In the film, the Church of Scientology doesn’t give Theroux access to the key leaders or buildings themselves… That sounds like quite the obstacle for a documentarian, so Theroux does the next best thing: He hires actors to recreate well-documented scenes in Scientology’s history. All the while, the actual Church seems to be keeping tabs on him.
Theroux has worked with Michael Moore, and his projects have often focused on interesting subcultures — everything from the KKK to Westboro Baptist Church.
I spoke with him about Scientology’s version of “turn the other cheek,” the harassment that one key defector of the Church still has to put up with, and what one thing could hurt the Church the most.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the podcast. If you have any suggestions for people we should chat with, please leave them in the comments, too.