BBC ~ In 2007, while investigating the Church of Scientology for Panorama, reporter John Sweeney had a dramatic on-camera confrontation with a church spokesman named Tommy Davis. The church was accusing the reporter of bias and it attempted to stop the documentary from being broadcast - a campaign backed by Scientology A-lister John Travolta. Sweeney has returned to investigate the church again. [more >>>]
Preview: Panorama Secrets of Scientology / "You're a Bigot" teaser
"Mr Shouty and Cruise: The Rematch"
thesundaytimes ~ [by John Sweeney] Three years ago, while making a Panorama programme about Scientology, I made the mistake of exploding in front of the sect’s own cameras. The embarrassing clip of film became and internet hit. Now I’ve gone back for more.
The sequence of events – I hope they make sense, but we are now in Scientology world – began like this. I am in Scientology’s Psychiatry: An Industry of Death museum on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. Monsters drill into brains; sparks flash inside a skull; electrodes clamp templates; an infant screams. The message: psychiatry is evil.
Black clad devotees of the Church of Scientology’s holy order, the Sea Org, are filming my every move. Tommy Davis, a Tom Cruise lookalike, and stone-faced Mike Rinder, head of Scientology’s secret police, the Office of Special Affairs, chew gum and stare at me, their jaws in sync. [more: read text pic]
John Sweeney Remembers Scientology Critic Shawn Lonsdale
Shawn Lonsdale was a thorn in the side of the Church of Scientology in their Clearwater "Mecca" until one day he was found dead under mysterious circumstances. Every day he filmed them as they mysteriously traveled to and from auditing sessions. He termed his video coverage "Cult Watch". In this video, John Sweeney fondly remembers Shawn, whom he met whilst filming the first BBC Panorama programme, “Scientology and Me”.
Scientology: Comes Out 'Swinging'
And Shawn Lonsdale, being a thorn in the side of the Church of Scientology, like Sweeney, was no stranger to the abuses of Scientologists while filming his "Cult Watch" videos on the streets of Clearwater, FL. Below is an example as he encounters Ron Savelo while filming one day:
ThanX: Sponge, Namenlos, Spangly, dialogueireland, themadhair and Shawn(rip).