I was looking through old scientology shows and came across this one from 2010.
I had not watched it in many years, but found it fascinating.
Obviously, my views about scientology have changed.
But I have a much greater appreciation for the show now having worked on 3 seasons of Scientology and The Aftermath. This is a terrific piece of investigative reporting and a finely crafted show that contains a LOT of information.
John Sweeney and his brilliant producer Sarah Mole did a masterful job of putting this together. They battled with the legal constraints imposed on them by the BBC and were unable to include things they had wanted to appear (most notably David Miscavige beatings), but all-in-all this a damning indictment of scientology.
I count both John and Sarah as valued friends to this day. Frankly, even when working with them on the first show in 2007 when I was still representing scientology, I secretly enjoyed their sense of humor and self-deprecating good nature. This might surprise some given John’s “exploding tomato” moment, but as you will see that was deliberately created. When not being provoked he is a polite and very British gentleman. Sarah is one of the nicest people I have ever met.
Take some time to watch this. If you haven’t seen it, you are in for a treat. If you have, it bears watching again. And as you do, think about the fact that scientology’s activities are brought to you by your tax dollars.
I would love to watch the show (just heard you talk about it on the podcast) and would just like to ask if there is an updated link or search terms I could use to find it? This video seemed to have been hit by the censors. 😉
I just wanted to quickly reply that I’ve found the episode’s name (“Scientology and me”) and have by now found a place to watch.
So “BBC, scientology and me, John Sweeney” seem to do the trick. Happy googling fellow podcast listeners.
The BBC Panorama documentary seems to have been removed again from YouTube does anyone have any tips to be able to find?
Julie Marty says
I’ve watched this 3 times, and it never gets any easier.
Diesel Estate says
I applaud all of the people able to follow what’s in their own hearts and minds, without fear, especially the fear of totalitarianism. I understand and respect the Scientology Reformation Movement. However, the ‘Church’ of Scientology itself, how it stands today under its present direction and leadership, looks like the logical conclusion of exactly what L. Ron Hubbard began and orchestrated during his lifetime.
My questions are: Do people think that if the ‘Church’ was not under its current leadership, would the atmosphere within be vastly different? Would it be a more benign organisation for its practitioners? Would there still be a need for reformation?
Gus Cox says
It’s startling how much healthier Mike looks after he left!
Yes, the CHANGE in his face is remarkable. In the past his face looked full of hate & stress. Afterwards to see him smile & laugh warms my heart.
Therese Grant says
Mike. You have been publicly out of Scientology for over a decade. How are they still able to hide behind the religious cloak with regards to the harassment that you and your family are subjected to. Surely you are after all this time legally in the same position as a never in and entitled to the same treatment by the legal system as Monique Rathburn. I know that as a critic they will claim they are defending themselves…..but you have a right to free speech. There must come a point when the courts will say it is no longer a “religion” defending itself rather it has become a deliberate and organised attack on an individual.
Evan Shearin says
Thanks for sharing this, Mike! I remember watching it years ago, but went to find it again and couldn’t. This was a great expose, and Sweeney is a great foil to the Scientology PR men.
I would like to see some kind of forum online where people can interact with Still-Ins where they are safe and can be anonymous. Like, to hear from them, hear their thoughts, whether they are disaffected or true believers still, just… a way for the public to interact with Scientologists without them needing to fear anything. Is there any such place? Shouldn’t there be..?
Karma's a B says
With Miscarriage at the helm? Never. Sadly should there be is an irrelevant question…….to COB and the Cows. Yes MarcAnon, all forced to disconnect should be able to speak freely, all forced to live in isolation under Miscarriages rule should be able to speak without fear.
Mark Foster says
Your utterly common sense proposal contradicts a few scientology policies; there is absolutely no room in the scientology universe for open, penalty-free, critical or questioning discourse about its policies, practices, organizations, and/or leaders/members, not even anonymously. Openly expressed doubt and disaffection are punishable crimes, and those still in the group know this, whether they agree with the policy or not.
This group depends on members’ obedience, fear, cognitive dissonance, and blind faith in El Con’s butt-spew tech to…enrich the Dim Muppet and bring greater glory and height to his exalted, highlighted, Intergallactic SuperBitch Bouffant.
I love this idea!
Several still ins here, at the Bunker, at whyweprotest.net, and at esmb….
For all those options the same thing applies: for a lot of the people posting there we don’t know who is who, who is in and UTR, who is out and UTR, etc.
IMO no need for another forum, but YMMV
Tommy really comes across as a douche in that footage.
I wonder how many slaps to the head he received by Miscavige because of his mishandling of the whole affair.
Of course, poor Tommy was only doing the bidding of Dear Leader, the biggest SP scientology has ever known, the king Midas of Shit, the Foot Bullet Sharpshooter.
King Midas of Shit….. LOL!
Also loved “foot bullet sharpshooter.” LMAO!!!
My Inner Space says
So Mike…when you writing your book?
New York Times Best Seller! I think Mike is so smart, he is waiting for the whole unwinding of this tale. I pray it ends happily with him reuniting with his lost loved ones still in the cult. This is a MEGA movie waiting to happen! I wish you all the best Mike Rinder!
Great post Mike.
Mike, this was mind blowing & so powerful & yet deeply & sadly moving.
As in the Aftermath Series, to hear what goes on behind the “gated community”, how everything is used against you once you stop drinking the “Kool Aid”. The disconnection policy is disturbing, as it is with Polygamy & the Amish cult, once you leave you are “cut off” from contact with family & friends.
To be followed, photographed, recorded on film is an invasion of privacy, but they’ve “got to get you” by intimidation to keep you quiet. Thank goodness there are those strong enough to never let that happen. As Ramina Nunerly (spelling? & paraphrasing) one said “No Church has the right to separate families”…
I can hardly wait with great anticipation just ONE big celebrity exiting, as in Tom Cruise or John Travolta & WHAT will “come out” when that day arrives. I think both of them will go to their graves rather than have their deepest darkest secrets revealed to the entire world.
One thing is for sure, NO ONE who dies will come back to life down the road in a new meat body or any other kind of body. Then again, their belief is such otherwise just HOW would Scientology continue with the constant influx of CASH from “new meat bodies” coming to be reborn again and again.
John Sweeney is a Rock Star & so are you Mike & Leah as well….please continue the good fight.
I don’t know why a Cruise or Travolta would be held back by having any secrets revealed to the world. Nobody gives a f*** about what weird fetishes turn on Cruise when he masturbates, or if anyone is a closeted homosexual, or anything like that. Just knowing your “church” would reveal any secrets should be enough to make anyone realize what a shitty organization it is… and perhaps the IRS should consider these attacks against “apostates” as enough to remove tax-exempt status, for that matter.
Of course, maybe Cruise and Travolta are evil shitheads to the core and love the crimes of their organization.
Or maybe they are just morons.
Fear, complicity, or stupidity. Those are the only reasons anyone stays in this sick organization.
I’ve said it before, I’m going with “Fear” as a huge motivator & intimidation to stay IN. Fear of disconnection, fear of the unknown as in Polygamy & other religious cults where “we on the outside are Evil & the world on the outside is the road to eternal damnation & ticket to Hell”.
I could see with some of the “celebs” fear of losing their Hollywood Status, especially with Cruise, not so much Travolta. When Cruise’s popularity fades to zero, he no doubt will still have enough income to give to the miserable tiny one.
Mike, after hearing your former wife’s screaming tirade rant….one question I have is this: Where was SHE when you were locked away in “the hole”? How could a spouse stand by & allow because the so called “religion” dictates it, an abuse of a loved one? I would imagine she thought you had “pulled it in to yourself” so she wasn’t to stand by her man.
We all know that IF you had made the slightest suggestion to her that your were thinking of “blowing” & taking your family with you….she would have done a K.R. on you & you’d be sent as far away from them as possible
You did what you had to do to escape & survive. My heart aches for the loss of your brainwashed son & daughter who are still living in the Bubble & drinking the Kool Aid.
If you can’t save someone else….SAVE YOURSELF….
Mike Rinder says
She was in the Hole too
🙂 Mike. My first laugh of the day.
Go after everyone in the entire family to keep the rest of the family in line…..sick bastards. I will never understand how a “cherch” allows it’s members to physically assault another member, let alone the sexual & emotional assaults & disconnect.
Polygamy has it’s issues with many fathers and extended male family members sexually assaulting young children, & they get away with it, that is until Warren Jeffs…the “prophet” got himself arrested.
Seems like David M is the PROFIT…as he has a steady supply of income to live the lifestyle he does while the rest of the loyalist eat rice & beans & sleep God knows where..allowing their children to be raised by others or by themselves.
Separating children from the parents makes really “good sense” doesn’t it? If you child isn’t “with you” you can dedicate yourself !00% to the cause (clearing the planet) while minders keep your kid drinking the Kool Aid & brainwashed to remain loyal no matter what their biological parents says or do.
A second chance at life with Chris & the boys….a Blessing. The greatest gift would be the return to yourself your daughter Taryn & son Ben…..I pray for that.
Tom Cruise is too far gone to ever leave. He’s colossally brainwashed and batshit crazy. Such a shame.
Cat W. says
I can hardly wait with great anticipation just ONE big celebrity exiting, as in Tom Cruise or John Travolta
I think they’re lifers. If the South Park episode didn’t demonstrate to them the absurdity of their closets, nothing will.
Maybe Elisabeth Moss or Laura Prepon?
Fingers crossed for Elizabeth Moss. A gifted actress, and I’d bet that, as did Nicole Kidman’s, when Moss exits the cult her career will really take off. I’m enough of an optimist to hold hope that she’s lurking here. She was, after all, decidedly circumspect, quite careful, really, in her response concerning CO$ when last interviewed. She didn’t exactly give her cherch a ringing endorsement!
If anyone is interested in seeing an excellent film that explains many of the strangest differences between the American and British legal systems, I would recommend a little known film called “Denial” (2016).
It may be little known but it is truly excellent. It has nothing to do with Sciendrudgery but it will give you some very interesting insights into just how different the American and British legal systems can be. Americans will find some of the fine points to be so bizarre that it will be hard to believe they could actually be true.
Just one tiny example. In the British Legal system, when someone sues you for Libel or Slander, you are guilty until you prove yourself innocent. Doesn’t that sound insane?
Ever met an SP? says
I’m afraid your information, on the specific point you raise at last, is obsolete. Please refer to the Defamation Act 2013 to see what steps the Government took to redress imbalances in defamation and libel law. Claimants are now required to show actual or probable serious harm, and the defences available have been enhanced. Furthermore this is an area of civil, not criminal law, so questions of ‘guilt’ or ‘innocence’ do not arise.
PTS 10 says
Interesting Mike’s post came up today as I’m about 80% through John’s book The Church of Fear: Inside The Weird World of Scientology.
Also just started watching Mike’s posted video.
I was in for 24 years, out 18 years now.
You look WAY better Mike after you got out.
So glad for you mike that you are are safe and healthy and free now. I hope the rest that are still in that spot can get out.
Only a few pro-Scilon comments at the video, and I suspect those are by Free Zoners.
Adam Richardson says
I was fortunate enough to Edit Johns second Panorama, The Secrets of Scientology and it’s one of the proudest films I’ve ever cut. And I’ve had the pleasure of working with John on many other films and he really is a remarkable journalist and a great laugh. I hope all is well Mike and if you’re ever back in London, do give John a shout. A beer or two would be in order.
Mike Rinder says
Hi Adam — thanks so much for writing here. Saw John last time I was in London and will always look him up when there. Wish we had you here to edit our Aftermath series!
Adam Richardson says
Hey Mike. My pleasure and make sure you let us know next time you’re in London. I’ll look out for the Aftermath series and it would’ve been a pleasure to cut. Take it easy
Jens TINGLEFF says
Nice work, to you and to all concerned.
And I’m not in the least miffed that you cut away from Sweeney leaving the TCR bOrg (after Mike Rinder denied and denied and denied) just before my protest gang and I became visible on the other side of the street. Our slogans are heard very well, so no regrets :-).
Anyway, since 2008 this has been about Anonymous and about how ex-victims have been able and willing to stand up and be heard.
Alex De Valera says
Mike you have all my respect. You have done so much to expose the abuses of ElRon madness.
This interview is what caused my scientologh obsession, I first saw in 2013 then I read the Truth Rundown and couldn’t understand how this happens. I remember finding the videos of Mike and Marty fishing and it dawned on me that Mike was the scary looking man in the Sweeny interview so I went back to double check. By that time I I has read many horror stories but looking at Mike then compared to how healthy and happy he looked fishing just blew me away and really made it clear cos is actually dangerous. The stories were not exaggerated. Now when someone says they don’t know what to think I dig up this video and show them how bad Mike looked compared to how he looks now so they can see how physically damaging the seaorg is.
Mike’s appearance in the Sweeney footage is so telling of Miscavige’s cruelty. The cringe-inducing thug Miscavige had just dragged poor Mike out of the hole, gave him a shower, and thrust him on the front lines to deal with Sweeney because Miscavige is far too cowardly to face the world himself. It is amazing what a horrible criminal Miscavige has revealed to the world, by his own actions. And now look at Mike Rinder’s appearance, and compare it to recent photos of the aging ecclesiastical sociopath. Night and day my friends.
One more comment about this video, watching it through this time.
Religion? Really? No. Mafia. Why would a group who claimed to be a spiritual group look as hostile and intimidating as Mike and Tommy do at the start of this video? Why would anyone even have “enforcers” and call themselves a religion?
The hardest thing to do after leaving scientology is to relearn simple human kindness. Scientology forcefully drags every kind or empathetic feeling or thought out of you and leaves you a cold heartless shell of a person, telling you that it is “HE&R (human emotion and reaction) and that is bad.
Scientology teaches you that you are not supposed to feel, to react, to care.
I love John Sweeney for going all “exploding tomato” on Tommy although he was embarrassed by doing so. He has my eternal respect for giving them back some of what they deserved.
Ex Staff now Out says
I loved your post Valerie
Ex Scientologists who do not make an effort to reprogram themselves are some cold and heartless people
It is important to research Scientology and find out how L Ron Hubbard duped you and then stop using the lingo
The way out is a lot of work but you can restore your humanity again if you try.
Mark Foster says
Yes, you are absolutely correct! I, too, was in the cult for fifteen years, with the last year and 2 months on staff. The beliefs, practices, and policies of scientology are corrosive, and become more so the longer and more deeply one adheres to them. I agree that a conscious effort to stop the use of the loaded language, unpack the suppressed emotions, untangle the confusion of lies and false information, and generally embark on a journey of psychological healing and intellectual revivification is essential.
Personally, I will be doing all of that for the rest of my life.
As will I. I have been out more than 30 years now and still run into mind shrapnel. It shocks me. I have to consciously throw things off. I also still find it hard to even say ouch or make a noise at all when I am hurt. I just shut my mouth and bear it.
In April, I broke my foot ($32,000 worth of titanium in that baby now). The people at the hospital didn’t believe I broke it, because I walked in under my own power and talked to my friend while I was waiting to have it x-rayed. After they saw the x-rays, they believed. When you suppress your reaction to pain for so long, it becomes almost impossible to express it. It becomes something corrosive that you hold inside. I am still working on the ability to express pain.
Thanks LRH there is my success story. Pbblllttt.
Mark Foster says
Wow. Hope your healing process proceeds smoothly. Just being able to observe and note the conditioned behavior is a huge step. The fact that bits are still sticking is a testament to the power of the mind fuck. Being able to write and talk and laugh about it helps, too, yes? Take care!
Thanks so much for caring. I have a great PTSD service dog and have allowed myself to trust the psychiatric profession so am doing quite well. Grandkids help too. Overall my life is quite great. Sometimes it just surprises me when something sneaks up on me.
Old Surfer Dude says
Mike, you were right. It’s well worth the time to watch it again. It shows just how degraded these people are.
Mark Foster says
I agree with you. Grace, charity, and empathy are qualities that El Con Flubbard’s ” tech” and organizations denigrate and despise.
Cruelty, ruthlessness, the telling of acceptable truths, and homo novus arrogance are required, promoted, and rewarded.
Moving Forward says
True comment Valerie – Scientologists end up with no human emotions, they can be cold and heartless. Heart breaking knowing my grandaughter must learn how to be like this. Religion my a….s. Mike, Leah, Tony & everyone who writes and talks about the abuses of Scientology you are amazing.
“Religion? Really? No. Mafia.”
Yes. Co$ operates just like the Mafia does. That little South Philly plug ugly Miscavige admired and copied them wouldn’t surprise me in the least.
I Yawnalot says
The truth never gets stale. But it sure as hell gets buried & ignored a lot. John Sweeney and Sarah Mole are good & brave people.
I just re watched this 3 weeks ago when I was re reading John’s book “Church of Fear”.
I was lucky. The second time reading his book did not bring back the screaming nightmares I had the first time I read it.
I was struck by how close to dead you looked in the video flashback John shows at the start of this video. I’m not sure some of the readers even understand how close to death you were. You look so alive and vibrant now.
Johns book “Church of Fear” is great too.
Yes it is!! That was my 2nd book on the topic!
Julie Marty says
Thank you so much for this. I have seen parts of it before, but not the whole thing. Mike, you really were “Mister Scary” – so gaunt! And Marc and Claire Headley look so great and happy. Excellent film.
Rip Van Winkle says
thank you so much for sharing this and for all you do.
I look forward to watching this later today, and to compare how it strikes me this time ’round.
it’s all so very helpful.
Jeff Ritzmann says
Mike, I’m curious and can’t recall if you’ve stated it on the show with Leah – Do you still subscribe to the Scientology religion as mentioned in the program here?
Mike Rinder says
Not at all
Jeff Ritzmann says
Thanks for the reply. I would guess there’s a period after leaving that one would feel apprehensive about the totality if leaving it all behind. Like walking a tightrope blindfolded. Thanks for all you do.
Karma's a B says
Mike has found true love, fatherhood, friendship and success since the totality of Blowing. Tightrope while blindfolded? More like determined with a shared common goal……Mike Rinder is a man of principle. His success at sharing his and others stories will equal the demise of Der Munchkin and Tom C land.
Curious about why information about the beatings was censored?
There are plenty of fitst person accounts and if Miscavige ever decided to get legal about it, he would be the first one to be deposed.
Mike Rinder says
It’s more complicated with the BBC and their “public trust” and how they are funded and libel laws in the UK etc etc
Mary Kahn says
Mike, thanks for this link and for all you have done and are doing to expose and stop the abuses of The church of Scientology.