Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Going Clear: Scientology Subjects That Didn’t Make Tonight’s HBO Documentary


Alex Gibney would have had to make a mini series about Scientology to cover their 60 years of scandal and crap. As it is, did a great job with “Going Clear,” which airs tonight on HBO at 9pm Eastern. Don’t miss it.

But what’s left out? Plenty. Let’s start with actress Anne Archer from “Fatal Attraction,” married to writer Terry Jastrow. They’re lifelong members. Anne’s mother was Danny Thomas’s TV wife, Marjorie Lord, who’s 96 years old. Archer and Jastrow are right in the center of Scientology’s Hollywood hook ups.

Archer’s son from her first marriage, Tommy Davis, was Scientology’s celebrity wrangler for years, and Tom Cruise’s other bff in the organization other than David Miscavige. Davis was a zealot, and knows where every body is buried (maybe literally).

But after dozens of public appearances where he threatened opponents, Davis has been ‘disappeared.’ He married Jessica Feshbach, the daughter of huge Scientology donors, and also the monitor who was glued to Katie Holmes’s side when Tom Cruise first wooed and kept her away from family and friends. Feshbach literally spoke for Holmes during this period. She and Davis are said to be back in Los Angeles but no one can say what’s happened to them.

Also not in the documentary: Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece of Scientology leader David Miscavige. She escaped from the cult, and has been a vocal critic.There’s also the story of Shelly Miscavige, David’s wife, “missing” for years from being seen in public. Last year, under pressure, the cult produced her briefly to say she was ok and not being held hostage. No one believed it.

There are other family members of ex-leaders of the cult who’ve left and turned critical including L. Ron Hubbard’s family, and Karen de la Carriere, the ex-wife of another Scientology leader Hebert Jentzsch. Her adult son died mysteriously, and she says the cult has never given her an explanation. She wasn’t allowed to see him when he was ill, or after he died.

There’s also no mention of Scientology’s 1991 lawsuits against Time Magazine and Reader’s Digest over Richard Behar’s now famous take down piece called “The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power.” It took a decade for the magazines to fully shut down Scientology’s ceaseless attempts to prove libel. The case went to the Supreme Court, which wisely decided not hear the case to reinstate the lawsuits after they’d been dismissed by lower courts.

And there’s not much mention of the many lawsuits Scientology had to settle out of court. The most infamous one was over the death of Lisa McPherson, who died under their care in 1995 from a pulmonary embolism. The death was ruled negligent homicide. The cult was indicted on two felony charges, but then the state medical examiner changed his mind and said the cause of death was “accidental.” McPherson’s family settled a civil suit with Scientology in 2004.

There’s tons more. But by the time you’ve watched “Going Clear” and read just a few adjunct articles, you’ll be so depressed and angry that you won’t want to hear anymore.




Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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