Tom Cruise - Scientology MemberI’ve just finished watching this week’s Panorama - not a programme I normally watch, but the pre-broadcast hype about the conduct of the presenter made me intrigued about the content of the show.

Having watched the whole thing rather than the clips available earlier on YouTube, I can understand why the presenter, John Sweeney, flipped out - although the Scientologists would counter that by saying we have only seen the BBC’s side of the story.

If you haven’t seen the show, then basically the BBC were initially granted access by the Scientologists but subject to certain conditions - conditions the BBC felt they couldn’t abide by if they were to give a balanced and fair argument for and against the movement.

That’s the Scientologist’s view of the scene which was hyped beforehand and effectively led to the Scientologists’ attempting to get the reporter discredited, and this is the BBC’s slightly longer version - I have to post a link as they won’t allow their copyrighted material to be embedded in other people’s sites, fair enough I suppose.

The BBC’s side of the story can be read here and here, and you can even watch the whole show again on the BBC’s site.

One thing I would say is that by allowing John Sweeney to interview several of their celebrity members, only to take legal action a few days before broadcast demanding that the interviews are cut from the show, then surely they can’t complain too loudly that the episode was one-sided as they effectively made them cut out all the stuff showing the “good side” of Scientology!

The most disconcerting thing about the show though, was the Scientology church official Tommy Davis - is he trying to look like Tom Cruise or what?