HBO Scientology documentary “Going Clear: Scientology and The Prison of Belief” attracted 1.7 million viewers on Sunday, according to TV By the Numbers. It had a 0.7 rating in the key 18-49 demographic.

The Church of Scientology was not one of the doc’s many fans. On Sunday, they ripped the film in a lengthy exclusive statement to TheWrap, calling it “desperate,” “ludicrous” and “made-up.”

Afterward, documentary director Alex Gibney fought back against the full statement, saying: “The church claims it is innocent of all misdeeds. How credible does that sound?”

The reaction to the film itself was equally strong-stated; readers can sample Hollywood tweets here.

 

“Going Clear” featured commentary from prominent former Scientologists like Marty Rathburn, Spanky Taylor, director Paul Haggis and Tom De Vocht. It also covers the involvement of two of its most visible members, actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

The film generated massive buzz at Sundance, resurfacing the most damaging accusations against the religion such as an alleged campaign to break up Cruise’s marriage to Nicole Kidman.

Since the defection from the church in recent years by Haggis and investigative work, including the book by Lawrence Wright on which the film is based, the worst of Scientology has already gone public.

Slave labor on Scientology’s Sea Org boats, members forced to “disconnect” from disobedient family members, alleged physical abuse by church leader David Miscavige, maintaining a prison camp to punish and control senior church officials — the documentary revisits all of these claims and more.

More to come …

Read original story HBO Scientology Doc ‘Going Clear’ Converts 1.7 Million Viewers At TheWrap