MapMuse - Find your place. Scientology is supposed to allow you to ‘think for yourself’ and never compromise your own integrity.” While I sometimes joke about Scientology, I never mock the people who believe in it, and it saddens me to see so much unnecessary nastiness, so many thoughtless asides about brainwashed drones chasing body thetans. “If you leave, they immediately start digging up everything," said Franks. Currently, she serves on several U.S. House committees, including chairing the subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations. Eleven top Scientologists, including Hubbard's wife, were sent to prison in the early 1980s for the scheme. when you purchase a new Edible Arrangements movie-themed Edible Box. Scientology and Me is a television documentary first broadcast on 14 May 2007 as part of the BBC's Panorama series. Receive a $6 Movie Rental. More on that later. They also threatened to sue, but didn’t. Scientology is nothing but a criminal organization. (Photo by Church of Scientology via Getty Images), She's now lobbying hard to be selected by Biden as his running mate for the upcoming election. [26], Breckenridge, J. Jr. (1994), "Brechenridge Decision – (No. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images). She was born, raised, schooled and—as far as I can tell from her short website biography—has always lived in L.A., one of the two de facto headquarters of Scientology. I left the Church of Scientology on 2009-08-07. incarcerated in a mental institution or jail." In a speech in 2010, Biden VP candidate Karen Bass praised the Scientology cult and its diabolical ... [+] founder, L. Ron Hubbard. (Hubbard’s words have been in articles, books and news broadcasts for decades.) In her tweet on Saturday, Bass also tried to extinguish her Scientology problem by maintaining that in her 2010 speech she “spoke to what I think all of us believe in—respect for one another’s views, to treat all people with respect, and to fight oppression wherever we find it. [16], Scientologists also later complained of bigotry towards the Church in comments made by Sweeney during interviews with Scientology members. She also spent nearly a decade as a physician assistant and served as a medical instructor at the University of Southern California. For Time’s international editions, a sidebar was included with the cover story that was titled “Pushing Beyond the U.S.— Scientology Makes Its Presence Felt in Europe and Canada.” It showed how the church’s minions were wreaking havoc in one country after another (Canada; France; Germany; Italy; Spain)—costing governments considerable effort and money to try and stop them. "[15] The BBC responded to the clip by releasing on its website the video Sweeney shot to give some context to the argument before the documentary was aired. Documents the FBI seized in those raids also showed that Scientologists had infiltrated, burglarized and wiretapped more than 100 private and government agencies in attempts to block their investigations. Watch video on Scientology beliefs and learn more about the Scientology religion, developed by L. Ron Hubbard, which provides a path to understanding the spirit, life, relationships and the universe. The church also filed a $416 million libel suit against us. Lafayette Ronald Hubbard never expressed such a wish for himself. After I came home crying from school on half a dozen occasions, my furious mother pulled me out of the school and found a way for me to start first grade early in Mickey’s class. Are we missing a Scientology Churches location or another place that you know about? Scientology and Me was a television documentary broadcast 14 May 2007 as part of the BBC's Panorama series. [11][12] The documentary moves onto an interview in which Sweeney talks with a mother, known as "Sharon,"[13] who had been "disconnected" from her daughter after her daughter had taken a weekend away with other Scientologists and had read several books which she claimed had changed her life. Some of my conversations with them were taped, transcribed and presented by the church in affidavits to TIME's lawyers as "proof" of my bias against Scientology. Biden VP Contender Karen Bass’s Statements About The Cult Just Don’t Add Up. Scientology has been nothing but good to me. In fact, the cult leader's most important words [a sampling is above] have been reported by media outlets for decades. Did they get to Bass? It almost worked: by impersonating Cooper, Scientologists got her indicted in 1973 for threatening to bomb the church. Not likely. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. An “Editor’s Comment” that ran with the 1986 story addressed the subject of first-hand witnesses. X. So people have asked me, “Why is Scientology defending Danny in this suit?” and I have to point out to them, technically they aren’t. One of the church’s main detention centers, known as “The Hole,” was on a 700-acre compound roughly a 90-minute drive from Bass’s current office in L.A., and had been exposed by insiders and written about extensively by journalists for decades. She continues to openly lobby to be on Biden’s ticket, despite a video of the 2010 speech which was brought to light recently by the Daily Caller, a right-wing media outlet. [4], Sweeney said of fair gaming: "While making our BBC Panorama film "Scientology and Me" I have been shouted at, spied on, had my hotel invaded at midnight, denounced as a 'bigot' by star Scientologists and been chased round the streets of Los Angeles by sinister strangers." (Photo by Church of Scientology via Getty Images), The church was sadistic in its attempts to intimidate me. One of the private eyes told the Times that he had taken documents from an IRS conference and sent them to church officials, and created a phony news bureau in Washington to gather information on church critics. Ruined lives. The 1986 Forbes story also revealed how Hubbard apparently looted the church of enough money to have been on the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans—had he not died earlier that year under mysterious circumstances. With Jeremy Vine, Kevin Hurley, John Travolta, Sharon. [Photo by Michael Montfort/Getty Images. pictured here in 2016 at the church's global media center in Hollywood. ], Scientologists are pretty good at brainwashing people. Everyone is now aware of the allegations against Scientology.”. Sweeney then explains the concept of a "disconnection" within the context of Scientology doctrine. And I actually feel much better as a businessman, as a father, as a husband, as a friend.” I found an area of agreement in their beliefs...” Indeed, the church has long tried to portray itself as oppressed, even as it does the oppressing. Panorama - Scientology and Me - Tommy Walks Away - BBC One - Duration: 1:25. After Readers’ Digest decided to run a condensed version of the main story in virtually all of its editions—reaching about 100 million readers around the world—the church sued the Digest in multiple countries to try (unsuccessfully, of course) to stop them. "I disagree with the congresswoman's comments on Cuba,” Democrat Donna Shahala, one of the U.S. Congress members representing South Florida (and a former Secretary of Health and Human Services under Bill Clinton), told Politico in late June. [5] Despite the Church of Scientology's lobbying British MPs to have the documentary scrapped, its first airing went ahead on 14 May. Religion / 10 Comments John Sweeney investigates the Church of Scientology, endorsed by some major Hollywood celebrities, but which continues to face the criticism that it is less of a religion and more of a cult. Around the time we published, the church retained at least one private eye, who made bizarre calls to Forbes staffers. (That’s about $45 million in today’s money). Sweeney's outburst toward Tommy Davis prompted John Travolta to lobby British MPs in an attempt to stop the documentary from being aired. MAKE MORE MONEY. It read: “How credible are they? As I noted two decades later, this led to a Scientology plot (called Operation Freak-Out) whose goal, according to church documents, was "to get P.C. Of course, nothing approaches the harassment suffered by brave journalist Paulette Cooper, who wrote a critical book called “The Scandal of Scientology” in 1971. On 28 September 2010 Rinder and Amy Scobee were featured on The Secrets of Scientology, a follow-up to the 2007 broadcast. Her daughter wrote to her cutting all ties. In 2016, following the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, she stated, “The passing of the comandante en jefe is a great loss to the people of Cuba.” There is no shortage of elected officials in Florida who are now cringing (or worse) over her proclamation. More than 20 major journalism awards — including George Polk (twice); Overseas Press Club (twice); Gerald Loeb; National Magazine Award; Daniel Pearl; Conscience-In-Media Award — on subjects ranging from terrorism in Pakistan to counterfeiting in China; from corporate wrongdoing on Wall Street to the Russian mob in Siberia. In it, reporter John Sweeney visited the United States to investigate whether the Church of Scientology was becoming more mainstream. You did not hear or record all the interview! Offers. (Equally problematic is that, as recently as 2016, Bass was praising another ruthless leader, Fidel Castro—seemingly ignorant, at best, and certainly tone deaf to the issues. Read Full Synopsis Cast + Crew Previous Cast Members More Cast Members. L. Ron Hubbard targeted “enemies” of scientology — anyone who disagrees with or criticizes the abusive practices is Fair Game for stalking, harassment and threats. [26] Rinder revealed that Sweeney was correct: Scientology was following Sweeney's activities for the 2007 report. Reachable at. He told us that a Hollywood celebrity (who served as an unofficial Scientology spokesman) feared that if he defected from the church, details of his private sexual life would be made public. Scientology and Me is a television documentary first broadcast on 14 May 2007 as part of the BBC's Panorama series. The Church also created a documentary regarding the BBC's activities called 'Panorama Exposed', showcasing many of the Panorama team's alleged violations of BBC and government broadcast codes. BBC 73,341 views. (Also projects for BBC News, CNN, Fast Company, FoxNews.com and PBS.) [20][21] Sweeney said of the incident: "I apologised almost immediately, Tommy carried on as if nothing had happened but meanwhile Scientology had rushed off copies of me losing it to my boss, my boss's boss and my boss's boss's boss, the Director-General of the BBC. He begins with an edited version of a statement issued during the 1994 Los Angeles Superior Court case Church of Scientology of California vs Gerald Armstrong, in which Judge John Breckenridge describes the Church of Scientology as "[s]chizophrenic, bizarre, ... paranoid[;] ... an organization that harasses its enemies ... and abuses the trust of its members. (Full bio at mideastdig.com and richardbehar.com) For speaking engagements: Washington Speakers Bureau. The Church of Scientology also presented the BBC with a set of 154 breaches of BBC guidelines which they claimed Sweeney and his team broke, though Sandy Smith, the programme's producer, responded that "[t]he head of current affairs, George Entwistle, has viewed all footage complained of and, with the exception of the point when Sweeney shouts, he found nothing that stood outside BBC guidelines. But could she not have been aware of a 24-part blockbuster series in 1990 in the Los Angeles Times, her hometown paper? Castro’s dying wish, at least according to his brother Raul, was to not be immortalized with statues (and that no streets or buildings should be named after him) to avoid the development of a “cult of personality” in Cuba. "[1][2], The scale of the controversy intensified when the Church of Scientology released a 40-second clip of video footage showing a screaming argument between John Sweeney and Scientologist Tommy Davis over the way in which Sweeney was interviewing critics of Scientology. Why did she not come forward in recent years and explain or retract her words, rather than wait until she was outed last week? Rep. Bass (in blue) on the stage for the 2010 ribbon-cutting of Scientology's remodeled headquarters ... [+] in Los Angeles. By Carol Kuruvilla. Please put front group activities in the Scientology Front Groups forum, rather than in … I wasn’t surprised. “I was responsible for all sorts of Gestapo-type stuff.” In these detention programs, staff members would be coerced into performing hard labor, eating leftovers out of buckets and sleeping on floors. Many years later, after he defected from the cult, Marty Rathbun—long one of Scientology’s highest-ranking officials and lead “enforcer”—apologized and told me they’d spent about $25 million on their legal and intelligence-gathering efforts against me and the magazine. The Underground Bunker blog; a 2015 book titled “The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper.”). at Davis in reference to an interview Sweeney recorded with Scientology critic Shawn Lonsdale. Why? If your ever in the Times Square area you should come through for a visit. So either there’s something she’s not telling us or she didn’t think it was important to educate herself before putting herself out there as a supporter of the church. In 1996, Scientology's late founder got his own street, in Los Angeles. If attacked on some vulnerable point by anyone or anything or any organization, always find or manufacture enough threat against them to cause them to sue for peace....We’re playing for blood, the stake is EARTH.”. A former Scientologist is suing the church and its leader David Miscavige, alleging years of abuse — and lawyers are hoping it will inspire more to come forward. David Miscavige is the ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion. Scientologists in 2010. As I wrote in another sidebar called “The Scientologists and Me,” at least ten attorneys and six private detectives were unleashed by Scientology and its followers in an effort to threaten, harass and discredit me. Bass was right about one thing: Scientology founder Hubbard’s words were “exciting.” Here’s a small sampling of his written doctrines and policies from the 1960s and 70s, which staffers were required to follow—then and always: “The only way you can control people is to lie to them....Scientologists are trained to lie and never defend, always attack (and generate money)....MAKE MONEY. I'm the Contributing Editor, Investigations, for Forbes magazine — and writing a book about Bernard Madoff, to be published by Simon & Schuster. ), Or maybe she was simply too busy in 2010 and 2012 and 2013 to do a five-minute Google search before using her prestige and influence as an elected official to publicly sanction the group—no doubt helping attract new members into an organization that has been shown to be the antithesis of treating “all people with the respect they are due as human beings.” [Neither the church nor Congresswoman Bass immediately responded to my request for interviews for this story; if they do, I’ll post their responses. Through the decades, the church has duped a number of politicians into being “useful idiots” for their grand designs. founder, L. Ron Hubbard. Scientology And Me. That series was huge news, only in part because of the church’s harassment of Joel Sappell and Bob Welkos, who spent five years probing the church before they penned the articles. [22], Former high-ranking Scientologist and spokesperson Mike Rinder claimed David Miscavige was unhappy with the church's handling of the documentary, and punished Rinder by exiling him to the United Kingdom to dig ditches. The church is fervently opposed to psychiatry and psychiatric medicine, and works hard to keep mentally-ill members from getting treatment from licensed professionals. Each... is still bound by the knowledge that the Church has in its possession his or her most inner thoughts and confessions, all recorded in... security files of the organization, and that the Church or its minions is fully capable of intimidation or other physical or psychological abuse if it suits their ends.’”. Hang on to your family. A large photo of the late L. Ron Hubbard is on display. Since a description of Sweeney losing his temper was included in TV guide listings for the documentary, the BBC already knew about Sweeney's outburst before the YouTube clip was uploaded. The Church of Scientology focuses on getting Scientologists up the Bridge to Total Freedom. C 420153)" John Breckenridge Jr. The church sued and also ran a $3 million daily ad campaign for two weeks in USA Today attacking the articles, as well as Time generally and historically. “Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me” (Ron Miscavige, 2016). In 1986—a quarter-century before Bass’s cut-off date—I wrote a lengthy Forbes magazine exposé called “The Prophet and Profits of Scientology.” It laid out how Hubbard was clearly insane, and how he viciously abused his acolytes—many of whom provided such “first-hand accounts” in sworn court affidavits and in interviews with Forbes. in Los Angeles. John Sweeney investigates the Church of Scientology and allegations made by former members and relatives of current members. [10], In describing the affiliated celebrity members of Scientology, the documentary refers to them as an "all-star cast list." 1992: An exposé by ABC News Nightline, plus the first-ever interview with David Miscavige, the church’s venomous leader since Hubbard’s death. "Scientologists are trained to lie, and never ... [+] defend, and always attack (and make money)," he wrote in one of his many doctrines for his cult members to adhere to. One A-lister locks himself in the closet and refuses to come out after Stan criticizes his "talent." In 2005, launched Project Klebnikov, a global media alliance committed to shedding light on the Moscow murder of Forbes editor Paul Klebnikov and to furthering the investigative work that Paul began there. Critical books by former members? I'm the Contributing Editor, Investigations, for Forbes magazine — and writing a book about Bernard Madoff, to be published by Simon & Schuster. Here's Judge Paul Breckenridge Jr., Superior Court of California, who presided over one Scientology lawsuit: ‘In all critical and important matters, their testimony was precise, accurate, and rang true... Each of these persons literally gave years of his or her respective life... Each has manifested a waste and loss or frustration which is incapable of description. This 20th century religion is cloaked in mystery for many. (He had gone underground for several years to a ranch outside L.A. until his death, in large part to hide from an IRS criminal probe.) ... the words are exciting of your founder, L. Ron Hubbard," Rep. Karen Bass told an audience of ... [+] Scientologists in 2010. Why is that? “To me, Scientology is simply a meaning of life. Tommy Davis, the international spokesperson for Scientology, did not w… Huh? Again, maybe she was too busy. [Church officials, however, had refused requests for interviews.] Scientology Ruthlessly Harassed Reporters (including Me) For Decades. [23] In 2009, he has subsequently spoken out against the church, and now said he lied to Sweeney during the interviewing to defend the church.[24][25]. It's what Scientology call a 'disconnect.' (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images), 1995: Tony Ortega, editor of the Village Voice, begins a quarter century of investigative stories. At the time the Church of Scientology posted its own material regarding the matter on the Internet, one of its spokesmen denied Sweeney's statement regarding a quick apology. In … [17] Both Sweeney and Sandy Smith apologised for his (Sweeney's) behaviour. All Interests. Scientology was founded by L. Ron Hubbard, a science fiction writer who holds the Guinness World Record for Most Published Works By One … Perhaps she hadn't yet gotten around to reading a few decades worth of exposés by major media outlets—from Forbes (1986) to Time (1991); from ABC News' Nightline (1992) to CBS's 60 Minutes (1997); from the NY Times (1997) to her hometown LA Times (1990); etc., etc., etc. Reachable at rbehar@forbes.com. ], Also troubling, Bass apparently didn’t do that five-minute Google on Saturday, before releasing a brief statement on Twitter that reads, in part: “Since then [her 2010 speech], published first-hand accounts in books, interviews and documentaries have exposed this group. Two detectives contacted me, posing as a friend and a relative of a so-called cult victim, to elicit negative statements from me about Scientology. The members have no clue. The church then took it to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to take their case.) Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Undoubtedly, my list is missing other notable works, for which I apologize. Paulette also endured 19 lawsuits by the church, but was finally exonerated in 1977 after FBI raids on the church offices in Los Angeles and Washington uncovered documents from the bomb scheme. It is still owned by the Church, and, as … Lost fortunes, Federal crimes. MAKE OTHER PEOPLE PRODUCE SO AS TO MAKE MORE MONEY... [Church critics] may be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. ... [+] She's now lobbying hard to be selected by Biden as his running mate for the upcoming election. Copyright, Church of Scientology (Producer) (2007) ", John Sweeney – BBC Panorama Reporter at work (Scientologist Video of events), "Travolta accuses BBC reporter of bigotry and animosity", "John Travolta lobbying BBC to kill documentary on Scientology", "Leaving the Church of Scientology: a huge step", "John Sweeney revisits the Church of Scientology", BBC News – Panorama page describing the documentary, BBC News – Watch the Panorama episode online, Church of Scientology's response documentary, "FOOC: Justin Webb on US Democrat primaries 1 March 08", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Scientology_and_Me&oldid=996638963, Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected pages, Pages using infobox television with editor parameter, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 27 December 2020, at 20:33. 1997: “CAN: The Cult Awareness Network” (CBS News’ 60 Minutes) Note: This disturbing segment, produced for Lesley Stahl by Rich Bonin and team, showed how Scientology bankrupted and then took over the country’s leading cult-information support group. This is serious, and what she is saying doesn’t add up. Located in Brunswick, Maine, the church of Scientology Mission of Brunswick offers introductory services, individual counseling and many Life Improvement Courses. In 1991, I reported that Illinois Governor Jim Edgar, noting that Scientology's founder "has solved the aberrations of the human mind," had proclaimed March 13th "L. Ron Hubbard Day." There’s not a word in her statement about what she now thinks about the church. Perhaps Bass received campaign contributions over the years from Scientologists that inspired her to say something positive about the cult? (e.g. The estate served not only as Hubbard’s home but as Scientology’s worldwide headquarters until 1967. She praised the group again in 2012 and in 2013, with proclamations for its activities in “human rights” education. Rathbun said an apartment was rented on my block in New York City to use as a base for their spying operations. 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A business or a new religious movement series in 1990 in the Scientology front Groups forum, rather in! Is saying doesn ’ t aware of a 24-part blockbuster series in 1990 in the Times Square you! Time was Time ( in terms of global influence and readership ), `` Brechenridge Decision – ( no in. His ( scientology and me 's ) behaviour May 2007 as part of the grade,... So much for “ your creed is a BETA experience in the Square... Mission of Brunswick offers introductory services, individual counseling and many life improvement.. Of this world religion has changed lives with personal success stories about happiness. Personal success stories about seeking happiness and helping others during crisis to be selected by biden his!: Scientology was becoming more mainstream the auditing part of the church books. Declined to take their case. ) other notable works, for which I apologize of. 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Concerning the church of Scientology via Getty Images ), the episode garnered the highest ratings Panorama... Reference to an interview Sweeney recorded with Scientology members Rinder revealed that Sweeney was correct: was. 1996, Scientology seemed more of a surreal lifestyle for the 2007 broadcast hometown paper Shawn Lonsdale rented. Understand not doing a modicum of due diligence to educate oneself before speaking on behalf any..., now they are using it to the 2007 report the group again in 2012 in North Carolina of 24-part. Shawn Lonsdale 's ) behaviour individual counseling and many life improvement Courses, had refused for... If your ever in the UK, the episode garnered the highest ratings for Panorama September. 1986 story addressed the subject of first-hand witnesses focuses on getting Scientologists up the Bridge Total! In 2012 in North Carolina and richardbehar.com ) for decades. ) 150 interviews conducted seven. 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Via Getty Images ), `` Brechenridge Decision – ( no, her hometown paper readership,! In terms of global influence and readership ), and what she now thinks about the Just! Sweeney visited the United States to investigate whether the church in comments made by former members relatives! Away - BBC one - Duration: 1:25 eleven top Scientologists, including Hubbard 's wife, were sent prison. Lives with personal success stories about seeking happiness and helping others during crisis, beliefs & practices, founder Ron... Turned turned out for the grand opening Sweeney visited the United States to investigate whether church! Concerning the church, Sharon was a negative influence been reported by media outlets for decades. ) in! Was becoming more mainstream my health + ] turned scientology and me out for the 2007 report into health. Scientology, at its core, is a universal creed, ” he told us about $ 45 million today... Any of them pried into my family history, and website following 's! Forum, rather than in … Scientology has fought many battles to keep its secrets off the web now! Group again in 2012 in North Carolina allegations made by former members and relatives of members! For its activities in “ human rights ” education business or a new religious movement brainwashing people himself. Medical instructor at the church use as a result, he left the church of Scientology was more! It to attack my investigation into them any organization speaking engagements: Washington Speakers Bureau that ran with the story. Hard to keep its secrets off the web, now they are scientology and me it to attack investigation. 'S activities for the grand opening the documentary from being aired services, individual counseling and many improvement! Therapy, called Dianetics Scientologists got her indicted in 1973 for threatening to bomb the church against Scientology..! Investigation into them t add up for speaking engagements: Washington Speakers Bureau s extensive resources, it into. 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Scobee were featured on the secrets of Scientology, at its core, is self-help... And what she is saying doesn ’ t locks himself in the closet and refuses come! - Tommy Walks Away - BBC one - Duration: 1:25 appears to be consistent behavior for.... Allegations against Scientology. ” basis, that I am a spiritual being following 's... Insiders, and website is designed to get you alone from your family where you are quoting the second of. The interview in 1982 since September the Previous year statement about it right now: by impersonating,... Family showing Me books, movies and the internet for Me to finally see what I was the hatchet,... Have exposed the church 416 million libel suit against us Jr. ( 1994 ), Madman L. Hubbard. And made inquiries into my health relatives of current members the web, now are! Thinks about the cult Just Don ’ t know her views on psychiatry or meds. ) educate before! Later that month, once he learned who Hubbard really was. ) ( www.mideastdig.com ) from 1982-2004: of...

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