Scientologists may sue BBC

The Church of Scientology, a sinister pay-as-you-go cult invented by a third-rate science fiction writer, may sue the BBC and officially complain to Ofcom as a result of last night’s Panorama.

The director John Sweeney was successfully “bull-baited” by top Scientologist Tommy Davis while filming the documentary in the USA, resulting in him bursting into a screaming fit of rage. The video was posted on YouTube by the CoS as part of a propaganda counter-strike against the BBC. Sweeney has since apologised for his outburst.

You can still watch the programme on the BBC website (for now). If you do, you will understand what made Sweeney blow his top. The constant goading of the preposterous, preening Tommy Davis would have tried the patience of Xenu.


18 Responses to “Scientologists may sue BBC”

  1. Tiger Dunc says:

    It says something when a reporter of Sweeney’s experience and calibre flips out, and he really does lose it completely. Fair play though, I’d have smashed that smug little fuck’s face in if I had been there. He’d have been suing from a hospital bed.

    The beliefs of CoS are ridiculous though. I mean who’d believe a story like that. They are just as preposterous as belief in a man in the sky who sends his son to earth or speak so to prophets on a mountain.

  2. Sweeney is a great reporter but that programme was far from unbiased. Still, I was pissed off just watching Tommy whinge and whine and surely, if someone is making a documentary about Scientology then the best thing is to be open and friendly… as in not openly follow the reporter around, create a counter-film about him, require to be consulted on his every move and ban him from entering Scientology churches.

    I’m sorry but Scientologists are just twats. It’s obvious – be friendly and you’ll come across as friendly, be twats and you’ll come across as twats.

    And as for the BBC, the day they make a neutral doc (as opposed to their shock-docs of late) then I will eat my face off.

    -Daniel

  3. Marc says:

    Tiger’s dead on here. True, scientology is a third-rate, PAYG cult-cum-religion – but it’s only a modern equivalence of what every other religion has been doing for years. Just look at the control given to the unelected representatives of the Roman Catholic and Protest churches in Europe and a similar hat-tip to the irrational Darwin-defying masses in the US.

    Look close and anyone with a drop of common sense (and no axe to grind) will find striking similarities. Think of it this way, if Scientology was the accepted relgion and Christianity came about in the 60s – the positions would be very similar now.

  4. Tiger Dunc says:

    Cif, the Guardian comments page has a lively debate going about his outburst.

    http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/martin_bell/2007/05/the_crusader.html

  5. ZombieHunter says:

    I watched it last night and I honestly don’t know what the big deal is about John Sweeney losing it, I’m not surprised he lotst it, he had been followed and harrassed by the CofS, subjected to that exhibition about psychiatry and that little fuck tommy davis constantly interupting him.

    the CofS has no right to complain anyway because the celebrity members who the BBC interviewed all refused permission for their interviews to be shown despite the fact that thesecelebrity dumbasses were talking about the church in a positive light so they have no right to complain about the negative way in which they were portrayed, they brung it on themselves, especially by getting their lackeys to follow John Sweney around like the derrnanged sociopathic stalkers they are.

  6. martyn says:

    As far as I could see it’s just another organisation for people who have mental problems to attach themselves to. Other organisations are available, christianity, islam, (issheep?) chelsea, man u……
    All the there for loons to get all over excited about.

    ;)

  7. I’m with Dunc and ZombieHunter. After being stalked, harassed, screamed at himself and threatened with legal action for no reason, I can’t think of a man alive who wouldn’t react as Sweeney did. If his report was biased, it’s probably because Tommy Davis forbade him to use any of the footage that showed the money-grabbing pseudoscientific murderous cult in a good light. If any existed. So they put the rope around their own neck.

    To be honest, I do find Scientology significantly worse than most religions, partly for the families they’ve destroyed (a tactic which no legitimate religion uses) and partly because they require you to hand over a significant chunk of change before they tell you what they actually believe, something very different from the voluntary donations other religions ask for.

    I find it disturbing that the destruction of families and the tactics used against people like Rick Ross, the cult debunker who was targeted by Scientology blackshirts for the unforgivable crime of having gone into therapy as a child, are being glossed over in the media in favour of focusing on Sweeney’s outburst. The smear tactics do seem to be working – look at all the comments on that YouTube page mocking Sweeney, interspersed with occasional Scientology sockpuppets telling you to go to cult sources for the ‘truth’ about Panorama. And so a ridiculous fringe cult continues to grasp freedom of speech by the throat, and nobody cares.

    Personally, if I was Sweeney, I’d have grabbed that little weasel Davis’s hand and asked him when he was planning to wash Lisa McPherson’s blood off.

  8. Chris says:

    Yeah, what everyone else said.

    But the good news is that Jerry Falwell is dead. Now, of course, it’s not nice to revel in someone else’s misery but then again he did use any natural disaster that happened to the US to blame homosexuals or whoever was his latest bĂȘte noire (but usually pooftas), so I don’t feel that bad for my schadenfreude

  9. Marc says:

    Aw shit, Chris. For a moment I thought you meant Tommy “Xenu is a Myth” Tosspot. Still it couldn’t have happened to a nicer bloke: I can think of a few others like him I would see go the same way sooner rather than later.

  10. Andy Gilmour says:

    Yaaaaaayyyy!!! Falwell’s snuffed it! fan-bleedin’-tastic!

    This guy (still, in spite of everything!) has such a huge following in the US, his gospel of ignorance and hate so popular…

    almost a shame he didn’t hang on long enough to see all his apocalyptic predictions fail to come true.

    good riddance to a nasty piece of work.

  11. But can Scientology triumph where others have tried and failed, and take on BitTorrent…? Somehow, I very much doubt it!

    You definitely shouldn’t go here:

    http://torrentspy.com/torrent/1171952/BBC_Panorama_Scientology_And_Me_14_05_07

  12. ScienTorrentologist says:

    OK… I get my comment deleted for even mentioning that you can download this episode of Panorama, even when I don’t provide a link? What gives, Monitor? I can understand why you removed it the first time (because I posted a link) but what was wrong with the second time (when I didn’t)?

    The main point I was trying to make is that Scientology might be able to sue the BBC, but that’s not going to get them anywhere when it comes to P2P – that P2P makes censorship impossible.

    (The email address I have provided is temporary and disposable, but I can actually read messages posted to it, if you’d care to tell me what I did wrong so I can avoid it in future. Sorry for wasting your time, anyway.)

  13. Andrew Nixon says:

    Your comment wasn’t deleted, it’s just that we have your first post automatically moderated here and it has to be approved before appearing on the site. As you posted at 4:43am our time, it’s hardly surprising that you’ve had to wait a little to see it on the site! No censorship here!

  14. ScienTorrentologist says:

    Oh… d’oh, sorry, my mistake! It appeared on the site instantly, then seemed to have vanished when I came back later. It was better worded the second time I posted it without the link… damn!

    Glad to see my heckles being raised about censorship here was just a false alarm! (Perhaps a message along the lines of “your comment will appear shortly once we’ve made sure it’s not spam” would be helpful to avoid confusion?)

    It was 4:43am my time too… I had insomnia! :-S

  15. Monitor says:

    You mean like the one that says “If this is your first post, it may take a short while to be approved” just above the “Say it!” button? :-)

  16. Erik says:

    Much worse than the Sweeney incident is This
    Which has received little to no coverage anywhere, bar the usual suspects: Clambake and Operating Thetan

  17. Alfster says:

    It’s pretty much impossible to have an unbiased doc on Scientology.

    As you can sum it by simply saying its a money making scheme based on sci-fi story it really goes downhill from there.

    It would be like having an unbiased doc on genocide…impossible.

  18. Duncan says:

    There we go again! This same nonsense scientologist soundbite which gets repeated ad nauseum – on this site of all places.

    Sweeney did not lose his temper; he raised his voice. Watch the video – he says something, the scientologist talks over him, he talks over the scientologist and the scientologist tries to talk over him again so he raises his voice to an absurd level. The meter of his speech doesn’t change one bit, merely the volume. When he’s said his piece (having successfully prevented the weak-lunged CoS PR man yelling over him (though he does try if you listen)) he very calmly returns to a normal volume.

    I am well aware Sweeney himself has referred to it as losing his temper, but this was in response to pressure from the myopic minions further up the BBC pecking order who decided he ought to apologize.

    Rewatch the video and decide for yourself whether he actually ‘lost his temper’ ignoring what you’ve been told to interpret the scene as by the BBC, the scientologists and whatever labotomised creatures from the news media decided the ‘comment’ on it: I’d be very surprised if you still feel that he looks like a man who has ‘lost it’ as opposed to a man who is simply refusing to be out-bellowed.

    The only think I think Sweeney ought to apologise for is not calling a spade a spade when he discussed scientology’s disaster relief. You heard him mention, if you watched the documentary, the ‘healing hands’ and ‘assists’ stuff. That’s literally what their disaster relied consists of: non-contact massage and POINTING at people. If you think this deserves praise (remember, they use transportation to get there which could be used to ferry nurses and eat the same provisions as people genuinely helping) as opposed to shunning you’re a little more ‘open minded’ than I care to be. Vicious, spiteful, harmful (by casting aspersions on psychiatric medicine), pseudoscientific quacks gladly paying for the opportunity to be told what to think. Failed apes.