The Church of Scientology March 12 is launching a branded television network that will be streamed on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku, in addition to being broadcast on DirecTV.
The app is available on the App Store and Google Play.
The church’s online TV platform is slated to bow at 8pm ET, 5pm Pacific from its two-year-old Scientology Media Productions in Los Angeles.
Created by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard in 1954, the Church of Scientology has generated controversy over years, in addition to several high-profile members, including John Travolta, Tom Cruise, Kristie Alley, Elisabeth Moss, Laura Prepon, Juliette Lewis and Jenna Elfman, among others.
Critics contend the church is a cult, described in a 1991 Time cover story as a “hugely profitable global racket” that subjects members to psychological and even physical abuse. The religion has failed to achieve legal status in Germany due in part to ongoing political and social reservations.
Actress Leah Remini famously broke from the church after 30 years in 2013, writing a book about her experiences, and more recently appearing on the A&E show, “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.”
The church has characterized the show as the musings of a “bitter ex-Scientologist,” alleging that “bitterness and anger” now dominate Remini’s life.
“[Remini] needs to move on with her life instead of pathetically exploiting her former religion, her former friends and other celebrities for money and attention to appear relevant again,” reads a statement the ScientologyNews website.
In promoting its online TV platform, the church says, “It’s time for us to tell our story.”