Beautiful Summer day in the 1970’s. I’m this cutie pie actor guy tripping down Yonge Street in Toronto. New to the big city and without a care in the world.
Guy steps out of a doorway and offers me a free book. No kidding? Yeah, buddy. It’s a great book. will solve all your problems and turn you into a superhero. Okay, thanks.
But he stopped me from leaving. Friendly and engaging. Would I like to see how it works? Okay, I got nothing pressing.
A few minutes later I’m sitting in a room holding two soup cans with the labels torn off and being asked about my deepest fears.
Maybe it’s the small town Prairie boy in me. But I started sensing I was in the company of one of those “city-slickers” some of the relatives had warned me about.
I passed on the free test assessment and the free lecture to follow. Read about two chapters of the book and binned it.
Maybe a year later, I had a girlfriend who had a best friend who was pretty high up in “the church”. She gave me a free copy of the same book, insisting that my growing success could be put into hyper-drive.
A little while later, girlfriend and I were over and her buddy called to sympathize. She knew her “Church” could help. When I assured her I’d probably survive, I got hit with some of the most vile, manipulative behavior I’ve ever encountered.
It was a kind of pressure designed to buckle somebody truly in emotional distress. Struck me as not the sort of people I wanted to have anything further to do with.
Over the years since, being in the show business, I’ve met dozens of artists and celebs who were acolytes of “the church”. A few tried to recruit me. Most haven’t bothered. And I haven’t bothered challenging them.
Maybe that was the wrong decision…
A few months ago, HBO debuted their stunningly powerful documentary on the Church entitled “Going Clear”. For some reason it held off the Canadian broadcast. Tonight that changes.
Or it changes right now if you go to the bottom of this post.
“Going Clear” will leave you both numb and angry. But it is entirely worth viewing.
But you won’t walk away feeling good about what the institution has perpetrated on both its detractors and its believers.
So, before you get to those emotions, make sure you –- Enjoy Your Sunday.
For those who want to watch “Going Clear” on HBO, here’s a taste.
For those without HBO, the film is already on Youtube. You can find it here.