THE one and only Louis Theroux brings his inimitable, intimate style to that most perplexing and controversial of belief systems: the Church of Scientology. True to his style, he is both our voice-over and our on-screen anchor throughout this odyssey into the notoriously secretive religion.

Following our introduction to its world via the infamous footage of their awards ceremony-esque gatherings, Theroux tries to get interviews with David Miscavige – the church’s enigmatic leader following the death of sci-fi writer founder L. Ron Hubbard – or anyone else within the organisation but is repeatedly turned down.

So instead Theroux tries something else; re-enacting the various strongly attested going-on within and surrounding the religion, an approach that would stay true to the spirit of Scientology as he describes it.

This includes an extended interview with ex-high profile member Marty Rathban and even auditioning actors to play the likes of Miscavige and a certain Mr Tom Cruise, the most famous face associated with it all.

It’s an often righteously funny and insightful doc from Theroux, ever the master of really working his way inside a topic, however eccentric or alien it may be to most, in a way that feels tangible and directly to the point.

In this case those points may only be new to those coming completely fresh to the subject beyond knowing that it’s popular among celebrities but they’re delivered emphatically, provocatively and with a keen sense of perspective.

It brings us far more up-close-and-personal than we’ve ever gotten to the subject, taking a less all-encompassing, technical info approach – as seen in Alex Gibney’s similarly excellent doc Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief –and more of a down-to-earth one that aims to get inside why certain people choose it as a way of life.

Theroux aims and deftly succeeds to show how deeply human impulses and needs can feed into behaviour and adherence to even the most ludicrous of systems. And ludicrous it is in his eyes and he makes it clear for all to see; the most damaging info unearthed and held aloft paints the organisation as nothing less than a dangerous cult that – as prominent and outspoken ex-member Tom De Vocht at one point bluntly puts it – radicalises its members like those who fly planes into buildings.

Just like the best of his TV work we’re invited to stand alongside Theroux and look in at an organisation that’s equal parts dangerous and mad. The difference is Scientology pulls in the tax-free money like few others, reaches across 172 nations and ranks Tom Cruise and John Travolta among its followers. Theroux has a lot of fun asking why.