Almost four years after Leah Remini left her life as a Scientologist behind her, the actress is sharing her harrowing experiences with the controversial religion on her new A&E docuseries entitled Leah Remini: Scientology and The Aftermath.
The outspoken King of Queen’s star gave her first accounts of what it was like to leave the notoriously secretive religion in her memoir Troublemaker, but now Remini is putting much her focus on the dark side of the lives that some Scientologists are forced to lead.
In a Reddit Ask Me Anything, or AMA, Remini revealed to her fans that the religion, whose long-time followers include megastars like Tom Cruise and John Travolta, is far more abusive than life-affirming.
For one, the actress spent a huge chunk of change to simply be considered a Scientologist. Remini was raised in the religion from a young age, but once she started making her own money as a television star, the Church of Scientology reportedly placed strict financial expectations on her. In fact, she told The Hollywood Reporter that she donated a grand total of $3 million over her time with the Church.
She went on to explain that all members of Scientology are expected to make large financial contributions, not just its stars. The former Scientologist estimates that the average person involved in the religion ends up giving about $250,000 to the Church of Scientology.
In her AMA, Remini also detailed some even more unsavory, and possibly illegal, elements of the going-ons in the religion. Of the purported complaints of abuse, she explains:
The most abusive thing that I’ve experienced is seeing the victims being further victimized by an organization that claims these things did not take place … from physical, to sexual, to mental abuse.
Afterwards, the star went on to make a plea to law enforcement to pay close attention to the complaints from the religion’s members. Remini wants the authorities to not ignore
…cases of abuse, coerced abortions, being held prisoner, fraud, mental and emotional imprisonment.
Accounts From a Former Scientologist
This is far from the first time that negative news about Scientology has made headlines. Recently, the highly-acclaimed HBO documentary Going Clear detailed the harrowing experiences of ex-Scientologists as they tried to transition out of the religion and back into normal society.
During her Reddit AMA, Remini said that she has seen the movie and
…thought it was very accurate… HBO was very brave in taking it on.
The actress also shared with her fans some of the scare tactics used in its infamous “therapy rooms.” She explains:
…every “therapy room” is equipped with cameras and listening devices, as admitted by the “Church.” Do they use it for blackmail? No, they use it to discredit you when you speak out.
Remini’s A&E show is officially a hit. It was the network’s strongest debut in nearly two years.