Carter Ruck and Scientology

John Sweeney has another crack at the “church” of Scientology. It airs on Panorama, on Tuesday night.

One of the more unpleasant aspects of the manner in which Scientology attacks its critics, is the use of personal and private information against ex-members, some of it obtained during the quasi-religious “auditing” sessions which it sells to its members.

When Ms Scobee left and began to criticise David Miscavige and the church intimate details of her sex life before she was married leaked to the St Petersburg Times in Florida newspaper.

The church admits sending the newspaper material about Ms Scobee’s sex life, but said it was acceptable because the information was contained in an affidavit signed by her. They say it was not confidential.

Ms Scobee said she had disclosed those details but she believed they would remain confidential.

So it is no surprise to discover that Scientology pulled a similar sleazy trick on Sweeney himself:

During our time in America for the latest Panorama, we were once again followed by people filming us, this time more openly than before. When we approached the people with cameras to ask them who they were with and what they were doing, they refused to answer our questions.

That is why I was somewhat grateful to Scientology’s UK lawyers at Carter-Ruck when they sent the BBC photographs of me hugging Amy Scobee at the end of a long and at times harrowing series of interviews about her experiences.

The photographs were meant to demonstrate to my bosses at the BBC, once again, that I must be biased against the church as I was overly familiar with its critics.

Carter Ruck will have persuaded itself that its actions on behalf of its client were proper.

They weren’t.