A number of celebrities who defected from the Church of Scientology have praised the new HBO exposé Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, after the film made its cable debut Sunday night.
Oscar-winner Alex Gibney’s explosive new documentary details allegations of widespread physical and mental abuse within the church, including that it conspired to break up prominent adherent Tom Cruise’s marriage to Nicole Kidman, and that it blackmailed John Travolta into remaining a member.
“Thank you to the brave who did something about it,” former Scientologist and King of Queens star Leah Remini tweeted this week. “And to those who didn’t have a voice, you do now.”
Thank you to the brave who did something about it. And to those who didn't have a voice, you do now. #GoingClear
— Leah Remini (@LeahRemini) March 30, 2015
Singer Lisa Maria Presley added her support for the film, which Remini later re-tweeted:
Sometimes…The S##t hitting the fan is a damn nice sound;)
— Lisa Marie Presley (@LisaPresley) March 30, 2015
According to the Daily Mail, Remini left the church shortly before her daughter reached “induction” age.
The film has made waves since its premiere Sunday night. Some of the most damning allegations made by the documentary include that the church keeps a “black PR package” on John Travolta that contains potentially embarrassing material taken from the actor’s auditing sessions, and that the church maintained a run-down pair of trailers called “The Hole” in which it punished dissenters.
The film also calls into question the Church’s nonprofit tax-exempt status, detailing an alleged agreement made by the Church and the IRS in which Scientology agreed to withdraw thousands of individual lawsuits filed by its members in exchange for a nonprofit designation from the agency. The IRS granted the Church nonprofit status in 1993.
Other celebrities took to Twitter this week to share their reactions to the film:
— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) March 30, 2015
#goingclear is a terrifying look at the fallibility of the human mind. "To find yourself, think for yourself."- Socrates
— Kristen Bell (@IMKristenBell) March 30, 2015
Unsurprisingly, the Church has relentlessly attacked both Gibney and HBO over the “credibility” of the film. Earlier this year, the organization took out full-page advertisements in the New York Times and other media outlets criticizing the network for refusing to gather input from Scientology for the film. The Church also created a Twitter account, FreedomMediaEthics, that has doggedly attacked both Gibney and HBO since the film’s Sundance premiere in January.
Additionally, Gibney claimed that the Church has threatened violence against the former Scientologists who appear in the film.
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is available now on HBO Go and HBO On Demand.