Last summer, Leah Remini left the Scientology cult carefully, and with a series of admissions that she meted out. First there were “sourced” stories in the media, followed by a vaguely worded statement confirming the news, then more details from Leah’s sister. Leah’s sister said that Leah was being shunned by cult members she’s known for decades, whom she considered her oldest and dearest friends. Leah confirmed that she had lost friends after leaving Scientology but she didn’t get into the nitty-gritty of what she went through.
Leah gave her most extensive interview to date about Scientology to Buzzfeed. It’s well worth a read, and you can see it on their website. She explained how her family got into Scientology when she was a child, how hard that life was for her and her sister, and how she eventually broke into acting. Leah also talked about leaving her gig on The Talk and how she eventually left Scientology. Leah realized she didn’t want that kind of life for her daughter, and she began to grow disillusioned with how hypocritical the “church” was. Here’s some of that part, and this is a long segment but it’s part of a much larger interview about her career:
While Remini insists there were dozens of influencing factors fueling her decision to exit the notoriously controlling Church, none were more persuasive than her 9-year-old daughter, Sofia.
“She was getting to the age where the acclimation into the Church would have to start,” Remini revealed of the process, which begins with auditing. It includes having children answer questions like, Have you ever pretended to be ill? Have you ever decided you didn’t like some member of your family? Have you ever been a coward?
“I started thinking of my own childhood and how I grew up resenting my mother because she was never home,” Remini explained. “It’s funny; somehow my father, the guy who left his kids and never paid child support, was excluded from my resentment and I grew up resenting my mother for not being home to make food, like all my friends’ moms were. But my mom thought she was doing something good; she thought she was helping the planet. That’s what the Church tells you.”
Like many churches that actively exclude non-members, Scientology reinforces a “Church First” mantra, which became harder and harder for Remini to swallow. “In my house, it’s family first — but I was spending most of my time at the Church,” she added. “So, I was saying ‘family first,’ but I wasn’t showing that. I didn’t like the message that sent my daughter.”
Remini soon began to speak to her friends within the Church, many of whom she’d known for nearly three decades, about implementing changes, yet she was only met with opposition.
“We had a chance to make a change from within, but they didn’t want to,” Remini said. “That showed me they didn’t actually care, which went against everything I thought we stood for. They only cared that their lives would be disrupted if they stood with me. They didn’t care about doing the right thing. That showed me everything the Church taught me was a lie…
“In the Church, you’re taught that everybody is lost,” Remini explained. “They say they’re loving, caring, non-judgmental people, but secretly, they were judging the world for not believing what they believed. To me, that is not a spiritual person. That’s a judgmental person and that is the person that I was. I was a hypocrite, and the worst thing you can be in this world is a hypocrite.”
After the maelstrom died down, Remini turned to what has always saved her: her work. First, she competed on Season 17 of Dancing with the Stars, where she placed fifth. The glitz and the glamour of ABC’s ballroom staple put Remini in touch with a feminine side she’d never before known.
It also taught her how to celebrate life. “Before, I would be going to the Church right after this lunch,” she said. “There’s no going to dinner with friends and having a glass of wine — I never did that in my adult life. I always thought people who had a glass of wine at dinner were alcoholics. It was so crazy to me because you can’t get counseling the next day at the Church if you’ve had a drink, so most Scientologists don’t drink. Not that that’s a bad thing, but it also prevents you from having fun because your mindset is to wake up early and go to the Church every single day. There’s a lot of work required to retain your place in the Church.”
I didn’t know that Scientologists frowned on drinking a glass of wine! They talk a good game about how they’re so progressive and accepting, but of course that’s not the case. Leah also said that she’s learned to love herself, and that her good friend Jennifer Lopez taught her how important that was.
Scientology has responded to this interview, and they of course trashed Leah, as they always do. This is their default position – an ad hominem attack, and it’s predictable, ineffective and quite dated. It would be funny if they weren’t such a scary organization. (Although their power has definitely diminished the past few years.) Here’s what they said.
“It comes as no surprise that someone as self-absorbed as Leah Remini with an insatiable craving for attention would exploit her former faith as a publicity stunt by rewriting her history with it, including omitting that she was participating in a program to remain a Scientologist by her own choice, as she was on the verge of being expelled for her ethical lapses.”
Wah wah wah. Leah’s “ethical lapses” include daring to ask how her old friend, head David Miscavige’s disappeared wife, Shelley, was doing.
This great interview reminds me that Leah may be writing that tell-all we heard about last year. I do hope that’s in the works. For now she’s promoting her appearance on the finale of The Exes, which aired earlier this week.
I feel like there must be “degrees” of Scientology, kind of like how there are evangelics who talk to snakes and people who occasionally show up to church once in a blue moon. Like I knew this girl in college who was raised a Scientologist, and she drank and was in college (both of which I thought were ixnay in the culty religion). Good for Leah for speaking out though—it’s such a messed up cult, and if she speaks out hopefully she can reach some people and help them.
You got it. There are “degrees” — and the group even goes so far as to name them — Sea Org, Staff and Public. Public are the everyday Joes and Janes who live a “civilian” life; they are also technically the people who keep the whole thing afloat, as they are the people who are constantly being harassed for money. Then there is staff; these are the people who work at the local “orgs and missions” (i.e. COS’s version of a, church, temple, mosque…..). This is Sea Org “light” — they’re usually half COS life/half civilian life. And then there is the Sea Org, which is basically like belonging to the Vatican of the COS.
There are scientologists that are identified as such but do not do The Bridge aka get audited all the time to gain space powers. They just believe we used to be aliens and have great powers locked inside of us. These people are seen by the new church as SPs.
Source: born, raised, and live in Clearwater, FL but not a scientologist.
Yeah someone like Elisabeth Moss from Mad Men. She seems very likeable and down-to-earth and isn’t preachy when it comes to her “religion” so I’m guessing she’s a casual Scientologist?
I have heard this before. It sounds similar to anyone who leaves any fundamentalist/extreme organized religion. Good for her for getting out.
There aren’t any. Even fundies don’t do what the co$ does to hunt down and shun people. Nobody else does this. Do not lump actual religions with this cult. They are only called a “religion” by themselves to evade tax status. It’s only a pyramid scheme-driven cult.
I also take issue with this article statement: Like many churches that actively exclude non-members …
Yeah, again, THERE AREN’T ANY actual churches that do this, only this cult.
@GG i have to disagree with you. There are extreme versions of many religions that will ostracize those that they feel will not conform to their beliefs. I have personally seen it occur to a coworker who was raised orthodox and a friend who left his Amish community and faith. Not all organized religious organizations engage in this practice, but it does occur in accepted mainstream groups
You’re right – I stand corrected. But I can’t think of any others that do this except the Amish. And it’s pretty 4ucked up. A good way to wreck somebody’s family.
I agree Tiff, it happens in all religions I believe. I know of a Pentecostal church where if you start to back away or do things that they don’t agree with, they will slowly start to shun you. First they will try to suck you back in and have the pastor and higher up members lecture and scold you and save you, but if you don’t conform then they basically shun you. They alienate you to make you feel as though you are wrong and make others feel uncomfortable being around you because if they are friendly with you then they too must be backsliding. They basically force you to conform or leave. It’s crazy and was weird for me to witness because that is not at all what I imagined the church to be like.
And I’m not saying all pentecostal churches are like this, just the one I’ve been to.
The church of scientology represents an extreme end of the spectrum but is by no means the only organization that warrants the same degree of criticism on that spectrum. In fact all organizations on the religious spectrum are open to varying degrees of criticism because they are all abusive in some way. All seek financial support of not just their adherents but also the tax payer who subsidizes their many tax breaks. This is a financial abuse. Either unwitting adherents give over their cash or tax payers do. Even tax payers who do not agree with the religions ideologies.
I I just wanted to say that I grew up in Lancaster County and come from a Mennonite family with roots in the Amish community. Amish shunning is nothing like what the COS does, and does not destroy families. They do have some silly rules that say a shunned member of a family shall not break bread at the same table as those still in the church, but all that means is that at family dinners, they slide a card table up to the end of the big table for the “shunned” family members. There is not hatred or anger at someone who leaves the Amish church. their family treats them pretty much the same.
Not to the degree the scilons do, though. If they just shunned you and let you go on about your life that would be one thing, but they actively slander people to their neighbors and employers, try to ruin them financially, and have even been involved in infiltrating the US government. They make the fundamentalist mormons look like a sunday school picnic. Do a little googling and you will see.
tonyortega dot org is a great place to start.
I have to agree with Trust, et al. While other groups shun, Scientology takes it one step further by actively defaming and harassing ex-members. If you want a good laugh, Google “Squirrel Busters” — and see that the COS’s version of “shunning” is more like obsessively stalking.
We still wanna know:Where is Shelly?
Didn’t several months ago Leah filed a missing person report on Shelly and the cops said that they spoke to her and she was fine? I think they only brought her out of hiding to prove she was alive or was that a fake Shelly. My, my, my, the plot thickens.
I assumed it was a fake Shelly. It ‘s not like it’d be hard to do, and it’s certainly not above them.
I’m leaning towards real Shelley, though a fake Shelley is likely with those sketchy folks.
She’s just kept isolated and trotted out when she’s needed. Likely too afraid to speak up or so brainwashed she believes she deserves her current position.
Thinking about this is truly terrifying. When will this cult crumble?
She is most likely in the RPF. It’s almost like a prison with forced labor to atone for “sins” against the cult. You guys should check out xenu.net. The information about Scientology is shocking.
I thought she supposedly came out to the police and said she was fine…and to quit asking questions….
Scientology has a segment of the police in their pocket. Nobody wants to mess with them, including the cops. This is an organization that brought the IRS to its knees. I doubt there was much of an investigation into Shelley’s whereabouts.
Multiple sources have confirmed to tony ortega, that she is at a super secret base in California. The police did speak to shelly, but wouldn’t confirm to tony whether or not she had a handler with her.
This sounds like the Elizabeth Smart case… when she was originally found, wasn’t she too scared to say who she was and what was going on. Hopefully the authorities separated Shelley from these people when they verified she was ok.
The Daily Mail ran a front-page article recently with aerial shots of some swank looking compound in California, I think it was, that was allegedly housing Shelly.
gg: yes, I think DM got the right base. Int/Gold base is where Shelly used to work and live with DM, it’s where all international management worked and by far the strangest stuff happens there (read Blown for Good by Marc Headley for some crazy details) Shelly is now at a much smaller and even more secret base called CST, it’s one of the places where they etch LRH teachings into titanium plates in case of a nuclear disaster. Very few sea org staff know where Int base is, and almost none of them know about CST base.
The current issue of Vanity Fair (hollywood edition with Lupita on cover) has a long article about Shelly and where she might be. Their website carries a teaser about the article. The full article is in the print edition.
According to them, Shelley is probably at something called ‘twin peaks’ in San Bernardino, California also known as ‘rimforest’ or CST.
Title of article is ‘scientology’s vanished Queen’ by Ned Zeman.
Saw the issue! So glad to see this covered in what should be a popular issue.
Also, Idris Elba is totally dreamy on the cover – even Mr Trust agreed. (I should add that Idris did not rub my sore back last night – LOL!)
Their response gives credence to what she said in her interview. They managed to make themselves look worse. I hadn’t even heard about Leah’s interview. Her ethical lapses are likely what she said they were; trying to change the church, having some wine, and putting her family first.
If they didn’t comment, there would have been less attention paid to the debacle. It’s like the old quote, “You can’t quit, you’re fired”, long after you’ve quit.
Dude the COS is straight up crazy. I heard about the wine thing yesterday and shook my head. You can’t come for my wine. I will cut you.
@Kiddo: I said essentially the same thing in my post. They are SPEAKING volumes in their response to her and none of its good for them and (stupidly) they end up supporting her statements. CoS is really, really stupid.
*looks around cautiously to see if her house is bugged*
House is bugged, but NSA not CoS. Not that that should make you feel any better.
No, especially since my ex used to work for the NSA…
(And which is worse? And agency that thinks they’re God or an agency that thinks everyone’s an alien???? Choices people! Choices!!!)
*grabs tin foil and thoroughly wraps self in foil*
No, you’re only going to make the signals clearer! Step down off the roof!
What kind of religion is the on you can be expelled from? What about forgiveness?
I think that Mormonism is like that too. Except you are just excommunicated. It’s pretty sickening really!
I agree! By slamming her they are making themselves look bad and basically proving what she said imo! I’m glad they react that way because it makes it less likely that she will go back. If there were all nicey-nice, they might’ve been able to get her back in the fold. They are just so creepy. I don’t know why anyone with even half a brain would want to be part of such an organization
Their replies are ALWAYS laughably unschooled. You can absolutely predict everything they will do. The ones who write the press releases are complete idiots!
This church is so crazy. I bet poor Shelley Miscavige is taking a dirt nap. 🙁
She’s likely being held in a prison-like facility in Hemet, California called The Hole. It’s under tight security and it’s where bad scientologists are sent to be “re-programmed”, a.k.a screamed at, brainwashed, humiliated and made to do the dirty work of cleaning, repairing and building new offices, etc. on the site.
And beaten up by David Miscavage.
Sources put her at a different base in California that is even more secret than Int base.
Dont they at least understand that statements like that only backfire? which professional organisation would release something as bitchy as that? it would serve them a lot more if they made a sympathetic statement expressing sadness that she fell of the right path or something like that (“and is welcome back anytime!”). this is telling. most people would at least hold up a fake smile to not show their true colors.
@Sarah: That makes sense but I think CoS missed Common Sense 101 and PR 201. (Maybe they dislike higher learning too?)
*checks phones for bugs*
Yes to Sarah’s and this comment. They pick the most hairtrigger idiots to do the replying as well. Keep it up, $cilons, you entertain us.
Mr. Tiny Tyrant threw all of the original people who handled public backlash (read: Lisa McFearson) well and threw them in The Hole in California. So there’s a giant power vacuum and lack of people who can do anything hunt squirrels.
Squirrel hunting is NOT good as I have a CB buddy here named Secret Squirrel. 😉
LadySlippers: but she is a *secret* squirrel, and I always assumed that meant that she has a brilliant disguise. 🙂
I’m sure she can easily elude the C0$.
Lol I should clarify that “squirrels” are what they call “SPs” or “Supressive Persons”.
MonicaQ: A “Squirrel” is actually the name for a Scientologist who tries to practice his or her “religion” outside of the CO$’s official channels. They are SPs also but they are even more reviled because they still believe in some of the “good” early aspects of Scientology but have broken with the church and are trying to “worship” on their own or with other “Squirrels.”
Exactly. You don’t hear the Pope giving interviews personally trashing every celebrity who admits to being a lapsed Catholic. It comes across as unhinged and bizarre.
Sarah, I completely agree with you. It just goes to show that the people running things are really not very bright. They sound so immature, as does Kirstie Alley and others who have slammed Leah.
I think the problem lays in the fact that the “church” leaders are as poorly educated as their parishioners. They make up the PR as they go along, and they’re surrounded by yes men who don’t call them on their bull. Since they’re completely out of touch with the rest of the world, they don’t comprehend how they’re interpreted.
Wow! She was very articulate and introspective just in this piece you pulled. I really have a new found reflect for Leah. And I wish her ALL the best.
(Says a lot about CoS in their response to Leah — she said the church didn’t mesh with her values. They respond by attacking her and throwing her under the bus. Hmmm)
I doubt anybody sees Leah as “thrown under the bus” except the CoS, though it is too out of touch to realize that.
Mad respect for her for seeing the truth and getting her family out. Fingers crossed she writes a tell all, I bet she knows enough secrets to take them down.
I’ll bet she does, too. But I actually fear for Leah – CO$ is not going to sit back and let that tell-all go to print.
They don’t have nearly the power to stop publishers that they used to.
That’s right. They will litigate the hell out of it until the publisher can’t afford to keep up and will surrender.
I didn’t realize/remember that she grew up in it. That makes it even more impressive that she got out, and didn’t want that same life for her kid.
I am only disappointed that the CO$ left out “disgruntled apostate” from their statement. I just love to read their unhinged comments.
Yes, this one does seem a bit tame for them. Oddly disappointing, since she is so articulate about her reasons for leaving. And where are the C0$ trolls? I haven’t seen any Leah bashing here, but they usually show up eventually…
I just can’t imagine the education level of the person who gets to sign off on these statements. Appalling and embarrassing on every level. But, as others have said their statements only reveal their true colors.
Does COS respond to Paul Haggis and other famous former members’ comments? or just Leah’s comments?
Yes, they certainly did.
STATEMENT BY CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY INTERNATIONAL CONCERNING PAUL HAGGIS’ “OPEN LETTER”
“Mr. Haggis is a status-obsessed screenwriter who in the words of The Hollywood Reporter has been in “the wilderness” professionally for three years. Mr. Haggis once again is exploiting his tenuous connection with Scientology to grab headlines. His statement that the organization anonymously comments negatively about those who leave the Church is delusional and borders on paranoia.
Desperately craving attention, his self-serving “open letter” is a transparent plug for an upcoming film still lacking U.S. distribution. If Mr. Haggis was as successful and prolific at manufacturing drama for audiences as he is at manufacturing it for gossip sites, then his career might have never gotten lost in the “wilderness.”
Despite his spin, the truth is that Mr. Haggis was an inactive Scientologist for more than 30 years until he orchestrated a disingenuous “departure” in 2009 aimed solely at getting media attention. As a result, Paul Haggis has no first-hand knowledge about the Church of Scientology but instead relies on a small collection of unemployed bloggers living on the fringe of the Internet who are obsessed with spinning myths about the Church.
Mr. Haggis has chosen to align himself with a small posse of lunatics with arrest records, who have acknowledged in depositions to being secretly on the payroll of tabloids and who have admitted on national television to outright lying.”
“Desperately craving attention” must be a qualification for getting in, since it seems to be consistent description of those having left, if you buy CoS’s take on the whole thing.
Leah, you’re on danger, girl. Lock up your kids and pets.
Seriously, though, good for her. It’s amazing that she woke up to what they are and escaped them. Not many cult followers can do that.
The statement from COS is just one insane rambling sentence. Who is writing this stuff for them??
According to Mike Rinder, who served a stint as Scientology’s official spokesperson before blowing and becoming one of their most dangerous critics, there is one and only one person who writes all of this stuff, and that is David Miscavige himself.
Geez–Scientologists go to church every day??? And I thought I lived in church–I used to go twice a week, to four services…..
COS is floundering with that statement. Basically, they accuse her of wanting attention – is that really all they have on her?
Leah, I think, presents a problem for them. She isn’t somebody who dabbled with the Church and left it behind, so they can’t say “She was never really a member.” Leah was largely raised in the Church and doesn’t know much else. That must have made it so much harder to leave. Other outlets have reported that the last straw was that Leah refused to let her daughter undergo auditing. How bad must this process be if a parent would refuse to let their child do it and then leave the faith over it?
I am always really careful in my critiques of COS – largely because I don’t want to attack their beliefs. I’m a Christian Scientist, I can’t exactly critique “odd” beliefs. But I can critique the Church’s methods and behavior, and both seem so shady. “Ethical lapses?” What a vague, menacing term. And also, I must ask – what kind of Church expels members for such lapses? Almost all the Churchs I know don’t expel (except for serious dire circumstances) – they try to show the person the error of their ways, show they how to change or at the least try to get them to repent. What sort of church is this if it so freely expels people?
Well, the Amish shun if you leave the religion, and the Catholic Church excommunicated a 9 year old rape victim for having an abortion. http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/05/25/490171/brazil-excommunication-for-abortion/
I’m not giving CoS a pass, just balancing out that other religions do similar stuff and I Didn’t have to go very far to pull 2 examples.
The Archbishop did NOT excommunicate the young rape victim. He did excommunicate the doctor and mother, and did NOT excommunicate the rapist. Yes, that is disgusting and horrible, but even that specific Archbishop wasn’t quite nutty enough to excommunicate the little girl. Also, this decision has caused outrage in Brazil.
disclaimer: former Catholic, now total heathen.
Oops, yes you are correct. SINCERE Apologies. Still awful in the accurate facts as you pointed out.
@sapphoandgrits Oops, yes you are correct. SINCERE Apologies. Still awful in the accurate facts as you pointed out.
Generally, shunning does not place you outside the faith. Shunning is generally carried out of a certain length of time that is pre-determined by the severeity of the offense. Once the shun is over, they go back to acknowledging you. And the shunned never leave the religion – they can continue to practice, but they must do so alone. I apologize, but I actually spent some time among the Amish and has shunning explained to me. Shunning is NOT excommunication in any way People often confuse them, but there are some differences. Shunning is far more of a social punishment then anything else. It can be just as severe, though, I will readily admit.
Yeah, Sam, I acknowledge the nuances, and have no direct experience, but gained some info from PBS documentaries. The same type of pain from abandonment is felt.
Also, sorry for the double post above.
Actually, excommunication doesn’t push you out of the Catholic Church. It means just what it says: keeps you from the sacrament of the Eucharist (Communion, i.e., receiving the host wafer/wine if your parish does that). Individual priests here in the US seem to ignore the prohibition, though, and certainly you could always go to a Mass where you aren’t known. Anyway, it’s not really an expulsion and doesn’t keep you from going to church. It started as a threat to try to keep nobility in line more than anything else. Kind of rare for it to be public nowadays although there are things that are supposed to be ex-communicable. I imagine abortion is on the list, but US Catholics have those at the same or higher rates as Protestants and even higher in mostly Catholic countries where it’s illegal. Remarrying after divorce would do it also. How much it affects you really depends on your parish priest and (as in freedom of speech, which you have only if your neighbors let you ) your fellow parishioners. I’ve definitely known priests who give communion to anybody who wants it, including non-Catholics. They don’t check a list or pay any attention to public pronouncements or the details of the rules.
That’s what stuck out to me too. In my old church, the pastor was pretty unpopular and a lot of people left the church–a few stayed who didn’t agree with him in certain things. He only moved to kick them out, after they started going around the surrounding counties, talking about how crappy he was as a pastor, while still attending the church, just enough (in that particular church, if you skipped a certain amount of sundays, without any reason i.e. you weren’t out of town or sick or whatever, then you couldn’t vote) so that they could vote on church matters.
Sam, what is a christian scientist? I pass a church on my way to work that is called The First Church of Christian Scientists and it has always intrigued me. Does it have anything to do with science? I guess I can look on google, but I like to hear from people who know what they are talking about. I hate looking up religion on the internet because you never know what is right or wrong.
Sorry, but none of the other religions come close to the CoS. their human rights abuses are appalling, and it makes me sick that they’ve been getting away with it, and the US government is allowing it! Their camps are essentially forced labor camps, including child slave labor. And their level of harrassment is criminal, not to mention an abuse of civil and personal rights. Which is why they are currently getting slapped around in a Texas court by the wife of a former high ranking member, after they stalked and harrassed her for four years. Mind you, this is a woman who NEVER belonged to CoS, she married the guy after he left.
Tony Ortega dot org is covering the trial.
CoS is a criminal organization, and as a taxpayer it enrages me the Federal government doesn’t do something about them. At BEST they have them on RICO and human trafficking charges. I still say if the majority of CoS members were black instead of white, they would have been smashed decades ago.
Remini has proven to the world she is a very ethical person who has lived a very blameless life. She should be able to get any job she wants without any type of background check. Know why? If CoS had ANYTHING on her, even something like a bad speeding ticket, they would have already used the info against her in some way.
This. Their tax-free status is an abomination and it’s what enables them to keep all their detractors caught up in unending lawsuits. The CO$ nearly ran the IRS into the ground during their long fight for tax-exempt status. In the end the IRS surrendered because they couldn’t financially keep up with the, literally, thousands of petty lawsuits that the CO$ embroiled the IRS in. It’s a vicious cycle but, until some very brave judges (with no skeletons in their closets) can stand up to the church, we, the tax-payers, will get no justice.
THIS. All this. Well said. Chiming in with my comment above too.
That’s what cults do, they shame those that have left and who have spoken out against it. The truth hurts…They’re good at putting shameful names on these people. I was in a different cult in the US,(they knock on your door every Saturday) and they do the same thing. If you start to doubt them or talk out against them, even if it’s true, they’ll throw you out, if you haven’t already left on your own. Your family, friends, and entire support system are ripped away from you and the cult will tell the family members not to talk to you, or they will be shunned and thrown out of the church as well. The cult knows they’ve been the life line for that person, so it’s a way of getting people back. If you isolate them long enough, they’ll repent & come back. I’m assuming they work much the same way. Good for her for getting out, as did I. If you’re strong enough emotionally, you can truly break free for good and never look back.
Congrats, Samantha. I can only imagine how much strength it took for you to get out of there. Chapeau!
I have heard many celebrities complain about their religion publicly, from Judaism to Catholicism. Rarely do those religions respond to criticisms in public, unless it is completely offensive. I think the COS responds out of complete fear of being found out and they worry the Hollywood celebrities and their money will exit the cult, like Leah.
I’ve always liked her as a comedic actress and now I admire her as a courageous person as well. Also, she looks fabulous!!
I admire Leah for her stance. She is very brave. I can’t imagine the harassment she is experiencing. Before she passed away, I used to visit a “lapsed” Scientologist. (A relative of a friend, she needed help to walk her dog). She got sucked into this craziness in after a divorce.
She had even pawned her wedding rings to pay for her courses. She also spent some time at Sea Org.
She got out about 20 years ago, but, was harassed by “wrong number” phone calls, everyday until she died, this past August.
Also, I won’t be watching Kirstie Alley’s new tv show. Just because of her association and the crap she spews.
I’m somewhat scared by the tone that People Magazine took toward the CoS statement. They more or less presented it as “Leah said this, the CoS said that” — as if everyone doesn’t know how scary and awful the CoS can be. I guess the People editors still figure that the CoS can “get them” in Hollywood if they dare offer any editorial comment on that scary, scary statement.
Read what commentor Shahrizai reveals in just one paragraph below.
I think it’s time that the grown ups in the room, whether celebrities, public, and yes media like People start speaking up when they hear about child abuse. Instead of silence and blackouts, give the victims a voice and a spotlight instead of the Bullies with Billions.
I hope Leah Remini does come out with her memoirs very soon to help focus that spotlight. Families are being torn apart to this very day in scientology for the crime of saying “No!”.
Having been raised a Scientologist, I totally get where Leah is coming from, and I understand her desire not to have her daughter raised in that manner. There isn’t a childhood in the CO$. Kids are put to work… whether it be within their families (chores are chores, but I remember how difficult it was to complete mine and how INSANE some of the chores were that I was given), and when they come of age, with the church itself. My 13 year old step-sister was in the Sea Org, working 14 hour days, and living on her own in the hacienda. Our dad just bragged about her being in the SO and never really considered the impact it would have on her and her development… but when the church told him to cut her off because she’d been expelled for ethical issues, he did. No questions. She was 17 or 18 at the time. I was terrified to ever tell him that I didn’t want to be part of the church, that I didn’t agree, and my mom and I spent so much time just waiting until we could do it without an explosion. That came when they divorced, and at that point, I was in my 20’s. Still, I didn’t tell him I wanted nothing to do with the church until I hit my 30’s. And even then, it was one of the scariest things I’ve done, and we’re just public. We’re nobody special! I was hounded day and night by calls, emails, and mail, until I had to change my number, move and use a PO Box, and close that email account. I still get letters at my PO Box. It’s scary… even for normal people, if you were raised in it, because they really harp on fear and retribution and it’s ingrained at an early, early age.
I am so glad I’m out of it and as far away from it as I can be…
I’m just going to copy and paste the very same thing I wrote to Samantha above:
Congrats, Sharizai. I can only imagine how much strength it took for you to get out of there. Chapeau!
I deeply admire people like you two who were able to summon that amount of courage.
@Sharizai: Kudos to you! You’ve done a brave thing. Keep your head up!
Thank you for telling your story. I’m sorry about what you had to go through…. I know someday Scientology will come to an end.
Kudos to you…you are braver than you think you are.
Congrats!!! Good for you having the courage to put your story here.
Wow, I’m so sorry that you had to go through all that! I’m glad you were able to safely break away though. I’ve been doing some reading on CoS lately, and it is some scary stuff.
Off-topic, LOVE the name. <3
So punctuation isn’t a requirement, for Co$, I see. Holy run-on sentence, Batman! Although I guess it’s common knowledge how little they think of education…
And good for Leah – I hope she is able to raise her daughter in a healthier environment now.
You are right on their stance on education. Paul Haggis’ daughters have said that, in all their years at CO$ schools, they barely learned to read or write at were at a serious deficit when they got out.
Leah Remini’s ethical lapses — oh my! Doesn’t the cult spokescreature know Sciloons are the only ones who can save the planet by constant lying and pretending, and squeezing the last dime out of vulnerable people and uneducated celebrities?
I hope the cult strikes out at all their unethical scilebrities and that the feisty ones like Leah flatten them!
The CO$ really needs to have it’s tax exempt status revoked, like now. The sooner the FBI’s investigation can take down this “church” the better.
I remember reading Paul Haggis’ account of people being stalked and emotionally blackmailed when they left the “chuch” It’s all so scary. I hope Leah and her family are safe after her departure. I can’t imagine this kind of thing going on around a kid – terrifying.
Is she still in LA?
This. People need to understand that the way to go about taking COS down is to revoke its tax-exempt status. It would crumble. It makes me sick that this organization is considered a church and gets that status.
It makes me sick any church gets a tax exempt status. Churches could have a 501c(3) charitable branch for any legit charity work they do…but no, in this country we have to cater to religion at every turn. I realize this isn’t a popular opinion.
Down with Scientology.
Scientology aside…I can’t stand her. Publicity.
King of Queens one of my all time favorite shows. And kudos to Leah and to all of you who have escaped the prison known as cos.
Mi$cientology is a cult. A very dangerous one run by a sociopath named David Miscavige. People are fleeing all over the world. This organization steals, kidnaps, tortures, and even murders their constituents. They aggressively go after you if you leave. They demand you disconnect from your family, prevent you from going to family funerals, seeing sick parents, etc. I could go on forever with their transgressions. This cult is not a religion. They do NOTHING for the needy, they only care about the public buying their courses, their books. It is a travesty and our government has done nothing about this.