AceShowbiz - Church of Scientology has responded to director Alex Gibney's claim that ex-Scientologists who appeared in HBO's documentary "Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief" received physical threats from the church. In a lengthy statement issued to TheWrap, a Scientology spokesperson denies that it made threats to anyone, including those former churchgoers who participated in Gibney's doc.
"Alex Gibney is proving to be exactly like the sources in his film-no accusation is too irresponsible to make. It doesn't matter if he lacks corroboration and proof, it's all about promoting his movie," the church hits back at the director. "Each and every one of the allegations in your questions is absolutely false and rejected. Alex Gibney is getting desperate and is now resorting to ludicrous, made-up claims. The Wrap should ask him for his proof."
Previously, Gibney told the site that "most of the real vitriol is for the people who were in the film. They've received threats of physical harm, threats of having their homes taken away, threats of being forced into bankruptcy. They're being followed by private eyes and surveilled."
In the doc, veteran Hollywood publicist Spanky Taylor said she wasn't allowed to leave of her own free will but eventually managed to escape a church building in Los Angeles with her infant child. Gibney said of Taylor, "I will tell you that the threats that have been visited on her have been particularly brutal." He added, "A major thing the church got by on for many years was intimidating people into silence, based on their threats of litigation and brutish psychological games."
Addressing the claims, the spokesperson for the church says, "First, there has not been one physical or financial threat of harm from the Church to anyone. These are more lies from the same admitted liars who Gibney glorifies in his film."
"Second, I have in my hands court records where Monique Rathbun stated under oath that she has no idea who sent those items to her at her office. She also conceded she had no evidence and had made the allegations against the Church without specific or direct evidence. In other words, court records contradict the accusation Alex Gibney made, which is exactly what he did during the entire making of this film - ignore facts and court records. There are countless more examples if you are interested."
"Finally, as for Spanky Taylor the Church has not made one threat against her. Again that is made-up garbage," the spokesperson continues. "What the Church has done is issued the truth on these individuals to counter-act their lies."
The statement also notes that Gibney "ran from any facts that got in the way of his preconceived story line and ignored all our efforts to communicate."
Among shocking allegations revealed in "Going Clear", which aired on Sunday night, March 29, on HBO, is that the Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard once took part in a black magic cult, when he assisted rocket and chemical engineer Jack Parsons who was a member of Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) to impregnate a goddess-like woman to create the anti-Christ.
The Church is also said to have directed members to get jobs in Department of Justice and IRS offices in order to steal documents against or relating to the Church. Meanwhile, filmmaker Paul Haggis left the church in 2009 after becoming its member for 30 years after he learnt how his two gay daughters were harassed by the church.