Dear HBOIf You Get Specific
We Will Refute Your Allegations
Read how Alex Gibney avoided the Church for more than two years in making his film rather than be up front by giving it a fair opportunity to respond to his allegations. “As we understand it, you have been working on it for approximately two years, which is why it is inexcusable to only now contact the Church with a disingenuous request to respond to unspecified allegations from anonymous sources,” wrote a Church spokesperson.
November 14, 2014
Dear Mr. Gibney:
We would like to know when you began working on this documentary. As we understand it, you have been working on it for approximately two years, which is why it is inexcusable to only now contact the Church with a disingenuous request to respond to unspecified allegations from anonymous sources.
Secondly, please inform us about all of the source material you have reviewed in preparation for your documentary. As you know, the Church prepared and shared numerous materials in relation to Lawrence Wright’s article in the New Yorker and his subsequent book, which include:
- the fact-check responses showing hundreds of errors in Wright’s research;
- the correspondence with Wright and Random House pre- and post-publication of the book;
- a white paper sent to the publisher;
- the website lawrencewrightgoingclear.com, which contains some of the corrections to the errors in Wright’s book;
- the Church’s postings online regarding Wright’s article and book.
The materials contradict many of the incorrect statements that Wright included in his book. Please list out what you have read of the above materials, if any. If the materials are unavailable to you, we will promptly provide them.
If we do not hear from you in providing a list of materials you have reviewed we will take that as confirmation that you have reviewed each and every document and will not later claim to be uninformed about the Church and your sources.
As for your letter and statements:
“For your information, my film focuses on a group of individuals who were once members of Scientology and have since left the church.”
Please list them out exactly. We know about this self-proclaimed “posse” of lunatics that has been spreading the same stale lies and myths about the Church in an orchestrated campaign for five years. They are littered throughout Wright’s book. We have many materials that demonstrate these witnesses are utterly unreliable and frequently change their stories over time. You have an obligation to tell your audience about the uncontroverted facts affecting these sources’ credibility. The same goes with the new sources you claim you have—please provide their names and allow us to respond.
“Various questions have been raised about the administration of the church,”
We cannot answer ambiguous charges. Please provide specific allegations, per your journalistic duties.
Your sources are unqualified and know nothing about the Church today given most of them were dismissed by the Church a decade or more ago.
“I believe that some of these questions can be answered only by David Miscavige.”
Give us the questions and we will determine who can answer them. It is impossible that only Mr. Miscavige can answer them. In fact, it’s a ridiculous assertion. Please provide the questions and the Church will provide timely responses.
In closing, we have voluminous information for you that, pursuant to legal and journalistic standards, you are obligated to review. Your purposeful avoidance of evidence that undermines harmful allegations may subject you to a defamation claim.
I await your response.