Support for LAist comes from
Made of L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

Arts and Entertainment

Leah Remini Compares Scientology to '1984' In Reddit Q&A

Support your source for local news!
The local news you read here every day is crafted for you, but right now, we need your help to keep it going. In these uncertain times, your support is even more important. Today, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership. Thank you.

Leah Remini. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Ex-Scientologist Leah Remini has been very outspoken in her criticism of the self-proclaimed church as of late. In 2015, she released a memoirTroublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology—that gave an in-depth look on her 35-year association with the organization. She’s also been working on an exposé TV series called Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath for the A&E Channel, which is slated to make its debut on Tuesday.

As part of her promotional tour for the show, she dropped by Reddit for a live "Ask Me Anything" session. Not surprisingly, her responses to user-generated questions painted a horrifying picture of Scientology. She portrayed the organization as both a scam and a literal prison. Here are some select clips from the Q&A:

Support for LAist comes from

On whether or not the top brass at the church believe they’re running a scam:

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.

On how the leadership prevents members from consuming anti-Scientology media:

…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 have to confess that you've read outside materials, and that will be met with punishment at your expense.

On the media's coverage (or lack thereof) of Scientology:

…I would like to bring to light what I wish the press and authorities would. Instead of them always trying to be "fair" and "balanced" towards an organization that does not warrant protection, religious status, and free passes. I know you have pressures from your editors and producer to come up with something that's insatiable or has a little comment about Tom Cruise because it gets people to read your magazine or watch your show.

On why seemingly reasonable and intelligent people are still with Scientology:

Most Scientologists are 2nd or 3rd generation, they were born and raised into an ideology and have been surrounded and isolated. It is all they know. They are victims. Most of the original Scientologists are all out and have spoken out. Unfortunately, their children were indoctrinated by them.... are still loyal, faithful and have cut off communication due to the policy of disconnection.

On alleged sexual abuse within the organization:

I have read stories on the internet. I was told personally by a few people that I personally know that there was sexual abuse. When I was 16 and working for a "senior Scientologist" who was in his late 30's, he had sex with a 16 year old friend of ours. And the "Church" handled it internally. All abuses are dealt within the "Church" as it is an enemy act in the "Church" to prosecute another member.
Support for LAist comes from

On the organization's stance against psychiatry:

The "Church" doctrine thinks that fields of psychology and psychiatry are a sham. They deny mental illness and afflictions. They promote that you can heal your psycho-sematic issues with their "technology." They will get in the way of people taking medications. They will prevent people from getting the real medical help that they need. and in some cases have caused suicides because of it.

On the perception that a lot of people from the entertainment industry are aligned with Scientology:

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."

On how Scientology’s regards children:

As old spirits in little bodies who have returned to Scientology... children are treated as adults.

On whether or not she had confidants in the church that she could confide in:

I felt alone. If you ever confided in friends then you were (as policy dictates)... reported and turned in. Very 1984, very George Orwell.

Also, one Redditor said that his parents have been indoctrinated into Scientology. He asked what could be done to get them out.

If you want to get them out there is no way to do it nicely. There is no way to do it quietly. You have to challenge them by saying, "If you can think for yourself, if you have truly accomplished what scientology says you have accomplished, you should be able to speak freely on any subject. If you have completed the "PTS/SP Course". ["PTS/SP" stands for "Potential Trouble Source/Suppressive Person." The course, designed by L. Ron Hubbard, is purported to help practitioners think independently.] You should be able to confront and shatter suppression."

Most Read