A Biased but Excellently Conducted Analysis of One of the World's Most Controversial Religions
The Secrets of Scientology is a 2010 documentary that was part of the long-running television show, "Panorama." It is the spiritual and literal successor to the 2007 documentary, "Scientology and Me" also starring John Sweeney.
The Secrets of Scientology is about cult/religion that sprang up as the brainchild of L. Ron Hubbard in the 1950s. Scientology has been accused of multiple controversial and criminal behaviors in the past, including abusing its own members, spying on critics and swindling thousands of British pounds by offering tantalizing new knowledge to members with sufficient donations, e.g. the existence of the alien warlord Xenu. This documentary follows John Sweeney's attempts to penetrate the mystique of the massive organization, and makes multiple references to the 2007 attempt at the same thing, which can be vaguely confusing to anyone who doesn't know about Scientology and Me. Many former members of the Scientology Church including the former spokesperson are interviewed who all point out the myriad problems with the Church's organization and leadership.
The degree to which the Scientology Church will go to silence opposition is overly dramatized, however, and the documentary fails to maintain a sufficiently unbiased viewpoint, though I have no personal problem with their bias. The organization is made to look dangerous and its leadership, corrupt.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the Church of Scientology and about the controversy surrounding it. Scientology has been attacked by a multitude of sources, including Anonymous, which still continues its crusade today. The documentary provides another voice and insight to the condition of the Church today and should be considered prime viewing material for all who are interested.
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