The Church of Scientology continues its tradition of creepy, off-putting actions, this time targeting Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master. The New York Post reports that Scientologists have been “‘inundating’ the distributor, The Weinstein Co., with strange calls objecting to the film.” The Post also reports that the Church of Scientology is planning to run pro-Scientology messages in venues where articles about or ads for The Master may appear. Harvey Weinsten has apparently beefed up his security as a result. The producer recently increased his security following an extortion plot from last month. That case is unrelated to the Church of Scientology.
Anderson admitted that Lancaster Dodd (the character played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) was inspired by Church Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, but he’s stressed that the film is not about Scientology or Hubbard per se. You may recall that there was fear that The Master wouldn’t get made because of how the Church of Scientology treats its critics.
After the cut, I’ve included the BBC Panorama shows “Scientology and Me” (2007) and “The Secrets of Scientology” (2010). In “Scientology and Me,” reporter John Sweeney is stalked, goaded, and harassed by the Church of Scientology while trying to explore their practices and beliefs. “The Secrets of Scientology” is a follow-up program which reveals how the CoS functions from the inside and how top CoS officials condoned and encouraged the intimidation tactics against Sweeney during his previous report.[The New York Post via The Guardian]
BBC Panorama: Scientology and Me (2007)
BBC Panorama: The Secrets of Scientology (2010)