Congratulations must be given to BBC’s Panorama for their show tonight on Scientology. Not that I would hold it up as a great example of unbiased journalism, and Ed Thomas makes an important point below below about the BBC’s double standards when it comes to dangerous religions, but nevertheless it was a brave program, as various critics of Scientology’s tactics can attest. Scientology came across very badly, not because of anything reporter John Sweeney said, but because of they way they treated him. Their chances of being taken seriously as a religion in the UK have decreased even further now.
(I think the releasing on YouTube of Sweeney losing it and screaming at themmay have backfired, because of the interest it has created in the show. The Church had apparently launched a new campaign to get the Charity Commission to grant them charitable status in the UK — this show is hardly going to help them).
It was telling, though, that Sweeney said of Scientology’s apparent bully-boy tactics that “you can’t imagine the Chuch of England acting this way” (or words to that effect). No, but there is one well-established recognized religion in the UK you can imagine acting that way, which Sweeney conveniently did not mention.