British journalist and TV personality Louis Theroux managed to fulfil his long held dream of making a documentary about Scientologists when his film, My Scientology Movie, debuted at the London Film Festival last year.
However, despite the film being well received critically, no clips or footage of the film appeared online and it’s not been widely screened.
But, thankfully, a clip has just been released by Entertainment Weekly to celebrate the movie’s inclusion in the Tribeca Film Festival, The Independent reports.
In the tense clip, Louis comes face to face with a member of the secretive church and they’re definitely not happy to see him.
“You’re trespassing,” shouts Catherine, some kind of guard dog for the Scientologists, “Are you so stupid you cannot see the sign that says road closed? Is there anything you don’t understand about this? Closed? Do you know what a road is?”
Theroux, being a reasonable human being, offers to show Catherine that he has a permit to be there, but he’d have more luck trying to convince water not to be wet, and the obstinate Scientologist gets in her car, leaving the BBC journalist outside to be filmed by her crew.
In a statement alongside the clip, Theroux said:
More than 10 years ago, I approached the church to see if they might let me in to make a documentary.Advertisement
I thought I might be able to bring a sense of nuance and perspective to people’s understanding of a faith that has been much ridiculed. Just as I have done with other non-mainstream stories, I hoped to see it from the inside and make a human connection with its clerics and congregants. But I was repeatedly turned down.
Unfortunately, during the documentary Louis was never invited into the church’s main complex, although he did stage re-enactments.
Not that the church cared, and Louis believes that the controversial group tried to scare him off making the doc.
In the course of making my film I came to believe I was being tailed by private investigators, someone in Clearwater, Florida [Scientology’s spiritual home] attempted to hack my emails, we were filmed covertly, I also had the police called on me more than once, not to mention a blizzard of legal letters from Scientology lawyers.Advertisement
And yet, despite this, Louis claims that ‘at every step [he] remained open to Scientology’s good points and tried to see it for what it is: a system of belief that is not so different from other religion’.
Good on you, Louis!