Scientlogy and the Jive Aces

The request was refused by British Broadcasting Corporation.

Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

You have some excellent and brave people in your organization who make good programmes. The investigative Journalism carried out for Panorama is commendable and includes; The Secrets of Scientology (2011), Scientology and Me (2007) and The Road to Total Freedom (1987). During the later you described the Operating Thetan levels ( Currently, on your website at you have a story describing how Scientologists tried to stop a recent film. My point is that this all took effort and bravery. John Sweeney was been followed and subjected to what can only be called harassment and this is on another of your sites.

So, you know what they are like and yet tonight at 6.50pm the BBC's South East Today spent some time (2-3 minutes maybe 5) promoting the Jive Aces who, people have said, promote and recruit for Scientology. It undermined the quality journalistic approach previously taken and as a result I have the following FOI request questions to ask;

A former member of Britain’s Got Talent 2012 singers the Jive Aces have claimed they attempted to "brainwash" him into Scientology. Did the BBC consider this to be something that should be considered before they decide to promote them on prime time television?

Did the BBC repeat almost word for word a Scientology P.R. release before airing it on the programme tonight?

The P.R. angle for the advert was that it was a small local band making good. But this is hardly fair to the jazz bands that are small and local. These bands do not receive any funding or publicity from the BBC or Scientology.

Did you have an editorial team who checked any of the story and considered whether the material was P.R.?

Did the BBC receive payment from Scientology for promoting them via the band? I realise that you might say that this is covered by commercial interests being kept secret. However, as a tax payer I feel that I should be able to see if you get paid to promote certain organisations or people on prime time television. Otherwise media integrity could be compromised.

Did you check any underlying statistics or the possibility that Scientogist web marketers were raising the profile of the you tube video? You quoted 20 million hits to the video on You Tube but this seems unlikely. Scientology makes a lot of money from those whom it recruits. The video that you showed so much of is of high quality, as one would expect.

I understand that the Independent Broadcasting Association does not allow advertising of Scientology on prime time television. Do you feel that you breached their guidance? Or was it a work around using the Jive Aces and getting paid for it?

Yours faithfully,
Richard Price

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Mr Price,

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, as detailed in your email below. Your request was received on 13th December 2012. We will deal with your request as promptly as possible, and at the latest within 20 working days. If you have any queries about your request, please contact us at the address below.

The reference number for your request is RFI20121486.

Kind regards

The Information Policy & Compliance Team

BBC Freedom of Information
BC2 B6, Broadcast Centre
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TP
Email: [BBC request email]

Tel: 020 8008 2882
Fax: 020 8008 2398

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FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Price


Please find attached the response to your request for information,
reference RFI20121486



Yours sincerely,

The Information Policy and Complaince Team


BBC Information Policy and Compliance

BC2B6, Broadcast Centre

201 Wood Lane

London W12 7TP, UK


Website: [1]

Email: [2]mailto:[BBC request email]

Tel: 020 8008 2882

Fax: 020 8008 2398





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