Louis Theroux Was Surveilled By the Church of Scientology, and He Made a Movie About It

Rich Juzwiak · 04/19/16 12:27PM

Here’s how Louis Theroux baited members of the Church of Scientology into following him: He started following them. The British journalist probably best known on these shores for his documentaries about the Westboro Baptist Church (The Most Hated Family in America, America’s Most Hated Family in Crisis) says he set out to discover a “different, more positive side” to Scientology when he embarked upon his project over 10 years ago. When it was clear that his access would be limited only to ex-Scientologists like Marty Rathbun, Theroux and director John Dower changed course to stage a series of reenactments a la Joshua Oppenheimer’s 2012 doc The Act of Killing. Using the accounts of ex-Scientologists and a cast of actors, Theroux and Dower recreated things like the alleged abuse by Scientology head David Miscavige toward members of his church in the compound at Gold Base known as “the Hole.”