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BBC and Scientology Take Their Tiff Online

5/15/2007 1:40 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Click to play!The BBC and the Church of Scientology are feuding over a scheduled TV special -- and their battle has spilled onto the web.

The latest assault comes from Scientology, famous for celebrity members like John Travolta and Tom Cruise. A video of BBC reporter John Sweeney losing his cool while talking with Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis hit the net over the weekend. Sweeney is speaking to Davis in a calm, normal tone when he suddenly starts SCREAMING at the top of his lungs! Quite random.

Sweeney, who has been working for months on a BBC special scheduled to air tonight, had been in a previous tiff with Davis. When Sweeney began a Davis interview with the line, "Some people say it's a sinister cult," Davis took umbrage -- and who can blame him? -- but at least he did so without screaming!

"If you are interested in becoming a TV journalist, it is a fine example of how not to do it," Sweeney said on the BBC website. "I look like an exploding tomato and shout like a jet engine and every time I see it, it makes me cringe." Well said, John.

78 COMMENTS

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1.

Jen    

Sweeney was justified in his rant. I just watched the video on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwTDvfjcUJU and it is clear to me that Scientology is a scam, orchestrated by the man Sweeney is screaming at in the video. They harassed Sweeney, followed him around, stalked him at his hotel (completely uninvited), and even interfered when we was trying to conduct interviews with non-Scientologists. They obviously don't want to hear anyone else's point-of-view and don't want anyone to criticize them. They hide behind Freedom of Religion but don't want anyone else to practice Freedom of Speech. Bravo to Sweeney and the BBC for their honesty and dignity.

2571 days ago
2.

LordXenu'sAss    

What do you mean who can blame him? Scientology is a SINISTER CULT that destroys families, founded by a lunatic Sci fi writer who made up his life story, strangled his second wife, disowned his children and self medicated to the point of madness. People who knew Hubbard described him as mad as a hatter. Scientology is a scam. And they'll sue you in England.

2655 days ago
3.

Cari7000    

Scientologists are wacko....
Cruise and Travolta alone prove that !

2655 days ago
4.

Cari7000    

Scientologists are wacko....
Cruise and Travolta alone prove that !

2655 days ago
5.

Oprah    

White trash people believe its a cult...put down ur flag y'all and read a book!

2655 days ago
6.

nofanhere    

Scientology and Mormonism, in my opinion are both occults.

2655 days ago
7.

LULU    

CULT! CULT! CULT! ANYONE WHO HAS READ A BACKGROUND OF THIS WACKO "RELIGION" CAN FIGURE IT OUT ALL BY THEMSELVES. HUBBARD WAS A SCIENCE FICTION WRITER, BEFORE HE GOT A WILD HAIR AND DECLARED THAT LITTLE ALIEN PEOPLE HAD COME TO TAKE OVER THE EARTH! GOOD GRIEF! IT'S ALL ABOUT CONTROL, AND OF COURSE, BRING MONEY AND WE WILL SHOW YOU THE WAY. YEAH, RIGHT!!!!!!

2655 days ago
8.

patty cake    

Scientology =CULT
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2655 days ago
9.

r5agwatcher    

Scientology is a place for you to get your money sucked out, your past life readings, and a list of their classes you need to take and oh by the way pay........................please! $$$$

2655 days ago
10.

chewyandbert    

Here is the actual events on video leading up to the "quasi-documentary" which was an embarrassment to ethical journalists. Here's a lesson in how many mainstream media "investigative reporters" actually work. No interest in facts, like Pattycake.

http://www.freedommag.org/bbc/video_flash.html

2655 days ago
11.

Bee    

I suggest that TMZ watch the documentary in its entirety before making judgements on why this reporter lost his cool. The team were harassed, spied on, and followed by strangers for the entire duration of their time in the US. Interviews were interrupted mid-conversation, and when this reporter did eventually snap, it was having just been led around a Scientology 'museum' demonstrating the evils of psychiatry - horrific images of Nazi Germany (in what is a disgraceful affront to the memory of those who died during this time) had been shown to Mr Sweeney - quite frankly, anyone's nerves would be frayed after months of harassment.
The BBC is an internationally-respected, professional organisation, whose journalists are respected on a world-wide level.
The same cannot be said about the 'Church' of Scientology.
TMZ - Please be mindful of how you present your stories. Sites such as yours can (as you know) be influential on young people so I would ask you to bear this in mind.

2655 days ago
12.

RenRen    

HAHAHAHA. That guy's gonna have a hemmorhage! What a nut Sweeny is! I always thought the BBC was respected British Journalism and now they are a joke to me. I'm glad the Scientologists put this guy in his place! About time someone did.

2655 days ago
13.

jackdaniels    

Scientology is not a religion its a cult, there all about the money, money is the root of all evil like them.

2655 days ago
14.

TMZ cut the crap..he didn't say he wasn't that bad...populistic shit.    

#9 ...Sorry but the BBC is more credible then those crazy loony's will ever be. If you want to talk quality journalism...fine by me. Just not in context of those freaks. That crazy dude thought he was in the Matrix...which is almost just as crazy as their theory so maybe he actually thought he was in the Matrix.

2655 days ago
15.

Standards are badly needed.    

So Sweeney has a temper. This doesn't make Scientology any more or less credible.
I'm sure many people are interested in what the BBC's special has to say. Those who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. If it looks and sounds like a cult....and conversely, if the special uncovers that some of Scientology has merit, more people might look at it. Things can be good if they well withstand the scrutiny of the light of day.

2655 days ago
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