Going Clear, the Scientology exposé documentary that saw its initial airing on HBO Sunday night, has already sent shockwaves through Hollywood with explosive revelations about the self-styled "church" and its alleged involvement in human trafficking, as well as the involvement of major movie stars Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and others.
But while the Alex Gibney-directed film contained plenty of shocking details about the inner workings of Scientology, there was also much that was omitted from the film.
Perhaps the most shocking case left out of Going Clear involves the apparent disappearance of Michele "Shelly" Miscavige, the wife of shadowy Scientology leader David Miscavige.
While Scientology officials have consistently denied that anything is wrong or out of the ordinary with Shelly Miscavige, the 54-year-old native of Dallas, Texas, has not been seen publicly since August of 2007.
"At the end of the day, rather than doing stone skipping and covering as much as possible in a superficial way we chose to dig in on certain things," Gibney told the publication Business Insider, explaining why the film ignored the bizarre case of Shelly Miscavige, even though the story is covered at length in the book Going Clear by Lawrence Wright, on which the HBO film is based.
"For decades, Shelly Miscavige had been the First Lady of Scientology. Graceful and smiling, she was always by Miscavige's side — during virtually every meeting, every trip, every photo op," reported Vanity Fair magazine in a 2014 article about the Miscavige case. "Then, in August 2007, she was suddenly gone. Without a trace."
Former King of Queens sitcom star Leah Remini, who had been a Scientology devotee for at least three decades, parted bitterly with the church in 2013, in part because of the hostile reaction she received from Scientology higher-ups when she pressed them about the whereabouts of Shelly Miscavige, who is pictured above.
After splitting with Scientology, Remini filed a missing persons report with the Los Angeles Police Department on Shelly Miscavige, but the LAPD dismissed Remini's report as "unfounded."
"Mrs. Miscavige is not missing. Investigators have made some type of contact with her," police in the city said at the time.
Remini said she became alarmed when Shelly Miscavige, who had long been at her husband's side as one of the most visible leaders of Scientology, failed to show up at the high-profile 2006 wedding of high-ranking Scientology member Tom Cruise to actress Katie Holmes.
The circumstances of the relationship between Holmes and Cruise are also left out of the Going Clear film, though the deep involvement of Scientology officials in two of Cruises's previous relationships is covered extensively.
Former Scientology members have said they believe that Shelly Miscavige may be ensconced at a desert compound owned by the church in Riverside County, California. If so, whether she is there of her own free will or being held involuntarily — and what she might have been doing there for more than seven years — remains unclear.
[Image: Where Is Shelly Miscavige Facebook]