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The Church of Scientology is not taking the "ignore it and it will go away" approach to Alex Gibney's new documentary about the church.
The church took out a full-page ad in today's New York Times, decrying Gibney's "Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief," which will have its world premiere Sunday, Jan. 25, at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.
"Is Alex Gibney's Upcoming HBO 'Documentary' a Rolling Stone/UVA Redux," read the headline on the ad suggesting that Gibney's documentary will be as journalistically suspect as Rolling Stone's recanted expose of sexual assault at the University of Virginia.
The Times' Michael Cieply neatly details Scientology's accusations and Gibney's responses. The church accuses Gibney of journalistic lapses, such as turning down the church's offers to respond to the movie's accusations. Gibney counters that he requested interviews with church leader David Miscavige and other prominent Scientologists but those requests were ignored, declined or had unreasonable conditions attached.
Gibney is a respected documentarian who has tackled chicanery in corporate life ("Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room"), sports ("The Armstrong Lie"), the Catholic church ("Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God") and the war on terror (the Oscar-winning "Taxi to the Dark Side"). The Church of Scientology may have just ensured his latest movie, set to air on HBO in March, will be a hot ticket at Sundance.