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savinhill
Mar 28, 2010


Allyn posted:

"This film should be made about Christianity" kinda rings hollow when Mea Maxima Culpa exists



Catholic, christian, muslim, etc. organized religion bashing films are pretty much an established film genre at this point. You would have to willfully put blinders on to not have encountered any.

And regardless of whatever anyone thinks of it's quality as a documentary film, its awesome that it was made and shown on a network as big as HBO after how long and how bad people who've criticized Scientology have been hosed with over the years.

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Allyn
Sep 4, 2007

I love Charlie from Busted!

savinhill posted:

Catholic, christian, muslim, etc. organized religion bashing films are pretty much an established film genre at this point. You would have to willfully put blinders on to not have encountered any.

Yeah but I think both he meant Gibney specifically. I certainly did :shobon:

savinhill
Mar 28, 2010


Allyn posted:

Yeah but I think both he meant Gibney specifically. I certainly did :shobon:

I wasn't really aiming the comment at you, I was adding to your point. I didn't know he was talking about that director in particular, I thought he meant in general. Still, a director shouldn't have to address every religion just to make a doc bashing one.

Animal-Mother
Feb 14, 2012

RABBIT RABBIT
RABBIT RABBIT

The most amazing thing for me was just how corny, gaudy, and obviously bullshit the trappings of the big Scientology award shows were. It looked like a Fox News studio had a baby with a televangelism broadcast.

Madurai
Jun 26, 2012



You could almost see Cruise riding on the knife edge of panic in some of those interview clips, the ones where he's laughing.

Viginti
Feb 1, 2015


My point was less about the comparative evils of different religions and more about the one track mindset of the documentary. Gibney rushes his products sometimes and that seems the case here, he skims the surface and takes the easy punches, never really addressing anything new. He basically makes animated Wikipedia articles at this point, which is fine but not too inspiring. God Willing from a few years back I found a much more fascinating look at this kind of thing, wiping the minds of the weak and vulnerable. Prophet's Prey coming out later this year also looks good, dealing with the last religion it was cool to hate one; but Amy Berg and Nick Cave are names that pull me better than Gibney. I did mean to read the book last year as that seemed a more interesting take, I can believe that it might deliver more of what wanted from this.

(Off-topic Warning)

As you say there are plenty of religious people and organizations who do good acts and I can't believe that Scientology has absolutely none of these to its name. The squirrel busters seem to be equivalent to the Westboro Baptists, or a lesser Islamic hate group. There are extremists here certainly and malpractices, enough of both to require an investigation and enough to warrant staying away from the people, which seems easy enough to me. It's hard to have sympathy or outrage for people volunteering to be in bad situations; terms like 'slave labour' seem overwrought and almost offensive given that the 'slaves' here have the option to just go get another job outside the organization. Meanwhile, there are countries that don't make their religions optional, whose laws are not a choice you make. Call me when Miscevitch is President, then i'll join the xenu-phobic fear mob and help kick the dead horse.

Viginti fucked around with this message at 21:35 on Mar 31, 2015

Animal-Mother
Feb 14, 2012

RABBIT RABBIT
RABBIT RABBIT

Viginti posted:

It's hard to have sympathy or outrage for people volunteering to be in bad situations; terms like 'slave labour' seem overwrought and almost offensive given that the 'slaves' here have the option to just go get another job outside the organization.

Yes, they could just leave. And get harassed for years on end, stalked, slandered, separated from their families, driven to suicide, thrown into the ocean, or possibly kidnapped and murdered. It's a mafia. But instead of being based on old Sicilian notions of tribal loyalty, it's based on a crazy man's sci-fi stories.

Viginti
Feb 1, 2015


Animal-Mother posted:

Yes, they could just leave. And get harassed for years on end, stalked, slandered, separated from their families, driven to suicide, thrown into the ocean, or possibly kidnapped and murdered. It's a mafia. But instead of being based on old Sicilian notions of tribal loyalty, it's based on a crazy man's sci-fi stories.

Well that there is part of my issue with the documentary being the way it was; there are the Scientology propaganda pieces that are deluded and fantastical in their presentation of the organization and then there are attack pieces like this on the other pole (though admittedly this isn't the complete opposite, it had some objective sections) and i'm yet to see a truly even-keeled look at the group, free from sensationalizing and agenda. For every ex-member that has a horror story there has to be a hundred that simply signed out and never heard from the cult again apart from the occasional email for money, ala those I still get from Obama and Spotify, but we don't hear those stories, just like we don't hear the stories of the people who do get something small out of the teachings or community, like we do whenever there is an attack on an accepted religion.

If we're speaking of naivety, it's naive to believe that this institution has the power to pester everyone that leaves its ranks in the way that they do the few high-profile members that quit. I find those tales to be troubling like everyone else, the stalking - unlike The Hole, or being Tom Cruise's girlfriend - is forced upon unwilling people and is genuinely a terrible thing, but it seems the exception and not the rule. If i went down, signed up for Thetan 101 then bailed after a week no-one would stalk me because it would be a waste of resources that they simply don't have with only 50k members. These small-scale stories are the ones we don't hear (the mother and her son were given a fraction of the time the others were, and she was the only one), the everyday reality of the religion, and if it turns out that every single members story is the same then that is scarier, but i'm yet to see any objective evidence of that fact.

Overall I just think that its a troubling practice, as a documentary maker, to only interview one side of the issue. If you only speak to the people who were recently ousted from the seat of power then you're going to get a bitter, negative depiction. I understand that given the Omerta code and media-savy nature of the organization you're not going to get many current members on tape, but something was needed to temper this bias.

Animal-Mother
Feb 14, 2012

RABBIT RABBIT
RABBIT RABBIT

La Cosa Nostra doesn't bother people that only signed up for thumb-breaking 101 either, you silly person.

Steve Yun
Aug 7, 2003

I
ANALYZE
CARTOONS


Soiled Meat

Viginti posted:

Overall I just think that its a troubling practice, as a documentary maker, to only interview one side of the issue

Steve Yun
Aug 7, 2003

I
ANALYZE
CARTOONS


Soiled Meat

Viginti posted:

If we're speaking of naivety, it's naive to believe that this institution has the power to pester everyone that leaves its ranks in the way that they do the few high-profile members that quit. I find those tales to be troubling like everyone else, the stalking - unlike The Hole, or being Tom Cruise's girlfriend - is forced upon unwilling people and is genuinely a terrible thing, but it seems the exception and not the rule.
Sure, people who were former higher-ups get more stalking than others.

quote:

If i went down, signed up for Thetan 101 then bailed after a week no-one would stalk me because it would be a waste of resources that they simply don't have with only 50k members.
I realize this is an anecdote, but a friend of mine visited a Scientology center as a joke and pretended to be interested, and they wouldn't stop calling and mailing and emailing him for a year to try to get him to come back. They even reached him with contact info he didn't give them.

The REAL Goobusters
Apr 25, 2008
EATING ASMONGOLDS ASS ONE POST AT A TIME


The thing about this documentary that some of are you saying doesn't go through new information: for a lot of normal people not in the know (and its a lot) this is all mind blowing to them. My dad called me up after I told him to watch it and he was in disbelief. A lot of people really don't know even the basics of Scientology or the poo poo they've done. They just know Tom Cruise and Travolta are a bit crazy.

spankmeister
Jun 15, 2008








Yesterday I finished The Jinx and it's amazing. The existence of the train wreck that is All Good Things is completely justified solely by being the catalyst for establishing this series.

If you do intend to watch this documentary, don't Google Robert Durst, lest ye be spoiled the ending.

Viginti
Feb 1, 2015


The REAL Goobusters posted:

The thing about this documentary that some of are you saying doesn't go through new information: for a lot of normal people not in the know (and its a lot) this is all mind blowing to them. My dad called me up after I told him to watch it and he was in disbelief. A lot of people really don't know even the basics of Scientology or the poo poo they've done. They just know Tom Cruise and Travolta are a bit crazy.

That's really what Gibney does well, animating Wikipedia articles, documentary as textbook. It's just that given the hype and festival acclaim I thought maybe he had stumbled onto something better than a Today Tonight story. I mean, anyone besides the Chaser whose work uses clips from Today Tonight should question what they're doing.

The REAL Goobusters
Apr 25, 2008
EATING ASMONGOLDS ASS ONE POST AT A TIME


Yeah I don't know the only footage I recognized was that Tom Cruise interview video. To me at least, maybe I'm just less informed but a lot of it was new and very crazy to me.

UltimoDragonQuest
Oct 5, 2011




Going Clear is a huge disappointment compared to the book. They should have dropped the subtitle since they put so little effort into the prison of belief aspect. The stuff done to control behavior is much less interesting than people who are genuinely dedicated and don't want to flee from labor camps.

Tuxedo Jack
Sep 11, 2001

Hey Ma, who's that band I like? Oh yeah, Hall & Oates.


I consider myself relatively knowledgeable about the subject, and I enjoyed it. I convinced a bunch of coworkers who were not familiar with Scientology to watch it, and they felt that the first 20 minutes or so wasn't introduced very well, but they all, to a person, enjoyed it overall, and learned something.

One guy has the book on order already, the others are googling more.

It isn't a great documentary, but it's still an important one, especially as a primer to the subject matter.

Kull the Conqueror
Apr 8, 2006



spankmeister posted:

Yesterday I finished The Jinx and it's amazing. The existence of the train wreck that is All Good Things is completely justified solely by being the catalyst for establishing this series.

If you do intend to watch this documentary, don't Google Robert Durst, lest ye be spoiled the ending.

I've been so jazzed about it since blowing through it this past weekend. It's a thrilling documentary. I think Jarecki n' crew really walk straight up to the edge of documentary ethics, and it's going to be hard to determine how I feel about it all until we see whether or not it fucks up any future trials.

HUNDU THE BEAST GOD
Sep 14, 2007

everything is yours


It's a fine tradition, going back to The Thin Blue Line.

whiter than a Wilco show
Mar 30, 2011

by FactsAreUseless


Viginti posted:

Eh, I was pretty disappointed with Going Clear. It was a bit of a mess structurally, a blatantly biased attack piece and overall a bit puerile. I'm not, nor have I ever considered, being a xenutoligist but I do find the hatred towards them to be problematic, every single accusation made in this film could and should also be made about Catholicism, Christianity, Islam, any of the 'accepted' religions really. I was hoping that Gibney would get beyond the shocking tabloid stories and shiny celebrity cameos to look more at the psychology under-riding these cults and religions, to use scientology as a single example of a larger phenomena but it never really tried to do that, or to tread new ground in general. Given all the hype I had hoped that they would take a less simplistic view than the usual 'This poo poo's weird!' but alas, that's what you get from Four-films-a-year Gibney.

On the other hand, the music was cool. Just enough of The Master in there, very alien and upsetting. Might try to find an OST.

So, what's it like being unable to reach orgasm without being savagely beaten by David Miscavige?

Viginti
Feb 1, 2015


Infotainment! posted:

So, what's it like being unable to reach orgasm without being savagely beaten by David Miscavige?

You know, you're totally right. The only way I could have found some flaws in this anti-Scientology film is by being a devout member. You caught me.

We also really were wrong to attack anyone that didn't hold our exact same views rather than enter a discussion with them. It's a good thing that this is a trait exclusive to us scientoligists, imagine a world where everyone was that reactive to disagreements over unimportant details.

As an AT3 I'm very interested in levels and I wonder what the next level is here; will you be contacting my family to let them know that by disagreeing with the dogma around this film I've made myself a Subversive Poster and that they should distance themselves?

whiter than a Wilco show
Mar 30, 2011

by FactsAreUseless


Your arguments are absolutely moronic.

"This documentary on pol pot is totally one sided and anyway heaps of other dictators did the same poo poo. Where's the documentaries criticising them"?!?!

You being a devout scientologist is the most flattering reading possible.

Mahoning
Feb 3, 2007


Viginti posted:

You know, you're totally right. The only way I could have found some flaws in this anti-Scientology film is by being a devout member. You caught me.

We also really were wrong to attack anyone that didn't hold our exact same views rather than enter a discussion with them. It's a good thing that this is a trait exclusive to us scientoligists, imagine a world where everyone was that reactive to disagreements over unimportant details.

As an AT3 I'm very interested in levels and I wonder what the next level is here; will you be contacting my family to let them know that by disagreeing with the dogma around this film I've made myself a Subversive Poster and that they should distance themselves?

Haha quit being a little bitch. Your over the top hyperbolic "review" of the doc deserves you being mocked. You literally said that every claim made against Scientology could and should be made about Christianity and Islam. In the very next post I named like 5 of the biggest systematic crimes of Scientology that aren't perpetuated by Christianity or Islam except perhaps in very isolated insignificant instances (and that's giving your dumb opinion the benefit of the doubt).

Spiderjelly
Aug 22, 2006

Sign of evil.


Scientology doco on youtube at the present moment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX2VvT0Xq-M

marktheando
Nov 4, 2006



Why isn't this about Christianity or Islam? Because it is about Scientology. Criticise the film for what it is, not what it isn't.

And I thought I was pretty well informed about Scientology, but there's a lot in that documentary that still shocked me, like the physical abuse from the space Pope himself and the saga of Tom Cruise's girlfriend.

Cocoa Ninja
Mar 3, 2007


Re: Going Clear

There's no question that between Miscavige and L. Ron the latter is the more interesting character. Pulp sci-fi writer, lying navy captain, member of an explicit satanic cult?! The way that these threads of his life formed the lexicon and ethos of Scientology was hands-down the most interesting part of the movie. As he descends into madness and he starts sampling his own product we get a great snapshot of his charisma and the mindset of those closest to him (the members of "Sea Org.") The interviews with former members was an interesting enough framing device and addresses the common concern of why good, smart people are so gullible.

Miscavige brings none of the interesting background. Indoctrinated from youth he's just an rear end in a top hat, and from the way he wages private war on perceived traitors to the direct physical abuse it all feels very one-note. While certainly his reign provides the most actionable evidence against Scientology in the year 2015, it was dramatically inert for me. I could've lost the whole last half-hour of the movie and been satisfied.

I think ultimately Going Clear does exactly what it intends it clarifies the history of Scientology and its obvious opportunism, provides a modicum of sympathy for the victims and even L Ron Hubbard, and suggests a clear call to action regarding the group's tax-exempt status. But from an emotional or aesthetic standpoint it doesn't move the needle for me. Glad I saw it, could recommend it to those with some interest in the subject, but otherwise it was average.

Mahoning
Feb 3, 2007


I'd recommend Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies to anyone interested in the history of cancer treatment or where we're at now. It just aired on PBS in three 2-hour parts. It's produced by Ken Burns and based on a book of the same name.

tudabee
Jan 1, 2007

How many times must I remind you to WASH YOUR HANDS?



Mahoning posted:

I'd recommend Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies to anyone interested in the history of cancer treatment or where we're at now. It just aired on PBS in three 2-hour parts. It's produced by Ken Burns and based on a book of the same name.

Seconded. Here is a link to part I: http://video.pbs.org/video/2365450686/

All of them have their tough parts (since it's, you know, cancer), but man part III's part on palliative care kind of left me a wreck. Still a great watch, but man, gently caress cancer.

Periodiko
Jan 30, 2005
Uh.

Cocoa Ninja posted:

Re: Going Clear

There's no question that between Miscavige and L. Ron the latter is the more interesting character. Pulp sci-fi writer, lying navy captain, member of an explicit satanic cult?! The way that these threads of his life formed the lexicon and ethos of Scientology was hands-down the most interesting part of the movie. As he descends into madness and he starts sampling his own product we get a great snapshot of his charisma and the mindset of those closest to him (the members of "Sea Org.") The interviews with former members was an interesting enough framing device and addresses the common concern of why good, smart people are so gullible.

Miscavige brings none of the interesting background. Indoctrinated from youth he's just an rear end in a top hat, and from the way he wages private war on perceived traitors to the direct physical abuse it all feels very one-note. While certainly his reign provides the most actionable evidence against Scientology in the year 2015, it was dramatically inert for me. I could've lost the whole last half-hour of the movie and been satisfied.

I thought that duality of the two church heads was really interesting and compelling. L. Ron cultivates this avuncular public persona and seems genuinely mentally ill, a man who went to live in a sci-fi universe of his own creation. He definitely comes across as a bad guy, with the abuse of his wife and scientologists, but then there's the details like him pointing up at the sky and narrating the universe to Sea Org members, or his letter asking for help from the VA, or when he basically tries to commit suicide by having that man build an electrocution machine, which humanize him and make him seem pathetic and tragic.

David Miscavige is terrifying because he just comes across as a power obsessed, intelligent psychopath. There's no looking up at the sky, no moments of vulnerability. He's just accumulating power and dominating people, and literally psychologically torturing co-workers and subordinates. But on top of that, he's effective. He got the church tax-exempt status, he's overseeing their billion-dollar assets, he's micromanaging Tom Cruise's life, he's having people personally destroyed for tiny personal slights. This is all this man does, there's no Navy career, no sci-fi career, no satanic cults, he's been in Scientology basically his entire life.

L. Ron Hubbard seems crazy and unstable and dangerous, but Miscavige seems stable and dangerous. As a villain, I think Miscavige is far more frightening than L. Ron, and since that part of the documentary is when they really start bringing out the physical abuse and mental torture stories, I feel like there's a compelling shift in tone.

Periodiko fucked around with this message at 03:02 on Apr 4, 2015

Tim Whatley
Mar 28, 2010



I'm sure it's been discussed heavily in this thread but The Overnighters is on Netflix and that was a motherfucker of a documentary.

Jonas Albrecht
Jun 7, 2012




Tim Whatley posted:

I'm sure it's been discussed heavily in this thread but The Overnighters is on Netflix and that was a motherfucker of a documentary.

What's the gist of it?

theacox
Jun 8, 2010

You can't be serious.


Jonas Albrecht posted:

What's the gist of it?

A church takes in oil workers who have moved to the area for work and fights against the locals for acceptance and then HOLY gently caress AT THE END


edit: Imagine Fargo with a dirty secret

theacox fucked around with this message at 02:46 on Apr 5, 2015

Tim Whatley
Mar 28, 2010



theacox posted:

A church takes in oil workers who have moved to the area for work and fights against the locals for acceptance and then HOLY gently caress AT THE END


edit: Imagine Fargo with a dirty secret

This. The third act was loving nuts.

Ropes4u
May 2, 2009



theacox posted:

A church takes in oil workers who have moved to the area for work and fights against the locals for acceptance and then HOLY gently caress AT THE END


edit: Imagine Fargo with a dirty secret

It's a bit WTF? But people...

Orkin Mang
Nov 1, 2007

by FactsAreUseless


Mahoning posted:

Haha quit being a little bitch. Your over the top hyperbolic "review" of the doc deserves you being mocked. You literally said that every claim made against Scientology could and should be made about Christianity and Islam. In the very next post I named like 5 of the biggest systematic crimes of Scientology that aren't perpetuated by Christianity or Islam except perhaps in very isolated insignificant instances (and that's giving your dumb opinion the benefit of the doubt).

hm i dont think u realise that the man youre responding to is a venerable scholar of all the worlds religions & their histories.

(USER WAS PUT ON PROBATION FOR THIS POST)

SaltyJesus
Jun 2, 2011

Arf!


I just watched The Overnighters. So the big twist is that he cheated on his wife, and he's gay? Here's a man making good the pillars of his faith, compassion and charity, but oh no! he also made some fairly trivial moral failings, that casts the whole thing in an entirely different light!

E: I don't mean that as a commentary on the film, which I think is good. I don't presume to know what was the director's authorial intent for including that twist. I can see how it might have been meant as an "everybody is hiding something" parallel etc. but most reviews online are treating it as this movie redefining twist which is ridiculous.

SaltyJesus fucked around with this message at 15:22 on Apr 5, 2015

Baron Bifford
May 24, 2006
Probation
Can't post for 2038 days!


Going Clear is doing brilliantly and I wonder if this is finally the beginning of the end for Scientology.

spankmeister
Jun 15, 2008








Baron Bifford posted:

Going Clear is doing brilliantly and I wonder if this is finally the beginning of the end for Scientology.

lol nah

HUNDU THE BEAST GOD
Sep 14, 2007

everything is yours


Baron Bifford posted:

Going Clear is doing brilliantly and I wonder if this is finally the beginning of the end for Scientology.

You wish. Money talks.

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Baron Bifford
May 24, 2006
Probation
Can't post for 2038 days!


Scientology may be slowly dying already. I hear their membership has dropped below 30,000.

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