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The Secrets of Scientology

BBC reporter John Sweeney’s last investigation into the Church of Scientology resulted in an explosive confrontation with church officials.

This time, in a Panorama Special, one of those officials has turned whistle blower to help him reveal the dark secrets of the church, which boasts Hollywood A-listers Tom Cruise and John Travolta among its devotees.

There were no histrionics from John Sweeney this time but a second look at Scientology underlined the insidious aspects of the controversial organization.

As Sweeney delved into L Ron Hubbard’s mysterious pseudo religion and found himself hounded and harassed, the group’s continued denial that it is a cult seemed laughable.

This is a so-called church, yet so much of its treatment of non-believers smacks of paranoia, notably the revelation that Sweeney’s 2007 ‘exploding tomato’ impression was encouraged.

Flashbacks to his previous investigation were overused and there was no scene capable of reaching the infamy of his red-faced screaming fit.

But with former ‘church’ spokesman Mike Rinder at Sweeney’s side, the lengths to which the religion of the stars will go to discredit its critics – including dividing families – became horribly clear.

Watch the full documentary (59 minutes)

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