When British-American journalist Louis Theroux (The Most Hated Family in America) set out to make a film about Scientology, he quickly realized that he would not be granted what he regarded as the necessary amount of access to church members. So instead, he and director John Dower decided to stage reenactments of alleged Scientology training techniques and of an incident in which it is the church’s leader, David Miscavige, reportedly lost his temper with subordinates.
The resulting film, My Scientology Movie, details both the creation of these elaborate stagings and what Theroux and Dower claim to be the church’s intense monitoring of their activities.
“The first interaction was letters that said they knew what we were doing,” Theroux told EW earlier this year, when My Scientology Movie played at the Tribeca Film Festival. “The second thing was, we visited the base, and they came out and began filming us, saying we were trespassing. A day or two after that, when we were shooting [in a studio], this woman and a cameraman turned up, filmed us from across the road. And it was around then that Marty (Rathbun, ex-church member) said, ‘Actually, I’m pretty sure I’ve identified a private investigator as well.’ And then, after that, it became that any time we filmed, we had the feeling that we were being followed.”
You can see the new trailer for My Scientology Movie, above.