It’s well known that the actor Leah Remini, most famous for her work on the television comedy “The King of Queens,” is a lapsed Scientologist, and is now speaking out vocally against the “Church.” She’s instigated police investigations into the disappearance of Shelly Miscavage, the wife of the lunatic director of the Church, David Miscavage, a tyrant who seems to have ordered his wife to disappear—perhaps under Scientology guard somewhere.(The LA cops, who said they met with Shelly, dropped the investigation.
Remini also wrote a book about Scientology, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, and is presenter of a documentary, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, which began in late November and has aired four of its eight episodes (I haven’t seen any, but readers who have should weigh in.)
Remini was recently interviewed by Larry King about her 30 years as a Scientologist and her recent apostasy, which you can see by clicking on the screenshot below. (The video is 28 minutes long.) If you’ve studied this ludicrous and harmful cult, as I have, you might not learn anything new, but one thing worth noting is this: Scientology is dying, and it’s largely because of the Internet.
It used to be that you attacked Scientology at your own peril, for they were armed with lawyers and harassers who made life hell for any “SP”s (“suppressive persons”: those who attack the cult). Now anybody with access to a computer can read all about the cult, how it scams its members, and about its absolutely ridiculous “theology”, which you have to pay thousands of dollars to learn. (For a taste of this, look up “Xenu” on Wikipedia. It’s unbelievable that people believe this stuff.) Disinfected by the Web, Scientology no longer has the power to harass its detractors, and, as Remini says, it’s bleeding members.
That hemorrhage was helped along by Pulitzer winner Lawrence Wright’s book on the cult, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief , which I’ve read and recommend highly. If you want a good take on how truly bizarre Scientology is, and how it victimizes its adherents, squeezing money out of them like milk from a cow, read that book. It’s a crime that Scientology has been classified by the U.S. government as a “religion,” and thus gets all the tax advantages of any religion. (Of course, no religion deserves tax breaks.)
The Internet has had many salubrious effects by disseminating information freely (including websites run by ex-Scientologists), and one of them is exposing the follies of religion. Because it impoverishes its members, the Church of Scientology is one of the worst Western religions. Those who say that all religions are equally harmful should compare the Quakers to the Scientologists.
Remini is calm and eloquent on the malfeasance of her former Church. When Larry King asks her (he’s giving her listener questions), “What’s the number one thing you want people to know about Scientology?” Remini answers, “Really, do their own research. . . It’s a harmful, dangerous proposition that will cost you a quarter of a million dollars, minimum—and your life.”