Scientology Documentary 'Going Clear:' All the Juicy Bits for Those Who Haven't Seen It Yet!

HBO's riveting expose on Scientology, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, which premiered Sunday night, offered the most riveting, intimate, and comprehensive account of the religion/cult we've seen thus far. The documentary was created by Alex Gibney, a former Scientologist, featured interviews with key former members of the group, and even went into depth about Tom Cruise and John Travolta's involvement with Scientology. These 13 unbelievable revelations from the documentary will shock you.


1. According to the wife of Scientology's founder and guru L. Ron Hubbard, he was FAR from an ideal husband. At one point, she says he hit her on the side of the head with a .45 handgun because she was smiling in her sleep and, later, abducted their daughter, took her to Cuba—where he allowed a mentally challenged mother and daughter to raise her—and called his wife to tell her he had killed their child and chopped her up into pieces.

2. Hubbard once wrote a letter to the Veteran's Administration, begging for psychiatric help because he suspected he was going crazy. Rumor has it he took psychiatric drugs.

3. John Travolta, one of Scientology's most famous members, reportedly tried to leave the group at one point and a team was immediately put to work researching his audit files to compile the most "damning" revelations they could so that they could hold them over his head and force him to stay.

4. In exchange for his loyalty, Scientologists protected Travolta by taking legal action against everyone who claimed he was a homosexual in the tabloids. According to Scientologists, homosexuality is a disease that must be cured through the auditing process.

5. People pay hundreds of thousands of dollars before they even find out about the "religious" aspect of Scientology. At first, they must pay for each audit they complete until they achieve a level where they are then given secret documents handwritten by Hubbard about "Xenu." All of their auditing sessions are recorded, something former Scientologists say is a form a blackmail that keeps them shamed into staying in Scientology.

6. Speaking of "Xenu," here is a brief version of the story they read after paying a great sum of money for the privilege: Xenu was the leader of the Galactic Confederacy galaxy that existed 75 million years ago, which included Earth. In order to stop overpopulation, he sent millions of people to Earth in a spaceship, where they were then placed on top of volcanoes and blown up using hydrogen bombs. Their dead souls are stuck inside and outside of our bodies and auditing helps "kill" them off.

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7. People who were invited to work in Scientology's Sea Organization agreed to do so for pennies each day. They scrubbed and fixed Hubbard's ship.

8. Sea org members were discouraged from having children and/or told to have abortions because children were seen as a hindrance to their cause.

9. Those sea organization members who did have children were separated from them. Children were placed in a group called the Cadet Organization so that their parents wouldn't be distracted and could focus on the Scientology mission. One woman said she went to pick up her young daughter from the Cadets and found her burning with a fever and covered in fruit flies and her own feces, which promoted her to escape Scientology.

10. Scientology members who were perceived as a threat, for whatever reason, were physically beaten and tortured.

11. When Tom Cruise married Nicole Kidman, she was immediately labeled a "suppressive person" because her father was a well known psychologist in Australia and she posed a threat to Tom's involvement with Scientology. Group members admitted they were told to try and break them up.

12. Scientologists were also instructed to turn Kidman's adopted kids against her so that Cruise would receive sole custody of them after their divorce.

13. After Cruise and Kidman broke up, the actor expressed how lonely he felt to members of the group. In response, they enlisted a young Scientologist named Nazanin Boniadi—an actress who would later appear in Homeland—to become Tom's girlfriend. They gave her a makeover so that she looked like Tom's type of girl and everything. But when Boniadi found out there were other women being considered for Cruise while she was with him, she became upset, which prompted Scientologists to pull her from the house where she lived with Cruise and basically "erase" any memory of her having lived there.

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13. Members of Scientology are told to "disconnect" from anyone who leaves the group, whether than means their friends, husband or own children.

What do you find most shocking about Scientology?


Image via Martin Poulter/Flickr

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