Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Jason Beghe, Scientology's newest critic; Norway joins the fray

April 21, 2008

I've been on a hiatus from the Scientology vs. the Internet story, but enough threads have been spun in the past week that a refresher is in order.

Beghe First of all, there's the Jason Beghe Conspiracy (Village Voice), wherein the well-established character actor tells all about his none-too-enlightening experience as a Scientologist. The video -- it's f-bomb laden so I can't link directly -- was picked up and widely circulated after it was published by venerated Scientology critic Mark "Wise Beard Man" Bunker on his YouTube channel. After Bunker posted the first part of the Beghe interview on YouTube, his 10,000-subscriber account was yanked.

The reasons for Bunker's YouTube suspension are somewhat Byzantine (Dawn at GlossLip tries to make sense of it, as do the forumheads at Enturbulation). It has to do, apparently, with an earlier instance where Bunker had used unlicensed video from "The Colbert Report." But the timing -- so soon after he posted the Beghe video -- has people asking questions.

Dagbladet Norway has now signed itself up for a role in the Scientology saga too. The picture at left is the cover of Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet. The Norwegian press is reporting that the daughter of a member of the nation's Parliament committed suicide not long after taking a Scientology personality test in Nice, France. (The cover at left reads: "TOOK HER OWN LIFE," and the quote at the bottom is from Parliament member Inga Marte Thorkildsen, who says, "All indications are that the Scientologist sect has played a direct role.") Here's an account in English, in which a Scientology official notes that millions of people have taken the test without a similar result, and "pointed to Ballo's earlier eating disorder and suggested that she had a history of psychiatric problems."