Leah Remini is one brave woman. I know we have talked about Scientology a bit here before, but I am expecting Leah Remini to blow the lid off the cult with this 20/20 interview. Not surprisingly, the Church of Scientology has already bombarded ABC with all sorts of allegations against Leah.
The show starts with Leah’s childhood. Leah’s mother was the first to get caught up in Scientology just after divorcing Leah’s father when she was seven. She was at the church every waking moment and her kids were neglected.
When Leah joined Sea Org, as a child, she had to sign a billion year contract with the organization. Scientology worked children hard and educated them in Scientology. There was no general education after eighth grade. Leah was a troublemaker from an early age. Asking for real food and getting caught letting her boyfriend touch her boob over her clothes. This got her thrown out of Sea Org within a year. I get it Leah, cheeseburgers and boys are two of the best parts of adolescence.
Leah moved herself and her two daughters to L.A. Once there, they continued to study Scientology and taking courses to move up in levels within the church. Part of this involved auditing. The classes the family was taking were very expensive. So Leah started auditioning for roles in Hollywood. After only a year she landed her first role. She credits her overinflated ego courtesy of Scientology for helping her land roles. Scientology loved celebrity so Leah was for a time in very good graces in the church. She also met her future husband, Angelo, during this time who left his wife and ran off with Leah to study Scientology himself. She also met J-lo and Mark Anthony and her very close relationship with J-lo began.
Next came King of Queens. This was a huge hit that made her a household name. Her newfound celebrity brought her into the realm of Tom Cruise. Famous Scientologists have their own building called the Celebrity Centre. Leah was a huge spokesperson for Scientology during this time. Grand Poobah of Scientology (that might not be the legitimate title) David Miscavige took notice of Leah fairly quickly after King of Queens. Leah says David was powerful, charismatic and likeable. Insert batshit crazy Tom Cruise montage here. Leah says that Cruise was very effusive and loving at first. He lasers in on you and makes you feel like the most important person ever. Then some Scientology dudes call her up and tell her to go to Tom’s house and teach him to salsa dance. So she did. And while she was there, Tom would very aggressively kiss then girlfriend Katie Holmes repeatedly. Eventually, Leah said, “hey get a room” and for that she was written up (there were two Scientology dudes there to supervise the meeting who initiated the write-up. She had to “go to sessions” for the comment. It appears that it is common practice for Scientologists to narc on each other through “knowledge reports” at any sign of transgression and then the person accused has to go through auditing session which essentially encourage the person to more or less confess any and all sins until the auditor is satisfied. Husbands tattle on wives. Mothers tattle on daughters. Leah wrote knowledge reports on Angelo all the time.
Leah even complained to the church about Tom Cruise’s bizarre behaviors. From his jumping on Oprah’s couch, to attacking Matt Lauer and Brook Shields among other things. She was reprimanded by the church. If you criticized Tom Cruise then you were evil and against the church. \
Despite all that in 2006 Leah was invited to Italy to attend Tom’s wedding to Katie Holmes. However, her attendance was contingent on getting Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony there. Leah talks about the wedding in detail in her book, aptly titled Troublemaker. For some odd reason, Tom serenaded Katie with the song You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling in a scene straight out of Top Gun. Nothing says wedding like a virtual post breakup ditty. Sidenote: Tom Cruise can’t sing. Leah said the wedding was one of the turning points for her. She was separated from Jennifer and not allowed to ride or sit with her at the wedding. Oddly, David Miscavige was there without his wife. So Leah asked where his wife was and they kept getting pissed at her for asking. At this point Leah is still very much a Scientologist and still very into the whole thing. So when she got back home she filed a bunch of knowledge reports on people who she felt were hiding things and thereby damaging the church. In her mind, David and Tom were bringing Scientology down. She was determined to make the church see that.
Leah was sent to Florida for reprogramming from 9 am to 10 pm every day for several months because of those reports. Leah was shocked to learn lots of other people wrote knowledge reports about her behavior at the wedding. She was loud, she was rude and she switched seats at the reception to talk to her BFF, Jennifer. Katie Holmes herself wrote a knowledge report. (They didn’t say this but I would bet that Tom instigated the report himself.) The asked her to recant everything she said and apologize to the church and eventually she did. At that time she did not want to leave the church. After she recanted, she was free to return back to her L.A. home.
She continued taking classes and finally reached whatever ridiculous level it is where they explain the whole science fiction alien beings live inside you, Xenu shit. Honestly, the person who made up this cult was a science fiction writer. Why would people believe this crap? Then again after blogging on the Internet people believe in all kinds of weird shit and are on my site or in my emails daily trying to make me believe the way they do. The world is full of people with very odd beliefs. At this point, Leah was starting to realize she was one of those people.
But she still kept on going. If she left, she would be leaving her mother and her whole family. Leah was not willing to do that. Then she was on The Talk and Julie Chen and Sara Gilbert got rid of her. The Scientologists used this to say that Leah often blames others for he issues and is constantly picking fights. I personally loved Leah and Holly Robinson Peete on The Talk and they were both fired at the same time. Leah blames Sharon Osborne for the firings. She claims Osborne told the powers that be (Chen and Gilbert) that the two were “ghetto” and too loud and that is why they were let go. If that is true then it is highly ironic that Sherri Underwood was hired to sit in Leah’s old seat. I’m just saying.
Then in 2012 Katie divorced Tom Cruise. Leah felt vindicated. She felt Katie should have apologized for writing that knowledge report. Kate did send a message though ABC this week saying she regrets having upset Leah in the past and wishes only the best for her in the future. She says the divorce reignited her anger at the church. She gave $2.5 million dollars to “Scientology charities.” At this point, Leah went online, which was not allowed by the church, and read all of the former Scientologists criticisms of the church and exposés on the cult.
At this point she began trying to find out what happened to David’s wife Shelly again. That is what got her in so much trouble at the wedding in Italy. She continued to tried to get people to give her a note asking her to call her. Some Scientology thugs came to her house to intimidate her. One of them called her a bitch and Angelo dealt with the guy rather swiftly. After that, she was done with the church. She was leaving without know if her husband or her family would leave with her. In her experience, many times families and spouses would choose the cult. Fortunately for Leah, her entire family joined her.
Things were fairly subdued once she left Scientology. She didn’t bad mouth them, and they didn’t say much about her either. But Leah being Leah, decided to file a missing persons report on Shelly Miscavige! Holy crap at the balls on this one! The police claim to have spoken to Shelly so the case was closed. Then on DWTS, Leah said on the air to her partner that the church was waiting on her to fail so they can tell the church members “this is what happens when you leave.”
Kirstie Alley spoke out against Leah and called her evil. The church is now saying she is just exposing the church for publicity because she is an attention seeker. Leah says now her life is better than ever. The family is a lot closer. Leah’s mother regrets all the time lost. Leah doesn’t regret her time in the church. They are all happy to have a second chance at life. The Scientology folks gave a statement saying they are very glad Leah is no longer in the church. If Nightline hasn’t already aired in your area, there will be more on this topic there tonight.