Banned in the USA

Why am I not suprised that of the two movies banned in the US, one of them is about Scientology.

The Profit is a feature film written and directed by Peter N. Alexander in 2001. Little seen, it is notable primarily because worldwide distribution of the film is prohibited by an American court order, the result of a lawsuit by the Church of Scientology.

The Profit is one of only two films currently banned in the United States. The other film is Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, for copyright infringement.

Notwithstanding the fictional elements of the film, the Church of Scientology took legal action against the film makers after a handful of test screenings in Florida. The Church claimed that the film was intended to influence the jury pool in the wrongful death case of a Scientologist, Lisa McPherson, who died while in the care of the Church of Scientology in Clearwater, Florida.

Prior to the legal actions taken by the Church of Scientology, spokesman Ben Shaw agreed with the film’s director that “the movie is fiction and has nothing to do with Scientology.”[1]

In response to the lawsuit, Pinellas County, Florida, Judge Robert Beach issued a court order in April 2002 banning The Profit from worldwide distribution for an indefinite period. As of 2006, the ban still stands; the film has yet to be released to the public.

(via Reddit)

8 comments

  1. I wonder if there’s a underground way to buy
    a DVD of “Profit”? I’d love to have a copy.

  2. From Wikipedia: “The producers of the film had a court hearing on March 5, 2007 to ask that the injunction on the film’s distribution be lifted[7]. However as of February 28, 2007 that hearing was pushed back to March 27, 2007[8], due to a resolution of legal matters between Bob Minton and the Church of Scientology – and subsequent attempt by Minton to block the film’s distribution.”

    There;s an official website at http://www.theprofit.org, but their news is out of date compared to wikipedia…

    No joy on the torrent front either, but then “the profit” is a difficult phrase to search for, it turns up a million hits.

  3. …apparently, the injunction is falling apart with the withdrawal of a counter-claim in the McPherson case, and the film’s makers are just waiting for official confirmation before making an announcement. This is from someone who claims to be the attourney for the film’s LLC, posted a couple of days ago on a board discussing the film.

    (Browser died and I lost the link, and I’m buggered if I can find it now…)

  4. No doubt Scientology is a religion for dumbass thetan creepazoids, but I wonder if they realize how this thing could blow up in their face? Surely this controversy is gonna guarantee that when the film finally does get distributed it will have a much bigger audience.

  5. No doubt Scientology is a religion for dumbass thetan creepazoids, but I wonder if they realize how this thing could blow up in their face? Surely this controversy is gonna guarantee that when the film finally does get distributed it will have a much bigger audience.

    I agree with that, but if they can intimidate their critics sufficiently, that might be worth the risk of it blowing up in their faces. They’ve been doing it for a long time, and it hasn’t blown up in their faces yet — that’s a sign of success, isn’t it?

  6. Oh, and one more thing –

    Judges are within their boundaries to instruct juries to steer clear of anything that might influence them. Or during the jury selection process you can ask them if they’ve seen such-and-such movie, if they have, they’re disqualified. Fine.

    How in the hell this judge managed to block distribution of a b-movie that he KNEW would never be so widely viewed that the jury selection process would be impossible, is beyond me. One can only conclude that the judge is a dumbass. Or worse.

    You instruct jurors to deal with the world, not the other way around.

    This sets a terrible precident and Scientology shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it.

  7. It was a rhetorical ‘how’, I’m sure, but scientology has a pretty good record at influencing those that should be beyond influence.

    One of the anti-scientology websites out there (can’t remember offhand which) has pages and pages of evidence of them getting their own people into positions of power – it’s a large part of their agenda.

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