Why Did Leah Remini Leave Scientology? The Actress Has Made Her Opinion On The Matter Very Clear
Growing up in the age of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' spirited couch jumping union and subsequent shadowy divorce, I came across the word "Scientology" quite a bit. And I think that I, like most people, didn't know what exactly to make of it. What I did manage to deduce about the faith, though, was that a considerable amount of celebrities were involved in it. Celebrities including more than simply Cruise or Holmes. For instance, beloved, sassy King of Queens funny woman, Leah Remini was a member. But, as is now common knowledge, Lean Remini left Scientology in 2013. But, the question is, why?
Now that HBO has debuted the documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, it seems that the church, and stars like Remini's separation from the church, is on our minds more than ever. Whether you've seen the documentary or not, you've surely heard the controversy surrounding the way the chruch is depicted. And, I suppose that not so surprisingly, Remini is in support of the film. On Sunday night when it premiered, she tweeted, "Thank you to the brave who did something about it. And to those who didn’t have a voice, you do now. #GoingClear."
As for the church's opinion of the film, its official statement reads,
The accusations made in the film are entirely false and alleged without ever asking the Church.
Back to the initial question of why Remini left the faith, she explained her reasoning in depth during a BuzzFeed interview in early 2014. If you so desire, you can read the lengthy, and incredibly insightful interview here. But, if you're looking for a straight answer, the actress' choice had to do with her young daughter, Sofia.
As Remini explained of her daughter, "She was getting to the age where the acclimation into the Church would have to start." According to Buzzfeed, this would start with auditing, which "includes having children answer questions like, Have you ever pretended to be ill? Have you ever decided you didn’t like some member of your family? Have you ever been a coward?"
Remini went on to say,
I started thinking of my own childhood and how I grew up resenting my mother because she was never home. It’s funny; somehow my father, the guy who left his kids and never paid child support, was excluded from my resentment and I grew up resenting my mother for not being home to make food, like all my friends’ moms were. But my mom thought she was doing something good; she thought she was helping the planet. That’s what the Church tells you... In my house, it’s family first — but I was spending most of my time at the Church. So, I was saying "family first," but I wasn’t showing that. I didn’t like the message that sent my daughter.
But, perhaps the nail in the coffin was when she spoke with friends about making changes that would shift the focus in her life from the church to her family, and didn't get the response she expected:
We had a chance to make a change from within, but they didn’t want to. That showed me they didn’t actually care, which went against everything I thought we stood for. They only cared that their lives would be disrupted if they stood with me. They didn’t care about doing the right thing. That showed me everything the Church taught me was a lie.
Judging by her tweet about Going Clear, it seems Remini is happy with her decision and unafraid to speak out about it. As she told Buzzfeed, "I don’t want to be known as this bitter, ex-Scientologist. I’m not trying to bash anybody and I’m not trying to be controversial. I just want people to know the truth."
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