The Church of Scientology is set to invade every living room in America. The controversial group is reportedly getting its own television network.
Covering All Bases
The content will reportedly start rolling out on Apple TV, Roku, and DirecTV when the channel launches. There are already signs of the fledgling station on Apple's own app store, where Scientology TV is currently available for download from The Church of Scientology International.
After running the app, a placeholder announcement is revealed, stating that content will officially begin at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. A Twitter account has also been launched to coincide with the release, which directs followers to a website that appears to still be in its initial phase of creation.
A DirecTV spokesperson confirmed that the station will launch Monday. The Church is set to occupy the satellite service's channel #320, which is currently running infomercials only.
There have been talks of a Scientology-based network for a while now, but things really started heating up in 2017 when longtime Scientology historian Tony Ortega posted about an impending launch on his website. Ortega even mentioned a Miami-based billboard, which was advertising the network at the time.
Back in 2016, it seemed like a given when the Church announced the launch of its own studio, Scientology Media Productions. There were even hints that such a channel would launch on Spectrum, but the cable company emphatically denied such an agreement existed.
The Church is no stranger to TV, either, as it routinely spends millions of Dollars on a 30-second commercial that traditionally runs during the Super Bowl. They did the same as usual this year, for the sixth time in a row, with their latest ad brandishing the typical "Curious?" tagline.
The angle of the channel is not yet clear. Likewise, there has been no confirmation yet on whether or not famous members such as John Travolta or Tom Cruise will be taking part in any content featured on same.
Thus far, the app only references live streaming and full episodes of all your favorite shows. According to a description on the iTunes store, original series including Meet A Scientologist as well as a documentary about church founder and sci-fi novelist L. Ron Hubbard will run on the channel.
Tackling Ongoing Criticism
The timing for the launch is interesting, considering the raft of public attempts to discredit the Church in recent months.
From Alex Gibney's explosive documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief to actress and ex-member Leah Remini's hugely popular A&E show Scientology and the Aftermath, and Louis Theroux's My Scientology Movie, all widely accessible, there's certainly no shortage of anti-Church material out there.
The launch of its own channel may be an attempt by Scientology higher-ups to reclaim its standing with the American people, or even to expand its reach worldwide.
"The only thing more interesting than what you've heard is what you haven't," the promo for the new channel promises, hinting at the language used by prominent detractors.