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BBC Panorama program on Scientology now available online

Religion News Blog, Netherlands
May 14, 2007
Anton and Janet Hein-Hudson • Monday May 14, 2007

The investigative report of BBC current affairs program Panorama into the Church of Scientology is now available for viewing online.

See below for the YouTubed version.

Panorama, the longest-running current affairs television program in the world, asked the question whether the Church of Scientology still deserves to be called a cult.

BBC Panorama on Scientology 1/3

The half-hour program does not go into much detail regarding that question, other than to show brief excerpts of interviews with three ex-members, and to highlight the fact that some Scientologists ‘disconnect’ from their families. This means they break off any and all contact with family members whose views of Scientology are negative.

Much of the program shows the paranoid — don’t defend, always attack — nature of the Church of Scientology. The cult does not like to be investigated or criticized. Those who do so anyway can expect to be harassed by Scientologists.

BBC Panorama on Scientology 2/3

Hence the documentary clearly demonstrates that — despite claims to the contrary — Scientology’s so-called ‘Fair Game‘ policy is still in force. Scientology’s behavior was condoned and encouraged by founder L. Ron Hubbard:

ENEMY SP Order. Fair game. May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.
- Source: Hubbard Communication Office, Policy Letter of 18 October 1967, Issue IV

Viewers do get to see the much-reported episode in which Panorama reporter John Sweeney shouts at the Scientologist charged with ‘handling’ him.

BBC Panorama on Scientology 2/3

John Sweeney has apologised for his outburst — both in person and online. In a statement, he has also explained the context in which the outburst occured.

Those who watch the Panorama report will certainly understand his frustration — just as they will conclude that the Church of Scientology indeed still deserves to be called a cult.

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