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

Letter to Sheila Nevins,
President, HBO Documentary Films,
February 18, 2015

February 18, 2015

Sheila Nevins
President, HBO Documentary Films

Re: HBO documentary on Scientology
False allegations from Sara Goldberg

Dear Ms. Nevins:

We now know why Alex Gibney and HBO gave Sara Goldberg a mouthpiece to air lies about the Church of Scientology in your film without providing an opportunity to respond to the absurd allegations she makes.

None of this is a surprise to us because the moment we heard about your film we knew it was the bigoted smear job it turned out to be. We knew it would look the other way on any inconvenient facts and information such as Sara Goldberg’s past as the subject of an FBI investigation, information of which we have made available on-line, that undermines the credibility of Mr. Gibney’s sources. We knew that hiding from us for two years was a way to avoid hearing the truth about his sources. We knew that refusing to present us with allegations and refusing to see 25 people—including Sara Goldberg’s own family members—with first-hand knowledge, meant you didn’t care about facts, documents and information that would show his sources are nothing more than a handful of obsessed fringe zealots out to smear the Church.

What we didn’t know was that anyone would sink as low as you did in shamelessly “outing” in your film a ****** ****** 8-year-old girl while subjecting her to ridicule by showing her photo which, of course, you never even sought permission from her parents to use.

I am informed that Sara Goldberg’s daughter has written you on this matter.

We also saw through Mr. Gibney’s phony “but you haven’t seen the film and don’t know what is in it” retort. We didn’t have to because we knew it would turn out the way it did—a film littered with falsehoods that excludes relevant facts for lies with no proof and which serves as bigoted propaganda. Now that representatives of the Church have seen this film there remains no question of the subterfuge and dishonesty that went into producing it. It is obvious neither HBO or Mr. Gibney wanted anyone to know the sources in this film are suborners of perjury, obstructers of justice, thieves and wife beaters—not to mention pathological liars. Or that one conspired to murder her father, then failed in an attempt to take over the Church and extract a billion dollars to line her own pockets.

Or in the case of Sara Goldberg, a liar who her own daughter was willing to tell you is the one who broke up her own family—not the Church—by siding with her drug-addicted son over her daughter. The Church had nothing to do with Sara Goldberg’s breakup of her family and friendships. This is a textbook case of someone who now blames others rather than accept responsibility for her own actions.

Including Sara Goldberg also reveals as disingenuous Mr. Gibney’s claim that you asked for interviews with relevant people. Not one of the people you asked to interview would have any knowledge of Sara Goldberg’s family situation. However, her daughter would certainly know it in great detail. So would her ex-husband, who has said that Sara Goldberg “is accusing somebody else of doing something that she’s actually guilty of. We had a great family and she destroyed it.” But when her family members showed up to New York to speak to Mr. Gibney, he refused.

Mr. Gibney’s film is purportedly based on Lawrence Wright’s book, but Mr. Gibney had to resort to digging up Sara Goldberg because he knew Lawrence Wright’s sources were discredited. It also proved complicity in Wright’s bigoted agenda. Refusing to give us allegations like the ones Sara Goldberg makes, refusing to tell us “sources” who appear in the film so we could inform you about them, yet misleading us by saying that Mr. Gibney’s film is “based on Wright’s book” was intentional deceit. We knew it, we said it to you and we were right.

So you cannot continue to ignore this information, we have attached the true story of Sara Goldberg for you to read.

Unless Gibney titles himself “Propagantarian,” there will be nothing honest about this production.



Karin Pouw
Church of Scientology International


cc:  Alex Gibney
      Jigsaw Productions

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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.