What is Alex Gibney Hiding from Sydney about his film?
Like Alex in Wonderland, Mr. Gibney headed down the same rabbit hole Rolling Stone magazine found itself trapped in with its University of Virginia debacle—when it came to his film Going Clear:
- Letter after letter poured into Alex Gibney’s office day after day. All made one simple request: A fair opportunity for the Church of Scientology to respond to allegations Gibney was planning to make in his film Going Clear. But all of the correspondence ended up in Gibney’s dead letters file, arrogantly ignored because two years earlier when he launched his film he had already decided it would be a one-sided anti-religious hatchet job.
- Anything from the Church that factually contradicted this premise was ignored. Gibney would not so much as tell the Church any of his allegations or who had gone on camera to make them.
- But then HBO attorneys stated that if the Church had individuals relevant to the sources in the film – who, of course, they refused to name – that they should make them available as soon as possible. So the Church found itself in the middle of an absurd guessing game in which it was being asked to speculate on who was saying what, no doubt because Gibney didn’t want anyone to know he was merely recycling discredited sources used in Lawrence Wright’s book.
- Even though HBO’s lawyers had asked the Church to produce relevant individuals, Gibney chose to shun 25 of them who traveled to New York expressly to see him. All had direct first-hand knowledge of Gibney’s exact sources given they were their children, ex-spouses and former co-workers. But Gibney was loathe to hear the truth from those who know best about the phony, made-up allegations in his film spun by his discredited sources. He had already created the propaganda film he wanted. A UVA Redux.