After months of speculation, the Church of Scientology has taken the wraps off its soon-to-launch, 24-hour TV network.
The Scientology Network is set to debut tomorrow evening on DirecTV, as well as on connected-TV platforms such as Apple, Roku, Amazon Fire and Google Chromecast, according to promotional material from the church. The app can be downloaded for free, which is the model typically pursued by TV programmers pursuing an ad-supported over-the-top (OTT) service, as opposed to a subscription version.
The church’s Twitter handle today posted a series of tweets as well as a teaser video. “The only thing more interesting than what you’ve heard,” announces the video’s coy on-screen graphic, “is what you haven’t.” (See video and tweets below.) The line seems to be an indirect reference to recent close-ups of the church such as Leah Remini’s A&E series Scientology and the Aftermath and the HBO documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.
According to the app description in the Google Play store, the network will feature original series such as Meet a Scientologist, Voices for Humanity and L. Ron Hubbard: In His Own Voice. It will also offer a selection of “Scientology Principles” films, which explain “Basic Scientology Technology.”
One element that has long been a crucial promotional element for Scientology that is absent thus far from the materials touting the new network is any connection with Hollywood. Over many decades, a range of high-profile actors, musicians and others in Hollywood have at times openly plugged their adherence to Scientology, which is used in turn as a recruitment tool.