6 insane ways the Church of Scientology has tried to silence its critics - 2015-03-15
The HBO documentary Going Clear, an investigation inside the Church of Scientology, premieres on March 29. Unsurprisingly, the organization refused to cooperate with the film's directors. Sheila Nevins, president of HBO Documentary Films told the Hollywood Reporter that the network had 160 lawyers look at the film due to fears of backlash from the church (which some consider a cult). Her concern is well-founded given that Scientology has always used fear tactics to squash critics.
The Church's modus operandi stems from a policy called "fair game," which states: An enemy of Scientology, referred to as a suppressive person (SP), "may be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed."
Back in the day before the Internet publicized the secrets of Planet Xenu, Scientology relied on lawsuits to intimidate its detractors. Between 1991 and 1996, John Travolta's religion filed more than 50 lawsuits against the Cult Awareness Network (CAN),eventually forcing it into bankruptcy. The Church then bought its name and assets in bankruptcy proceedings and used CAN as the title of an unrelated organization.