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BBC Panorama Desperate Lies
A Freedom Special Report

BBC Panorama "Secrets of Scientology" - Statement of the Church of Scientology International

The Church of Scientology International repeatedly offered the BBC unlimited access to its Churches and interviews with our spokesperson, executives and parishioners on one condition: that John Sweeney not be part of the program.

Considering that John Sweeney was reprimanded by the BBC in 2007 for losing his temper and screaming with rage during the making of a so‐called “investigation” into the Church of Scientology, it is inconceivable that the BBC would repeat the same mistake. Yet it has.

How can Sweeney possibly be trusted to maintain the BBC’s record for impartiality when making another programme about the same Church?

Sweeney has the nerve to question why the Church arranged for independent documentarians to film his movements. The truth is had he not been caught on video in 2007 we doubt he would have admitted to his now notorious rant. We have filmed him pretending to get no answer when knocking on the front door of a church building, when clearly no one was there and a sign told him how to reach someone; approaching an unguarded gated entrance to one of our premises to imply we were hiding, when the main entrance was clearly marked; hugging and kissing his so‐called “impartial sources”; using a source that stage managed a sensitive family re‐union in front of a camera crew to deliberately provoke a rejection and stating he would report back to the BBC and so on.

We have turned that increasingly erratic behavior into a documentary which is being made available to broadcasters and the public (See: Panorama: Desperate Lives.)

Over the past few months the BBC have disgracefully, and in breach of their own guidelines, refused to tell the Church what issues they intend to broadcast, so the Church cannot properly respond. We have been approached with a series of wild unsubstantiated accusations; we have asked the BBC why they have allowed such a discredited and biased reporter as John Sweeney to remain on the show, but have not received a proper answer.

What we do know is that a small number of former Scientologists expelled from the Church for failing to meet the Church of Scientology’s high standards of probity, have colluded together to make false claims about the Church and that the BBC are relying upon discredited sources who have in some cases admitted to suborning perjury and in others have been proven to give false information to the police, have sworn false affidavits, used faked documents, and who, in some cases, have done so for the purpose of making financial claims in lawsuits which have been dismissed by the courts.

We are immensely proud of what the Church has achieved over the last few years, expanding internationally to more than 8,500 Churches, Missions and groups in 165 countries. We have opened 22 new Churches of Scientology, including one in the United Kingdom, in London on Queen Victoria Street and renovated our Life Improvement Center on Tottenham Court Road—all since John Sweeney began his last “investigation” on the Church. Our Churches in London, East Grinstead and around the British Isles minister to tens of thousands of parishioners, who, like their fellow Scientologists throughout the world, translate the precepts of the Scientology faith into action. They volunteer to rehabilitate prisoners; to educate others on the dangers of illicit drugs; to teach the illiterate and disadvantaged; and to help other charitable organizations. Scientology Volunteer Ministers provide effective disaster relief both here and abroad, helping as close to home as the London Underground bombing and Cumbria train derailment, and as far away as Haiti and the tsunamis in Sri Lanka, India and Indonesia.

Tommy Davis
Church of Scientology International
24 September 2010

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