Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Monday 14 May 2007

The biter bit - John Sweeney, Panorama and Scientology

(Please see UPDATE at end)

I have always found the Church of Scientology to be a highly sinister organisation, but they would no doubt say I am simply a victim of the propaganda of the prevailing orthodoxy; perhaps I am, but if so I am by definition not qualified to make any objective assessment of the matter. However, whatever one might think of the the organisation (official site), or have read about it (as in this Wikipedia article), or how it is viewed in various countries around the world, they have certainly scored an enormous propaganda advantage by provoking John Sweeney, a reporter for prestigious BBC current affairs programme Panorama into an extraordinary outburst. It is truly a case of the main-stream media (MSM) being a victim of the same tactics it has often used to try and intimidate those it is reporting on; this time the intended victim has very effectively turned the tables:

Now, suitably refreshed by that interesting clip, I suggest that if you are in the UK you tune into BBC1 this evening to watch the Panorama programme devoted to Scientology; it is to be broadcast at 20.30 BST, but will be available to watch on the Panorama website after it is broadcast this evening probably for about a week until the next edition is broadcast.

I couldn't care less what the Church of Scientology thinks, but for me it is a cult with all the negative connotations included in the Wikipedia article I link to; my views on organisations as diverse as the Roman Catholic Church to the Jehovah's Witnesses or other organised religious or quasi-religious groups are pretty much the same - they may do some good in the world, but there are usually negative aspects to their activities which make me very suspicious of them.

UPDATE: (Monday 14MAY07 21.02 BST) I have just watched the Panorama broadcast; yes, whatever one may say about John Sweeney having 'lost it', Scientology is indeed a deeply scary cult. Frightening. The Scientology person in the programme did his job well, trying to pick holes not only in Panorama's reporter's remarks, but his methodology, too, but not well enough to cloud my judgement of the weirdness of this belief-system; he more or less 'lost it' at one point, too, almost losing the ability to articulate what he was saying so seeimingly intense was the apparent level of his anger; perhaps it was genuine and not simulated as I half-suspect. Weirdness in itself is no crime, just so long as they don't inflict it on others. Of course it appears that all criticism of them is motivated by malice in their eyes; classic paranoia if you ask me!

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