LE FIGARO, May 12, 2001 -- WITNESSING: The Profit...

16 Jun 2001

L. Conrad Powers -- lcon@css.org

LE FIGARO, May 12, 2001

WITNESSING: The Profit, a movie by a former boss at Universal. By Sophie Latil

For security reasons, the controversial film by Peter Alexander "The Profit" is being shown (in Cannes) by personal invitation only. Well, it's not without reason. "I've been a member of the Church of Scientology for twenty years, he says."

This picture is exposed by the cult, which is attempting since the start, to compromise its shooting.

This film, made in the USA, is a fictional biography of the life of "L. Conrad Powers," founder of a cult. "It shows how this man came, via the study of Satanism, to create the "Church of Scientific Spiritualism", explains the film director. He explains, as well, the effects of hypnosis and mind control of its members with the one and only purpose being the profit."

Peter Alexander was the vice president of Universal Studios from 1982 to 1991, and he alleges having entered the scientology church at the demand of his second wife, with whom he has three children. "I was on top of the hierarchy. In twenty years, I've given them more than one million dollars," he said. Until 1998, the date he decided to cut his links with the system. "I found out that the money I gave was used only to sue those who wanted to disclose the truth".

Since, Peter Alexander no longer sees his children: "every contact with me has been formally forbidden to them, which is how it is for members who are forced to cut their links with those who are no longer members.

The director guarantees that for some strange reason, the Church of Scientology has done everything to stop production of the "The Profit". "They're accusing us of having made a hate and propaganda film. During all the shooting, they followed the production's members to their homes so as to obtain, through intimidation and under threats, some information about "The Profit."

Peter Alexander and Patricia Greenway, the producer, have not even looked for a distributor in the USA: "The pressure is so strong that if one of them had accepted, scientology would have immediately bought back the rights, for any sum." Therefore, encouraged by the French government's Interministerial Mission to Combat Cults (MILS) and its German equivalent, they have chosen to present this full-length feature film in Cannes.

Contacts have been taken, favoring the project. "The story is just starting, says Peter Alexander. Nobody could better describe the secrets of a cult. We know we'll be harassed for the remainder of our lives. But if "The Profit" can save the life of even one person, even if our life is destroyed, it shall have been useful."


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