The Profit is a film made in 2001 by Peter N Alexander. It claims to be a general examination of cults the the reasons people join them; in practical terms, however, it is a satire of the Church of Scientology, with L Conrad Powers founding the Church of Scientific Spiritualism. Several incidents in the film are taken directly from Hubbard’s life and modelled on elements of the Church of Scientology (is that the Sea Org I see in the poster?).

In typical CoS fashion, the cult both denied the film had any parallels with the Church, let alone Hubbard, while simultaneously taking measures to stop it taking place. This ranged from legal threats to stalking of crew members to “Religious Tolerance” protests and leaflets naming and “shaming” the film’s financial backers.

The Profit was yet another victim of the Lisa McPherson tragedy; the Church of Scientology successfully argued that the film was intended to prejudice the wrongful death case and as such the court ordered it not to be released. Eventually, in 2007, the injunction was lifted. However, one of the film’s producers, Bob Minton, had been so thoroughly beaten into the ground by the Church of Scientology (in addition to the film he helped pay for a number of court cases against the Church, helped people pay fines, and so on) that he agreed to co-operate with them in exchange for a little peace. As such he is now obstructing the release of the film, keeping it unavailable worldwide.

A single clip has been made available, however. You can watch it here.

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