“Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief" is a new documentary by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney about the controversial Church of Scientology.
The movie will premiere on HBO on March 29, notes Salon.com, but the trailer (video below) has recently been released.
While the documentary has received strong reviews, the Church of Scientology bought full-page ads in The New York Times and Los Angeles Times to claim that the film was rife with lies.
Last month at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, the movie premiere was under police protection, noted the Associated Press.
In the film, Gibney interviewed former Scientology believers and executives who claim that the church is a cult that manipulates, intimidates and tortures people.
Paul Haggis, director of the Academy Award-winning movie "Crash" and former Scientologist, claims in the film that he made it to the advanced levels of the church, which taught him that founder L. Ron Hubbard believed that a space creature named Xenu dropped frozen bodies into volcanoes, and the spirits of those bodies have attached themselves to present day humans.
Scientology allegedly requires its members to rid themselves of the spirits in order to achieve a level called "clear."
The film also includes parts about famous members such as John Travolta and Tom Cruise.
However, the Church of Scientology said in a statement to People:
"Despite repeated requests over three months, Mr. Gibney and HBO refused to provide the Church with any of the allegations in the film so it could respond. They also refused to speak with any of the 25 Church representatives, former spouses and children of their sources who flew to New York to meet and provide them with firsthand knowledge regarding assertions made in Mr. Wright’s book and presumably in Mr. Gibney's film. Their sources are the usual collection of obsessive, disgruntled former Church members kicked out as long as 30 years ago for malfeasance, who have a documented history of making up lies about the Church for money."
However, Gibney says the church refused interviews.