Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath has been one of A&E's greatest hit television shows. And like many hit television shows, it's stirred up quite a bit of controversy. Leah Remini is one of the very few people who has managed to get out of the Church of Scientology, and the church is not happy about this, nor are they happy about the kinds of things Remini is saying about the church in her new show. Accusations of abuse, strange rituals, and terrible incidents are common, not just from Remini's mouth but from those that she interviews as well.
The strange reputation of the Church of Scientology is nothing new. There have been numerous documentaries about the church, and people who used to be members have been interviewed before. But there's something very unique about Leah Remini's story. It must have been so hard to figure out that there was something very wrong about the religion that had raised her. She had been a member of the Church since essentially birth, and it must have been very hard to wipe away everything she learned from such a young age. That's what makes her story even more impressive.
But even though she's been successful and has managed to kickstart her career even without the help of the church, there's still a lot that has changed in Leah Remini's life since leaving her old religion. Her life has been massively affected, and here are a few examples.
15 The Church Of Scientology Tried To Shut Down Her Show
The Church of Scientology definitely isn't the type of organization to take criticism sitting down. And that was exactly what happened when Leah Remini took her stance against the church publicly. With her show, she triggered a major reaction from the higher ups in the Church of Scientology. She was probably expecting some kind of reaction – after all, this is the Church of Scientology we're talking about here. But we are not sure even she was prepared for the onslaught of attacks the church began to send her way.
One of these attacks was against the very show that Leah was using to spread the word about the dangers and controversial nature of Scientology. A lawyer acting on behalf of the Church of Scientology tried to get A&E to pull the Leah's show from their network, citing all kinds of things, including defamation claims. Luckily, these efforts were not successful, and the show was able to go ahead. But this really shows how desperate the church was to silence Leah Remini.
14 They Established A Website "Exposing Her Lies"
The Church of Scientology didn't rest at just trying to sue her and end her show. They also started a website with the sole purpose of destroying her reputation. This website is called leahreminiaftermath.com, and anyone can visit it. It all seems pretty damning, but when you look closer, it's clear that there's really nothing that bad about Leah Remini. The church is pretty much just relying on gossip and unconfirmed reports to try to smear her image, and really only serves to make them seem more desperate.
There are all kinds of articles on there, but most of them seem like they were put together in a pretty rushed manner. It definitely has the vibe of one of those half-baked conspiracy theory websites, and the content is pretty much the same too. Some of the things they say about her are so ridiculous that they're verging on being laughable, which again makes the church seem more desperate than anything else.
13 The Church Accused Her Of Inciting Death Threats Against Scientology Members
There are numerous Scientologists who have come forward and made pretty serious claims against Leah. Some say that they have received death threats as a result of Leah's show on A&E, and the information that these shows include. Obviously the Scientologists who were specifically mentioned in these shows have accused Leah Remini of lying about what she said about them.
But it's the claim that Leah Remini is inciting death threats which is most disturbing. Are these true? The truth is that they could be. Leah Remini's show paints Scientology in a very negative light, and some would even say that the show portrays them as ruthless, sadistic criminals. It should come as no surprise then that the show's audience is taking it upon themselves to voice their disgust at these people. But these death threat claims could also very well be completely fabricated, as it would help them in their aim to destroy the show. Even if some people did choose to make death threats against Scientologists (which is, of course, reprehensible), Leah Remini certainly did not encourage this behaviour.
12 She Started Attacking Tom Cruise
Of all the Scientologists, Tom Cruise is probably the most famous. He has been a vocal and public Scientologist for many years now, and considered by many to be the "poster boy" of the religion. As a fellow Scientologist, Leah Remini was in close contact with Tom Cruise for a huge part of her life, and as a result, she got to know him quite well. Since leaving the church, she has become quite a vocal critic of Cruise, however. She criticizes him frequently on and off her show, and sometimes it gets quite heated.
Speaking about the possibility of Tom Cruise leaving the church, Leah Remini once said, “I hope so because people who knew Tom [Cruise], before he was fully brainwashed, said that he was a sweet and loving person and he’s turned into something else — something unrecognizable to people that have known him.”
11 They Recruited Her Own Father Against Her
The Church Of Scientology is obviously doing everything they can to destroy the image of Leah Remini, because they have recruited her own father against her. What person knows a woman better than her own father, right? And if the father is willing to smear her name publicly, then she must really be a bad person. This is the logic of the Church of Scientology, and anyone who believes these efforts to destroy Leah Remini's name. Interviews with Leah Remini's father have been posted on the church's website dedicated to smearing Leah Remini's name.
Leah Remini's father is indeed a member of the Church of Scientology, and he has been for many, many years. And as a loyal servant of the church, he is willing to do whatever it takes to remain in good standing with the church's higher ups – even if he has to badmouth his own daughter. This is a very strange religion that is able to turn family members against each other.
10 They Rounded Up Her Old Scientologist Friends To Give Interviews About How Terrible She Was
Leah's father wasn't the only one who was "encouraged" to give interviews about how terrible a person Leah Remini is. The Church of Scientology made sure to get a ton of different people to sit down and tell them all about how Leah Remini was untrustworthy, a liar, and so on and so forth. Some of these people were once her closest friends in the religion, which shows just how far people are willing to go to make sure they are still in good standing within this strange organization's hierarchy.
But when you actually listen to these interviews, they are pretty ridiculous. The reasons the people give for not liking Leah Remini are very trivial in nature, and it's almost as if they can't really think of things to say about Leah Remini, so they're just saying the first things that come to mind. This is probably because the Church of Scientology is pretty much forcing them to say these negative things about their old friend.
9 They Investigated And Interrogated Her Family
One of the most disturbing things that happened as a result of Leah Remini's departure from the Church was the way in which her friends and family were treated. You might think Leah Remini's subsequent show was the reason why her old family and friends still in Scientology were mistreated. But that wasn't the case. It wasn't viewers of the show who were abusing her friends as a result of what they had seen and heard. It was actually the church itself that was punishing her friends and family as a result of her actions.
There are reports of her old friends and family still in the church being interrogated and investigated by the church, who were suspicious about anyone who was connected to Leah Remini in any way. They were allegedly ruthlessly interrogated and made to disavow any former connection they might have had with Leah, their former friend. This was probably the reason so many former acquaintances of Remini decided to come forward and attack her in the interviews posted on the Scientology website, leahreminiaftermath.com
8 She Filed A Missing Person Report Against David Miscavige's Wife
Another interesting thing that happened after Leah Remini came forward involved David Miscavige's wife. For those who don't know, Miscavige is the leader of the Church of Scientology, and definitely one of its most controversial figures. Leah Remini is perhaps one person who is most concerned about this person, or more accurately, the way he treats his wife. What exactly is going on with this man's wife? No one actually knows. In fact, no one even knows where his wife is or whether she's even alive.
That's why Leah Remini decided to file a missing person's report against Miscavige's wife, and this resulted in the police getting involved. Unfortunately, nothing really happened as a result, and the woman's whereabouts are still pretty unknown to the public. No doubt she is being held in one of the church's many facilities. As to her well-being, that's anyone's guess. But Leah Remini must be applauded for bringing attention to this issue.
7 She Started A Well-Publicized Beef With Jada Pinkett-Smith
Jada Pinkett Smith is another star that Leah Remini was critical of when she emerged from the Church Of Scientology, but unlike Katie Holmes or her mother, Leah Remini has not been able to bury the hatchet with her. In fact, she has begun to ramp up the conflict between them, and it's getting quite bitter, in fact.
The conflict all stems from Remini's assertion that Jada Pinkett Smith is a member of the church, something that Jada herself denies. According to Remini: “I know Jada’s in. I know Jada’s in. She’s been in Scientology a long time. I never saw Will [Smith] there, but I saw Jada at the Celebrity Centre. They opened up a Scientology school, and have since closed it. But Jada, I had seen her at the Scientology Celebrity Centre all the time. I had hoped that she had left [Scientology], but this was the tell-tale sign that she was still in."
6 They Engaged In Mass Social Media Fraud To Discredit Her
Scientologists didn't just stop at making a website to try to discredit Leah Remini. They also set up an entire organization. This organization is called "STAND," or "Scientologists Taking Action." The site has its own website, and has pledged to take a stand against people like Leah Remini who are trying to discredit and defame their religion by spreading what they consider to be lies. According to them, the religion is just misunderstood, and it doesn't deserve the kind of criticism that they receive on such a regular basis.
That's all well and good, and they're perfectly within their rights to form an organization like this. But there's only one problem: Half the members of STAND don't even exist in the real world. A quick visit to their website will show you that many of the profile pictures of these STAND members are simply stock photos taken from the internet. In other cases, they are profile pictures taken from random people's social media accounts. So in reality, the organization isn't nearly as strong as it appears to be.
5 They Accused Her Of Using Her Departure As A Publicity Stunt To Get Money
Seeing as many of the church's attempts to discredit Leah's actual information have failed, there was one more thing they could try. Rather than actually claim that she was spreading lies, the church began to take a very different stance. They instead claimed that the only reason Leah Remini was doing all of this was to make money, and that it was just a massive publicity stunt designed to reboot her dead career. This is an interesting approach because we are starting to see the church edging away from simply denying the kinds of things that Leah Remini is saying.
Well, is there any basis for what the church is saying? The short answer is yes. Leah Remini is indeed receiving lots of money for her show and she is indeed being paid. Not only that, but she is receiving a lot of publicity at a time when her popularity is at a low point. There's also the fact that she lied and said she wasn't being paid, only to backpedal and say that yes, she was receiving a paycheck for her show. However, the claim that she is exposing the religion merely for money and publicity is definitely up for debate.
4 She Became Friends With Katie Holmes Again
While many of Leah Remini's friends have severed all ties with her after her split with Scientology, there are many out there who have since warmed up to Leah Remini. One of these people was Katie Holmes, who Leah Remini had previously criticized for her role in the church.
But ever since Leah left the church, Katie Holmes has warmed up to Leah, saying: “I regret having upset Leah in the past and wish her only the best in the future.”
Leah responded by saying: “I’m smiling because it almost makes me want to cry. It makes me emotional because at the time that Katie and this particular crew were writing reports, it caused me a lot of time and pain in my family, being reprogrammed. So at the time I was fighting with her — I guess for the lack of the better word — within the church, and now I know really what she was going through.”
3 She Claims The Church "Came After Her"
Leah Remini knew right from the beginning how dangerous the Church of Scientology really was, but she was never scared to oppose them. Taking the fight to such a dangerous and insidious organization must have taken real courage, and there's no doubt about that. You get the feeling that we don't even know the full extent of the church's efforts to destroy her. The church is actually a lot more powerful than people think, with friends in extremely high places. In the end, though, Leah Remini knew full well what would happen after she left the church.
Speaking about the threat, Leah Remini said: "Well, they do come after you. But the thing is, you can't be afraid. I'm not afraid. So you can come after me. You can make these public statements that you need to – my story has been told. It's my story and it's something I wanted to do to let people know, 'It's okay, I'm here, I'm happy. I have my family. I'm moving on with my life. I wrote a damn book. I mean, I'm from Bensonhurst. I mean, I'm proud of myself. To me, to be able to tell it is an amazing thing."
2 She Is No Longer Allowed To Work With Or Talk To Scientologist Actors
Probably one of the biggest things that happened to Leah Remini affected her professional life as an actor. She is no longer allowed to speak or work with any of the actors that are currently members of the Church of Scientology. She's basically been shunned completely from their presence, and many of these people used to be her friends. This actually might affect her ability to get work in the future, as the Church of Scientology employs more actors than you might think is possible – directors, too.
But she has proven with her latest television show that she's capable of succeeding even without Scientology's help. In a speech she said: “I spent most of my life being told the world outside Scientology would fail me, that I would fail, and that without it I wasn’t worth a whole lot. I thank you for proving those theories wrong.”
1 She Finally Forgave Her Mother For Introducing Her To Scientology
Many people forget that Leah Remini never really had a choice in joining the Scientology religion. She was raised into it at a very young age, being born into the lifestyle and never really questioning it until she was much older. Much of her family is still in the church, including her father. It was her mother who Remini initially blamed the most for raising her in this environment though. As she began to see the flaws of the religion as she grew older and matured, she put the blame on her parents for making the terrible choice to raise a child in such a bizarre world.
But after she left the religion, she began to calm down a bit and ended up burying the hatchet with her mother. She publicly forgave her mother for "raising her in a cult," and there seems to be a lot less hate in Leah Remini's life, and a lot more acceptance. Now she's looking forward in life, and trying to put those hard times behind her, finally.