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Scientology TV

Scientology has finally found a way to promote their “religion” publically without answering any questions from the media.  This past week, they launched their own TV network that somehow manages to avoid those pesky Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations.

That’s right.  The Church of Scientology, who outsmarted the IRS and got a non-profit designation to avoid paying taxes, runs its new television network without a license.  And that’s okay because it uses the internet and satellite transmissions, not regular broadcast TV.  Consequently, it can be found on DirecTV as well as numerous web platforms and apps.

And why?  Scientologists are directed not to speak directly to the media for fear that they might actually be questioned about their practices.  For some devotees, this is to protect their potential interrogators from certain death lest they share the secrets of the universe which non-Scientologists are not emotionally and mentally prepared to behold.

So they could tell you, but it would kill you.  Whoops.

Others are simply following the doctrine that suppressive persons (SP) should be avoided.  An SP includes someone who speaks negatively about Scientology, leaves the church or tries to get others to leave the church.  (No surprise there.)

However, an SP also includes reporters, psychologists, psychiatrists, and anyone who uses psychology/psychiatry.  Then there are those who speak out against or question the church’s management, don’t improve during their expensive Scientology courses, speak to suppressive persons, and refuse to disconnect from suppressive persons.

Consequently, Scientologists simply cannot talk to the media in any meaningful way about Scientology.  So what’s an organization to do when disenfranchised former members are publicizing their horror stories?

Obviously, they use their millions of tax-free income from their “classes” and start a television network of their own to control the flow of information.  And their commercials are slick.  They’re welcoming.  Inspiring.  And just a little terrifying in their benign-ness.

Chairman of the Board of the Religious Technology Center, David Miscavige – a.k.a. Scientology Grand Poobah – claims that that the Scientology Network “isn’t here to preach to you, or to convince you, or to convert you.”  Of course not.  They’re just running back-to-back documentaries, infomercials, and commercials about Scientology 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  No influence there.

No, Miscavige doesn’t want anything from you.  He just spent $50 million for a production studio and $4 million a year for carriage fees to DirecTV for the good of their existing followers.  If other viewers want to pony up to join, who’s he to stop them?

Of course, it could be argued that other faith TV channels air similar focused content.  And specialized channels always target a specific market and topic, like golf or cooking.  But nobody’s trying to brainwash a planet full of 9-iron wielding chefs.

The difference is that without any FCC oversight to protect viewers, the Scientology Network can become a mecca of fake news for their own purposes.  And is this the kind of new television the world needs?