Corporations named in Scientology video respond

In yesterday’s Religion News Blog Roundup we posted this video in which Scientology’s current leader talks about the cult’s fight against psychiatry:

Scientology outlines attempt to destroy psychiatrists.
A transcript of all that nonsense was posted on an LA Times blog.
Webscout, the Los Angeles Times blog about online entertainment and connected culture, also wrote:

In a subtitled video that popped up in a few places on the Internet early this morning — found it, and it was later picked up by and other sites — Scientology leader David Miscavige is shown speaking to an audience about both the religion’s multipronged campaign for the “global obliteration of psychiatry” and its international effort to disseminate a booklet, authored by Church founder L. Ron Hubbard, that the organization uses for outreach. The video appears to have been made in 2006. Miscavige mentions the value of “corporate tie-ins” and implies that multinational companies such as Coca-Cola, 7-Eleven and Dell Computer have been involved in distribution of Church literature.

Miscavige also goes into detail about a program he refers to as Operation Planetary Calm, whose goal is the worldwide distribution of Hubbard’s “The Way to Happiness,” a text the Church of Scientology refers to as a nonreligious “common-sense guide to happier living,” according to a website registered under the address of the church. Part of the strategy, he says, is “corporate tie-ins.”

“Multinationals tend to have Third World image problems,” he notes as snippets of video play. “So this is what they’re doing about it — Coca-Cola Pakistan with a braille edition for the blind … Philips Electronics, likewise all over Pakistan, and Dell Computers all over Africa.”

Miscavige also implies that 4,000 7-Eleven stores in Taiwan carry the book, and adds that “the numbers grow even larger when you follow the campaign trail into Taiwanese schools — to date, it’s 250,000 by order of Taiwan’s Ministry of Education.”

At one point, a computer animation depicts a giant grenade, labeled “Psych Buster,” exploding near a building labeled “government” and another building, perhaps a bank, with a large dollar sign on its side. Miscavige repeatedly invokes end-times biblical tropes such as “plagues,” “parting seas” and “apocalyspe,” and cites the goal of breaking “the dark spell cast across Earth by psychiatry.”

After a message was left with the church seeking comment on the apparently leaked videos, links to which were initially sent to The Times by investigative journalist Mark Ebner, a spokesman identifying himself as Kendrick Moxon returned a call to say he was aware of the video. He described it as “an edited copy of a pirated video.”

“Some sort of an excerpt is what it appears to be,” he said, and did not deny that the video represented a real event.
Webscout, Los Angeles Times:

The Los Angeles Time also called the companies mentioned in the video, and writes:

Web Scout was intrigued by the idea that major corporations around the world might be part of a vast network of dissemination for Scientology-related literature and booklets. So I made a couple of calls to the communications departments of companies named in the latest leaked video. Here’s what they’re saying:

Dell Inc. spokesman: “This came to our attention yesterday. We did research it with our colleagues in our Europe, Middle East and Africa business segment and with our colleagues in South Africa. We found no evidence that this is accurate, and it’s not our practice to disseminate religious materials of any kind. We’ve got no affiliation with the Church of Scientology.”

7/11 spokeswoman: “My international department believes that it’s unfounded and inaccurate. But we’ve got to follow up with our licensee and get to the bottom of it.”

Philips Electronics spokesman: “We were as stunned as anybody this morning. It’s not something we were aware of. As an equal opportunity employer, religion is not something we comment on.”

Several of the spokespeople noted that in the video, Miscavige uses slippery language to avoid directly saying the corporations took part in any distribution efforts.

Take another look at the text of the speech–and you”ll notice the lack of actual verbs.

Then there’s our corporate tie ins. The multinationals tend to have Third World image problems, so this is what they’re doing about it–Coca Cola Pakistan with a braille edition for the blind, nationally televised no less. Philips Electronics, likewise all over Pakistan, and Dell Computers all over Africa.

Other entities named in the video are investigating the matter before commenting.
Webscout, Los Angeles Times

A day of worldwise protest events against the Scientology cult is planned for this Sunday, Feb. 10, 2008
Vacation? Short break? Day trip? Get Skip-the-line tickets at GetYourGuide.


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Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday February 9, 2008.
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