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Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Scientologists Go to War with the BBC
John Sweeney is a BBC reporter who recently completed a documentary about Scientology. Apparently, his first mistake was not telling everyone how Scientology is going to save the world and insisting that people rush out and sign up (and don't forget your checkbook).
Instead, he did what reporters are supposed to do. He investigated. He asked questions. He tried to find out what was really going on with this so-called religion. For his efforts, he was harrassed, threatened, and followed.
The brouhaha that has erupted via YouTube started when Sweeney called Scientology a cult. Apparently, that hit a nerve with Tommy Davis, the Scientology spokeman in the documentary. He started a shouting match with Sweeney, and Sweeney, in an effort to outshout him, went nuclear.
The boys at Scientology, never ones to miss a golden PR opportunity, distributed their own footage of the incident in an effort to discredit Sweeney, which is, by the way, standard operating procedure for them. They're very big on killing the messenger. Sweeney explained what happened on the BBC site.
Oh, and by the way, if you're not sure what Scientology is about, it's a "religion" that was founded by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard back in 1952. It teaches that "75 million years ago an intergalactic space alien lord called Xenu kidnapped Thetans to earth, dumped them in volcanoes and blew them up with atomic bombs." Sounds like something a science-fiction writer would come up, doesn't it?
By the way, before you could possess that knowledge, you pretty much had to turn over your life savings to Scientology. But with the power of the Internet, you can now know it for absolutely nothing! Check out this really phenomenal investigative piece by Janet Reitman in Rolling Stone magazine. It's called Inside Scientology.
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Posted by Doug DeLong at 5:08 PM