The Sun Treats Us to Its Version of an Expert on Religion: John Lennon’s Murderer

The Sun has found religion.

The hoary-headed British tabloid of lies and puerility has seen the error of its ways, has apparently reformed, and now serves the public nuggets of theological wisdom.

Its first foray, penned by Jessica Baker, is a piece wherein a woman recalls an encounter with Mark David Chapman in Hawaii.

According to Jessica, the future killer of John Lennon warned the then-young girl to beware of going into the local Scientology Church.

Then he traveled to the mainland and shot the Beatles icon.

Cornered by the facts, The Sun was forced to correct its headline. 

Anyone hearing that story would wonder what ecclesiastical chops qualified Chapman to dispense free advice on religion—but not The Sun. Boldly going where no other tabloid has dared, it took the notorious assassin at his word and published Jessica’s article.

Next up for The Sun: relationship advice from Lee Harvey Oswald and cooking tips from John Wilkes Booth.

But the intrepid rag didn’t stop there. In a death-defying leap of logic, The Sun—already notorious for endangering the entire British immigrant population by comparing African migrants to roaches and contagious disease—attempted a daring gambit. The logic was, “OK, since many will refuse to take religion advice from an assassin, we’ll just say that the encounter between Chapman and the woman happened inside the Church of Scientology. That way, we cover all bases, use guilt-by-association and scare everyone in the process! Who says we’re not inclusive?!”

But it was, of course, a lie. The encounter didn’t happen inside a Scientology Church but in the neighborhood of a Scientology Church. Like other neighborhoods, this one no doubt included dry cleaning establishments, convenience stores, coffee shops and other houses of worship. So am I getting this right? Jessica wants me to condemn dry cleaning, convenience stores, the drinking of coffee and the practice of faith because Mark David Chapman happened to be in their vicinity?

I’m writing this article a few yards from my flower garden. Does that make me a tulip?

Cornered by the facts, The Sun was forced to correct its headline. Jessica likely got a gentle wrist slap from her boss, Imogen Braddick. But like all tabloid bosses who care about nothing, chastisement was apparently leavened with encouragement to Jessica to continue violating the Editors’ Code of Practice (to which The Sun claims it subscribes). And so it was, in true Sun spirit, Ms. Braddick urged her young charge to write yet another canard-laced article on Scientology, which Jessica promptly did.

You see, none of this is anything new. The Sun has always been undeterred by integrity, unintimidated by honesty and unimpressed by the truth. In 2016, Leicester University’s Centre for Hate Studies noted that a recent alarming surge in UK hate crimes targeting Muslims had been “fueled and legitimized... by the media,” explicitly condemning The Sun as a primary culprit. But The Sun simply didn’t care and continued flinging sewage, fretting loudly about what it dubbed “The Muslim Problem.” This, in turn, prompted widespread and instant outrage, with several news outlets condemning The Sun for taking a page straight from the Nazi propaganda playbook and its claims of a “Jewish Problem.” The Board of Deputies of British Jews, Tell MAMA and Faith Matters all weighed in, filing a joint complaint to the Independent Press Standards Organization on The Sun’s dangerous and inflammatory rhetoric.

All of which is to say, in its frantic battles with unseen enemies, The Sun demonstrates time after time that it has no space left between hate and propaganda to squeeze in any truth.

No, it hasn’t found religion. It’s not even in their Rolodex.

And as for actual journalism, good luck on your quest to find that anywhere IN, NEAR or in the same zip code as the pages of The Sun.

But what would I know? I’m just a tulip.

Martin Landon
Martin Landon is happy to say that at present he is not doing anything he doesn’t love. Using Scientology, he helps people daily, both one-on-one through life coaching, and globally, through his webinars. He has also authored books, movies, plays, TV shows, and comic strips and currently writes for STAND, which gives him great joy.