There has always been an aura of mystique surrounding scientology and the church that oversees it. The 61-year-old religion has always been secretive, never fully opening up to the outside world.
Against the Church of Scientology's wishes, however, Alex Gibney's HBO documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief has exposed some of this relatively newborn religion's wildest practices. They remain mere allegations for now, but the fact that the whistleblowers are former Scientologists themselves, adds weight to the documentary.
Five such wild allegations are listed down below:
1. Scientology creator L. Ron Hubbard was once a part of a black magic cult.
2. Early scientologists who made mistakes were thrown out from ships into deep water on Hubbard's orders.
3. At the Church of Scientology's Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF), patients were treated like prisoners. In former Scientologists Sylvia "Spanky" Taylor's words, people were made to work '30 hours on, 3 hours off" and were fed table leftovers.
4. Back in the day, Scientologists deliberately got government jobs so that they could steal confidential documents for the Church.
5. Famous celebrity Scientologist John Travolta wants to leave but can't because the Church has a file on him with personal secrets, and it blackmails him with it.
6. The Church wiretapped Nicole Kidman's phones at the behest of her former husband and longtime Scientologist Tom Cruise.
7. The Church forces family members to sever all ties with Scientologists who leave. The fear of being frozen out from seeing close family members ever again keeps people from leaving.