A bitter row has erupted between the BBC and the Church of Scientology after an experienced reporter lost his temper on camera and screamed at a senior member of the controversial group for 30 seconds.The corporation has been forced to defend itself against claims in a Scientology DVD that it orchestrated a demonstration against the group, whose adherents include Hollywood actors John Travolta, Tom Cruise and Anne Archer, in which a "terrorist death threat" was allegedly made.John Sweeney, a journalist for Panorama, has also had to apologise for his outburst after he was filmed shouting furiously at Tommy Davis, aScientologist.
But Sandy Smith, the investigative programme's editor, has denied that it organised a protest against the group.
Mr Smith said: "Their DVD
contains two grossly defamatory claims about us - one, that we staged a
demonstration against Scientology and two, that a terrorist death
threat was made.
"It is absolutely outrageous to suggest that the BBC would organise a demonstration - why would we?"
He added that the
Scientologists wrote the script for the DVD in a "curious way" but that
it "clearly implied that a terrorist death threat was made" at the
A BBC spokesman added: "These allegations are clearly laughable and utter nonsense."
But a Scientology spokesman replied: "The BBC's statements are incorrect."
Mike Rinder, a Scientology
official, said the group had beenforced to film Mr Sweeney because the
BBC crew had "pre-written" the documentary.
He added: "It became clear to us that his story was pre-written.
"He wouldn't let the facts get in the way, so we decided to do a John Sweeney on John Sweeney."
In the Scientologists' clip
of the outburst, which it posted on video-sharing website YouTube, Mr
Sweeney is heard screaming: "Now listen to me! You were not there at
the beginning of the interview! You were not there!
"You did not hear or record all the interview! Do you understand?
"You are quoting the second half of the interview, not the first half.
You cannot assert what you are saying!"
His shouting all but drowns
out the words of the Scientologist, who simply repeats over and over
again: "Brainwashing is a crime against humanity."
Last night Mr Sweeney said his behaviour hadresulted in him hav......
As real-estate listings go, this one is out of this world. A property is on sale in Quebec for a cool $2.95-million, and it even comes with its own flying saucer. UFOland, the playground and pied-a`-terre of the white-robed prophet known as Rael, is on the market — a onetime utopia that appears to have fallen to Earth.The Raelians, who gained global notoriety in late 2002 after announcing the birth of a yet-to-be-seen cloned baby, say their popularity has peaked in Quebec. So they are p...The cult disciple
Anthony North: My research on cults has convinced me they are full of elements endemic to society in general. Cults, it seems, are nothing more than an extreme example of the influences within society. For instance, who joins a cult? The easy and most popular belief is that cult disciples are inadequates of low intelligence. But in her extensive study of cults, sociologist Eileen Barker has found the opposite. Profile of a disciple: The normal cult member is of above average intelligence and com...Violent cults
Anthony north: Cults come in all shapes and sizes. They can be of any form of spirituality, from Christianity to the Occult, to Flying Saucer cults. They can appear strange and insular, while many do a great deal of charity work. Then we have the more sinister form of cult. Some of these make the headlines through mass suicide, but perhaps the most dangerous is the cult that ends up using extreme violence or intimidation. Rajneesh foundation: Typical was the Rajneesh Foundation of Bhagwan Shree ...Turkey detains Iranian Raelian leader
Authorities in Turkey are holding the Iranian leader of Iran"s Raelian movement, Negar Azizmoradi. In Iran the Raelian beliefs are considered to be a rejection ofreligious faith, a crime punishable by death."The Turkish authorities saythey are discussing what to do with an Iranian atheist who says she fled persecution in Iran. . Negar Azizmoradi, who is the leader of the Raelian movement in Iran, wasarrested after she arrived i...Cult suicides
Anthony North: Occasionally the most tragic of events can hit the headlines. When it happens, we all wonder why. But all too often a cult can explode into violence upon itself, the result being mass suicide. Why does it happen? What social forces are involved in this will towards self-destruction? This essay is an attempt to understand. And we need to begin with a few examples. Order of the solar temple: For instance, on 22 December 1995, sixteen corpses were discovered on a plateau in the Frenc...Spirits in the sky
Across Australia, people are looking to the skies for a saviour. Many people have seen objects in the sky that they could not identify, and many believe that we are not alone in the universe.But there are also people who have built spiritual belief systems around the idea that aliens once came to Earth, and will return one day to take them away to a better place. The Raelians, who had their "annual awakening seminar" earlier this month in Queensland, are a prominent group in Australia ...Cloning cult offers job to disgraced scientist
South Korean cloning expert Hwang Woo-suk, a science superstar disgraced when his pioneering stem cell research was unmasked as a fraud, has a new job offer from a UFO cult that says it has produced six human clones.Clonaid, a company linked to a group that believes humans were cloned fromprehistoric alien visitors to Earth, said it had offered him a post in one of its laboratories. The firm has never provided proof of the six clones it says it has produced, and does not reveal where...Dr Who fans will flock to his church
A Cardiff priest loves Dr Who so much he is preaching to his congregation through the Time Lord. St Paul’s Church, in Grangetown, Cardiff, was used as a location for an episode of the first series of Doctor Who starring the ninth Doctor played by Christopher Eccleston.And parish priest, Father Ben Andrews, 32, says he loves the cult TV show so much he thought a themed evening would go down well with the youngsters.He said: “I love the series and it has such a great following that we couldn’t res...UFO cult offers job to disgraced scientist
South Korean cloning expert Hwang Woo-suk, a science superstar disgraced when his pioneering stem cell research was unmasked as a hoax, has a new job offer from a UFO cult that says it has produced six human clones. Clonaid, a company linked to a group that believes humans were cloned from prehistoric alien visitors to Earth, said it had offered him a post in one of its laboratories.The firm has never provided proof of the six clones it says it has produced and does notreveal where the laborator...Job centre apologises for evicting Jedi fan
A member of the International Church of Jediism has received an apology after being kicked out of a job centre.The Jedi believer was asked to remove his hood and was thrown out when he refused to do so, he now intends to sue the job centre for discrimination despite receiving anapology.
A Jedi believer has won an apology from a UK employment centre which threw him out for refusing to removehis hood. . The Sun reported Star Wars fan Chris Jarvis, 31, was told he would have to leave if ...