Veteran television actor Jason Beghe tells the Village Voice that the Church of Scientology will be feeling blindsided by the YouTube video of him that hit the Internet on March 14.
Long-held frustrations with the church motivated Beghe to leave Scientology seven months ago, after he had spent about 12 years in the organization as one of its most celebrated success stories. Over the course of about a year, he negotiated his "disassociation" with the church, trying to give every indication to church officials that he was parting on good terms.
In reality, he says, he was already planning to go public with damning allegations about L. Ron Hubbard's controversial religion.
Beghe most recently appeared in the CBS series Cane, and he's been a regular television presence since the mid-1980s, showing up in series like Everwood, JAG and Numb3rs. Overnight, however, he's becoming much better known for being the first Scientology celebrity to come out against the church. Hubbard's minions covet celebrities like no other religion, and although some, like Nicole Kidman, have only temporary affiliations with it, none with Beghe's experience has ever been so public in denouncing it.
Speaking on the phone from his home in Malibu, Beghe, 48, says the 3-minute video is part of a much longer session. After leaving the church, Beghe had reached out to a Norwegian man, Andreas Heldal-Lund, who runs Operation Clambake (xenu.net), probably the most comprehensive anti-Scientology website on the Internet. Heldal-Lund convinced him to meet him along with another of the church's most well known critics, Mark Bunker, known as "wise beard man" to the "Anonymous" movement that in recent months has organized worldwide protests against Scientology.
"They came to my place out here, and we spent the day together. They set up a camera and I blabbed. And I barely scratched the surface," Beghe says.