By now, if you’re like me and have a hookup for HBO GO (Thanks Kuba) or subscribe to the channel through the old timey method of actually paying for cable, you’ve probably seen “Going Clear”, the Anti-Scientology Documentary recently put together by filmmaker Alex Gibney. Last night, the channel aired the piece that they hired a small army of lawyers to sign off on beforehand and predictably, the film elicited universal praise from critics of the cult.
Not bad criticism from a man who was accused of rape during the early stages of his career.
Though the piece presents a dark and thought provoking look at one of the biggest mass frauds ever perpetuated on gullible and vulnerable members of the American public, I couldn’t help but feel like a few things were left out. Had they been included, the piece would have had a more powerful impact in my own opinion. Below are just a few examples of Scientology evil that should have made it into the film. Be warned, deeply disturbing content follows in this post.
1. Scientology once plotted the framing of a Florida Mayor
Ever hear of Gabe Cazares? My guess is you haven’t. This former Democratic politician once ran the City of Clearwater in the Sunshine State. According to his obituary that was published in the Tampa Bay times, the man was a force for the disadvantaged, and a fierce critic of the great racket started by hack writer and noted homophobe L Ron. Hubbard. So much so that during their expansion into his town in the 70’s, the cult considered carrying out an attempt to frame the man for a hit and run, all because he dared to criticize them and their disturbing methods. Thankfully, Mr. Cazares eventually sued the cult and received an out of court settlement.
2. Shelly Miscavige has been missing, for a very long period of time
In “Going Clear”, Gibney and several of the Ex-Scientologists interviewed don’t speak fondly of David Miscavige, the de-facto leader of the organization. Throughout the two hour expose, they paint the man as a brutal and sadistic psychopath who uses the power of the organization for his own ends. The one thing they don’t focus on, his wife Shelly. Disturbingly, she hasn’t made a public appearance since 2006. Some have speculated she’s in the Scientology Jail known as “The Hole”, and others have cared enough to file reports with the LAPD concerning her whereabouts. When they recently looked into her location, the investigation was closed. Though in my opinion, that was likely due to the group’s connections with powerful law enforcement officials.
3. Remember Lisa McPherson?
Well, I’d hoped that you would. In that case, a bit of a refresher is needed on her tragic story. You see, Ms. McPherson was a young woman from Florida who dabbled in Scientology and also suffered from some mental issues. In November of 95, she was involved in an automobile accident. Though doctors at the local hospital determined she was physically fine, they recommended she undergo psychiatric evaluation (The industry is to Scientology what the Taliban is for many Americans). In response, her Scientology handlers pulled her out of the hospital and treated her themselves. She died in their care on December 5th, 1995. Since then, she has become a poster child for those who have had loved ones lives ruined by the evil cult.
4. They bribe police officers to secure a lock on power
Here’s one for you that’s been buried on the web. In the United Kingdom (Where people were once charged a per-minute fee when calling the police) in 2006, the Croydon Guardian reported on gifts doled out to London Police Department, including free tickets to the premiere of Mission Impossible 3 and free use of a $5000 dollar per night jazz band. I wonder how up in arms we’d be in this country if the Catholic Church or an Islamic denomination tried something similar.
5. Finally, this last one is so disturbing I decided to just share the video
Bottom line is this; “Going Clear” is an exemplary documentary and expose of one of the most evil organizations in American History. But, this look at the Glamorized Mafia doesn’t go far enough. I urge you Mr. Gibney, make a follow-up. And dig even deeper. We need you to.