GOING CLEAR – 3 Emmy Awards – what was wrong with the book and movie


“GOING CLEAR and the Prison of Belief” the book by Lawrence Wright
and the triple Emmy Award winning HBO Movie by Alex Gibney.

The book and HBO special by the same name did a fantastic job at showing by living examples just how evil scientology really is, and it does so in a manner that people on the street with no background or knowledge can grasp.

There is one issue I have with this otherwise superb effort, – it leaves out


and seems to dismiss further understanding by calling it “BELIEF.”

This brings to mind a song by Dire Straits, from their Brothers in Arms album, titled:
“The Man is Too Strong”…

“I have legalised robbery
Called it a belief
I have run with the money
And hid like a thief
I have re-written history
With my armies and my crooks
Invented memories
I did burn all the books”

One old friend was targeted by scientology for the crime of being my supporter. He just happened to be walking by his television set one day August of 1995 with CNN playing, and he recognized a man he used to know who worked across the hallway from him when he was in scientology in 1971.


See youtube of raid here:

He watched a story about a man that was getting raided by scientology for putting their secrets upon the internet.  That was this author.. writing the words for you now, in what became a famous court case:

RTC vs Arnaldo Lerma, Digital Gateway, Richard Leiby, Mark Fisher, & The Washington post were named as defendants.

Judge Brinkema eventually opined:

29 Nov 1995 “”the Court is now convinced that the primary motivation of RTC [$cientology] in suing Lerma, DGS and The Post is to stifle criticism of Scientology in general and to harass its critics.”

and this one from the final memorandum opinion, a Judicial Opinion that the Scientologists even moved to have SEALED! (the sealing order was soon lifted)

” Scientologists believe that most human problems can be traced to lingering spirits of an extraterrestrial people massacred by their ruler, Xenu, over 75 million years ago. These spirits attach themselves by “clusters” to individuals in the contemporary world, causing spiritual harm and negatively influencing the lives of their hosts “


Read some of the voluminous media about this lawsuit that made the cover of American University’s Law Magazine, “The Jurist” and the cover of December 1995 edition of Wired Magazine, and NY Newsday and the The Washington Post and the New York Times..
New York Times..

More by Arnie Lerma about the raid in an interview with Tory Christman on her wonderful youtube channel. LINK

The document that I posted had already appeared on the internet anonymously, by a nick using the moniker “Scamizdat”. A close of friend of mine, and ex-member, Joe Harrington, admitted on his death bed that he was scamizdat and had posted it anonymously through Johan Helsingus’s anon.pentit.fi anonymous remailer. (See last comment on John Harrington memorial page LINK)

Scientology nicks repeatedly would claim that the document was a “forgery” but I knew it was real because I’d seen it when I was in scientology.


The use of secret initiatory levels helps to trap a member by giving the member hope…

Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never is, but always to be blessed:
The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
– Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man

Members of scientology are tricked into imagining something so amazing, so incredible, so stupendous – something big enough in their minds to justify enduring all the rigamarole and constant financial exploitation to just arrive at the secret level.

I had seen this pattern, as a child, being introduced to the “big secret” by the friendly pedophile “Bill” who lived next door. So perhaps I did have an axe to grind about secrets used for exploitation.

I believed that to expose this level and using a copy of an unsealed public court document that had this data as an exhibit, I could end scientology’s claim that it was a ‘forgery’.

I succeeded beyond my wildest dreams,(note3) when a decade later watched the same material be presented to kids all over the world in the “In the Closet” episode of Comedy Central’s South Park cartoon series.


southpark-xenu MORE here

I knew that if people knew what was on these levels they would lose the magic power of the big SECRET.


Mr Mark Plummer posted an interesting little booklet today containing an interview with the President of Scientology. The fact scientology does bad things was dismissed by claiming that because the (mainstream churches) did bad things in their beginnings, it is no big deal scientology does some bad things. See images HERE

Mr Lawrence Wrights’s book(*) and the Alex Gibney’s Emmy Award winning HBO adaptation describe the bad things scientology does in convincing detail, leaving do doubt of the evil.

However, to confine examination and discussion within certain acceptable limits is a method of information control, described by Noam Chomsky. You encouarge a lively discussion but avoid certain prohibited topics….(*note2) This is actually part of Scientology’s “RELIGIOUS CLOAKING DEFENSE” the true story of which (READ THIS) is at odds with the “Founded in 1954” story that is widely propagated. Scientology cloaks itself in religion to avoid conviction under US laws as a fraud. Note: It has been convicted of fraud twice in France!

The recent expose leaves how it works, to one word… they merely call it belief.


The fact is, the ‘religiosity’ was only invoked in 1969 as a legal maneuver in the FDA vs the E-meter(note2a)  Federal Case before the FDA!

I believe that scientology no longer cares about “scientology does bad things” but acts as if it does to a degree, but that is an act, a contrived theatrical. Scientology has not sued anyone for Libel since the 1991 Time Magazine article… and scientology lost that suit.(*note1)

Despite the wonderful effort and penetration into society accomplished by Mr Wright, and Mr Alex Gibney’s movie, they got the religion angle wrong, and left the “how it works” as “belief”. I believe this plays into the hands of scientology..

Scientology does bad things is OK with scientology, but NEVER allow anyone to explain HOW THE TRICK IS DONE or to cause doubt about their bogus religiosity…

THIS is why I say that $cientology doesn’t give a damn about “$cientology does bad things” but does care about anyone explaining or providing information about How the trick is actually done.

They might ACT as if they care about $cn does bad things but that is like Briar Rabbit saying “ANYTHING but the briar patch”

And Lawrence Wright and Alex Gibney, think they are the Fox..

Calling it “belief” makes nothing of the fact we are dealing with a dangerous covert hypnotic FRAUD, which is a criminal conspiracy to defraud the public. This is what this entire blog is about, including revelation of some of the methods of HOW THE TRICK IS DONE.

Thank you for reading, I regret that some things take a while to explain, and I try to do the best I can, and even I wish someone would explain these things better.

Arnie Lerma
Lermanet.com Exposing the CON since 1993

*note1: Time Magazine spent ten million dollars fighting the scientology suit. In that case, the Judge of the NY Federal District was quoted by an Appellate judge as believing that scientology was CULT

*note2: – Shawn Lonsdale, before his death, told me that a Ms Greenway gained his trust after she told him she was advising Andrew Morton on his 2008 book on Tom Cruise)

*Note2a: See E-Meter as a trance detector, written after this post.

*note3: Three times in RTC vs Lerma scientology suggested I settle the case. The first was Mike Rinder, Dec 5th 1995, just before a hearing, in the stairway of the old Alexandria Federal Courthouse.

Mike Rinder said “We can make all of this go away, what will it take?” Expecting a dollar figure..

I said “Scientology will have to stop hurting people”

Mike said “We will never do that”

I said: “Let’s go to the court”

Ten minutes later scientology lost their trade secret claims...
On 2 other occasions I was approached to settle, in the 2nd one of my attorneys leaned on me saying “Scientology has friends in high places” In the 3rd it was a global settlement effort to end my case, Factnet’s case and Lawrence Wollersheim’s collection case, and they offered between 9 to 12 million.
The 50 page proposed gagged settlement included a $50,000 penalty if any of us spoke to media or did an interview…And we would pay the costs of litigation to collect it from us!!

It also included one line that I will never forget:

“I agree that Scientology is a bona-fide RELIGION”

Lawrence was interviewed about the last settlement negotiations by Mr Alan Pendergrast in Westworld Magazine. See Westworld article

We all slept just one night, with sugar plum fairies, carrying bags of green moohlah, with golden lace wings, fluttering in our minds. Imagining relaxing by a poolside cafe in Cozumel, watching the curves of the waitress bring another Margarita…. but in the morning Lawrence Wollershiem (Who waited 7 more years to get his judgement), Robert Penny (Who was dying of MS at the time, and was one reason we entertained the negotiations at all) and I all agreed, that our souls were not for sale. We knew in what was left of our battle weary hearts, that you can’t make a deal with the Devil.

We refused.

I’d prefer to die speaking my mind than to live fearing to speake
Arnie Lerma

End note re author of “Going Clear”

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14 comments on “GOING CLEAR – 3 Emmy Awards – what was wrong with the book and movie

  1. […] I have paid a terrible price to learn these lessons, the lawsuit in 1995, the destruction of my business, my own physical stress […]

  2. Richard D says:

    Arnie- At times I wondered why, after all you’ve been through, why not get a payday from CoS. I assumed it was for ethical reasons and you explain yourself and the others beautifully above. Thank you.

    HOWEVER (lol) If you still have enough clout to get some money from the pricks, not one person in a hundred would think less of you. Old Generals and Admirals do retire and leave the fighting to younger soldiers. Leave a farewell speech and off you go.

    Of course the COUNTER ARGUMENT (lol) to that is Bushido and fight to an honorable death!

    Oh well. I live on a small social security income and donate to my local food bank when I can. Best, Richard

    • Arnie Lerma says:

      Well.. when I first used this signature line on usenet in 1994, “I’d prefer to die speaking my mind than live fearing to speak” I frankly had no idea how deep that would cut… and I survive on a small SS income, but “the more you know, the less you need” is a true fact.

      • Richard D says:

        The materialistic version of that is “the more stuff you have, the more stuff you need to take care of”. I’m sleepy so I’ll put forth a few ideas later and maybe see what you think. Good night, Richard

        P.S. I listened to a few cuts off the Dire Straits mix. Good stuff

  3. Arnie Lerma says:

    Richard, in a totalist society no one is allowed to gain influence or position of authority who does not toe several different lines. Ask JFK or Bobby Kennedy… but you are echoing my own dear mother’s law words regarding $cientology, she was once ED (HCO E/S) FCDC Fnd… she said “Arnie, get some money out of those bastards while they still have some”. However….

    Unlike your garden variety master manipulator, who has no actual skill sets, I have always been able to make things ‘work’… So even now, retired, I’ve fixed a few things, and word has spread… it isn’t much money but maybe by next year it will be… And I have had a pile of my own money to spend, and out first hand that money cannot buy happiness, only physical comfort.

    Further I believe this Chinese proverb is TRUTH:

    If want happiness for an hour, — take a nap.
    If you want happiness for a day, — go fishing.
    If you want happiness for a month — get married.
    If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune.
    If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.

    I only have a few years worth of collected thank you’s since 1993 from folks whose lives have been touched and changed by the little screeds I have posted, but there are hundreds of them and I admit when i start to feel depressed, have read them myself… to raise my own spirits when gloom seems oppressive… perhaps I should post those…

    Arnie Lerma
    Lermanet.com Exposing the CON since 1993
    I’d prefer to die speaking my mind that live fearing to speake

    • Richard D says:

      Hi Arnie – I left scn 30 years ago and never read a word about it after that. Going Clear got me interested in reexamining my scn experience. I dove into Marty’s Deconstructing Scientology posts and was amazed at how many unsavory mindsets/programming I had unknowingly carried forward for all that time. I then went to Alonzo’s blog and he gave me valuable feedback.

      In a film clip interview I watched, Lawrence Wright said the the First film cut for Going Clear was 4 hours! Who knows how much more film hit the cutting room floor before Alex Gibney got to the 2 hour documentary. So there may be a sequel.

      Scientologists are becoming a dying breed. Everything DM is doing has nothing to do with increasing membership, just increasing his portfolio. That’s a good thing. The remaining devout/brainwashed in top management can live off the interest until they all get old and die and scn is remembered in history books.

      Here’s a dinosaur photograph that someone might like to look at. When I went to college at Lehigh University in the 1960’s the engineering students walked around with slide rules on their hips! Best, Richard

  4. […] learning a truth that the person who is being depopularized , has learned. Often lessons learned at considerable personal expense, both monetary and […]

  5. the way says:

    Great write up. However, one major flaw. A group that bases its core beliefs (the membership) on spirits attacking and harming people, and that by performing certain rites those spirits are driven away means that IS a religion.

    You cannot get around that. It is irrelevant whether it was advertised at a later stage as a religion. It is de facto. Whether it is a good or horribly evil religion (which I believe it is) is again irrelevant.

    • Arnie Lerma says:

      IF what you state were true, then the only question the IRS has to answer to make me a religion is: How many people must I hypnotize to believe what you describe in order to gain tax exempt status? One? Ten? One Hundred? One Thousand? or may I lie and claim six million?

      See: Deprogramming Cliff Notes for Scientologists
      See: Biggest secret of the E-meter
      See: A Secret method of covert hypnosis

      PS: British Parliament, 1968: Mr. St. John-Stevas: Since the right Hon. Gentleman has reflected on the subject and is noted for his academic brilliance, would he say in one brief, concise sentence, exactly what Scientology is?

      Mr. Crossman: Yes, I think I could: it is a fraud.

      From Blacks Law Dictionary:

      Fraud: An intentional perversion of the truth for the purpose of inducing another in reliance upon it to part with some valuable thing or to surrender a legal right; a false representation of a matter of fact, whether by words ot conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of that which should have been disclosed, which deceives and is intended to deceive another so that he shall act upon it to his legal inquiry; anything calculated to deceive, whether by a single act or combination, or by suppression of truth, or suggestion of what is false, whether it be by direct falsehood or innuendo, by speech or silence, word of mouth, or look or gesture; fraud comprises all acts, omissions, and concealments involving a branch of legal or equitable duty and resulting in damage to another.

      In his book Complicity: Ethics and Law for a Collective Age, Christopher Kutz suggests that marginally effective participants in a collective harm are accountable for the victim’s suffering, “not because of the individual differences they make, but because their intentional participation in a collective endeavour directly links them to the consequences of that endeavour.”

    • the way says:

      Another false premise (strawman). In the USA the IRS does NOT make legal determination whether something is a religion as it has no statutory, case law or other power to do so. It simple makes a determination whether something can be a non-profit corp. A religion can be a profit OR a non-profit corp depending on its monetary activities.

      • Arnie Lerma says:

        In part true, besides the false straw man which is your own attempt at straw man.

        You make a distinction without difference in result. If the IRS classes a FRAUD as a tax exempt charitable organization, the SCAM then conceals evidence of it’s fraud under thousands of dollars of ligal menaeuvering, as it is was designed and crafted by the best legal minds at Rabinowitz and Bodin…

  6. Arnie Lerma says:

    Ortega has been surrounded by the same crew that destroyed Bob Minton… which reminds me… of DSA DC’s comment after I chased scientology picketers away from the French Embassy with OTIII in a paper horn in 1997, Sylvia said “After we finish running Bob Minton out of his money we are coming for you”

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