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How Scientology Became an Unwitting Participant in Quirky Documentary ‘My Scientology Movie’

When BBC documentary host Louis Theroux set out to make his documentary

My Scientology Movie

, he initially intended to try to get the higher-ups behind the famously secretive religious organization to put themselves in a positive light. But he couldn’t gain access. So he set about filming recreations and that’s when the Church of Scientology did get involved: via letters from lawyers, accosting of key consultants, and even turning the cameras around to make their own documentary about Theroux. In that way, the organization squarely placed themselves within Theroux’s movie.

We did [the recreations] because we weren’t getting access,” director John Dower tells

IndieWire

. “And yet by them tailing us, confronting us, standing outside and filming us, sending us letters, it suddenly felt like we did have access with them — they had a voice in our film.”

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