HBO Doc Shines New Light on Scientology

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (8 p.m. Sunday, HBO), based on the book by Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright, looks to dispel rumors and drop some serious information about Scientology on the masses.

Mar 25, 2015 at 8:54 am
click to enlarge Going Clear
Going Clear

Religious freedom is part of the foundation of this country, and that right extends to faiths of all kinds — ones that our forefathers could have never imagined. But when does a doctrine cross the line from something new, secretive or odd into something more dangerous, sinister or even illegal?

The Church of Scientology, a religion created by sci-fi/self-help writer L. Ron Hubbard in 1952, is best known for its rumored oddities and high-profile members. An outsider’s perspective on the organization is likely to sound ripped from a celebrity gossip rag’s headlines, because that’s typically the source since there are not a lot of everyday members and it is so shrouded in secrecy. Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (8 p.m. Sunday, HBO), based on the book by Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright, looks to dispel rumors and drop some serious information about Scientology on the masses.

Filmmaker Alex Gibney talks to eight former members of the Church of Scientology, who reveal disturbing, exploitative and sometimes abusive practices they experienced, witnessed or even carried out as part of their time with the organization.

After the events in/resulting from HBO’s Robert Durst docu-series The Jinx, all eyes are on the network’s next intriguing documentary. 


Modern Family (9 p.m., ABC) – Claire does some spring cleaning at the house; Phil worries when he has trouble keeping up with Luke; Haley and Alex attend a music festival; Gloria and Jay agree to give up telenovelas and cigars, respectively; the Cameron-Señor Kaplan rivalry comes to a head at a faculty talent show.

Blackish (9:30 p.m., ABC) – Dre stresses over turning 40 while Bow and Ruby try to out-do each other with his gifts.

Workaholics (10 p.m., Comedy Central) – Blake and Ders hire an actor to help Adam snap out of his work slump. 

Big Time in Hollywood, FL (Series Premiere, 10:30 p.m., Comedy Central) – When adult brothers/wannabe filmmakers Jack (co-writer and -creator Alex Anfanger) and Ben (Lenny Jacobson) find themselves cut off from their parents, they come up with a scheme to regain financial dependence.


Saturday Night Live (11:30 p.m., NBC) – Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) hosts; George Ezra (aka cute-Brit-with-a-surprising-voice du jour) performs. 


The Walking Dead (Season Finale, 9 p.m., AMC) – Finally, an extended season finale! In this 90-minute Season Five closer, the Alexandrians voice their opinions on what should happen to Rick. Maggie pleads the group’s case while Carol threatens Pete. Of course, something much more dangerous lurks outside the community’s walls, as Daryl discovers.

Talking Dead moves to 10:30 p.m. with guests Norman Reedus (Daryl), Melissa McBride (Carol) and showrunner/finale writer Scott Gimple.

Neighbors with Benefits (10 p.m. Sunday, A&E) – People have opinions about this show! 


RuPaul’s Drag Race (9 p.m., Logo) – First, the queens recreate famous red carpet looks using paper. Then in the main challenge, they present The DESPY Awards — some will host, others will present awards and a lucky few nominees will win in categories like Sexy Sexy Drag Queen and Meatiest Tuck.

The Roast of Justin Bieber (10 p.m., Comedy Central) – It’s comforting to know that even when the nation is so polarized by politics and social issues, Americans can band together on one platform: the universal hatred of Justin Bieber. The youngest target in Comedy Central Roast history, Bieber ushered in his 21st birthday by going through a gauntlet of jokes and digs from roastmaster Kevin Hart, Martha Stewart, Snoop Dogg and more.

Better Call Saul (10 p.m., AMC) – When Mike’s particular set of skills is called into question, a deal threatens to go south. Elsewhere, Chuck pushes Jimmy to accept the brutal truth.


New Girl (9 p.m., Fox) – An adventure in sexting leads to Jess crashing a funeral; Schmidt’s mom (Nora Dunn) visits only to make him write thank-you notes for his bar mitzvah gifts; Winston falls for his partner, Aly (Nasim Pedrad).

Weird Loners (Series Premiere, 9:30 p.m., Fox) – If you’ve been waiting for a new comedy about quirky single friends bound by a common roof, you’re in luck!

CONTACT JAC KERN: [email protected] or @jackern