A hero’s journey tracing two brothers who started the one-hit wonder ‘60s band PEOPLE!, the new full-length documentary, Brothers Broken, spotlights how two boomers compromised their acclaimed music careers to join Scientology, which in turn nearly destroyed their lives. Rock ‘n’ roll brothers Geoff Levin and Robbie Levin suffered almost 50 years of Scientology trauma. Geoff shunned his brother for 28 years because Robbie left scientology.
Brothers Broken chronicles the devastating effects the cult had on their band, their personal lives and their families. The film is a heartwarming yet shocking saga featuring their rise to fame with PEOPLE!’s hit 1968 single “I Love You” (Capitol Records), then decades of brainwashing, and ultimate redemption. Brothers Broken recently premiered at Cinequest Film Festival (LINK) on Sunday, August 20 (Hammer Theatre Center) and Saturday, August 26 (Mt. View ShowPlace ICON Theatre & Kitchen) in San Jose and Mountain View, California.
“It’s harder to get out of prison than to leave Scientology.” - Mike Rinder
The story starts by bringing us into the cult mentality and then follows the chronological journey of the brothers’ childhood in the ‘50s in San Jose, Calif. and landing them in the middle of the ‘60s Bay Area music revolution. Geoff and Robbie Levin led a charmed life growing up with then unknown musicians Jerry Garcia, Janice Joplin, Paul Kantner, Jorma Kaukonen, and Grace Slick. In 1968, when the brothers joined Scientology, the magic stopped and the strange cultish odyssey began. In 1984, Geoff shunned his brother Robbie because he left the cult. This separation lasted for 28 years.
Separately, they led Forest Gump like lives. Geoff helped launch Apple’s first Macintosh with his score and songs and founded the Billboard charting storytelling group Celestial Navigations with actor Geoffrey Lewis. Robbie invented the stationary bike phenomenon Spinning and co-founded the multi-million-dollar women’s clothing company EZ Sportswear, which became Melrose Clothing.
Decades later this rift culminated in Geoff’s breakdown and depression lasting three years while Robbie stood by helpless to do anything for his brother because of Scientology disconnection. This unique story that includes L. Ron Hubbard’schurch is different than all the other movies and series about the organization. It’s a rock doc meets a cult horror show and a personal journey that continues to evolve as the brothers reconnect to band members, family, and friends. The universal theme of love and kindred spirits is woven throughout the film.
To learn more about Brothers Broken, please visit: brothersbroken.com
Brothers Broken is a film about redemption. Geoff Levin’s 46-year dedication to the cult since 1968 made him an insider working directly with L. Ron Hubbard, many of Scientology’s top executives, performing at over 600 Scientology events and in close contact with the cult’s celebrities. Geoff feels responsible for helping to bring thousands of unsuspecting people into Hubbard’s fraudulent church. By telling this story, the brothers hope to expose the toxic practices Scientology has of breaking up families and separating friends.