Scientology and Me poster

Scientology and Me

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Scientology and Me poster

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"Scientology and Me" is a television documentary first broadcast on 14 May 2007 as part of the BBC's Panorama series. In it, reporter John Sweeney visited the United States to investigate whether the Church of Scientology was becoming more mainstream. The programme gained particular controversy before and during filming due to unresolved differences on content and approach between Sweeney's production team and Scientology members. Tommy Davis, the international spokesperson for Scientology, did not want detractors or perceived enemies of the church to be interviewed or included in the documentary and wanted to censor any references to Scientology as a "cult". The scale of the controversy intensified when the Church of Scientology released a 40-second clip of video footage showing a screaming argument between John Sweeney and Scientologist Tommy Davis over the way in which Sweeney was interviewing critics of Scientology. In the clip, Sweeney yells "You were not there at the beginning of the interview! You were not there! You did not hear or record all the interview!" at Davis in reference to an interview Sweeney recorded with Scientology critic Shawn Lonsdale. Despite the Church of Scientology's lobbying British MPs to have the documentary scrapped, its first airing went ahead on 14 May. With a peak of 4.9 million viewers in the UK, the episode garnered the highest ratings for Panorama since September the previous year.

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