The Church of Scientology is launching its own TV channel, complete with an app version for streaming. If you’ve got a Roku, Firestick, Chromecast, anything made by Apple or a DirecTV, you can start lapping up their content from midnight tonight.
The ‘Scientology TV’ app went up on Apple’s app store yesterday, and they keep tweeting about what is to come:
Sometimes slightly oddly…
That… doesn’t really mean anything, right? It’s just some words and numbers. They’re doing an hourly countdown to launch at the moment, after which the currently-not-really-working website scientology.tv will also be filled with their content.
The Church has spent a lot of money on telly before, running a series of 30-second adverts during the Super Bowl six years in a row.
The Hollywood Reporter says: “It’s not immediately clear what the network will entail, or who from the church’s deep bench of famous members may be enlisted for the programming”. High-profile Scientologists include Tom Cruise, Beck, Bart Simpson’s voice actor Nancy Cartwright, Juliette Lewis, Laura Prepon from Orange is the New Black and Giovanni Ribisi.
The church is perpetually on a bit of a PR drive these days following some high-profile controversies, as shown in documentaries like Alex Gibney’s Going Clear and Louis Theroux’s My Scientology Movie, as well as the best episode of Panorama ever, in which the BBC’s John Sweeney was briefly driven almost entirely out of his mind.
Some big-name members have left the church (Paul Haggis, Jason Lee, Leah Remini), and there are constant stories of abuse and mistreatment of members. In some cases, Scientology has been alleged to be involved in some unusual deaths.
In addition to this, a lot of the Church of Scientology’s core beliefs are ones people struggle with, such as their insistence that every human has at their core a trillion-year-old alien. They also insist that psychiatry is evil and speaking while giving birth harms your baby.
But, if the telly’s really good, maybe everyone’ll get on board. We’ll find out at midnight tonight, eh?