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BBC Panorama Desperate Lies
A Freedom Special Report

The BBC and a Panorama of Lies

John Sweeney’s morass of unethical practices and journalistic dirty tricks rightly should have resulted in his dismissal from the BBC. So how did he hold on to his job? Possibly because his egregious violations of BBC and Ofcom codes are par for the course in a group entrenched in the frenzy of controversies that have swept through the BBC in recent years.

          This sampling of numbers tells the BBC story:

  • Number of fines levied against the BBC in the past four years for misleading viewers, fakery, lewd pranks and outright fraud: More than £595,000  ($929,747)
  • Amount the BBC was forced to pay in a major libel settlement after Panorama broadcast defamatory and irresponsible allegations: More than £1 million ($1.56 million)
  • Number of BBC staff sent to mandatory ethics training after an internal review found the BBC had repeatedly falsified on-air programming: 16,500
  • Number of violations of BBC and Ofcom broadcast codes Sweeney committed in his 2007 Panorama show on Scientology: 180 (an average of 6 per minute)
  • Number of staged fictitious incidents and unethical stunts by Sweeney for his Panorama shows on Scientology: 16
  • Pages of letters, affidavits and other documentation provided to BBC proving irrefutably that Sweeney’s star “witnesses” are liars: 792
  • Conservatively estimated UK public licence fees squandered by Panorama on travel expenses, luxury hotels, and wining and dining of anti-Scientologists for Sweeney’s 2010 show: £30,718 ($48,000)
  • Number of media outlets and journalism schools that used Sweeney’s meltdown to illustrate “how not to be an investigative reporter”: Hundreds

And these are the numbers in the story of the Church of Scientology which John Sweeney and BBC Panorama chose to ignore during the course of their “investigation”:

  • Number of countries and territories with members of the International Association of Scientologists:  140 (two-thirds of the nations and territories of Earth across 22 time zones)
  • Number of Guinness World Records awarded to Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard in the past three years:
    • Most published works by a single author: 1,084
    • Most audiobook titles: 185
    • Most translated author in the world: 71 languages
  • Increase since 2007 in production capability of the Church’s Bridge Publications in Los Angeles and New Era Publications in Copenhagen, the world's largest all-digital, on-demand publishers: 660 percent
  • Number of L. Ron Hubbard Dianetics and Scientology books placed in 97,997 libraries in 155 countries since 2007: 2.4 million
  • Number of people helped during the last year with the social betterment technology of L. Ron Hubbard: 3.5 million
  • Number of people helped by Scientology Volunteer Ministers in the last 12 months: More than 1.5 million

Related: Statement of the Church of Scientology International

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