EK20
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John Sweeny - BBC Panorama Reporter At Work

Mon May 14, 2007 1:31 am

While making a BBC Panorama film "Scientology and Me" John Sweeny says he was shouted at, spied on, had his hotel invaded at midnight, denounced as a "bigot" by star Scientologists, brain-washed - that is how it felt to him - in a mock up of a Nazi-style torture chamber and chased round the streets of Los Angeles by sinister strangers.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/6650545.stm

Here he is in action losing his temper.

 
transatlantic8
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RE: John Sweeny - BBC Panorama Reporter At Work

Mon May 14, 2007 1:43 am

Good for the BBC - quite a brave guy.

Is it just me or does it seem like celebrities have a really weird way of going through a mid-life crisis?? Most people will go out and buy some hot little coupe, or take up some sport they are far too unfit to do... Celebrities turn to religious fundamentalism.
 
trekster
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RE: John Sweeny - BBC Panorama Reporter At Work

Mon May 14, 2007 3:33 am

I was reading about this today, and cant wait to see it on the TV.

Hes a very brave guy for going up against that, well, not religion, but Group.
Where does the time go???
 
overlander
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RE: John Sweeny - BBC Panorama Reporter At Work

Mon May 14, 2007 9:37 am

Sorry, what is his 'job'?

As a 'reporter' shouldn't he be reporting not ranting like an idiot down the pub.

It is ironic that a real reporter like Alan Johnson has been missing for so many weeks. A man who spends his life trying to help us understand the situation in Gaza and has gained so much respect from all sides for his impartiality.

It seems Alan Johnson integrity has been lost on some of his colleauges.
It is better to travel hopefully.............but, always be prepared for the worst!
 
Yellowstone
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RE: John Sweeny - BBC Panorama Reporter At Work

Mon May 14, 2007 9:47 am

Quoting Overlander (Reply 3):
As a 'reporter' shouldn't he be reporting not ranting like an idiot down the pub.

If you read the article on the BBC site, he explains the context of his rant and apologizes for it. I'm much more worried about the cult that is Scientology than Sweeney losing his temper when a Scientology rep starts yelling at him.
Hydrogen is an odorless, colorless gas which, given enough time, turns into people.
 
overlander
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RE: John Sweeny - BBC Panorama Reporter At Work

Mon May 14, 2007 10:25 am

Quoting Yellowstone (Reply 4):
I'm much more worried about the cult that is Scientology than Sweeney losing his temper when a Scientology rep starts yelling at him.

I mentioned Alan Johnson for a very good reason.

It has been very apparent that many people in the conflict in Gaza are supporting his release because of his ability to be objective. Even Iran has condemned his capture!

This reporter is not objective and even if you dislike Scientology, I would like to make my own opinion based on some objective reporting.
It is better to travel hopefully.............but, always be prepared for the worst!
 
workflyer
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RE: John Sweeny - BBC Panorama Reporter At Work

Mon May 14, 2007 11:18 am

Quoting Overlander (Reply 5):
This reporter is not objective and even if you dislike Scientology, I would like to make my own opinion based on some objective reporting

Holding an opinion does not necessarfily make a person "non objective". So long as alternate parties can express their opinions as well, which scientologists do, frequently. Especially through prominent mouthpieces such as Tom Cruise.

In my opinion I agree with the poster above, I am more concerned about the cult of Scientology too as oppossed to any reporters "rant" that is captured by the subjects he is interviewing and then put on Youtube by them in order to attempt to muddy waters and discredit him. Any organisation that purports to be a religion but requires you to pay in increasing amounts in order to benefit from its tennents is corrupt and deceitful. There are a few other groups out there who also fall into this category.
 
overlander
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RE: John Sweeny - BBC Panorama Reporter At Work

Mon May 14, 2007 12:02 pm

Quoting WorkFlyer (Reply 6):
In my opinion

We are talking about a BBC journalist and they are supposed to be objective.

For myself, I will not get into a discussion about Scientology at this point as it does not have any relevance to how the journalist behaved.
It is better to travel hopefully.............but, always be prepared for the worst!
 
EK20
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RE: John Sweeny - BBC Panorama Reporter At Work

Mon May 14, 2007 6:11 pm

Quoting Overlander (Reply 5):
This reporter is not objective

He has apologised and so has the BBC for his actions. Is it going to make Scientology look more credible after his outburst, I doubt it.
 
transatlantic8
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RE: John Sweeny - BBC Panorama Reporter At Work

Mon May 14, 2007 9:26 pm

Quoting WorkFlyer (Reply 6):
Any organisation that purports to be a religion but requires you to pay in increasing amounts in order to benefit from its tennents is corrupt and deceitful.

Exactly.

As has been said already, the reporter lost his cool, for which he and the producers have apologised. The scientology guy was behaving in a very antagonistic way - which is better seen on the BBC footage (The scientology footage did not show the mans face). The reporter doesn't make the whole Panorama programme and therefore isn't the sole person responsible for it's objectivity. Panorama is the worlds longest running investigative news programme and has done some fantastic work over the years.

I myself am looking forward to the programme - hope you guys outside of the UK are still able to see the show.
 
skidmarks
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RE: John Sweeny - BBC Panorama Reporter At Work

Mon May 14, 2007 9:38 pm

While I share the doubts expressed by others re scientology, I'm very inclined to let others do what they want provided they don't interfere with me.

However, a more realistic and relevant programme might have been made about Alan Johnson. That man has been missing for quite a while now with no word of his health or whereabouts. A much more worthwhile subject than people who chose to worship whatever it is they worship.

Andy  old 
Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
 
EK20
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RE: John Sweeny - BBC Panorama Reporter At Work

Tue May 15, 2007 1:45 am

Quoting Transatlantic8 (Reply 9):
I myself am looking forward to the programme

Yeah, I'm gonna watch it. There's not much else on.  grumpy 
 
Daleaholic
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RE: John Sweeny - BBC Panorama Reporter At Work

Tue May 15, 2007 3:02 am

Quoting Overlander (Reply 5):
Alan Johnson

It's Alan Johnston...  Yeah sure
Religion is an illusion of childhood... Outgrown under proper education.
 
jamman
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RE: John Sweeny - BBC Panorama Reporter At Work

Tue May 15, 2007 5:28 am

Well I just watched Panorama and I kinda understand why the reporter lost it as he did.
The guy who was following him around, the kind of trouble shooter for Scientology, would probably cause me to lose my cool as well, he really liked to invade personal space and talk right up in your face, with a tone that I could only describe as condescending.
If all the things that happened in this report are true, cars following them around, people waiting in the hotel lobby, profiling your background for dirt to discredit you and the trouble shooter guy just popping out of nowhere when they were interviewing someone who might have a negative view. This didn't do a lot to back up their case, it only made them look paranoid about their whole setup and religion.

It seems all the testimony from Church members and so called Hollywood stars was pulled because the Church threatened legal action when they found out the reporter had talked to people who had a negative view of Scientology, people like family members who had been 'cut off' (as the church defines it) from other family members and other people who had left the church who where now considered heretics.

Interesting stuff indeed.... Can anyone on here fight for Scientology? It was stated that they help people with drug addictions and have a 75% success rate and run numerous self help programs, does the church do some good?
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EK20
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RE: John Sweeny - BBC Panorama Reporter At Work

Tue May 15, 2007 5:36 am

Quoting Jamman (Reply 13):
Well I just watched Panorama

I missed it!  banghead 

I thought it was on at 9pm on BBC1 so I was watching Corrie. I only caught the last 2 minutes but I did catch the argument.
 
jamman
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RE: John Sweeny - BBC Panorama Reporter At Work

Tue May 15, 2007 5:42 am

Quoting EK20 (Reply 14):
I missed it!

Fear not you can catch it online from the BBC website....

Quoting EK20 (Reply 14):
so I was watching Corrie

Shame on you!  Smile
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EK20
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RE: John Sweeny - BBC Panorama Reporter At Work

Tue May 15, 2007 5:48 am

Quoting Jamman (Reply 13):
I kinda understand why the reporter lost it as he did.

So as someone who watched the whole thing do you think John Sweeny was justified in his outburst or was he and the BBC right to apologise afterwards?
 
jamman
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RE: John Sweeny - BBC Panorama Reporter At Work

Tue May 15, 2007 5:54 am

Quoting EK20 (Reply 16):
So as someone who watched the whole thing do you think John Sweeny was justified in his outburst or was he and the BBC right to apologise afterwards?

Well I watched it with others in my family and we understood why he blew up, he's human and the Scientology guy clearly got to him by the constant bombardment and assumptions he was making about the reporter, which really didn't help their case at all.
Now perhaps when your in a role as a news reporter you should keep your cool but these guys who where following the reporter around where clearly a penny short of a pound, I would lose my cool I know that.
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itsonlyme
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RE: John Sweeny - BBC Panorama Reporter At Work

Tue May 15, 2007 5:54 am

Quoting EK20 (Reply 16):
So as someone who watched the whole thing do you think John Sweeny was justified in his outburst or was he and the BBC right to apologise afterwards?

I think John Sweeney apologized as he is a journalist working for the BBC, however all the crap the Scientology guys did to him, it is very understandable that he was frustrated and angry, and he just lost it. Although he did say he apologized at the scene to the Scientology guys. I thought what Scientology did to him and others that critized them was a total disgrace. I knew a fair bit about them, but was still pretty shocked and angered. One of the 'cult breakers' had something like a 190 page document on him posted on Scientology's website, including stuff he had done when he was 8 years old! The whole outfit comes across as a disgraceful, paranoid, controlling cult. Particuluarly troubling was the cutting off from family members of scientology members - one ex member said his 6 siblings, still involved with the cult, refused to have any contact with their dying father. I cant believe they get away with some off this stuff.
 
oly720man
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RE: John Sweeny - BBC Panorama Reporter At Work

Tue May 15, 2007 6:18 am

Quoting Jamman (Reply 17):
Well I watched it with others in my family and we understood why he blew up, he's human and the Scientology guy clearly got to him by the constant bombardment and assumptions he was making about the reporter, which really didn't help their case at all.

I got the impression that he snapped after an overlong discussion (or rant by the sci lot) about the evils of psychiatry, in particular the way that the Scientologists had hijacked the holocaust to illustrate how Nazi psychiatrists had, in essence been a cause of it... and after that he was treated to another chat with Thomas "the shadow" when all hell broke loose.
wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
 
jamman
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RE: John Sweeny - BBC Panorama Reporter At Work

Tue May 15, 2007 6:25 am

Quoting Oly720man (Reply 19):
I got the impression that he snapped after an overlong discussion (or rant by the sci lot) about the evils of psychiatry, in particular the way that the Scientologists had hijacked the holocaust to illustrate how Nazi psychiatrists had, in essence been a cause of it... and after that he was treated to another chat with Thomas "the shadow" when all hell broke loose.

That was definatly part of the disscussion in the museum but I also caught where the Thomas guy brought back up the subject of talking about that guy they interviewed on the roof, the male prostute who had the 'Cult Watch' TV show, I think Thomas was trying to discredit that interview and thats why John Sweeny was shouting "YOU WEREN'T THERE AT THE BEGINNING OF THAT INTERVIEW" or words to that nature. The constant hen pecking of the shadow got to him as well.
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QANTAS077
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RE: John Sweeny - BBC Panorama Reporter At Work

Thu May 17, 2007 6:04 pm

Quoting EK20 (Reply 14):
I missed it!

no you haven't...these guys are fucking nuts and that's about all you can say to describe them...anyone who believes that we're aliens and that the holocaust was a product of psychiatrists is tapped in the head...anyways, why would you believe something as true when it was started by a science fiction writer cum raconter..the little Tommy guy think's he's the other Tom, walking around with his aviator sunnies and trying to be a standover man! These people are nothing more than predators who pray on people who have money or are down on their luck.





 
QANTAS077
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RE: John Sweeny - BBC Panorama Reporter At Work

Thu May 17, 2007 6:06 pm

Quoting EK20 (Reply 16):
So as someone who watched the whole thing do you think John Sweeny was justified in his outburst or was he and the BBC right to apologise afterwards?

Yes...if I was Sweeney I'd have choked the asswipe til he turned blue! watch it and judge for yourself!
 
bill142
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RE: John Sweeny - BBC Panorama Reporter At Work

Thu May 17, 2007 7:05 pm

Quoting QANTAS077 (Reply 22):
Yes...if I was Sweeney I'd have choked the asswipe til he turned blue! watch it and judge for yourself!

I would have have throttled Tommy Davis as well. He behaved like such a child. Such an outstanding representative for an organisation that want you to belive that fact is fiction and fiction is fact. Lets not forget, L. Ron Hubbard was a disgruntled and frustrated failed science fiction writer.
 
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bwest
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RE: John Sweeny - BBC Panorama Reporter At Work

Thu May 17, 2007 8:50 pm

I think Johnston stayed calm for a very long time. If I had that freak cult member following me and harrassing me for so long, he would've probably seen a little outburst much earlier...


The report was very interesting... Scientology really is a scary and dark organisation. I just wished the report was a bit longer, now I felt it was over before they really could do some deep digging inside the organisation.

It's shows like these which gonna make me miss the good old Beeb when they'll stop broadcasting their signal in Belgium  Sad
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bill142
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RE: John Sweeny - BBC Panorama Reporter At Work

Thu May 17, 2007 9:30 pm

Quoting Bwest (Reply 24):
The report was very interesting... Scientology really is a scary and dark organisation. I just wished the report was a bit longer, now I felt it was over before they really could do some deep digging inside the organisation.

Scientology is akin to a communist government where everything is centrally controlled. They will only let you know what they want you to know. They want to believe that scientology will lead you to spiritual enlightenment. I believe you can get that from Buddhism and many other religions which don't require you to squander away your life savings in order to become part of the churches hierarchy.

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