Author Topic: The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, No. 9: Jason Beghe - Village Voice (blog)  (Read 910 times)

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The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, No. 9: Jason Beghe - Village Voice (blog)
12 September 2011, 9:08 am

"Jason Beghe is cool. Just listen to the way he says 'Let me meet a mutherfuckin' Clear'," says Mark Bunker, when I ask him to tell me about Beghe. "It's a distillation of Scientology criticism delivered with the earthy poetic power of George Carlin. It's something I couldn't say with my small town Midwestern upbringing but it rolls off Jason's tongue like a witty bon mot written by Noel Coward."

In 2008, Beghe went to Bunker to film his public coming out -- he'd been a Scientologist for about 13 years, had left, and was now ready to spill his guts. Bunker told me how it went down:

He's got the balls to stand up and confront Scientology head on knowing full well what they can throw at him. For many actors, the fear of what Scientology could do to ruin their careers prevents them from following Jason's lead. Look at how Scientology viciously attacked Oscar winner Paul Haggis in Freedom magazine. Scientology had no qualms smearing a talented man who had been a parishioner for decades and a big contributor to their organization. Jason didn't hesitate.

When I went to his home to interview him in 2008, I didn't know what to expect. He was gracious and charming and we talked on tape for several hours. When I went home to San Diego to edit the material, my Avid system died on me. Marc Headley invited me up to Burbank to edit the footage at one of his company's edit bays. I decided to start with a three minute teaser that I uploaded to YouTube. As I pulled an all-nighter to edit the full interview, I would check back every couple hours to see the reaction the teaser was getting and I was floored. It kept going up by tens of thousand of views every time I looked. After a few hours it had been picked up by Gawker and Radar and was getting coverage around the world including in the Village Freakin' Voice.

And here's where Jason really impressed me. The press wanted me to get them in contact with Jason. He was getting deluged with people wanting to exploit his story. He agreed to do a video interview with a show like Inside Edition or Extra and the crew was at his house setting up when he decided to call it off. The producer called me and wanted me to intercede and convince him to go on camera. I talked to Jason and he explained that he didn't want to become just a disposable bit of media fluff that gets attention for a news cycle and then gets tossed aside as crews chased a granny who stopped a robbery with her umbrella. (I'm paraphrasing wildly here.) He wasn't interested in getting the ego boost of press attention. He wanted to step back and really think about what this experience was all about. He decided it was more important to work behind the scenes to curb Scientology's abuses than to seek out publicity.

The former head of Scientology's Office of Special Affairs, Mike Rinder, told me recently that, other than Marty Rathbun, it is Jason that David Miscavige is most worried about. That says a lot.

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« Last Edit: September 12, 2011, 17:06 by mefree »
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