Documentary Film Review Louis Theroux My Scientology Movie

Photo taken by me – The Footage pub sign, Manchester
Preston, England
November 9, 2017 3:08am CST
Louis Theroux is one of Britain’s best investigative journalists, the UK’s answer to Michael Moore, but less confrontational. Theroux often joins controversial communities, allowing the members to get to now him and open up to him. He often coincides that while the beliefs and practice of the groups are often strange or even highly disagreeable, individual members are often still good, decent, if sometimes deluded people. A few prove to be outright monsters though. Theroux’s exceptional shows have included studies of the US porn-movie industry, race-hatred group infiltration, survivalist organizations and The Westboro Baptist Church. He has also stayed in some of America’s maximum security prison and mental health institution, and made extensive studies of British celebrities, including his stay over with now rightly disgraced DJ Jimmy Saville (Theroux even came close to exposing Saville’s later posthumously revealed paedophile practices). Theroux had wanted to make a film about the Scientology Movement for some time, but his calls to leader David Miscavige were ignored and suppressed, while many warned Theroux how litigatious and aggressive Scientology would be towards him. Theroux hit on a rather radical idea, filming actors reconstructing the scenes he might expect to see, had he been given access to the kind of areas he had hoped to reach. He was not going to pass the faked film documentary off as the real deal – he had the very making of the film within a film filmed too. Even high ranking Scientologist Tom Cruise is played, very well, by an actor. Theroux gained support from some ex-Scientologists, especially Marty Rathbun, who had been one of the senior discipline enforcers of the movement, often second in command only to Miscavidge until he left the movement leaving his wife and daughter behind. As the filming progresses, Theroux runs into two problems. Rathbun becomes rather reluctant to answer challenges as to how much of the brutality and discipline of the movement he wa personally responsible for. He later denounced Theroux as tricking him into being involved in many scene he had not wished to support. At one point, he accuses Theroux of trying to establish hi own cult after the actors are seen workshopping an intense and highly realistic group brainwashing sequence. The second problem is the inevitable backlash from the scientologists who turn up following Theroux around on foot and by car and denounce him for involving Rathbun, a well as pointing their own cameras at Theroux. Far from intimidated by their disruptions, Theroux welcome them, after all, his aim is to reach through the fakery to see the real scientology and by their preens, the ect I making that Herculean labour rather easy. Theroux simply has his cameras pointed at the Scientology cameramen and asks them who they are and what they want to know. It presents some extraordinary Mexican stand-offs, with Theroux winning each one. An impressive, brave documentary that captures a sense of farce and absurdity about scientology as much as its tragic and sinister side. The Scientologists have only themselves to blame for not being brave enough to just let Theroux make the film he wanted to make with their co-operation from the outset. Arthur Chappell
7 people like this
6 responses
@JohnRoberts (63303)
• Los Angeles, California
9 Nov
The Scientologists have been controversial for decades. Former member Leah Remini has a popular expose series on them.
4 people like this
• Preston, England
9 Nov
@JohnRoberts I have een some of her shows on Youtube - they are very good
3 people like this
@LadyDuck (177199)
• Switzerland
9 Nov
I have always been curious to know more about Scientology. Like every sect, I am sure it is dangerous. This film should be interesting to see.
3 people like this
• Preston, England
9 Nov
@LadyDuck it is a very good introduction to the subject
3 people like this
@LadyDuck (177199)
• Switzerland
9 Nov
@arthurchappell I am going to search for this movie.
3 people like this
@teamfreak16 (41526)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
9 Nov
Don't they view Tom Cruise as the savior? I've heard that somewhere.
3 people like this
@tzwrites (4954)
• Romania
9 Nov
I am shocked but also intrigued by the whole Scientology thing. I think it's even more disturbing than we can imagine.
3 people like this
• Preston, England
9 Nov
@tzwrites they are a very scary dangerous organization
2 people like this
@Fleura (7197)
• United Kingdom
9 Nov
That sounds interesting and bizarre - like its subject matter. Of course scientology was invented as a joke in the first place!
2 people like this
• Preston, England
9 Nov
@Fleura I think Hubbard was serious about Dianetics / Scientology as a money making venture at least
2 people like this
@m_audrey6788 (15366)
• Philippines
9 Nov
Oh my! Too much to handle as viewers can be younger
2 people like this