Scientology Responds to Hollywood Reporter

A letter from the Church of Scientology to The Hollywood Reporter addresses some of the biggest claims of the upcoming documentary.

The Church of Scientology has responded to Alex Gibney’s documentary Going Clear in a letter to The Hollywood Reporter.

They begin by saying:

“In two hours this film racks up more falsehoods, errors, embellished tales and blatant omissions than were committed by Rolling Stone, Brian Williams and Bill O’Reilly combined. By our calculation, the film on average includes at least one major error every two minutes.”

The Hollywood Reporter wrote a series of questions about the film which Scientology’s spokesperson, Karin Pouw addressed in the letter. She writes:

“The false allegations in Gibney’s film are reflected in each of the questions you ask,” Pouw writes. “Those questions bear no relationship to L. Ron Hubbard or to the Scientology religion. Rather than provide a response to each of these questions, which are part of Gibney’s propaganda, I am going to take up the sources of these allegations so you understand their motivations to spread hatred, religious bigotry and lies. We are not trying to discredit these people. It is simply that Mr. Gibney is miscrediting them.”

The church has been fighting back against the alleged claims in the documentary, based on Lawrence Wright’s 2013 book Going Clear with newspaper ads, videos, and a special section on their Freedom Magazine site.

Pouw also addresses Wright, saying he is jealous of the Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s success:

“Lawrence Wright is obviously suffering from an acute case of jealousy of Mr. Hubbard,” Pouw writes, “and thus has tried to slander him out of spite.”

The letter to The Hollywood Reporter can be read in full here.

Going Clear opened in theaters in limited release today and will air on HBO March 29.

It’s not very often that a religion dialogues with a movie studio or director regarding a film. The last instance that comes to mind is Mel Gibson’s The Passion of The Christ, which garnered a response from the Vatican. With Going Clear‘s HBO debut date still several weeks off, it’s a safe bet that we’ll be seeing continued and highly charged defensive and offensive banter from both sides until the documentary airs nationwide.

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