Leading up to her A&E docu-series which she executive produced, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, Leah Remini (Kings of Queens, Old School) engaged in a candid Reddit AMA openly discussing her 35 years as a member of the controversial, albeit multi-billion dollar, Scientology Church.
Leah has been openly critical of the Church since 2013, painting it as a large, fraudulent Ponzi scheme where its members have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to get closer to salvation and improve their ranking in the Church. But that pales in comparison to the alleged sexual and emotional abuse and conditioning the Church officials allegedly impose on its members.
Remini, who has donated millions to the church, began questioning the Church back in 2006 when she attended the wedding of A-list actor and church pillar Tom Cruise. Leah noticed that Shelly Miscavige, the wife of Scientology chief David Miscavige, was nowhere to be found. When she began questioning her whereabouts, Scientology officials accused her of disrupting the wedding. It has been believed that David Miscavige banished his wife to the mountains above Los Angeles, as she has been out of the public eye for 10 years.
Quick picture break:
In a long letter disputing Remini’s claims in her docu-series, the Church of Scientology said the series is “doomed to be a cheap reality TV show by a has-been actress now a decade removed from the peak of her career.”
Regardless, here are some interesting and frightening tidbits into Remini’s fascinating AMA.
How are they able to recruit intelligent people into what appears to be an obvious scam and cult?
Most Scientologists are 2nd or 3rd generation, they were born and raised into an ideology and have been surrounded and isolated. It is all they know. They are victims. Most of the original Scientologists are all out and have spoken out. Unfortunately, their children were indoctrinated by them…. are still loyal, faithful and have cut off communication due to the policy of disconnection
What do members actually gain from being a member? How is it made worth all the money and time they invest?
They gain a purpose. They gain a group. They gain a sense of accomplishment (awards, certificates). They gain an education that in the real world LRH states would be equivalent to getting a “PHD in life.” You become an elitist. That you have all the answers in life. If you have a question about life, you are made to think that Scientology has the answer.
What is the most unusual ‘corrective action’ you’ve seen them physically do to someone?
The most abusive thing that I’ve experienced is seeing the victims being further victimized by an organization that claims these things did not take place… from physical, to sexual, to mental abuse.
How are children treated in Scientology?
As old spirits in little bodies who have returned to Scientology… children are treated as adults.
When you were a scientologist did you ever get any weird reactions from other famous people?
Weird reactions? No. I got appropriate reactions, “Why are you in this crazy shit?”
What’s is the single most horrible thing you encountered in the “”church””?
I would say the “church’s” Fair Game policy, and how they systematically go after anyone who publicly speaks out against them. Anyone who speaks out against the “church” is seen as an enemy.
Are there any sexual malpractices that occur in the church?
I have read stories on the internet. I was told personally by a few people that I personally know that there was sexual abuse. When I was 16 and working for a “senior Scientologist” who was in his late 30’s, he had sex with a 16 year old friend of ours. And the “Church” handled it internally. All abuses are dealt within the “Church” as it is an enemy act in the “Church” to prosecute another member. Please do not take my word for it, just google the words “Scientology and sexual abuse.”
For more on the mind-bending practices of Scientology, head over to Reddit to read more…