Last night we had a helluva time live-blogging Nancy Many’s docudrama about Scientology spying on the ID network. Many of you joined us, and it was exhilarating to trade observations about the show as it was happening.
Hey, let’s do it again for tonight’s big show on NBC’s Rock Center with Paul Haggis that marks the publication of Lawrence Wright’s book, Going Clear!
The show airs at 10 PM Eastern, and the Bunker will be rocking as we learn more about Haggis and his decision to leave Scientology. This should be a landmark show — and we have a feeling there will be more folks featured than just Wright and Haggis. We’ll soon find out.
Helping us out tonight will be the Bunker’s legal and web team, Scott Pilutik, who is backing us up in case we’re a little late to the party. (We’ve been invited to a little shindig that we may have a report on later this evening.)
See you here at 10 PM! And remember to set your Disqus, under “Discussion,” to “Newest” and then hit refresh often so you’ll see the comment as they pop up.
UPDATE – 9:40 – TWENTY MINUTES TO GO… Scott Pilutik here (you may also know me as ‘tikk’), substitute live-blogging (or just warming up the crowd if Tony makes it back in time) for the one and only, but otherwise presently occupied Tony Ortega. But just because I’m the substitute, don’t think you’ll be getting away with anything commenters. I’ve been around the block and have my eye on you all. Don’t make me have to tell Tony you’ve misbehaved.
This week has been a relentlessly awful news cycle for Scientology, each day bringing forth a new damnation. There was the Atlantic Advertorial catastrophe. There was Nancy Many’s story on the ID Network, which I thought was really well done, despite my aversion for reenactments (I thought they were really helpful here). There was Buzzfeed’s excellent financial dissection of Scientology’s Ideal Orgs, and how Scientology’s alleged “expansion” is being financed on the back of local publics, not RTC.
And today of course, brought us Lawrence Wright’s long-awaited (for Scientology, long-dreaded) Going Clear. I downloaded my Kindle copy but work beckoned so I wasn’t able to even crack its virtual spine. The reviews have been mouth-watering though, no?
And now to cap the week, we have NBC’s Rock Center about to embark on a heavily promoted segment featuring both Wright and the focus of his New Yorker article, Paul Haggis, who will speak about Scientology for the first time since that New Yorker piece almost exactly two years ago.
AND NOW we hear that Scientology Karin Pouw has contacted both Lance Armstrong and Manti Te’o, just to say thanks for being the only two people on earth having worse weeks than Scientology—just kidding.
ORTEGA IN THE HOUSE: Here we go!
Just got home. Explosive accounts about Scientology, BriWi says! Wow.
“I was ashamed of my own stupidity,” Haggis. You don’t hear many ex-Scientologists say that, in my experience.
They found his “ruin”! And it was a relationship.
Dude paid his dues — Richie Rich!
St. Pete Times 2009 Truth Rundown: maybe the single biggest blow to the church in 20 years. Yeah, I said it.
Church denies, church denies. More from their brilliant PR campaign.
Haggis is utterly credible. Hey, what’s that setting? That’s a beautiful library.
Oh, here we go. The Hubbard background. And Larry being charitable. If only Scientology could come to grips with the idea that they will never get a fairer shake than they got from Reitman and Wright.
“I went to the top, OT VII,” Haggis says.
Tell it, Larry. Scientology is alien exorcism.
“This is absolute madness.”
1.037 billion people converted to Scientology by Tom Cruise! Woohoo!
Larry says the celebrities have a responsibility to speak out on the truth. Hey, we said the same thing!
FIRST COMMERCIAL BREAK.
Ok, we have a special treat for you. Look where we were tonight!
Larry Wright was kind enough to invite us to his book party tonight, where we also ran into our friend Richard Behar!
Larry gave a very poignant speech, thanking his fellow New Yorker staffers for showing him so much support while he was writing his story on Haggis and Scientology.
PART TWO — THE WAR IS OVER
Tax exempt status in 1993.
“I think Scientology has a lot to account for,” Wright says. Right on.
Haydn James and his family.
Yet another story like so many others.
“You fear the retribution,” Haydn says.
“Do you know how crazy this sounds?” Harry asks.
Harry, you could do a story like this every day of the week. Please try to explain that.
$130,000 in Freeloader! Don’t pay it!
No on-camera interview from the church — they have no one to put on camera. Karin Pouw? Yeah, right.
BriWi comes on to talk about the Atlantic debacle! Hilarious.
I guess that’s it. Here’s our bonus photo #2…
After the book party, we try to make sense of Larry’s book.
Well, that was a good show. That’s three good pieces by Rock Center since the summer, and they’re way ahead of the other networks.
We can tell you that ABC has a ton of good footage that they’re sitting on, but apparently the Disney-owned network doesn’t have the cajones that the Peacock network does.
Come on, folks. Yes, if you plan a Scientology show, their attorneys will send you scary letters up to the moment of broadcast. But they don’t do anything afterwards. It’s all bark and no bite.