Celebrity Cult Survivors: Leah Remini 5/6


To get back in the Church’s good graces, Remini spent approximately $300,000 on Church services, which consisted primarily of interrogating her. “I was in an auditing room. Basically they were just trying to get me to recant what I said, to apologize for ruining the wedding of the century.”

When, a few years later in 2012, Katie Holmes left Tom Cruise and Scientology, she was declared a Suppressive Person, a shunned enemy of the church members may not have contact with. The knowledge reports of suppressive persons are usually expunged, Remini petitioned to have Holmes’ wedding report removed from her file. More than that, she wanted her money back.

“Well, if it was all wrong, are you going to give me back my money? Because, as a Scientologist, when I’m reprimanded I’m asked what I’m going to do to make up the damage. So now I’m asking you, what are you going to do to make up the damage?” After several years pressing the point, Remini was reimbursed for services related to her “transgressions” at the wedding.

During all of this, production wrapped on King of Queens and Remini began to have serious doubts about her religion. As she reached Operating Thetan Level 3 within the church’s secretive scriptural hierarchy, she read the story of Lord Xenu.

“It was some galactic confederation. There was a war and there was a volcano and they bodied, you know, they took the spirits of people and they encased them into something, into a volcano, blew them up and then those spirits are now inside of you, on you, in you, like you are made up of these things.”

Her first thought was that it was “some crazy shit”.

With increasing misgivings about the church and its leadership, Remini decided to break the rules and read what critics of the Church had to say. She read stories online, of physical abuse at the hands of Miscavige and his lieutenants, of familial destroyed by disconnection policies. Remini reached out to one of the Church’s most hated defectors, Mike Rinder.

She also became relentless in her quest to find Shelly, asking church officials to at least pass on a message. “I started to say enough and I said where is Shelly? Where is Shelly? Over and over again and I wasn’t getting an answer.” Two officials came to Remini’s  home to confront her, one calling her “a bitch” during the altercation. Her husband grabbed him by the collar, and Remini made the decision to leave.

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