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

Letter to Sheila Nevins,
President, HBO Documentary Films,
February 25, 2015

February 25, 2015

Sheila Nevins
President, HBO Documentary Films

Re: HBO documentary on Scientology
False Allegations from Tom DeVocht

Dear Ms. Nevins:

In his HBO film on the Church of Scientology, Alex Gibney digs up former Church construction supervisor Tom DeVocht and allows him to plead poverty.

What Mr. Gibney neglected to include was that DeVocht married into a prominent family with access to whatever funds he needed. He drove a BMW, dressed in Armani suits, vacationed in Hawaii, spent much of his time jet skiing and could afford tickets to regularly attend NFL football games, NHL hockey games and Major League Baseball games. In addition, DeVocht lined his pockets by stealing from his wife’s grandmother on their wedding day, selling her cars behind her back and pilfering his wife’s inheritance.

Your failure to vet the tales told in Mr. Gibney’s film by a handful of spiteful malcontents like DeVocht shows you had no interest in inconvenient facts that would undermine the movie’s bigoted agenda. Proof of that is HBO’s and Mr. Gibney’s repeated refusal to present the Church with allegations so it could respond, as well as your refusal to meet with 25 individuals with extensive first-hand knowledge that would debunk many of the allegations included in the film. As we stated many times, the Church never sought special treatment, only fair treatment.

One person among those 25 individuals was Jennifer Linson, DeVocht’s wife of nearly 20 years. She would have told you as she did CNN’s Anderson Cooper that her ex-husband and his cronies “are bitter individuals who once had a life that had glory and some form of power. And they now have nothing. They have no job. They have no life. And the media is giving them attention, and they’re going for that attention.”

She further would have told you her former husband’s claim of having been “imprisoned” in a place filled with ants, which Mr. Gibney stages a phony recreation of in the film, is another falsehood from a pathological liar. (The absurdity of the “ant” propaganda coming from his mouth is magnified by the fact that DeVocht worked on estates matters and was removed because of his irregularities on the construction of the beautiful Church staff berthing facilities.)

And Ms. Linson would have debunked DeVocht’s claim of “abuse,” noting as she did to CNN that “I slept with Tom DeVocht for almost 20 years. I knew every inch of him. I never saw one scratch. I never saw one bruise. I never saw one black eye. Nothing. Nor did he complain about anything personally.” We note this was carefully edited in Gibney’s film to delete her full statement.

In fact, it was DeVocht who was abusive toward his ex-wife, dragging her across the room by her hair and hitting her. But, in typical sexist, misogynistic fashion, Gibney gives the last word to the husbands, allowing them to dismiss the 2010 interview of their ex-wives by Anderson Cooper debunking their allegations by making up a bizarre, defamatory myth that they were dragged out of a prison, told to recite a script and put back in afterward. Not once did Mr. Gibney reach out to any of the wives for comments. Each one was among the 25 individuals who travelled to New York to see him.

Finally, Mr. Gibney made no effort to check DeVocht’s history, information of which was available to him online, and which proves that DeVocht’s boasts that he worked directly for the leader of the religion or had any personal interaction with him alone where he gossiped away during late night chats is ludicrous. Ms. Linson would have told you DeVocht’s account is pure delusion. It never happened. He was nothing more than a construction supervisor and real estate manager who answered to others. She was superior to him the entire time. It is well known that Tom DeVocht is a liar. It is documented in publications and in his own words. And Gibney’s primary source, Marty Rathbun, is on record in 2009 stating that Rathbun, in conspiracy with Tom DeVocht, suborned perjury in a legal case. Gibney had the information and ignored it.

So you can’t say you were unaware of any of this, here is extensive information on DeVocht’s history of lying, deceit and malfeasance—all of it available on our website.



Karin Pouw


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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.