Scientology has been covered at length and then some at this point. We know about the hole, about Shelly Miscavage, Sea Org, squirrel busters, the whole LRH nine yards. So it begs the question of what new information a new Scientology doc could possibly being to the table and if that doc is holy necessary.
Well, it’s hard for me to tell specifically when Louis Theroux’s doc was made vs. say, Going Clear. It looks like it was made before Going Clear but released after that movie, so My Scientology Movie feels newer even though its technically older. But it’s a more fresh take too, equally condemning the religion while poking fun at it. It’s like Therou realized everyone knows Scientology is a joke at this point and that now we can finally have some fun with it. Thank goodness.
But there’s also a new side about Scientology to this doc we haven’t seen before. The fact that some of the top Scientologists, who’ve appeared in every doc or series about the religion since, still seem to have a sort of liking of David Miscavage. That even though they despite him and hate him for all the abuse he’s caused, they all kind of hope for some situation where they will find themselves friends with Miscavage again, like he’ll realize one day that the whole thing is a sham and come out and say he’s been a fool and reunite with his old pals. It’s like complaining about the popular kids at school, you hate them so much and talk about them at length that you secretly wish you were one of them.
If Theroux’s documentary contributes anything, its by giving a deeper look at the now former Scientologists and their true personalities, how they interact off camera and how they actually present themselves to others. If anything, this is the documentary about the anti-Scientology media, both an affirmation of their courage and a depiction of their personal flaws and failures. Its hilarious and biting and while it pales in importance to say Going Clear, it finally allows us to laugh at this whole stupid thing. Perhaps that’s most important after all.