The BBC Panorama program "The Secrets of Scientology" that was aired tonight was a follow up to an earlier Panorma expose of the dangerous cult of Scientology. Reporter John Sweeney again confronted the reality of Scientology, an organisation that goes to incredible lengths to keep members from leaving. Unfortuntely the program is not available to watch again on the BBC iPlayer at this time.
In the previous program reporter John Sweeney was goaded by members of the cult until he lost his temper with them and this as much as the program itself ended up making the news.
The follow up program included interviews with ex-members of the cult who had operated at the very highest levels of Scientology.- essentially its enforcers. One of them openly admitted that he had been one of the senior church members who had organised harassment of the reporter with the specific intention of finding his emotional buttons and pressing them. These ex senior members of the church are now apparently part of a growing "reform" movement of people who do not reject Scientology itself but are rejecting the church.
The stories told by ex members showed how the church ostracised ex members from their families and followed, stalked them and harassed them. It told how the Church held detailed audio and video recordings of members undergoing "clearing sessions" ( including records of such sessions with Hollywood celebrity members) and how it wasn't averse to using this information to try to blacken the names of ex members or those who tried to leave.
None of the revelations were entirely new to anyone who knows something about the history of this very dangerous , and very rich, cult - what is new is that this cult is increasingly having its secrets and damnable methods of operating exposed.
Interestingly the program that immediately followed included the story of another woman who had a terrible time within a different type of religious cult - a christian cult. Lyndsey Rosa's story story is featured on the BBC My Story website and she has written a book about her experiences which can be downloaded in PDF format from that page. Her story showed what it was like inside such a strict religious cult and what it was like leaving. What struck me is the parallels between the controlling methods used by Scientology - a so called false religion - and the psychological and social controls often exercised on members of other religions. The aim of such controls is of course to make sure that people find it extremely hard to reject their religious brainwashing and think for themselves.