The Church of Scientology is launching a new television network, and marketing it as a revealing affair that will shed a positive light on the secretive and contentious organisation.
The organisation appears to have begun marketing its coming service Sunday evening with a Twitter account, which links to a countdown clock to the launch Monday night, and has been regularly updating with videos every hour.
“The only thing more interesting than what you’ve heard is what you haven’t,” a promotional video teases.
“It’s TIME for us to tell OUR story,” one tweet says.
The promotional video shows various scientology properties, people shopping at what appears to be a Scientology bookstore, and people in white lab gear zipping up gold containers. The video then describes the group’s founder — L Ron Hubbard — as an explorer, author, and humanitarian, before jumping to images of celebrations at locations owned by the group around the world. Another video features a man explaining that a device on screen is called an “e-meter”, and “is the cutting edge of spiritual technology”.
“Curious?” the video asks.
Details about the coming network, which was first spotted by The Hollywood Reporter, are pretty scarce. The network will be featured on Apple TV, Roku, and DirecTV.
But, the launch follows after it was announced in 2016 that the company would launch its own studio, and then ran a 30-second commercial during this year’s Super Bowl — a spot that would have cost the organization millions.
A request for comment from the organisation was not immediately returned.
The organisation has been the focus of several high-profile projects aimed at discrediting the group, alleging abuse of former members and their family.
That includes the 2015 documentary “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief”, which won three Emmys and a Peabody.
That film accuses the group of multiple abuses and misconduct by leaders — especially the current leader David Miscavige — including acts of intimidation, wiretapping, imprisonment, and exploitation of subordinates. In one of the more grotesque of the allegations, a scientologist was said to have been forced to clean a bathroom with their tongue.
The group responded then by denouncing the filmmakers, their interviewees, and complaining to critics of the film.