BBC Panorama - Scientology and Me





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Uploaded on Jan 1, 2012

An infamous BBC Panorama documentary focusing on the religion of Scientology. Reporter John Sweeney visited the United States to investigate whether the Church of Scientology was becoming more mainstream. The programme gained particular controversy before and during filming due to unresolved differences on content and approach between Sweeney's production team and Scientology members, who did not want detractors or perceived enemies of the church to be interviewed or included in the documentary.

The scale of the controversy intensified when the Church of Scientology released a 40 second clip of video footage showing the segment of a screaming argument between John Sweeney and Scientologist Tommy Davis at the Psychiatry: An Industry of Death museum, regarding Sweeney's use of the word "cult" to describe the Church of Scientology.[2] In the argument, Sweeney yelled "You were not there at the beginning of the interview! You were not there! You did not hear or record all the interview!". The interview that Sweeney is referring to is the conversation between him and critic Shawn Lonsdale. Despite the lobbying of British MPs by the Church of Scientology for the documentary to be scrapped, airing of Scientology and Me went ahead on May 14. The episode garnered the highest ratings for Panorama since September of the previous year, with a peak of 4.9 million viewers in the UK.

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