And by “it” I mean the war on the Internet. The BBC has what should be a spectacular show next week on Panorama and I can’t wait. It’s all about how Scientology attacks anyone who speaks out against them. The producers were wondering if they had changed over the years and found out first hand that Scientology hasn’t and can’t change.
Scientology apparantly had PI’s follow the filmmakers everywhere they went and spy on them in their hotels and restaurants and it’s all on camera. This will be a fun, fun show.
How do they combat the upcoming bad press? By leaking some of the video that they shot of the BBC crew and reporters. Last week, a journalist at the Telegraph was shown a clip that presented the reporter John Sweeney “in a bad light.”
In the course of interviewing a Scientology spokesman, the BBC interviewer, John Sweeney, lost his temper. And I mean REALLY lost it, shouting at the top of his voice straight into the face of an interviewee standing only inches from him.
How do I know? I’ve seen the footage. You see, the Scientologists were – predictably – filming Panorama filming them. And yesterday they gleefully showed me the results.
And now that clip has seen the light of day, and it is brilliant. Sweeney is playing with the Scientologists and using their own drills to be “at cause” over them. His pause in the middle of the rant is a clear indication he is playing around.
Compare Sweeney’s “rant” to the demonstration of this training drill by Vaughn Young on a British TV show from 90’s called Network First. He is at cause over an ashtray.
If you’d like to see the TR used in action, there’s no better clip than the assault of Bob Minton. Boston Scientologist Frank Offman has his hands in his pockets, screaming at Bob Minton, trying to get a reaction from Bob.
Make sure to see this Panorama show when it airs on May 14th on BBC1. You can also see it online at their website after it airs. Here’s the brief promo from the end of last week’s Panorama to give you an idea of what’s to come.
From the Panorama site, John Sweeney says there are three rules in journalism. First, find a crocodile. Two, poke it in the eye with a stick. Three, stand back and report what happens next. What happens next week should be priceless.
UPDATE: SATURDAY, MAY 12th, 5 PM
John Sweeney has posted a response to Scientology’s YouTube assault on the BBC website. In it, he says he did indeed lose his cool. That doesn’t quite comport with his mellow comment in the middle of the shouting but I have no reason not to accept his account:
As often in life, I snapped over something completely different and quite trivial.
Top Scientologist Tommy “Don’t mention the word cult” Davis had been goading me all week, and on the seventh day I fell into his elephant trap. He shouted at me and I shouted back, louder.
If you are interested in becoming a TV journalist, it is a fine example of how not to do it. I look like an exploding tomato and shout like a jet engine and every time I see it makes me cringe.
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.
I lost my voice, but not my mind.
The Times reports that Scientology has sent out 100,000 copies of a DVD answer to the show in an effort to blunt the impact of Panorama’s report.
In a preemptive strike that is costing the church £30,000, it is sending copies of the DVD to all MPs and peers, religious leaders and other “influential” figures.
So determined has it been to neuter claims in the programme that it is a cult that its film makers tailed the journalists, employed CCTV and repeatedly confronted reporters.
John Sweeney has my respect and I know that this YouTube assault on him is only going to draw more attention to the show. Here’s another clip featuring Scientologist Tommy Davis running from Sweeney’s camera. They won’t let me embed the clip, so double-click on the video and it will take you to YouTube’s version.
Can’t wait. And with 100,000 copies of the Scientology DVD floating around, it sure would be nice if one of them made it into my hands.Explore posts in the same categories: TV Broadcasts