Scientology Mounts Vicious New Smear Campaign Against Its HBO Enemies - 2015-01-27
Hell hath no fury like the Church of Scientology scorned. Following the premiere of an HBO documentary that depicts the church as a secretive, vindictive cult, the embattled institution responded with what amounts to more than 15,000 words of potentially defamatory mudslinging.
No sooner had HBO's Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief come to a close at the Sundance Film Festival Sunday night than a torrent of ad hominem attacks against the eight ex-members who appeared in the film (as well as a handful of other vocal critics) began to appear in Freedom, a magazine published by the church. Assigning each target a crude nickname, the publication attempted to undercut their credibility through a series of character assassinations, which we've excerpted below. The outburst comes less than two weeks after the church took out a more level-headed full-page ad in The New York Times to denounce the film, which was adapted by filmmaker Alex Gibney from Lawrence Wright's 2013 book.