Leah Remini, Her Friend Describe Time in Scientology Sea Org: Part 1

31 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

9 Most Shocking Revelations From Leah Remini’s 20/20 Interview About Her Time With Scientology.

Speaking with 20/20, Remini said that after attending the 2006 wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes in Italy, she returned home complaining about the behavior of two high-ranking Church members who she thought needed to be dealt with – Cruise and leader David Miscavige.

Leah Remini’s highly anticipated interview on last night’s 20/20 did not disappoint for dirt-dishing on the Church of Scientology, which the King of Queens actress left in 2013. In a clip of the interview, Remini claimed that high-ranking Scientology officials took exception with telling Holmes and ex-husband Tom Cruise to “get a freaking room” after he “forcibly” kissed Holmes. Remini said there were multiple incidents at the wedding that made her upset, including her belief that the Church was trying to recruit her friend Jennifer Lopez. That split is now the focus of her forthcoming book Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, a tell-all (on bookshelves this Tuesday) that pulls back the curtain on her years spent practicing the controversial religion alongside such Hollywood luminaries as John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, and Cruise.

Remini’s Dancing with the Stars partner, Tony Dovolani tweeted at his “best friend,” calling her “inspirational” for speaking out against the controversial church. In her first public comments related to Scientology or its members since her 2012 divorce from the Mission: Impossible star, Holmes told Remini, in a written statement to 20/20, “I regret having upset Leah in the past and wish her only the best in the future.” The distress to which Holmes refers was, according to 20/20’s report, related to Cruise and Holmes’s lavish November 2006 wedding in Italy. An invited guest, Remini says she was asked by the church to bring along her good friends Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony—only to then be repeatedly separated from the couple. That strange, uncomfortable situation was, in Remini’s opinion, a “juvenile” attempt “to extract me… I can only assume because they wanted to make Jennifer a Scientologist.

But proving she was not one to back down, the actress dedicated a dance to her feeling of liberation after separating from Scientology, dancing to Katy Perry’s hit “Roar.” Remini’s sister, Nicole – who also appeared in the interview special – took to Twitter to thank 20/20 for giving their family the opportunity to tell their story. Unlike Katie Holmes, who allegedly left husband Cruise to keep their daughter, Suri, away from Scientology, Remini’s mother was the one who got her into the religion. She also recalled how odd she found it when Cruise serenaded his new bride with the song You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ which was featured in his film Top Gun. Maybe I was barring that road for them.” More problematic still, while at the reception—where Cruise apparently, and strangely, reprised his Top Gun rendition of “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” for Holmes—Remini began asking why Scientology leader (and Cruise’s best man) David Miscavige hadn’t attended with his wife Shelly, with whom Remini was friendly.

Her questions were repeatedly rebuffed, to the point that she felt “it’s getting weirder because you’re [the church] making it weirder.” Church officials’ stubborn refusal to address her queries (which she refers to as “such a simple thing”) led her to file a “wide-ranging knowledge report” about what she saw as the issues plaguing the Church. “I thought, ‘I now see where the cracks are in our Church. This was not the first time Remini had been put off by Cruise’s behavior, saying that she was also concerned when she saw the things he was doing and saying shortly after he began dating Holmes – starting with when he infamously began jumping up and down on Oprah’s couch. ‘I’m saying, “I don’t think he’s becoming of a Scientologist, jumping on couches, and attacking Matt Lauer. Though Remini had to sign a billion-year contract (Scientologists believe in reincarnation, which enables them to serve again and again), she lasted only one year before being kicked out of the group for fraternizing with boys — well, one boy … who happened to be her boyfriend. They were bringing Scientology down.’” Those negative feelings about Cruise had begun a year earlier in 2005, when the actor had made headlines by jumping on Oprah’s couch and slamming Brooke Shields on Today.

In direct disobedience of the church’s teachings, she opted for medication when giving birth to her child. “I was going to attempt to do it for my church, but when you start feeling a baby coming out of your vagina — if there was a rock, I would have hit myself on the head with it,” she recalled. “So I got that epidural as quickly as possible.” Based on Cruise’s very prominent position in the church, it wasn’t all that shocking to hear that if one was critical of the Jack Reacher: Never Go Back star, it was considered the same as “being critical of Scientology itself” — but it was surprising to hear how seriously that rule is taken. At this point Remini, who joined Scientology with her mother and sister when she was just 8-years-old, had been a member of the Church for over 30 years. She said that the thought of leaving was difficult after seeing how families were separated, with members often choosing the Church over their own flesh and blood.

For the record, Remini did ask her friends to go and they accepted, but once they all arrived at the lavish, three-day affair, Remini claimed the two couples were actively kept away from each other, being made to ride in separate cars and sit at separate tables. Remini said she reached out to former church leader Mike Rinder – a man who is despised by Scientologists – and that soon after the Church came to her home very upset.

Such a move required an investment of “hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Remini claims, though she paid willingly, since she truly believed the Church’s mission was to “do good things.” Or as her mother Vicki put it on 20/20: “To free mankind. Her faith was put to the test once Remini achieved “Operating Thetan 3” level, which gave her access to previously off-limits documents written by founder L.

At the time, Remini went public with not only her issues with the Church, but the personal fallout caused by her departure—including, as she told Ellen DeGeneres in 2014, the loss of numerous friends. Because the Church prohibits members from talking to those who’ve left (or been ex-communicated), Remini was forced to pick up the pieces of her life without many people with whom she’d been close to for years, if not decades.

Remini’s confessional interview and book are merely the latest blows to the secretive Church, which took public hits earlier this year courtesy of Alex Gibney’s documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, which had a brief theatrical run in March 2015 before premiering on HBO later that month. That explosive non-fiction film exposed much of the Church’s clandestine inner workings, and the way it sought to silence critics through intimidation and smear campaigns—tactics that 20/20 witnessed firsthand when, this past Tuesday, the show was hand-delivered a packet of scathing anti-Remini materials from Church officials. And yet through it all, Remini credits her Church experiences—both good and bad—with making her the tough, resilient person she is today. “I don’t regret spending my life there.

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