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SCIENTOLOGISTS AT WAR, the Channel 4 Documentary

SquirrelAs we predicted, a version of Channel 4’s documentary, “Scientologists at War,” has appeared on the Internet. We don’t know who’s responsible for it, but we’re embedding it here so our readers not in the UK can get a look at it.

We also asked some ex-Scientologists in the UK to give us their impressions of the show after they got to see it when it first aired.

And we want to thank our readers who gave us live updates of the program earlier today. Now for the rest, give it a look and tell us what you think!



And here are thoughts from our UK readers…

Martin_PadfieldMartin Padfield:

It opened with a montage of Squirrel Busters nuttiness and a clip of Marty reflecting, with audio about the church splitting. The first segment was an intro to Marty and how he came to be in his position and his working relationship to Miscavige. There was an interesting clip of the L. Ron Hubbard death event which many Scientologists won’t have seen or will have conveniently forgotten. Nice line from Marty about “L. Ron Hubbard was the God, David Miscavige was Jesus.”

It didn’t take long (7 minutes) before Xenu made an appearance — a quick summary of the Xenu story followed by Ortega saying it’s deception that the Xenu story is hidden from new members. A few poignant admissions from Marty about what troublemakers could expect from him — the RPF prison detail, etc. A clip of Mike Laws recounting a security check done by Marty.

Karen de la Carriere is shown with wedding pics with Heber Jentzsch — and tells how she “shredded her Class XII certs” when she left the Sea Org. She tells of her being cut off from her son Alexander after his death “with a vengeance.” Cut back to Ortega saying how they do their best to creep you out.

Then they cover the lead up to the IRS exemption, and the push for religious recognition. David Miscavige is seen name-checking Marty personally in the “War is Over” event (I wonder if he had that bit edited out when he ordered all staff to re-watch it a couple of years ago).

Section on Tom Cruise starting with his intro via first wife Mimi Rogers and covering his failing marriage to Nicole and how Miscavige needed a poster boy and Cruise fit the bill. Marty was ordered to drop everything and work on it full time to get Cruise fully on board. Then how DM started denigrating Marty to Tom in front of him when he had done his work. In 2004 Marty was assigned to The Hole. Marty goes over the Musical Chairs event and there is a crude reconstruction of sorts. He then tells of his escape via motorcycle. There’s a snip from the 2004 IAS event when Cruise got his “medal of valour” and the bromance manhugs between Cruise and Miscavige on stage.

Then Mosey starts the first of her several segments. Wow, this woman is good on camera. Effortless and easy style. Very touching testimony about how Marty seemed lost and she got out his Scientology books from the garage to bring him up from his depression (I don’t think she used that word). There’s a demo of Marty auditing Joe, and the narrator tells after 3.5 years together Mosey persuades Marty to start auditing again.

Marty talks about his blog and shows some stats; it’s very obvious the blog is a huge success. Cuts to a meeting with Steve Hall, Haydn James, and Lucy, and another I didn’t recognise, talking about Independent Scientology.

After the second break it’s back to the Squirrel Busters, and Ortega discussing heresy. And there’s a bit of Marty’s footage of them including him getting arrested, and some great little interview with a neighbour who gleefully relates how she used sprinkler tech on the Squirrel Busters. A stand-out moment of the entire show here with a female Squirrel Busters looking absolutely demented and psychotic screeching about “all things Marty” and cackling.

Cuts to the Hamburg meeting with German government official Ursula Caberta a couple years back and the how Marty was “cleaning up the mess left by the Church.”

Back to Ingleside and Marty knocking off the sunglasses of a Squirrel Buster. Ortega talking about Village Voice “When Scientologists Attack” article.

Then showing the International aspect and it’s over here to Saint Hill Manor and showing some souls in the pouring rain demonstrating outside the IAS event last October — John McGhee, Sam Domingo, me and others shown — then about how The Sun infiltrated the event and they linked it beautifully to the press conference we did the following day. There’s a few seconds of me talking at that meeting talking about the first target being to break the monopoly.

Cut to the Indie mission in Israel that is obviously thriving and lively that has disconnected from the Church.

Back to Texas and shots of Marty moving and Mosey explaining that it was not backing down, it was just was good sense. Again I have to say she shone!

At the very end were the usual denials about everything from the cult, just laughable — I mean my wife and I were actually laughing too much to take notice of the details but I can rewind it and copy it later if you like…

Overall it was excellent. It wasn’t too Hollywood and the narration was the typically British understated style. The message was clear — Marty was wining the battles (but a little question mark at the end as to whether he was winning the war). Any online Scientologists watching will definitely learn a few things from this — I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few new e-mails in my inbox over the next few days.

Samantha_DomingoSamantha Domingo:

I think they did a bang-up job. They set about trying to understand the mindset of the Independent movement and managed to sum it up succinctly and fairly. The screams from the “outraged” Scientologists who claim their religion is being maligned are unfounded. This is unbiased, clean, investigative reporting. I don’t know what kind of impact it will have on raising public awareness of the abuses of the cult and I think there was a lot more to be told about the atrocities, so in that regard I was disappointed.

However, that being said, this program was never going to be anyone’s soap box and I respect them for that. The goal was to tell the story of the Independent Movement and its conflict with the corporate church, so in that regard I would say it delivered what was promised. It’s good to see the media going ahead and reporting without cow-towing to the Church. Hopefully it’s a sign of the times and there will be more like this.

Pete_GriffithsPete Griffiths

There was too much emphasis on the Independent movement, which is a damp squib and only useful as a soft landing place for new escapees. Most move on quickly as their eyes open ever wider. The documentary itself was very factual and did the cult no favors. My family and I fell about laughing at the Xenu section. It highlighted the batshit insanity of indoctrinated Scientologists and hired PIs revealing them to be nothing but malicious, deranged crazies. All in all, positive in that they won’t get any new members from amongst anyone watching it.

Hartley_PattersonHartley Patterson (Old time critic, never in Scientology)

It’s “all about Marty,” as screechy Squirrel Buster lady says. Nothing in it is new to any of us, but that’s fine. Some of the usual suspects make brief appearances, but only Mosey and Ortega have more than a few lines. Ooh — that’s me under an umbrella outside Saint Hill for two seconds!

I’m happy with this one. It’s well edited, plain speaking, and the nonsensical Church denials are confined to text at the end.

For folks in the UK, you can see the show on demand here.


Posted by Tony Ortega on June 17, 2013 at 20:30

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