Monday, 21 May 2007

Panorama and Scientology

Panorama did a report on Scientology, a religious organisation or someone would say cult that is increasing in popularity. The documentary was made famous as the reporter lost his cool with a spokesman who kept appearing when he was trying to interview critics. This can be seen at

I don't know enough about the rights and wrongs but there were a number of worrying aspects

1. People are encouraged to "disconnect" from family members who are not in the organisation.

2. Reporters and critics of the organisation appear to be followed relentlessly and there background exposed or even invented. It begs the question, "What are so you worried about". If there is nothing to hide then critics won't have anything to find. The BBC journalist was consistently confronted despite not telling the spokesman where and when he was going.

3. Any time the word is cult is used they get angry. Very angry. Given that the definition of a cult is a group of followers of an exclusive system of religious beliefs and practices (WordNet) it seems an extreme reaction even though there is a negative connotation to the word. If the spokesman had said, Some people think we are a cult but you could have said that about Christianity in 0AD" it would have been OK but one feels that the lady doth protest too much, methinks (yes that is the original quote)

4. To be a true believer will cost you $100 000

5. Adverts in the UK were rejected as there was no proof for the claims they made

It seems that vulnerable people could be taken for a ride and until the Scientologists answer some of the points above I side with the BBC

No comments: