Knowledge Report: A documentary on Scientology fraud and abuse

The Church of Scientology is about to be exposed to lots of daylight.

The destructive cult should be used to that by now, but this time it’s going to hit like a ton of bricks — and no amount of self-praising press releases (just about the only way Scientology gets any positive publicity these days) will be able to undo the damage.

A feature-length documentary film, Knowledge Report: A documentary on Scientology fraud and abuse, is almost ready for release.

Within Scientology, if a Scientologist sees another Scientologist doing something that the organization would consider wrong, they have to write up what’s called a Knowledge Report.

It is one way in which the Church of Scientology — a destructive cult known for, among other crimes, its manifold human rights abuses — keep control over its members. Everyone is closely watched by everyone else. Strangers, friends, and even family members will write up Knowledge Reports about each other.

Jefferson Hawkins, once Scientology’s top marketing executive (remember the famous “volcano” TV ads in the 1980s?), explains what’s behind this snitching culture.

But nowadays the tables are turned on the church: hardly a day goes by without the press exposing some aspect of this cult. In recent years, many former top Scientologists and other followers have turned their backs on the church.

Many have gone on to document the horrors they experienced — in books, videos, and on websites.

Television journalist Mark Bunker — who has also written and performed in radio comedies and dramas, acted in stage productions, appeared in commercials and has done voice acting — has never been a Scientologist.

In the article series “The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology,” written by reporter and Scientology critic Tony Ortega, Bunker (#7) explains why he started using his background in film production to help inform people about Scientology’s harmful practices.

In his documentary film, Mark takes a look at Scientology’s beliefs, but also at how corporate Scientology behaves. Are the promised benefits of believing in Scientology’s ‘gospel’ evident in the behavior of its staunchest defenders?

Bunker notes that Scientology — selling so-called auditing sessions as well as increasingly expensive self-help courses — promises to make you a “superior human being.”

“But if that’s the case,” he says, “Why hasn’t Dianetics and Scientology helped the very men at the top? L. Ron Hubbard and now David Miscavige are both truly flawed individuals. In fact, David Miscavige has reportedly even been beating people underneath him.”

And that’s not all. There are countless reports in which Scientology is accused of — among many other things — abuse and fraud, of tearing apart friends and family members, forcing staff members to have abortions, or having its ‘clergy’ work for a pittance.

Then there is Scientology’s history of hate- and harassment activities — behavior based on the unethical fantasies of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard. Hubbard was a B-grade science fiction writer who, in talking about himself, could not tell fiction and reality apart. It was he who came up with such abusive policies as Dead Agenting and Fair Game.

All of this and more will feature in Mark Bunker’s documentary.

The project is crowd-funded.

Excerpts from many of the interviews in the documentary are available on YouTube.

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This post was last updated: Monday, March 31, 2014 at 2:37 PM, Central European Time (CET)