For most of us, when we hear the word “Scientology”, we probably picture Tom Cruise jumping on a couch. For others, the religion that is practiced by many of Hollywood’s A-list celebrities, may bring a sickening feeling to their stomachs. For actress Leah Remini, known for her role in King of Queens, Scientology is a cult and a scam that has absorbed a tremendous amount of money from the pockets of celebrities and non-celebrities alike.
Remini has recently teamed with A&E for a new show called “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath”, which airs tonight at 10:00 ET.
Remini is strongly opposed to Scientology — a religion that she was once part of, and claims to have donated over $3 million to it. Leading up to tonight’s show, Remini has hit Reddit with an AMA (Ask Me Anything), allowing anyone to ask her any questions they want answered about Scientology (from her point of view). So far, the response has been tremendous, with over 3950 comments posted. Remini has taken a tremendous amount of time answering many of these questions to the best of her ability. Some of those comments from Remini can be seen below:
Q (from Reddit user meatpoi): Do the higher ups know it’s a scam or do they really believe this crap?
A (from Remini): The higher up is singular. And he definitely knows. however I believe most parishioners and Sea Org members (people who work for the “church”) are int he dark and believe that they are doing amazing things for the world. And David Miscavige is directly responsible for that fraud.
Q (OneBoredBrer): What’s is the single most horrible thing you encountered in the “”church””?
A: 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.
Q (IhatemyISP): Do you personally feel like you’re being watched/tracked/etc by the church for doing everything your doing?
A: I am. I’m okay with it because I knew what I was getting into and I knew the policies of the “church” and what would happen by my speaking out against it.
Q (m_wolk): Are you safe?
A: Yes, I feel very safe. I have the support of my family and friends. And, I feel strangely protected by the world at large.
Q (spozeicandothis): What odds do you give of the whole thing collapsing once Miscavige dies?
A: The policies of the “Church” are the policies of the “Church.” They will not change, and there will be someone right behind him ready to pick up where he left off.
Q (rightsidedown): Why do you think there are so many people in the entertainment industry in the religion?
A: If you really look at the numbers at the entertainment industry, in comparison to the small number of scientologists that are celebrities, the number wouldn’t even register. I think Scientology has done an amazing job convincing people that there is a great number of celebrities in the “Church.”
Q (nella20): Was there a single breaking point that convinced you to leave the church? Or was it a long term struggle with the decision?
A: Long term struggle, however, seeing the “church” attack those who were speaking out, those who gave their life, life savings, their children to this organization that were once considered exemplary Scientologists or staff members of the church to being liars, bitter apostates, and what ever vile sophomoric, vitriolic adjective they can find overnight says a lot about the organization.
Q (Devo_Dizzybottoms): What do you think happened to David’s wife?
A: I actually do not know. Ask the LAPD.
Q (Survivedtheapocalyps): Out of all the rumors surrounding Scientology, which one is true and hits home the hardest for you?
A: I don’t what rumors we’re referring to here. I haven’t read anything that has been inaccurate.
Q (englishscribblings): Over the past 10 years, I’ve seen my parents get deeper and deeper into Scientology. Decent reasoning, science and logic have done nothing to convince them to question the church. From someone who left, is there anything a loved one can do to help a brainwashed member see the truth, without ruining the relationship completely?
A: Fight like Hell. Never give up.
Q (mlp-r34-clopper): do you remember what your initial reaction was upon first seeing the course materials for OT3?
A: Yes my first reaction was “Are you all fucking nuts?” and then I looked at my mother and said “What kind if bullshit did you get me in?” My only option was to leave, but at the time my family was not ready to go. The “church” told me I didn’t need to believe it, just do it. And they always pose this question: “Are you ready to leave everything you’ve ever known?”
Q (Sfetaz): How different would you say your view of Hollywood is now compared to when you were on Saved by the Bell and did your experience with Scientology effect these views versus if you never joined them?
A: When I was a Scientologist I saw Hollywood as a dark, lost bunch of souls that needed saving. Now I see it as any other business and that we’re all just trying to do right by ourselves, right by our friends and family and that people outside of scientology are not bad.
Q (rennob): How do the powers that be in Scientology keep their followers from reading anti-Scientology news, or your book? Why don’t more scientologists leave?
A: Great question. Because very early on in the brainwashing process, L. Ron Hubbard’s “technology” teaches you that outside sources (i.e. The news, the Internet, books, magazines) are ALL LIES and hellbent on destroying something decent like Scientology. The AMA, and APA, and all “governments” do not give scientology its due because they have a vested interest in not healing people and not helping people. And Scientology is in the business of making people better. So Scientologists are taught that their safest bet is to get their info from the only true decent people…and those are Scientologists. And if they look on the internet, if they read time mag, they will be met with punishment at their expense. And, as a Scientologist…you have to confess that you’ve read outside materials, and that will be met with punishment at your expense.
Q (EdensDad13): Is Tom Cruise really the “Messiah?”
A: To the “Church,” yes. Parishioners believe that he is singlehandedly changing the planet because that is what the “Church” is telling them.
Q (CHKRazor): My sense is that Scientology, like many fraternities/secret societies, learns your deepest, darkest secrets (via E-Meter, aka lie detector) and then uses them to blackmail you into donating and/or doing their bidding once you become rich and/or successful. Am I close?
A: I think that’s a small part of it. What’s more important and the thing to focus on is that from the first book Dianetics, people are made to believe indoctrinates i believe to be false and fraudulent…so it is more taking hostage of a person’s faith, their “eternity,” the saving of mankind and most importantly, the fear of losing all of your family and friends if you question or speak out.
Q (ganooosh): Are people actively being held prisoner against their will? If so, how upsetting is it that the government and law enforcement does not act?
A: It’s very upsetting. I’m only an actress with a short window of interest. So it is up to the authorities who have to do something about it and the judges who are hearing cases of abuse, coerced abortions, being held prisoner, fraud, mental and emotional imprisonment. They won’t look at cases to decide its a religion. They have to separate and look at the law. Your doctrine is abusive. It mandates that you abuse people.
Q (MaxStamina): Former Sea Org member in recovery here. What do you hope to accomplish with your expos’e?
A: Greater awareness. Exposing the truths. Not letting to continue to let them bully people into silence and submission.
Q (Legeto): When you were a scientologist did you ever get any weird reactions from other famous people?
A: Weird reactions? No. I got appropriate reactions, “Why are you in this crazy shit?”
Q (Watching_You_Type): Considering that Scientology is consistently painted in such a negative light how did you maintain the commitment to Scientology for so long?
A: Because i was taught to believe that the controversy was due to people being unaware of what Scientology was truly doing in the world which was good things. I also felt the press was focused on making fun of Scientology and not what was important, so it was easy to turn away from the information. And also a major part of Scientology is learning how to fight your critics. If i wasn’t fighting I wasn’t being a good Scientologist.
Q (boltz86): Did being a Scientologist help your acting career?
A: I’m sure there were tools that helped me to be able to communicate better, not be nervous when I walked in the room. Acting classes would have been cheaper. Or maybe staying in Brooklyn a little longer would have been more beneficial to my acting career.
Here at IR.net we do not take sides. Religion is one’s free will to choose, but we must all admit that this is getting pretty interesting. If nothing else, it goes to show how the internet is aiding in a more open discussion surrounding things that previously may have been more difficult to discuss.