Movie about Scientology on Channel 4
There are some interesting recent events I would like to keep you informed about.
At the end of January there was meeting near London to present Ron’s Org to the Free Zone Scientology community in the UK. About 25 people were present. It was a big success and it started to get the UK out of Non-ex. A few weeks later we were contacted by Channel 4. Channel 4 is a TV station in the UK which has a policy to show a certain number of religious programs. In line with that policy they are making three films: one about Hinduism, one about Islam and one about Scientology, each one lasting one hour.
They want to portray each religion by filming a person having their first contact with it and then going on to becoming a follower of the religion. There has been no problem doing so with Hinduism and Islam, but you can imagine that some difficulties have arisen with Scientology!
Simon, the producer, initially contacted Saint Hill; as most of you know, LRH stayed there for a number of years and there he did some of his most interesting and important research. The staff of Saint Hill were enthusiastic about the project and wanted to support him. Then he was sent to Los Angeles, where he explained the project there. He traveled twice to LA and finally, after five months, the church declined to continue, stating “there is a strict policy not to have anything filmed inside the church”.
By their own policy, Channel 4 has to make religious films – so they could not simply give up that project. So Simon started to search around on the internet, found the Free Zone, and finally, through some vias, he contacted myself. Here you can watch the description on the Channel 4 side.
To be honest, I was a bit skeptical at first. I have seen so many derogatory films and reports about Scientology that it took some time for Simon to convince us that this film would be different. Simon and I had quite a number of conversations through e-mails and phone calls, and finally he met us here in Bern and we started to believe him. All that was quite intensive because he was a long way behind target and should have started his filming long ago.
Then, after four weeks he started to film. They filmed first in Saint Hill, but only outside as they were not permitted to film inside. Some guards of the church were not amused by that and wanted to force Simon to give up his tapes. Simon was able to refuse, as he was filming on public ground.
Then they came to Bern – our org – and filmed and interviewed a lot of people who were on course or receiving auditing.
Next day we flew to Russia, and Simon went to Munich and filmed there about discrimination against Scientology. On Sunday they arrived in the Russian Training Camp where Hardeep Singh Kohli started the HQS, and Dominic O’Brien was his supervisor and twin. It was a good time. Hardeep liked what he studied, had a lot of fun and at one point said to me he has to bring these materials to his children! They had with them a Russian translator – Galina, a non-Scientologist – and towards the end of their stay she had a session which Simon filmed. Galina told me that if that had happened to her some years ago she would have instantly become a staff member in an org and given up the life she had.
Back in England, Dominic audited Hardeep and it went really well!
I must mention that before all of this, Simon filmed and interviewed a professor in religion to ask him if he considered Scientology to be a religion or not. He fully acknowledged that fact that Scientology is a religion. I don’t know a lot about this interview yet, but this is certainly something I’m looking forward to seeing. (Unfortunately there is nothing to see about it in the film.)
After the film crew departed we had some quiet times, until the Thursday before we left. Shortly before lunch the FSB (former KGB) arrived and were looking for drugs and dealers! What a surprise! As fast as they appeared they left the camp.
Obviously that was a church attack and due to the information we got from the FSB we were able to trace where it came from. It was obvious that we had an spy in the camp and we could also figure out who it was. We sec checked him and finally he confessed.
The main reason why he was in the camp was that the OSA is obviously horrified that Channel 4 made the film with us and they wanted to prevent it – but as usual, they were too late. Imagine, when this film is broadcast, that Ron’s Org – and the possibility that you can do the Bridge outside of the church – are then both broadly known! No more chance to unmock us any more.
A few days after the camp Simon wrote to me that he was getting phone calls from US Scientologists claiming how badly they have been harmed by the RO!
Dominic got visited from the church again and again, they wanted him back in the church, were harassing him on and up until the until the film got aired.
Later, when we had our training camp in Les Verrieres, Switzerland, the story continued. We have no evidence but you certainly can think of what I do when Dominic O’Brien got checked by the frontier police for drugs! Half an hour including a dog investigating the car. [Les Verrieres is a frontier village.]
During the training camp we got phone calls anonymous and by the church, we got visited by eight members of the church! Nobody of them could say from where they know that we are here, they wanted to convince us to come back to the church, tried to make us feel guilty that we apply the tech without the approval from the church of Scientology.
Also during this time an anonymous journalist made obviously a “noisy investigation” at our home in the Mohnstrasse.
Last but not least Remedy Productions (actually the company which made the film) had to be so cautious to do nothing wrong as the church did all kind of attempts to get a reason so that the film cannot be aired. That was continue to its end! For that reason they had the strict policy that film is not to be shown to anybody, the advertisement was very restrained, etc.
Finally the film got aired – what a release!
Here some reaction I got instantaneously:
• I can tell you it was very excellent, all that we saw and much more. It was very polished. A great advertisement for LRH and Scn Tech. As we know Dominic did an excellent job and the auditing also was very good - if naturally very brief. – Clive
• Well Done to MAX, ERICA and DOMINIC and CHANNEL 4's Hardeep and ALL of those who was part of it in RUSSIA, SWITZERLAND, GERMANY, ENGLAND. We are truly thankful. – Henrik
• We saw the programme yesterday evening - and must congratulate you. Very well done!!! The first TV programme we have seen that shows the tech in a positive light. – Ewa
• I just watched the film. EXCELLENT! Who would have believed it possible to find a truly Theta documentary about Scn? I suppose the difference is that the presenter was genuine. And that he found the "right" people J VWD!! - Scott
Ron’s Org Committee Chairman