News and Commentary

LOL: Scientology Will Launch TV Network

It has tax-exempt status. It got a Super Bowl commercial spot. Now, it’s getting a TV network.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Church of Scientology, founded by the now-deceased L. Ron Hubbard and headed by David Miscavige, will be launching “a channel on DirectTV and platforms Apple TV and Roku on Monday.”

On the Apple’s app store, “Scientology TV” is already available for download from The Church of Scientology International. “Running the app reveals a placeholder announcement that content will officially launch at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. P.T,” reports THR. “There’s also a newly launched Twitter account, with first updates coming early Sunday morning, pointing to a website that doesn’t yet appear to be up and running.”

Though the Church of Scientology has issued no comment on the network, a DirecTV spokesperson has confirmed the channel’s launch. More from THR:

Rumblings about a Scientology network gained heat in early 2017, with several rumors about the impending launch running on the website of longtime Scientology chronicler Tony Ortega. A Sunday post about the looming launch made mention of a Miami billboard plugging the network.

The likelihood of some sort of Scientology outlet seemed like an inevitability in 2016 when the church announced the launch of its own studio with Scientology Media Productions. A network was initially said to be launching on Spectrum, but the cable company denied such plans.

With multiple A-list celebrities under their belt, most especially Tom Cruise, Scientology’s media presence has become a formidable force, which has included a 30-second Super Bowl commercial for the past six years. Here is the latest ad:

No details have been provided as to what kind of content that will be provided on the Scientology channel. The app says it will have live streaming and “full episodes of your favorite shows.”

Earlier this year, a former member of the Church of Scientology alleged that the organization forced her to undergo an abortion at age 17, a common allegation among ex-Scientologists.

To learn more about the organization, watch the HBO documentary “Going Clear” or ex-Scientologist Leah Remini’s A&E show. There you’ll learn about an institution Remini alleges imprisons human beings against their will, tears families apart when a member defects, harasses defectors at their homes, and forces women to have abortions.