Hogan's Alley

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

BBC Documentary On Scientology

The Panorama documentary on the Scientology cult is now available online. This version also includes the reporter, John Sweeney, loosing it and shouting back in the face of the man appointed to handle him. The most striking thing about his film, which really doesn't provide much detail about the Scientology scam, is the way this reporter is followed wherever he goes by a high ranking Church of Scientology handler and accompanying camera crew. At one point the BBC reporter and his crew are forced to adjourn into a bathroom to talk in private. After a few minutes the handler is pounding on the door and shouting, no doubt filming from his side at the time.

As Sweeney says at one point, it is hard to imagine the Church of England, or any other legitimate religion so clearly harassing a reporter doing a negative story on them. Think, for example, of the Catholic Church's response to all the investigative reports about priests who abused children. No reporters were attacked as biased or hostile and followed around by camera crews. What is Scientology so afraid of?

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