AceShowbiz - The Church of Scientology didn't stay silent when HBO's documentary "Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief", detailing shocking things about the church, caused a buzz. After the pic made headlines following its premiere on Sunday night, January 26 at Sundance Film Festival, the church released a statement to defend itself.
"As we stated in our New York Times ad on Jan. 16, Alex Gibney's film is Rolling Stone/University of Virginia redux," reps for the church say of the doc based on a non-fiction book written by Lawrence Wright. "Despite repeated requests over three months, Mr. Gibney and HBO refused to provide the Church with any of the allegations in the film so it could respond."
The statement continues, "They also refused to speak with any of the 25 Church representatives, former spouses and children of their sources who flew to New York to meet and provide them with firsthand knowledge regarding assertions made in Mr. Wright's book and presumably in Mr. Gibney's film. Their sources are the usual collection of obsessive, disgruntled former Church members kicked out as long as 30 years ago for malfeasance, who have a documented history of making up lies about the Church for money."
Hitting back at the movie, they call the documentary "false information." The reps add, "The Church is committed to free speech. However, free speech is not a free pass to broadcast or publish false information. We invite you to view our complete statement, correspondence and documented facts at freedommag.org/hbo."
Previously, it was reported that in "Going Clear", former Scientologist Mark "Marty" Rathbun revealed the church split up %cTom Cruise% and %cNicole Kidman%. The church was also alleged of mistreating its members and in some cases physically abusing them as well as threatening and harassing those who leave the faith.
The film, which was directed and written by Alex Gibney, will air on Monday, March 16 on HBO.