Scientology's Alleged Controversial Practices Under Fire in New Film

The HBO documentary, "Going Clear," claims to shine light on the Church of Scientology's practices.
2:47 | 01/28/15

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Transcript for Scientology's Alleged Controversial Practices Under Fire in New Film
with a new documentary about the church of scientology. It is attracting a lot of attention. In the film former church members make sensational allegations, the church, though, firing back saying they are just not true. ABC's Dan Harris has the story. Reporter: The new HBO documentary "Going clear: Scientology and the prison of belief" is the latest salvo aimed at this religion founded decades ago by the science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard known for its celebrity members known as Tom cruise. "Usa today" called "Going clear" the most hotly anticipated documentary at the sundance film festival. This is director Alex Gibney working the red carpet at sundance. What's so impressive to me about the film in telling the stories of these individuals we profiled was how smart, how savvy they were and yet they got inside a belief system that when they look back and finally got out they thought how did I get there. The doors had bars put on them. The windows had bars put on them and there was one entrance door that a security guard sat at 24 hours a da. Reporter: The film accuses the church of operating something called the hole, a pair of double wide trailers located on scene to go's international base in the California desert where church officials would allegedly be placed for a perceived misbehavior. Several years ago former scientology official Debbie cook told ABC news as she had testified in court that she had spent time in the hole. When I was there, it had bars on the windows and security guards posted at the one door for entering and exiting and this is where a number of scientology executives from management level were held for varying lengths of time. Reporter: And when you are anyway there can you leave? No, you cannot. Reporter: The church sent ABC news a letter saying the hole does not exist and cook's account was inaccurate and misleading. They dismiss her as bitter and describe the sources for this new HBO documentary, as, quote, the usual collection of obsessive, disgruntled former church members making up lies for money." Scientology has gone after the film's director, Alex Gibney, running this full page ad in "The New York times" comparing the documentary to the infamous "Rolling stone" article about campus rain at the university of Virginia that they later acknowledged was flawed. Despite the protest HBO says it is pushing ahead. It plans to air the film on March 16th. For "Good morning America," Dan Harris, ABC news, Los Angeles.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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