ORIGINAL BROADCAST DATE: Saturday May 19th, 2007

To counter the bad press from the BBC1’s broadcast of Panorama’s “Scientology and Me,” the head of Scientology’s Office of Special Affairs, Mike Rinder, went on a live radio show, heard in the wee hours of the morning. It was a sports talk show which Rinder did along with a UK Scientology big-wig, Bob Keenan.

What does Scientology have to do with Sports? Besides their using a Nigerian soccer player to try to frame Bob Minton on international financial crimes…nada. However, here was a safe port where they could spew their propaganda with no tough questioning.

This is exactly the show Scientology wanted John Sweeney to do. They wanted to show nothing but their good PR spin and panicked when Sweeney suggested he would talk to people with opposing views. The host of this show, Mike Mendoza, allows the most outrageous claims to go unchallenged.

In SEGMENT 1, they discuss how the Panorama show came about, from Scientology’s perspective.

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SEGMENT 2 features the clip of Sweeney losing his cool at the “Industry of Death” exhibit in Los Angeles. This is the clip Scientology put on YouTube the weekend before the broadcast to try to blunt the impact of Panorama’s show. Instead it drew a record crowd to the show and a lot of attention to Scientology’s creepy ways.

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SEGMENT 3 is where Mendoza not only lobs softball questions to Scientology but he starts to answer on their behalf. Rinder disputes the effect of Disconnection on families and then smears the family who appeared on Panorama. Rinder talks about the people Sweeney talked to or tried to talk to for the show. He claims Sweeney threatened to shut down Narconon, perhaps confusing him with Vince Daniels. Mendoza has heard only “good things” about Narconon.

They poo-poo the “suggestion” that Scientology had people follow Sweeney during the making of the show. Scientology hire PI? Who would believe that? Anyone who can look at the truth.

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SEGMENT 4 is when they start to take listeners calls.

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In SEGMENT 5, callers or e-mailers who attack Sweeney get on with no problem. When a caller mentions possible harm from being “clear,” Mendoza nearly has a fit. Another caller talks about a friend’s husband who got drawn in and obsessed with Scientology which led to a divorce. Mendoza doesn’t even need Rinder to respond. He attacks the woman for her question.

When a caller suggests that Mendoza was perhaps a Scientologist himself, he admitted that he spent time at the Org. The segment ends abruptly as Mendoza praises Scientology for their efforts to bring “Peace to the Middle East” with their Way to Happiness pamphlets.

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By SEGMENT 6, I was so incensed by this show that I had to call overseas to try to correct some of the lies being told. I was on hold for ten minutes. I got through to speak and was put on the air.

Here’s my phone call to the show which mysteriously went unaired:

“Hi, this is Mark Bunker. I have website critical of Scientology and I think you’re doing a grave injustice to your audience by only showing one side to this story…”


…and not even one word of that got through. On the air, they pretended that I accidentally got cut off and said they wanted me to call back and they’d put me on the air. So I called back and held for another 10 minutes until the screener came on the line. I explained to him what had happened and that they specifically said on air that they wanted me to call back.

I told him I would not mention my website if they were concerned about that. The screener said he had my phone number and would ask Mendoza if they wanted to call me back and put me on the air but I couldn’t remain on hold. Mendoza refused to call me back.

But Mendoza admits he spent time at the Org and he was never held down and brainwashed. Fancy that.

A caller brings up the movie “Holy Smoke” in which Harvey Keitel plays a deprogrammer. “That’s a movie!” declares Mendoza. Then allows Rinder to “dispell” the rumor of Xenu and space aliens. All bullocks, it turns out.

Tina wants to know how to best find out about Scientology. Read a book, she is told. Why do celebrities love Scientology? When Keenan drops the ball, Sweeney gives the answer.

Someone mentioned shouting at a box on an earlier show. Never happens!!! What nonsense. Who would yell at a box? Sorry that no one mentioned ashtrays.

Former member Mary e-mails a charge that critics like me were kept off the show. Mendoza is outraged someone would suggest that and admits that Scientology has given a “very generous” donation to his personal charity.

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Segment 7 begins with a rousing e-mail from someone who admires the Scientologists he has met. Then it gets good as a Freezoner tries to pin Mike Rinder down on freedom of religion, especially when it comes to independent Scientologists practicing outside the church. Keenan speaks up about those damned squirrels.

Caller Brian has been in Scientology for nearly 50 years, one of the original founders. Sweeney sucks. “Industry of Death”…brilliant.

Silent Birth? Scientifically proven. Accepted church? Absolutely! What do you believe? Get a book. Why do so many people leave Scientology? So many? What? What are you talking about? What’s Scientology’s take on sex? We don’t care about sex. We deal with the spirit.

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SEGMENT 8 is a quick follow up after the guests leave. Mendoza assures the audience he asked all the tough questions. Thanks for the super job, Mike.

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25 Comments on “talkSPORT”

  1. Sponge Says:

    There is an interesting entry in Krisi Wachter’s online database of published scientology stats,…...
    “Michael Mendoza BASIC COURSE COMPLETIONS Gateway 376 2004-07-01”
    which, if it is indeed him, explains a lot.

    Also, for the record, I emailed the show during broadcast to complain about the obvious cuddling up to scientology and the cutting off of Mark’s call.
    I didn’t get a reply but he did post a pathetic response on the talksport website (click the website link on my name above )

  2. David Says:

    TalkSport is one of the worst radio stations in the UK, period. But Mendoza is bottom drawer of that.

    Anyone with any sense listens to R5 or LBC.

  3. mike henderson Says:

    My wife and I were also interviewed and shown on air on the Panorama episode. Rinder does not talk about us, other than to mention we were one of three non-Scientologists. He failed to mention we were former Sea Org members, OT 8 and OT 7, International Association of Scientoogist Patrons with Honors, who combined paid over 1.7 million dollars into Scientoogy. To him we are” extortionists” because my wife asked for her money back. He also sidestepped the issue of cornering Sweeney at his hotel, saying John was wearing a raincoat and carrying a camera. They called every hotel in town in a massive call out campaign, to find their hotel( or they followed them.) He sidestepped the well known and documented FACT that Scientology uses private detectives , paid by church attorneys, to do their dirty work. Rinder is slippery. He is as good as OSA has. He sounds reasonable. What Sweeney was after was what he found, the non-smiley real face of Scientology When poked with a stick, Scientology snarls and the fangs come out.

  4. mike henderson Says:

    One more thing, my dying father, referenced in the Panorama program, passed away June 4, 2007, with my wife and I at his bedside. Not one of my 4 sisters or brother called, visited or showed up at the service. Allan Hendersons crime was leaving Scientology.

  5. ODP Says:

    Thank you for putting this out there. Not being from the UK I wouldn’t normally have access.

  6. Jerry Says:

    Mike, you have my condolences on your father’s passing. It should bring comfort to you and your wife to know that you were able to leave scientology and reconnect with your father before it was too late. I’m sure that your being there also brought peace to him during this time.

  7. Roger Gonnet Says:

    Mendoza is the sort of crime cultie who does not know the difference between a scam and a product. That’s what we call Brainwashing. He should try to buy an old broken eastern Germany car – you know, a Trabant, then check the difference with a real car, then he could see a difference between facts and lies.

  8. Terril Park Says:

    It seems clear to me that this programme was set up as a PR op by COS. I suspect it was promoted on internal COS lines to the parishioners. Why would Mike Rinder travel from California to the UK to do a radio phone in on a sports channel? Between 1-3am sunday morning? One reason its available world wide on the net. Well it was 5-7 pm in the west coast US, etc! Also it was stated the Host Mike Mendoza had visited scientology in london. He appears to have course completions in COS also.

    I only briefly heard the program as I waited to go on air. It was by sheer chance I was up at the computer so late and saw a post to call the program. So rushed to the phone and heard part of the program on the phone. A little while before I was put on air I heard Mike Ricketts speak. I was on staff with him at London years ago. He is now OSA.

    Normally I would expect the media to find controversy of interest. I had hardly began to warm up when the phone line went dead. Yet the possibility of debate on the religious discrimination by COS of the Freezone would surely be good ” radio”?
    And no, they didn’t reconnect me as promised!

  9. Krueger Says:

    Mike Henderson,

    I’m terribly sorry to hear about your father and the way your brothers and sisters treated him.

    I watched the Panorama episode, and was deeply moved and hurt by your story.

  10. John Smith Says:

    In part 7, the caller Brian says he’s been in Scientology for nearly 50 years, that he was an alcoholic for 28 years, and that he “hasn’t touched a drop in 18 years.”

    He seems to be saying, in 1961 he BECAME an alcoholic, 4 years AFTER joining Scientology as a “founding” Scientologist, and finally got OFF the booze in 1989, 4 years AFTER Hubbard died.

    Have I got that right? Or is there something wrong with my wog math? And, how is that a success story?

  11. Mike Mendoza Says:

    your facts are totally wrong!!
    I HAVE NEVER EVER been a Scientologist or ever been on a course with them. YES I have visited their HQ in the UIk and thats it.
    Go through the phone book and you will find many Michael Mendoza’s…

    I am sorry that my programme was not enjoyed by some listeners, i was not prepared to put these guys on ‘trial’ without facts in front of me.
    NO ONE called in to say.. this happened to me.. all I got were callers saying a friend of mine… or.. a friend of a friend… or.. i heard that… NO ONE called to say.. this happened to me.. understand what I am getting at here? I cant let ‘heresay’ take over. I need the facts.
    The American caller did loose connection, I did ask him to call back.. my tec op did not tell me who was hanging on the line.

    talksport is NOT a pure ‘SPORTS’ station.. it is a mix of talk & sport.. I prsenet a talk show not a sports show.


  12. XENU TV Says:

    Mike, I hosted a radio show of my own for several years. I know a dump button when I hear one. If I’m on the line with you for seven seconds before losing my connection and seven seconds disappears from the air…I’ve been dumped.

    And when I called back as you “requested” I was not allowed to “hang on the line”

    Here’s a clue, if you wanted something other than “heresay” why not invite someone else on the show? The BBC and Sweeney moved on and didn’t want to talk with media about Scientology anymore? Fine. Then make a couple calls and find someone who would appear. Balance, it’s called.

    Then see if Rinder had the balls to appear with someone who can call him on his lies.

  13. Terril Park Says:

    ============ =====
    On 18 Jun, 21:50, “Mike” wrote:
    > Mark Bunker wrote:
    > > Mike Mendoza left an angry message on my blog:

    i heard
    > > that… NO ONE called to say.. this happened to
    me.. understand what
    > > I am getting at here? I cant let ‘heresay’ take
    over. I need the
    > > facts. The American caller did loose connection, I
    did ask him to call
    > > back.. my tec op did not tell me who was hanging
    on the line.

    I wasn’t allowed to say ” What happened to me” or
    my friends. I
    queried the religious persecution of the protestant
    Freezone, and got cut
    of right quick.

    Meanwhile Mike Rinder and the OSA Europe guy
    commented how we
    couldn’t be scientologists!

    There was a thirty years war in Europe on such
    protestant issues.

    You want to organise a program with Mike Rinder et
    all and some
    Freezone, protestant scientologists?


    > > talksport is NOT a pure ‘SPORTS’ station.. it is a
    mix of talk &
    > > sport.. I prsenet a talk show not a sports show.
    > > presenter
    > > talksport

    The website for our internet Org.
    http://www.freewebs .com/techoutside thecofs/

  14. Apostate Says:

    That’s odd Mr Mendoza, you say that you cant air ‘heresay’, yet you air lies told by the scientologists? You’ll be fine though Mr Mendoza, YOU wont be ‘done away with quietly and without sorrow’ like all those not willing to live under the rule of scientology.

    You really have not an iota of an idea at all about scientology and their ‘church’.

    “The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it”.–Albert Einstein

  15. Martin Foster Says:

    Mike – I feel very sorry for your sisters and brother as they will eventually graduate from the Church and in the mean time must be suppressing their connections to you and your father. Those connections cannot easily be broken. Suppressed yes but never broken. And I am certain that your father will address their misguided allegiance in the very near future.
    My kids were also threatened with PTS type A declares but had sufficient independence to see through the lies and to tell this dying Church to continue rotting without their assistance. The Church of Scientology has become an abuser of basic human rights.

  16. Lafayette Says:

    I’m shocked that the Church should get such an easy ride anywhere. I doubt however that TalkSport is part of some grand conspiracy. Commercial radio has been performing quite poorly against the BBC in recent times, so I suspect that TalkSport were just using the Panorama debacle to put the boot in on their rivals.

    This is a little offtopic, but TalkSport are allegedly going to have something of a hard time come the 2012 Olympics (for which the BBC have more or less exlclusive broadcasting rights in the UK). TS programming is almost entirley sponsored, but because of the rather Draconian laws put in place to govern the use of Olympic trademarks, they will be hard put to find a legal way of getting sponsorship for any programming during the Olympiad.

  17. alleee Says:

    You might be interested in listening to the podcast listed in the trackback. It’s for you!

  18. XENU TV Says:

    I loved it, Alleee! Thanks so much!

  19. […] what I’m assured is America’s Greatest Blog.  Alleee took a few audio clips from the talkSport radio show, sprinkled in some sound bites of Hubbard and mixed it all together with some really […]

  20. Sean Says:


    Fixed it!

    Disclaimer – This is my opinion of that scuzzy tard Mike Mendoza, the lying asshat.

  21. jim cherkas Says:

    I think what everyone failed to see is that a positive view of Scientology radio program is in itself different unexpected radio from the normal media and it made it unique! I am ok with listening to the views of others but where is the other side? Scientology considers it wrong to have a view before starting to report a story but makes sure that a positive view is there before they start to be interviewed! They should have made a sizable donation to Sweeney favorite charity before agreeing to be interviewed by him!

  22. […] on what I’m assured is America’s Greatest Blog.  Alleee took a few audio clips from the talkSport radio show, sprinkled in some sound bites of Hubbard and mixed it all together with some really […]

  23. L.Fraud Hubbard Says:

    Just trying to catch up

  24. […] last time the subject of scientology came up on talksport radio: talkSPORT : XENU TV (old page: talkSPORT THE WOG BLOG from XENU TV ) It was during the PR flap after the BBC panorama "Scientology & Me" and they had […]

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