In case you spend even less time in our cultural reality than I do, Going Clear is the Scientology documentary based on the book of the same name.
Going Clear is absolutely insane.
What’s even more insane? The differing opinions on it–and I’m talking in addition to the Scientologists’ viewpoint, because I just assume they don’t exactly love it.
First, there’s the opinion that this is a completely screwed up “religion,” or not even a religion at all. It’s just a ploy to brainwash people to give away a lot of their money.
Second, there’s the opinion that all religions sound crazy if you investigate their tenets and rituals.
Both seem like valid opinions to me, even aside from fact that you can’t actually validate opinions since they’re all technically “true.”
But do you know what is the most insane about this movie? It made me question how anyone would ever decide to join Scientology in the first place. Me–one of the most gullible people you will ever meet. Me–someone who will stubbornly refuse to listen to logic if her heart’s trying to persuade her otherwise. Me–the same person who so strongly wants to believe in the good in people that she will ignore every fact you put in front of her face as long as she has already decided on the fact that she likes you.
I shouldn’t be wondering how anyone would join Scientology, or a cult, or a club where they promise you a new puppy as long as you vow to give up all of your earthly possessions, drink 10 gallons of Sriracha, and jump off the Brooklyn Bridge while singing “MMMBop.”
Going Clear is insane, but it’s not hard to see how people could convince themselves of something they want to believe, no matter how it sounds to anyone else.
It’s human nature, I think.