Sunday, 13 May 2007

Al-Beeb vs. The "Church" of Scientology

If this clip is anything to go by, then tomorrow's Panorama documentary on Scientology should be worth watching. The man in the video below is the programme's presenter, John Sweeney:



To put this in context, click here to read the Telegraph's description of events, or click here to watch a senior Scientologist throwing a tantrum of almost Sweeneyan proportions, in response to Sweeney's suggestion that Scientology is a "sinister cult".

Hmm. Scientologists vs. al-Beeb. One lot of deranged liars against another: which side is more loathsome?

Personally, I'm saying the BBC. At least I don't have to pay money to Scientologists. Although, on the other hand, BBC journalists don't stop me in the street and try to give me personality tests, so it's much of a muchness, really...

Update, 16th May: The plot thickens. The Guardian reports that the Scientologists are now threatening legal action. On what basis, I don't know.

5 comments:

MrSmith said...

Just finished watching the Panorama production in question, and I really can't say just how restrained I think Sweeney was. I'm not sure I'd have been able to display such restraint myself in the face of such relentless nonsense and blatant disregard for simple civility and courtesy in the face of civil questions and simple quotations of other people's opinions.

bodkin said...

"Hmm. Scientologists vs. al-Beeb. One lot of deranged liars against another: which side is more loathsome?

Personally, I'm saying the BBC. At least I don't have to pay money to Scientologists. Although, on the other hand, BBC journalists don't stop me in the street and try to give me personality tests, so it's much of a muchness, really..."

Brilliant!

Fulham Reactionary said...

Mr Smith:

It certainly was interesting. You do have to wonder quite how these people think it will help them in any sense to behave like that.

Also, there was a slight discrepancy between the clip of Tommy Davis throwing a tantrum that's on Youtube, and the same scene, as shown in the documentary. In the Youtube clip, Sweeney tells Davis that he's a British subject, and therefore entitled to ask questions. But in the actual documentary, that had been edited, so that he appeared simply to be repeating the comments about Scientology being a sinister cult.

Bodkin:

Glad you liked it.

MrSmith said...

FR,

Not sure how you saw that version of the documentary. I was able to watch it after transmission by means of Video on Demand, and saw that he started by talking about the religion, 'some say it's a cult', and was then going to go on to ask questions but got cut off by Davis' rant.

I thought it was very interesting that even though al-Beeb didn't screen much of any interviews and conversation with the scientologists, one did still get a sense of a continual wearing-down tactic from the scientologists. Especially the bit about the psychiatric holocaust museum, that was really quite something.

Fulham Reactionary said...

It's not a different version, just the brief extract from the documentary that the BBC released onto Youtube. There's a link to it in the post ("a senior scientologist throwing a tantrum" etc). It's not a major thing, and doesn't have any impact on the show as a whole, but I just thought it a bid odd that one of the versions has clearly been edited.