The BBC’s John Sweeney investigated the Chrurch of Scientology back in 2007 and had a now-infamous meltdown during the process. I reported on that meltdown, with video and John Travolta’s reaction when it happened in May ’07. In this fascinating article (with video) he returns to not only the topic of the “church” but also to revisit the people he spoke to — at least one of whom has since left the church — and finds his worst fears finally confirmed.
In 2007, while investigating the Church of Scientology for Panorama, reporter John Sweeney had a dramatic on-camera confrontation with a church spokesman named Tommy Davis. The church was accusing the reporter of bias and it attempted to stop the documentary from being broadcast – a campaign backed by Scientology A-lister John Travolta. Sweeney has returned to investigate the church again.
Panorama Archive: Scientology and Me
I never meant to shout.
Strangers had been on my tail. Scientologist Tommy Davis and his colleague Mike Rinder – my handlers – had been on my case, day in and day out.
They had taken me to an exhibit called ‘Psychiatry: Industry of Death’ on Hollywood Boulevard, where a Scientologist told me psychiatrists set up the Holocaust. I feared I was being brain-washed.
And then I lost it – big time.
The Church of Scientology put out my impression of an exploding tomato onto the internet which millions had a laugh at courtesy of YouTube.
It was no way for me to behave. I apologised then and I apologise now.
Shortly after that programme, Scientology & Me, aired in 2007, I received a tip-off that Mike Rinder had left the church.
Three years on and my old adversary came to me to shed some light on what had been going on behind the scenes in the days leading up to my infamous meltdown and screaming session in Los Angeles.