UK
20/02/2015 10:00 GMT

Scientology Documentary 'Going Clear' Is Really Winding Up Tom Cruise's Church

A new documentary that delves into the secretive world of Scientology has provoked a furious reaction from the church after making a number of startling claims.

'Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief' debuted at the Sundance Film Festival last month to a standing ovation and a new trailer appeared this week.

The documentary claims the organisation hoards millions of dollars of global real estate and is used by its high-profile members to take advantage of low-paid workers.

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In a piece for the Guardian, reviewer Brian Moylan, said: "Cruise is one of those who emerges from this the worst; [director, Alex] Gibney's film makes the claim that the actor’s reluctance to distance himself from the faith was the key factor in his split with Nicole Kidman.

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"Footage of Cruise from official church events and video is chopped and spliced to put him in as dubious a light as possible; the film also accuses him of using Scientologist workers paid 40 cents an hour to trick out his cars and houses."

The film is based on Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright's book and features interviews with eight former Scientology members.

After its debut the church released the following statement.

The Church has documented evidence that those featured in Gibney’s film regurgitating their stale, discredited allegations are admitted perjurers, admitted liars and professional anti-Scientologists whose living depends on the filing of false claims. All have been gone so long from the Church they know nothing of it today. Yet Gibney and HBO stonewalled more than a dozen requests by the Church to offer relevant information about them, with more than 25 individuals with firsthand information eager to speak. To this day, neither HBO nor Gibney can deny that they have yet to present the Church with a single allegation from the film so the Church may have an opportunity to respond. The Church never sought special treatment, only fair treatment.

'Going Clear' will be released Sunday, March 29 in the US.

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