TVNewser FishbowlDC AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote PRNewser SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

BBC Reporter Still Hoping to Publish Book About Nightmarish Scientology Experiences

Famous for his 2007 and 2010 BBC Panorama reports on the Church of Scientology, John Sweeney took today to the pages of UK’s The Independent to bang a loud warning gong against the (subsequent) symphony of Cruise-Holmes divorce settlement dispatches. Although Holmes may not have been followed by Church affiliated personnel in the streets of New York, he writes that he was:

They spied on me. I know that for a fact because the man who led the spying team – Mike Rinder, the head of the church’s secret police, the Office of Special Affairs – defected to us in 2010 and told me so on Panorama…

Private investigators whom I believe were working for the church chased me around the streets of LA, invaded my hotel at midnight and put me under surveillance at breakfast. Strangers spied on my wedding and knocked on the doors of my neighbors.

In the end, I lost it, doing an impression of an exploding tomato. I was wrong to lose my temper and I have apologized. John Travolta reportedly phoned up the BBC director general to complain about me.

Sweeney says he has been trying to get a British House of Commons select committee to look into the P.I. firm he was told the Church hired to spy on him in the UK. He has also been unable thus far to find a willing publisher for the book he wants to write about his Sea Org experiences. Perhaps at this point Sweeney should simply opt for the self-publishing route.

In the article, the veteran war reporter insists he never felt more “fear for his grip on reality” than when he was engaged in the original BBC Scientology assignment.

Mediabistro Course

Travel Writing

Travel WritingStarting September 23, learn how to turn your travel stories into published essays and articles! Taught by a former Vanity Fair staff writer, James Sturz will teach you how to report, interview, and find sources, discover story ideas and pitch them successfully, and understand what travel editors look for in a story. Register now!