The thought of a Scientology TV network has been in the works for some time now; the network was rumored about a year ago at first, and really seemed inevitable after the church launched its own studio with Scientology Media Productions.
Scientology distributed a "network countdown" video Sunday afternoon via social media touting the launch of "a new voice, a new network" at 8 p.m. ET on March 12.
The Church of Scientology hasn't commented, but a DirecTV spokesperson confirmed the Monday launch to THR. A tweet on Sunday from the Scientology TV account says, "It's time for us to tell our story". "The only thing more interesting than what you've heard", announces the video's coy on-screen graphic, "is what you haven't". The video featured various scenes of activity on the lot and at other Scientology facilities, as well as a lingering shot of an "E-meter" electro-magnetic recording device used in the org's instructional classes, and a shot of founder L. Ron Hubbard's ubiquitous "Dianetics" book.
One element that has always been a crucial promotional element for Scientology that is absent thus far from the materials touting the new network is any connection with Hollywood.
The organization's reference to telling their side of the story is likely in response to the documentaries and programs focused on the controversial inner-workings of the church reported by ex-members ― including Alex Gibney's HBO documentary "Going Clear: Scientology & The Prison Of Belief" and Leah Remini's A&E show, "Scientology and the Aftermath".
The Scientology Network effort appears to be a stepped up effort by the church to address those critics.