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

Letter to Alex Gibney, Jigsaw Productions,

January 23, 2015

Alex Gibney
Jigsaw Productions
Suite 1762
601 West 26th Street
New York, NY 10001

Re: HBO Documentary on Scientology

Dear Mr. Gibney:

I read The Hollywood Reporter article where you stated you were “rebuffed” by the Church or were asked to “comply with unreasonable conditions.” That is a lie. We did not give any conditions, unreasonable or otherwise. I have even posted my letters online. Everybody can see I never gave you any demands. We have only asked you repeatedly to give us allegations so we can have an opportunity to respond. Therefore your definition of unreasonable must mean that it is unreasonable for the Church to have any input in your film. As I stated to you multiple times, we have never sought special treatment, only fair treatment.

On Friday, January 16, I informed you I would be coming to New York and requested to meet with you in person. You will recall I wrote, “As promised, Church officials and eyewitnesses will be in New York after the weekend to meet.” Your attorney was informed, too.

As you know, we then traveled to New York with 25 people that exactly fit the description you previously asked for through your attorney, namely people with firsthand information about your sources and the falsehoods in Wright’s book. These sources included the abandoned spouses of these people, the staff who worked with them directly, including their superiors, other staff who worked with them for years and know firsthand the reasons they were dismissed.

As an example, in The Hollywood Reporter you state that you have Spanky Taylor as a source talking about “human rights violations.” Her ex-husband was standing outside HBO’s door ready to speak to you—even before the article came out. You could not find anybody more relevant to speak to. For days, we tried to speak to you when we were only hundreds of feet away.

Here is a summary of my efforts to meet with you in New York:

  • I called you Tuesday morning, after the long weekend, letting you know I had arrived as promised. I left a message. There was no reply. I called again and spoke to your assistant Julie and told her to tell you I was in town. Again I received no reply.
  • I then sent you an e-mail suggesting we meet after lunch. No reply to my e-mail. No call back. Meanwhile I had 25 people waiting to speak with you at any moment that was convenient.
  • I called again in the afternoon. No answer.
  • I called once again at the close of the business day. No answer.
  • Wednesday morning I called and again no answer. Not even an answering machine.
  • I called again and spoke with your assistant Julie a second time. I told her to let you know again I was present in New York with 25 others to speak with you and for you to please return my call. She confirmed you knew I had called previously and that you were aware I was there with people who wanted to meet with you.
  • I sent you an e-mail. No answer.
  • I called again and left a voice message. No answer.

This is far more than bad manners. This is journalistic corruption and bigotry. You are attempting to hide the truth from your viewers.

Do not misrepresent to anyone again that the Church put any demands on you because it is untrue. Our request was simple: provide us any allegations or assertions that are in your film so we may respond and allow us to present you evidence and information that could not be more relevant.

The fact that you and HBO resisted all efforts on our part to provide information you would need to produce something other than a one-sided film, speaks volumes as to your agenda and bias. You knew we came with facts, judicial decisions, court documents and dozens of people with important, truthful information about your sources. Your refusal to receive that information and speak to these people leaves no doubt about your utter lack of integrity, let alone journalistic ethics or honesty.


Karin Pouw

Church of Scientology International

cc: Sheila Nevins, President,
HBO Documentary Films

Richard Plepler,
Chairman and CEO, Home Box Office, Inc.

Jeffrey Bewkes
Chairman and CEO, Time Warner, Inc.

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.