the Church of Scientology
since 1968
ALEX GIBNEY & HBOThe Prison of Propaganda

Letter from Gale Lister to Sheila Nevins

February 12, 2015

Sheila Nevins
President, HBO Documentary Films


Re: Exploiting my granddaughter

Dear Ms. Nevins,

No one from HBO has ever contacted me, my daughter or her husband to get our permission to use photographs of my granddaughter ******. My daughter Ashley is terribly upset that these have been used. It is shameful to even think of taking advantage of an 8-year-old ****** delicate young girl. And Sara Goldberg, ****** grandmother and the “star” of your so-called documentary, has absolutely no right to counter my daughter’s wishes in this regard.

It is ironic that it was Sara herself who destroyed our family, which she accuses my religion of doing. After 16 years of our marriage, Sara suddenly asked for a divorce. What I did not know until recently was that several months before that she started to complain about me to my children. She drove a wedge between us. It was only recently, when my daughter Ashley and I realized what Sara had done, and how this had affected Ashley’s feelings about me, that we have been able to renew our relationship at the level it used to be.

I find it despicable that you would present Sara Goldberg’s lies as “fact” in your documentary and use photos of my granddaughter to drive home her agenda.

I flew to New York on behalf of my daughter two weeks ago to meet with you or someone from HBO. I stayed there, along with two dozen people, hoping to speak to you and let you know the truth. No one would meet with us. How can you profess to have one ounce of credibility when you would not meet with any of us, and what kind of motivation could you have for refusing to do so? Mr. Gibney had the gall to tell the media he didn’t want to meet with us as we would try to smear his sources. What, pray tell, is he doing but smearing Scientologists and my Church while not speaking to any of us? He said what we had to say was not relevant. He is actually standing on quicksand and he must have realized that because he depended on liars as his sources, if he were to listen to the truth he would have no story.

I want my daughter’s wishes listened to. My granddaughter will not be used. Take my daughter and granddaughter out of your film.



Gale Lister

The Church of Scientology is committed to free speech. However, free speech is not a free pass to broadcast or publish false information. We have all seen what happens when facts are not checked or those being reported on are not given a chance to respond. The Church is taking a resolute stand against such actions—both on its own behalf and for others who either cannot or will not do so.