In writing a 365-page book targeting the Church of Scientology, Lawrence Wright sought out a tiny group of disgruntled ex-members led by this man: expelled from the Church for financial misconduct, deception, ineptitude and violence.
Nearly all of Wright’s sources were dismissed from the Church for similar offenses, including embezzlement, financial wrongdoing, sexual misconduct, physical abuse and severe violations of Church doctrine.
Yet these are the individuals Lawrence Wright uses to impugn the character of the Church and its leader, a man responsible for a worldwide religion and its unprecedented expansion…
…and under whose stewardship, the Church’s social betterment programs have become the largest nongovernmental anti-drug and human rights campaigns on Earth.
But in writing his so-called exposé on Scientology, Lawrence Wright’s sources were far from credible and Wright knew it.
Their allegations so far-fetched that a federal judge and an appeals court dismissed them as baseless.
Lawrence Wright ignored that.
And when the Church provided thousands of pages of evidence documenting the falsehood of those claims—Lawrence Wright continued to present the allegations as fact.
When asked in a journalist forum, “Do you believe that journalism can lead to truth?” Wright had this to say: “Truth is one of those subjective terms that are pointless to get too tied up about.”
Wright’s book was released in January 2013 but failed to generate reader interest.
Still, it found itself immediately steeped in controversy about the veracity of its claims.
So much so that the book’s publisher would not release it in Britain, Ireland, Canada or Australia because of their libel laws.
The chances of losing a lawsuit were simply too great.
Now, documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney has taken Lawrence Wright’s book at its word without question or examination: “I utterly trusted Larry. I wasn’t looking for holes in his story.”
Over the two years Gibney quietly worked on his documentary, he never once contacted the Church, visited a Church or spoke to any of its members.
His documentary was in the can before he even mentioned it to them.
And to this day, Gibney refuses to reveal his allegations to the Church.
Let’s take a closer look at Wright and Gibney’s sources: Meet Jason Beghe: tough guy on TV… tough guy in real life.
This is a man known to be filled with rage and volatility, a guy with a hair-trigger temper that has landed him in trouble with the law.
But after Jason Beghe joined the Church of Scientology in 1994, he wrote many public statements testifying that the Church had helped make him a new man.
“I am happier—much happier,” he wrote.
And… “I love Scientology and all that it stands for. I’m a new man—more me!!”
“What I have gotten back from Scientology is nothing less than my life.”
In 1999, Jason Beghe suffered a near-fatal car accident, unconscious for nearly four weeks.
Fellow Scientologists remained at his bedside 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, giving him whatever assistance they could to help him back to health.
Subsequently, Jason Beghe described his recovery as a miracle.
“From what I hear from the experts, it’s truly a wonder that I’m alive… So again, thank you. I’ve never been so happy to be alive.”
But given his severe and frequent mood swings, it was only a matter of time before Jason Beghe’s simmering rage would boil over…
… when Beghe, angry over being kept waiting for an appointment, dangled a 14-year-old Scientologist over the edge of a three-story-high terrace before being forced by a witness to stop.
After this, the Church expelled this ticking time bomb from its congregation as good riddance.
Beghe immediately turned to this man and became the first and only poster boy for his small group of anti-Scientologists …
… no surprise, since both share a record of brutality.
But though the Church was done with Beghe because of his violent nature, Beghe wasn’t done with the Church.
He went online with profanity-laced tirades, in interviews with known Church attackers.
Jason Beghe also showed up in front of Church buildings, harassing parishioners alongside the notorious cyber terrorist group Anonymous …
Then he started contacting Scientology officials, making veiled proposals that he and other vocal detractors would go away if he was paid off.
Saying, according to records: “Make some kind of financial gesture unless you guys can come up with something else.”
Jason Beghe soon proved his taste for violence again on the day a process server showed up to serve legal documents and Beghe snapped into a fit of rage.
“Jason Beghe violently hit me in the back of my head repeatedly with his fist.
“And I saw Beghe walking next to him, yelling in his ear and then he started smacking the back of his head.
“I said ‘That’s assault’ and he said ‘I don’t give a shit’ and he continued to hit me.”
Jason Beghe was criminally convicted for battery upon an officer and forced to pay $19,000 in restitution.
But that wasn’t enough to curb Beghe’s appetite for a good beat down.
Not long afterwards, in a dispute over a weed whacker, Jason Beghe violently assaulted his gardener, hitting him repeatedly about the head and abdomen.
In a deposition Jason Beghe refused to answer whether he threw his own young son across a ten-foot-wide deck and down onto the lawn below.
Amid this history of emotional instability and physical aggression, Jason Beghe has gone to the media.
Now he’s trying to play the victim—of a religion that was by his own admission—something that had only brought him happiness and peace of mind.
And in addition to his displays of angry indignation, this actor can even cry on cue, as he does in these video outtakes.
She left him…
Not coincidentally, Lawrence Wright, Alex Gibney and Sheila Nevins, head of HBO Documentaries and Family Programming, relied on this TV and real-life tough guy, a man who has never had a staff or executive position in the Church—as a source of attacks on Scientology.
They may show you Jason Beghe’s anti-religious tirades in their HBO documentary, but what you won’t see is the violence behind this raging bully.
In future segments, we’re going to show you more of Lawrence Wright’s “sources"…
Remember this guy—the ringleader of that tiny group Lawrence Wright befriended and used to tell false stories about his former religion?
“Shut the fuck up. I’m tellin’ you something right now…”
He was dismissed and expelled from the Church for criminal activities—that’s criminal, as in felony.
His resumé also includes episodes of shoving, kicking, punching and extreme violence.
And a honeymoon night spent in jail.
But Lawrence Wright doesn’t reveal any of that, or any other sordid detail about this man.
You’ll also meet those this man calls his “posse”: Such as the guy he nearly killed, who he now calls his “best good buddy.”
This guy deserted his children and ruthlessly attacked his estranged wife…
…the thief who used to ride shotgun with the ringleader on his punching sprees.
Admitted accomplices in a scheme to suborn perjury—getting others to lie under oath.
And another Lawrence Wright source, the “lady” expelled from the Church for having sexual relations with someone she was ministering to, a violation of professional conduct in any church. You'll meet her, too.
…the paid tabloid source and his wife, whose frivolous lawsuits were repeatedly thrown out of Federal Court and the couple ordered to pay the Church $40,000.
…and the writer who took advantage of his Scientology connections to take $5 million for writing scripts he never completed.
Lawrence Wright and Alex Gibney could have shown you the truth about Scientology.
For this is Scientology today: A rapidly expanding religion with new churches opening, by the month, throughout the world…
But instead of showing you this, Wright and Gibney have chosen to give you this man…
“Shut the fuck up…”
And his tiny group of followers.
That’s right—this guy is the leader of all Lawrence Wright’s “sources.”
They are interconnected, each of them corroborating the other’s false stories and lies, some for big bucks.
All of them handpicked to populate the story Lawrence Wright and Alex Gibney want to sell.
Lawrence Wright, Alex Gibney and executive producer Sheila Nevins know full well who these people really are.
But you won’t see that on HBO.
“Shut the fuck up…”