientology.

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

Director: Alex Gibney

Stars: Lawrence Wright, Mike Rinder, Marty Rathbun

Reviewer: Javier Encalada

Rating: 4/5