Is it a conspiracy or just bad luck?
The anti-Scientology video we told you about on Monday afternoon featuring actor Jason Beghe has been removed from YouTube. Sort of.
The original video, put up by videographer Mark Bunker, is gone. YouTube pulled it late on Thursday. In the video, which Bunker made, Beghe describes his 13-year membership in the sect and why he left.
Bunker thinks YouTube took down the video under pressure from Scientology. It’s possible, of course, but unlikely. The video is still up on YouTube in other forms, including here (warning: contains offensive language). It’s also easily found just by typing Beghe’s name into most search engines.
Bunker says YouTube cancelled his account because of previous copyright issues with other videos he’s posted. He says those issues have been cleared up and he should have had time to prove that before they removed the Beghe interview.
YouTube, which is owned by Google, is not the easiest place to get an answer from. Ricardo Reyes, the head of public relations, told me Thursday night, "There’s no conspiracy here." He would not say if Scientology had pressured the video posting site into taking down the Bunker/Beghe video. Reyes e-mailed the official YouTube stance to me later on: "We do not comment on individual videos."
Despite this little flap, Beghe’s video has taken off like a rocket. The Village Voice newspaper here in New York as well as several video outlets have picked up the story about his brave escape from the sect. Some have even taken our original stories without credit. C’est la vie in this case. It was just important that Beghe get his story out to the widest audience possible.
Beghe has more to say, and a longer video, some of which we’ll see here next week. The more he describes the Scientology experience, the scarier it sounds. As he told me the other day: "A Scientologist who’s ‘clear’ believes he’s no longer a Homosapien. He’s Homo-novis, a new race. They believe they are the only hope for this section of the galaxy, starting with planet Earth."
Yes, Tom Cruise and John Travolta evidently believe this, Beghe says.
And, yes, Beghe did confirm with me what he’s talked about on the videos: All Scientology sessions are taped. Every one of them, including those of Cruise, Travolta and all celebrities. Does Beghe care if his tapes ever get out?
"Hell, no," he told me. "They won’t do that anyway because then the whole thing comes out and everyone knows there are tapes. They can’t do anything with them."
Beghe also told me that one possible theory for why the careers of Scientologists tend to go south is that the famous actors, such as Jenna Elfman or Juliette Lewis, "get so involved in thinking only they can save the world" that the sect overwhelms them.
and from defamer.com:
Ex-scientologist Jason Beghe, an actor you probably don't remember from CSI and Numb3rs, posted a somewhat horrifying rant on YouTube yesterday in which he demonstrates just how crazy the religion can make someone, even after they've escaped its clutches. After spouting venom-laced theories involving "theta traps" and "reactive minds," Beghe tells us that Scientologists think they're "fucking doing something to save the planet." And in an interview with the Village Voice last week, he divulges yet more allegations about Tom Cruise's involvement, and has a warning for Will Smith:
"[Cruise] was out for like ten years...Some are out but don't talk about it. Why? The church is scary. These are bad motherfuckers...Let Will Smith know that his shit was fucking recorded. And tell him to look them in the eye and see if he believes it when they deny it."
In his VV interview, Beghe says the three-minute YouTube video "barely scratches the surface" of a much longer session he recorded with Operation Clambake leader Andreas Heldal-Lund and the Anonymous group's "wise beard man," Mark Bunker. Though Beghe seems to be attempting to shoot down Scientology's cred by claiming the religion "stunts your evolution" and saying members aren't happy even after spending enormous amounts of money to reach level OT-VIII (beyond Clears), his maniacal laugh midway through the clip is eerily similar to Cruise's high-pitched giggles. And while a member of the Church, Beghe was declared "clear as a fucking bell." If the actor's aggressive ranting isn't enough to scare potential Scientologists like Smith out of joining the Knights of Hubbard, his current state of insanity certainly is.