Tony Ortega svarer på et interessant spørsmål fra journalisten Maria Bustillos: ‘Going Clear’ fallout: Imagining the fate of Scientology and David Miscavige
Maria Bustillos contacted us recently, telling us that she was working on a review of Alex Gibney’s film Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, and she wanted to ask us a question, which turned out to be quite good.
We were familiar with Maria’s work because of a story she did at The Awl in 2011 lauding the work of Los Angeles Times reporters Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos, who wrote about Scientology in a number of stories in the 1980s, culminating in a huge series in 1990. She also referred to earlier work done by Pulitzer-prize winners Charles Stafford and Bette Orsini at the St. Petersburg Times.
Maria’s point was that there were great and brave journalists who had done much of the heavy lifting before Lawrence Wright came along in 2011 with his massive story on Paul Haggis in The New Yorker. That point is well taken, and here in the Underground Bunker we have tried to give credit to brave journalists where it is due, going back to the likes of Paulette Cooper, for example. (Ahem, shameless plug.)
Anyway, here’s the question that Maria asked us: “The film is so damning of David Miscavige that it’s difficult to believe that there won’t be repercussions for him. Can you speculate as to how a succession might be managed?”
Wow. Great question. We decided it deserved a full and lengthy reply, some of which Maria generously excerpted for her story. But we thought you might want to see the entire thing, including our disclaimers and qualifiers. So dig in. We’re sure to hear some interesting responses.