Leah Remini: Tom Cruise could end Scientology if he wanted to

Leah Remini was a guest on Real Time with Bill Maher over the weekend, on the episode where Maher gave so much friendly airtime to racist fascist doxxer Milo Yiannopoulos. Leah came on right after the panel where Larry Wilmore owned that little Nazi twerp. To her credit she was very professional and well spoken. I’m torn on whether to mention this but her left cheekbone was swollen as if she’d had an accident or just gotten an injection. It was covered well with makeup but you could still tell.

Leah was promoting Scientology and The Aftermath, the first season of which wrapped last month. She said that Bill’s 2008 documentary, Religulous, was one of the first times she was exposed to an outsider’s view of Scientology. (In his documentary he explained concepts from a Scientology level she hadn’t reached yet, which sounded crazy to her at the time, but which she later learned was mostly accurate.) She also talked about how expensive Scientology is for members, how much personal time investment it requires, 2.5 hours a day minimum in study, and how it breaks families apart. When they started talking about Tom Cruise’s involvement in the cult, that’s when it got interesting to me. I mostly knew that Tom is the celebrity figurehead of Scientology, but I didn’t realize how revered he is:

Maher: “He [Cruise] could end this singlehandedly.”

Remini: “He could end this. Correct. Because they are saying he singlehandedly is clearing the planet, is changing the planet, so most Scientologists believe.”

[In Scientology, “clearing the planet” is the process by which “body thetans,” or aliens that members believe inhabit the planet, are eliminated. The actress has previously stressed how highly Scientology members regard the “Mission Impossible” actor, whom she called their “messiah.”]

Maher: “Clearing the planet. He couldn’t even make Jack Reacher a hit.”

Remini: “Scientologists believe that if he didn’t make it [’Reacher’] a hit, it was because there were suppressive, evil people working against him, because he’s winning in life and clearing the planet.”

[From Huffington Post, text edited for clarity]

That’s hilarious about the mental gymnastics Scientologists do to explain their little defacto leader’s career slumps. We’ve seen a lot of that happening on a massive scale. Toward the end of the interview Bill asked Leah where Scientology would be in ten years she said “it’s not something to make fun of because actually people are being hurt.” She said she wanted to celebrate the Scientology “survivors,” which she’s doing with her show. I think she knows that Scientology isn’t going to be wiped out in ten years but that she can severely weaken it, and Cruise’s influence, by continuing to reveal their secrets.

On a side note, Bill joked with Milo Y off screen during this segment, saying that the Scientologists were even crazier than Milo. He really needs to stop giving these horrible people a platform and acting like it’s funny to joke around with them. That’s the point that Remini was making, that by making it into a joke we’re discounting how dangerous this cult is.

Here’s Leah’s interview.

Photos credit: WENN, Getty

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28 Responses to “Leah Remini: Tom Cruise could end Scientology if he wanted to”

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  1. Megan says:

    Cruise is so brainwashed he probably believes he is the messiah.

    • Radley says:

      I’ve heard that like John Travolta, he CAN’T leave. That’s because the church has too much very private, potentially damaging or embarrassing information on them due to the required “audits”. In fact, the audits are done primarily as fishing expeditions to get information they can use to keep members in line. You’re supposed to confess your deepest and darkest secrets during them. So if you actually do, you’re screwed. Especially if you’re famous.

      • Bluer says:

        They’ll start leaking these audit sessions as soon as they leave (if they do). I applaud Leah for being so pugnacious in speaking out about it. Lots of ex-scientologists have the same view as she does but don’t really actively speak out against it.

  2. Dlo says:

    Wow! That last pic of Tom, Creepy! Love Leah!

    • AreYouForReal? says:

      Love her, too, but she doesn’t look much better. These Hollywood people need to lay off the botox and fillers.

      • Arock says:

        She’s a lovely woman without them but I understand the desire to tweek and maintain. I was surprised no one mentioned Angie’s features on the other thread; she’s had some thrown in over the winter.
        Scientologist have seemed to quiet down lately, maybe the microscope of documentaries and people speaking out has changed the way the operate.

  3. Erinn says:

    Sounds like any other religion when people are deep in it, sadly. Look how many people who will do mental gymnastics whenever a pastor or whoever is accused of child abuse. “oh it’s just god testing him – he never gives more than what you can handle” or “oh who of us isn’t ashamed over things in our past?”. There’s so many mega-churches where their people are living in poor conditions while the church leader rakes in millions and sells snake oil.

    I do think TC has a ton of pull – and if he were to go rogue on it, there would be a hell of a lot less $cios out there. I’m glad Leah keeps talking – and I sincerely hope that she and her family keep safe. Hopefully this ‘church’ is on a downswing.

    • Merry says:

      Agreed. Its actually very disturbing how people miss the parallel between how they defend their leaders and how these guys do. I am surrounded by religious Christians so I’m generally aware of the mega Church scandals and its shocking the somersaults they do to defend the likes of Paula White, Eddie Long, Creflo Dollar, Pat Robertson, Benny Hinn et cetera. Not to mention the worship leaders like Israel Houghton, Dietrick Haddon et cetera. My Catholic grandmother stopped talking to my dad, her SIL, when he commented on Pope Benedicts role in child molestation coverups. So, I knew crazed religion before Leahs show. But even by those insane standards, Scientology hits a new high.

      Tom Cruise will never ever leave. He Is 100% insulated from all negativity and his experience there is very very cushy. He must have adored Nicole to leave the cult for as long as he did. I genuinely believe that she is the only person who could pull him back out but she has emotionally and psychologically moved on so she has no motivation to dive back into the crazy.

  4. AreYouForReal? says:

    But why would he? Honestly, he gets treated like a god, has personal servants. Why would he want to end it? It’s only bad for the people who have to serve. It’s like the rich people who tell the rest of us to “get over it” when we complain about high taxes or how horrible the public school system is. It works for them, so why change it?

  5. paolanqar says:

    He’s treated like a God. He’ll never step down or finish this madness.
    Leah you go girl, take them down. One by one.

  6. Sharon Lea says:

    It was surprising to hear that Bill’s documentary was the first thing she ever watched that was against Scientology. I wonder what made her watch, if she knew he covered it or if it was just by chance?

    This series is so well done and moving. I think I have cried every episode for the suffering people have endured. Leah, and her partner Mike, are the perfect people to take this on.

  7. Nene says:

    Does she always have to keep talking about Tom Cruise to keep people interested in her goal to take-down Scientology?

    • rudgies says:

      Yeah, maybe she does, if he is as influential as she says he is.

    • Lynnie says:

      Seeing as how he’s a major player in the cult, and one of the few high-profile Scientology celebs still working successfully I don’t see why not.

  8. robyn says:

    There is always a debate about whether this is a self-help group, religion or cult. Perhaps all these factors could be considered true to some degree in all religions. Some of Scientology’s beliefs about aliens actually are no less reasonable than more traditional ideas, especially as we learn more about the vastness of universe and the likelihood of life on other planets. I think Cruise was helped by Scientology greatly when he was young and it appealed to his imagination. Along the way, he revealed perhaps too many private matters during his clearing sessions. His detachment now would be no easy matter. I like him as an actor and wasn’t at all put off by his couch jumping moment. His goal was to live a life without drugs and he pushed his ideas because he believed in them but who knows what he thinks now. We attach ourselves to all sorts of strange and unlikely ideas and personalities … look at Trump and his cultists. Sometimes we go for, or turn against, the leaders more than the policies and Scientology has been under Miscavige’s thumb for quite a while. I’m guessing it’s Miscavige’s rule that Leah is worried about the most not the “religion” itself.

    • Gisele says:

      No, she has said repeatedly that LRH’s policies are abusive. Using members including children as slave labour, Disconnection and Fair Game as well as the abuse and beating of Sea Org Members are all directed from LRH. Miscavige has only made things worse than they already were.

    • Luca76 says:

      I’m not religious and I totally believe there have been extremely negative results from traditional religions (sexual abuse, corruption, colonialism etc). However Scientology is a cult. Big difference is if you decide to stop going to a normal church no one is going to spy on you, threaten your life, beat and imprison you. There are specific criteria for cults and Scientology meets it.

  9. EscapedConvent says:

    Bravissima to Leah Remini. Her show is excellent and riveting, although often hard to watch. Besides the tragic damage that this horrific church does to people, I was flabbergasted to hear how much money and time it demands from its members. Taking their money and isolating them is the perfect way to keep them from leaving. It’s going to take the effort of someone like Leah Remini to “clear the planet” of the mass delusion that is Scientology.

    And I’m not even going to start on the fake Navy uniforms.

    • Beckysuz says:

      Uh yes my husband was very disturbed by the fake navy uniforms, as he is in the real Navy. He wasnt as well informed about Scientology as I was, and Leah’s show was shocking to him. He could not believe this was actually happening

      • Escaped Convent says:

        Beckysuz, I keep wondering if there’s anything the Navy can do about Scientologists copying their uniforms. I think it’s very very offensive. When I watched “Going Clear,” and saw Tom Cruise and Miscavige saluting each other in their fake uniforms, and Tom Cruise wearing that massive gold medal (for what, I wonder?) I was stunned, and thought “These people are really nuts.”

  10. Dal says:

    Would of been fun to see Leah give a piece of her mind to that degenerate milo.

  11. L84Tea says:

    I actually jumped back in my seat a little when I scrolled down and saw the Tom Cruise pic. Yikes.

    • Angelica says:

      Yeah, it’s kinda Steve Bannon level crazy looking, huh?

      • Bread and Circuses says:

        He looks very shiny and filler-ed. So did Leah on Maher, mind you. Neither of them looks bad, per se, just a little plastic and sweaty.

  12. Ramona Q. says:

    I thought the most interesting part of the interview was when she said scientologists don’t hunt for info about their religion online because they will have to admit it in their audits.

  13. Squiggles says:

    Perfect timing! I *just* finished her book yesterday.

    What she wrote about Tom Cruise is astounding. How he is treated differently and what she went through when she was following the tenets and others were not.

    That and I lost respect for Katie Holmes as well.

    • CF98 says:

      May I ask why? I mean Katie at least left and took her kid with her so I’m not sure why Leah is demonizing her I think after all this time one would realize maybe it wasn’t so easy to leave if you have to use a burner phone and discreetly divorce your husband.

      At least she took her kid with her Nicole didn’t even do that.

  14. adastraperaspera says:

    Love Leah. Braver than we will ever know, and she sets a great example for what it takes to stand up to an authoritarian organization. Timely for us all.