‘My Scientology Movie’: Louis Theroux’s Revealing Expose, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief review, Trial ordered for firm accused of requiring cult-like acts ‘Onionhead’ ruled a religion

October 6, 2016 Comments Off on ‘My Scientology Movie’: Louis Theroux’s Revealing Expose, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief review, Trial ordered for firm accused of requiring cult-like acts ‘Onionhead’ ruled a religion

– ‘My Scientology Movie’: Louis Theroux’s Revealing Expose On The Cult of Scientology
– My Scientology Movie review: Louis Theroux’s giddy, Pythonesque jab in the ribs
– Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief review: ‘an ocean of weirdness’
– Trial ordered for firm accused of requiring cult-like acts
– ‘Onionhead’ ruled a religion in Syosset discrimination case

‘My Scientology Movie’: Louis Theroux’s Revealing Expose On The Cult of Scientology
Kristine Moore  October 4, 2016

It may seem rather damning to categorically point to one religion and refer to it as a cult, but if the trailer and interviews for Louis Theroux’s My Scientology Movie are anything to go by, Theroux has bravely revealed just what lengths Scientologists will go to in order to keep the media out of their lives and the public from knowing the truth about their organization.

Louis’s new film comes off the back of his recent documentary on Jimmy Savile, which aired on October 2 on the BBC. Theroux has always managed to elicit truth in the candidates he interviews, drawing them in and making them feel comfortable enough to speak honestly….

Theroux spent three years learning about Scientology before embarking upon My Scientology Movie. Scientologists, however, were not pleased when they discovered that they would be the target of his newest documentary. They are reported to have followed him around on the road wherever he went, shown up uninvited during filming, and even, rather amusingly, turned the cameras back at him by filming him while he was filming them.

In one interview, Louis seemed genuinely perplexed that anybody would be so critical of a documentary. After all, he said, if you disagreed with the Catholic Church over their cover-up of abuse, priests didn’t just turn up at your house unannounced and begin filming you. So why did Scientologists do this?

“One of the fascinating things about Scientology is that they fight back. It’s not like other churches – you know, Christianity, you think of turning the other cheek – well that idea doesn’t exist in Scientology, as far as I know. In fact, they believe that if you’re under attack as a Scientologist, you have a license to destroy that person.”….

My Scientology Movie review: Louis Theroux’s giddy, Pythonesque jab in the ribs
By Tim Robey, Film Critic  4 October 2016

Louis Theroux versus the Church of Scientology. It’s a near-irresistible contest: the very face of deadpan scepticism, up against that many-headed hydra of indecipherable rage.

My Scientology Movie is the second documentary on the subject in recent months, following Alex Gibney’s more thorough and methodical Going Clear….

His efforts in Los Angeles to speak to their current membership meet with stony refusal, so only the apostates come forward: figures such as Marty Rathbun, former “Mister Fixit” of the organisation, and now Public Enemy No. 1, as far as the church and its much-feared leader, David Miscavige, are concerned….

Naturally lacking face-time with Miscavige or Tom Cruise – probably the world’s two most notorious Scientologists, with all due respect to Travolta – Theroux comes up with the neat gambit of auditioning various jobbing actors to play them both. Key public statements are read out, in what amount to screen-tests for a film Theroux and director John Dower don’t even end up making: the tests themselves do the job.

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief review: ‘an ocean of weirdness’ 
Tim Robey 26 June 2015
Alex Gibney’s Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief has also faced massive legal obstacles to even achieving a release. Though the film is heavily based on a pre-existing book, by the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lawrence Wright, the Church of Scientology has devoted every shred of zeal its legal team can summon to prevent what it sees as an inaccurate and distorted account from being made public. In the UK, especially, largely thanks to the unreformed libel laws of Northern Ireland and Scotland, distributors have had a nightmare getting it okayed….

Gibney is too serious and analytical a filmmaker merely to turn this into a gawping session. He methodically takes us back to Scientology’s roots, laying down a potted biography of founder-philosopher L. Ron Hubbard….

Segueing from prolific pulp science-fiction writing to the Fifties Dianetics movement was the first step to setting up the Church of Scientology in 1953, which gave Hubbard much-cherished tax exemption; the movement’s repeated success in fending off the IRS, combined with burgeoning income from its members, gave it real financial muscle and reach into society across the world….

the very heart of a movement founded on selling fear – Hubbard would say the banishment of fear, but the trick of Scientology, as the film presents it, has always been to keep its members active and paying by keeping them afraid….

Trial ordered for firm accused of requiring cult-like acts
October 5, 2016
By The Associated Press

NEW YORK – (AP) — A federal judge in New York City has ruled that a Long Island firm that provides discount medical plans must face a discrimination trial after workers said they were forced to pray, chant and participate in spiritual interpersonal workshops…..

The judge says the program, known as “Onionhead,” used an approach that amounted to a religion.

The judge says workers described a cult-like environment with religious ceremonies that included burning incense to cleanse the workplace and dimming lights to prevent demons from entering.

An attorney for the firm says there’s no proof workers were required to participate in Onionhead activities.

‘Onionhead’ ruled a religion in Syosset discrimination case
October 4, 2016   By John Riley

A Brooklyn federal judge has ruled that a Syosset health care business will have to face a discrimination trial for allegedly forcing workers to pray, chant and participate in spiritual interpersonal workshops known as “Onionhead” and “Harnessing Happiness.”

U.S. District Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto said the program — represented by a logo with an anthropomorphic onion — amounted to a religion….

Former Boy Scout sues Mormon church for sexual abuse, Going Clear Scientology documentary

March 24, 2015 Comments Off on Former Boy Scout sues Mormon church for sexual abuse, Going Clear Scientology documentary

LDS Church: No tolerance for sex abuse in scouting
By Scott Zamost and Kyra Phillips, CNN
Mon March 23, 2015

Former Boy Scout sues Mormon church for sexual abuse

(CNN) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is the largest sponsor of Boy Scout troops in the United States, says the church has strong measures in place to prevent the sexual abuse of scouts, as claims have been made it hasn’t done enough.

In the first interview about allegations of abuse in Mormon church-sponsored scouting troops, Church Elder L. Whitney Clayton told CNN that the church is at the forefront for prevention of child abuse….

Over several months, CNN examined allegations of abuse that were detailed in at least five lawsuits filed against the church and the scouts.

But Clayton said the church today is proactive, even constructing its buildings “in such a way as to try to avoid any situation where child abuse could occur.”….

The scoutmaster, Vance Hein, had been forced in resign from scouting in the early 1990s after reports surfaced that he failed to report a fellow scoutmaster who was engaged in homosexual activities. That scoutmaster ended up going to prison for sexual assaults on minors.

Hein’s name was added to the Boy Scouts of America’s ineligible volunteer files, which are widely known as the “perversion files.” The documents, which were made public in 2012, are lists of scout leaders suspected of sexual abuse or homosexual activity.

However, three years after being kicked out of scouting, Hein was allowed to rejoin the scouts after getting letters of recommendation attesting to his character. One of those letters was from Hein’s influential Mormon Bishop Jack Moyer, who wrote that Hein was “highly respected and liked.”….

But in a deposition taken as part of the lawsuit last year, he acknowledged that he would not have written the letter knowing what he later found out about Hein.

The lawsuit charged that Hein “actively groomed young boys under his charge for later sexual molestation.” Hein eventually was convicted of molesting Novak. He is now in prison for violating probation in the Novak case….

Going Clear is a ‘must-see’ Scientology documentary
Owen Gleiberman  20 March 2015

….Working with rare footage, Gibney burrows into the enigma of Scientology’s founder, L Ron Hubbard, capturing glints of delusion and megalomania. Hubbard‘s rise began in the 1930s, and he quickly became an astoundingly prolific science-fiction writer. But then in 1950 he published Dianetics, the perpetual bestseller in which he helped invent the principles of the therapeutic ‘self-help’ books that grew hugely popular by the 1970s. In Scientology, he wrapped these ideas around a theological core of interplanetary gibberish that could have come straight out of one his pulp novels. Going Clear captures how Hubbard fused reality, fantasy and the pursuit of enlightenment in a way that, according to the film’s witnesses, expressed his own highly unstable and even violent nature – at one point Gibney shows how Hubbard even told his wife that one of their children had died, just to manipulate her. Hubbard wound up a sea-faring outlaw on the run from US tax officials, and in Going Clear he emerges as a broken dictator who founded a religion based on control because he was so desperate to control his own demons.

Hubbard constructed Scientology around a ritual known as the ‘audit’, which is like a conventional therapy session fused with a Catholic confession and a visit to Room 101 in Orwell’s 1984. A member sits down and digs into their secrets and private traumas, as the auditor asks questions and takes notes, recording the subject’s responses on an ‘E-meter’, a gadget invented by Hubbard. Haggis, a Scientologist for 35 years before his highly publicised break with the Church in 2009, tells us how incredibly good an audit session could make him feel, as if he’d purged himself of all his toxins. Gibney suggests Hubbard’s method of healing was really just a superficial take on Freudian therapy, a comparison that Hubbard scorned – though only after his techniques had been rejected as rubbish by legitimate psychiatrists. Going Clear, however, suggests a dramatic difference between auditing and traditional therapy: it claims that the Church of Scientology holds on to the notes from the sessions and uses them to blackmail its members into staying….

Gibney interviews a handful of high-level Scientology officers who left the Church and are now willing to denounce it. Marty Rathbun, who spent years as Miscavige’s right-hand man, was at the very centre of the citadel, and his testimony has an unsettling authority. He alleges that Miscavige, in actions worthy of the Khmer Rouge, subjected his loyal officials to rituals of abuse, making them ‘confess’ to imagined crimes and assaulting them if they didn’t comply. The astounding thing is that when the victims were given the chance to exit this torture program, none of them did. They thought they deserved to be punished….

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