Scientology and the BBC: Accusations Fly


After landing in Los Angeles, Sweeney claimed, "Our team was spied on by 10 different strangers." Rinder said the BBC team was filmed, not spied upon. "We had a camera, and he knew that we were filming," he told me.

Sweeney also wrote that Davis, a spokesman for the church, "invaded" interviews and showed up at the crew's hotel late at night to berate it for interviewing people who had left the church.

Sweeney claimed it was a Scientology exhibition called "Psychiatry: Industry of Death" that pushed him over the edge. "At the end of 90 minutes, I felt bombarded and unable to bear another single second," Sweeney wrote.

Back home in Britain, Sweeney said a stranger was apprehended sifting through the mail at Sweeney's mother-in-law's apartment building, that a neighbor was asked by a stranger for Sweeney's address, and that a strange man was seen hiding in the bushes, spying on Sweeney's wedding in rural England. According to Rinder, Sweeney is "Making those stories up to defend his outrageous conduct."

"Scientologists have fought many battles to keep its secrets off the web," Sweeney lamented in his article on the BBC's Web site. "Now they are using it to attack my investigation into them."

The program was "updated" today in the hours before going to air. According to a BBC representative, what hit the screens "has certainly reflected what happened over the weekend." John Sweeney's "exploding tomato" moment is included. Apparently, it had been included all along. "Them posting the clip on YouTube: That's not what precipitated us including John's outburst," the BBC rep told ABC News.

Apparently, "reference to him losing his temper" was sent out weeks ago to newspapers and magazines preparing the TV listings.

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