Bigotry & Hate = Threats & Violence, part 2
When a deranged individual drove her car through the front of the Church of Scientology in Austin, Texas, after having seen Alex Gibney’s Going Clear, Gibney and his co-producer were quick to try to distance themselves from this insane act of violence.
What makes their “don’t look at us” (see Bigotry & Hate = Threats & Violence, part one) responses even more disingenuous is that at the same time they claim they don’t endorse violence against the Church, they warmly embrace rather than distance themselves from sources who specialize in violent anti-Scientology rhetoric.
Case in point is Marc Headley, an embittered former staff member still seething with anger after being expelled when it was discovered he pocketed thousands of dollars from selling stolen Church equipment on eBay. Headley also still burns from the collapse of duel lawsuits he and his wife Claire filed, falsely claiming clergy abuse. A federal judge tossed them out as meritless, which was unanimously upheld on appeal, and the couple was ordered to pay the Church $42,000 in court costs for filing such a frivolous case.
Gibney thanks Headley in his film credits, even singling him out during the first screening at the Sundance Film Festival. Yet Gibney ignores that Headley’s angry self-published memoir was so filled with incendiary hate language that one individual admitted to law enforcement investigators that it inspired him to threaten sending an explosive device to the residence of the Church’s leader, to a Church and to a school, forcing an evacuation. Headley also has mocked the tragic accidental death of the daughter of a Church attorney with crude jokes, while also making sexually violent jokes about Church leaders.
Then there is another Gibney and Wright pal, Mike Rinder, who HBO and Gibney flew around the country in five-star luxury to promote Gibney’s movie. Expelled for chronic lies that included conspiring to secretly suborn perjury in a Church legal case, Rinder now shills for sleazy ambulance chasers who unsuccessfully harass the Church with frivolous, failed litigation.
As a fringe anti-Scientology blogger, Rinder permits anonymous individuals to post violent threats toward the Church, including one who recently advocated “public execution.”
Gibney’s and Wright’s silence about incidents of violent hate speech directed toward the Church speaks volumes. Their entire pseudo-documentary was so one-sided they ignored repeated requests from the Church for information about the content so it could fairly respond.
As reckless inciters of hate, Gibney and Wright want to have it both ways when it comes to the First Amendment. They evoke freedom of speech and expression when it recklessly promotes those who condemn, mock and even threaten people of faith. But they denigrate and mock those with religious beliefs, showing no respect for their Constitutional right to practice religion as they see fit.