My Scientology Movie by Louis Theroux: 'I felt like I'd been blooded' - 2015-10-14
I've always been fascinated by Scientology – intrigued by its status as a 20th-century religion (founded by a colourful, self-mythologising science-fiction writer), and oddly beguiled by its glossy promotional videos. It's an unlikely combination of religion, science, spirituality and a Fortune 500 corporation. Leaving ethical questions to one side, there is something wonderfully American about an organisation that uses the business model of McDonald's to sell enlightenment and salvation. True believers of Scientology seem to know with utmost certainty that they have found the answer to the deepest riddles of all time – they may or may not be right, but that kind of self-belief is very appealing.
The church is a gold-plated example of something I've tried to make a central theme in my documentaries: well-meaning people making decisions that might look bizarre to the outsider, but making them for very relatable human reasons.