Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Panorama : The Secrets of Scientology (BBC1)

In this documentary, the follow up to 2007's Scientology and Me, John Sweeney tries again to uncover more about Scientology. This time round several "traitors" who have left the "religion" talk to him about it's inner workings and to add to the credibility all still believe the teachings of Scientology, just not the organisation.

There no Scientology spokesman stalking him this time, so no explosive rants spicing this one up, but it is none the less interesting for it. While it doesn't really uncover anything new about the "religion" itself it does paint a terribly creepy picture of powerful and very paranoid organisation. The extents they go to to protect their secrets are kinda fucking evil.

While not an earth shattering expose this is still a real good watch and well worth checking out on iplayer.


  1. My tour guide in LA told us how the church had tried for years to get scientology taken off the Cult Awareness Network's list of dangerous organisations.

    Instead - they bought the charity. Now a group dedicated to rescuing people by cults is run by the Church of Scientology.

    I only saw a bit of this, but I'm kind of on Xenu's side here. People believe made up shit. Big deal. If you don't like it - leave. Or even better, don't become a scientologist in the first place.

    They moan about what happens if you try and leave the church. Doesn't really compare with what happens if you try and leave islam.

    The difference between a cult and a religion? I'd say about 150 years. When did Joseph Smith die?

  2. The thing that swings Scientology into cult, for me anyway, is the fact you can't find out everything you're supposed to believe unless you pay enough money to get to a certain level. The story of Jesus feeding the 5000 isn't "there were 5000 people and only 5 fish and 5 loaves of bread. What did Jesus do? Pay to find out!"

  3. If I'm going to come over all Keanu Reeves/Al Pacino, it's not that different to the sacred mysteries - the disciplini arcana - in early Christianity. The sacraments, like blood to wine, bread to body, were hidden from all but the most hardcore for fear of ridicule. It stayed like that until the end of the so called "Age of Persecution"

    On the money point, well now you're stretching me. On one hand, how else in the modern world do you prove your devotion? On a completely other hand money has always had a close relationship with religion. Indulgences in the Catholic Church, which bought people time out of purgatory for instance. In fact, the idea that religion and money don't mix was really introduced by Jesus his holy self - eye of the needle, render unto Caesar etc. Paying for sacrifices was well established in Judaism, which is why turning over the moneylenders' tables in the temple was such an act of rebellion.

    To sum up - shell out and embrace Xenu! Or destroy Xenu! I forget which and I'm not stupid enough to pay for secrets in the age of the internet.