Today, Jan. 31, 2015, ‘The Irish Times’ reports how difficult it was for John Sweeney to have his book published. “Nobody would touch the book,” says Sweeney. No major publisher in Britain dared to buy it – the problem with the church is that it generates fear and incapacitates people who would normally report on them, said Sweeney.”
John Sweeney (born 1958) is a British journalist and author. He has worked for The Observer newspaper, the BBC’s Newsnight and as an investigative journalist for the BBC’s Panorama series until July 2014. Sweeney worked for twelve years at The Observer newspaper, where he covered wars and revolutions in more than sixty countries including Romania, Algeria, Iraq, Chechnya, Burundi and Bosnia.
A brave journalist, Sweeney embarked on an undercover visit to North Korea, Sweeney posed as an academic from the London School of Economics that eventually formed the basis of a book, ‘North Korea Undercover’, published in November 2013.
However, taking on Scientology proved to be another matter – one where Sweeney says he was “obstructed, harassed and spied on – a feeling he describes as unendurable pressure.”
Sweeney cracked, lost his temper, and footage revealed him yelling at former Scientology spokesperson, Tommy Davis. Sweeney remarked that he lost his temper due to days of harassment by Davis and the Church, and a strong personal reaction to the psychiatry exhibit, a multi-million dollar museum and visitor center that the Citizens Commission on Human Rights set called, “Psychiatry: An Industry of Death”.
The museum is a little jumbled and confusing, but the gist of it is: “Every single act of racism in the last couple of hundred years has been the result of a secret plot by a global gang of psychologists and psychiatrists.”
“What draws people towards refuted claims about a religious organisation that sees itself as a force for good? Sweeney says that in a world where we’re always on the lookout for something that may be bigger or more meaningful; the esoteric theology and celebrity endorsements behind Scientology can prove alluring.”
“Or perhaps people naturally become intrigued, he suggests, when former members tend to characterise Scientology as “something like the Coca-Cola corporation or a brainwashing cult or a weird zombie state or all three mixed into each other” rather than as a religion,” says Sweeney.
Sweeney will be one of the numerous guest speakers at the ‘Dublin 2015 Scientology Conference – Enough is Enough’ – scheduled, on Friday Feb. 6, 2015 from 6:30 p.m. and Saturday Feb. 7, 2015 from 12 noon on.