Leah Remini has been vocal about her decision to leave the Church of Scientology. Although she was a member for over 30 years, the actress said the atmosphere was unhealthy and oppressive. A representative has responded to the accusations, stating that Remini is simply seeking attention.
In a recent interview, the actress said she left to protect her 9-year-old daughter Sofia. As her daughter was reaching the age of “acclimation into the church,” Remini made the decision to cut ties with the organization.
Remini’s family joined the Church of Scientology when she was nine years old. In an interview with BuzzFeed, she recalls the difficult transition:
“We were separated from our mother. We had to sign billion-year contracts we didn’t understand.. we kept saying, ‘Why are you doing this to us? Why are we here?'”
Following their acceptance into the organization, Remini said she and her sisters were expected to donate their time and labor to the church. Although she said the labor helped her develop a strong work ethic, she resents the experience:
“We were working from morning until night with barely any schooling… There was no saying no. There was no being tired… you made it happen because there were heavy repercussions if you didn’t.”
A Church of Scientology representative has spoken out about Leah Remini’s accusations, suggesting that her complaints are an attempt to gain sympathy and attention. In a statement to US Magazine, the rep described the actress as “self-absorbed… with a craving for attention.”
The representative said Leah Remini is simply exploiting the religion for her own gain. The statement suggests the actress was motivated by her pending removal from the organization, “as she was on the verge of being expelled for her ethical lapses.”
The ethical lapses reportedly included questioning the organization’s excommunication practices. Remini was also vocal about the apparent disappearance of Shelly Miscavige, wife of church leader David Miscavige. Shelly has not appeared in public since 2007, prompting rumors and conspiracy theories about her whereabouts.
As she questioned Shelly’s mysterious disappearance, Remini was subjected to reprimand. Her punishment included interrogations, “thought modification,” and criticism from fellow members and friends within the organization. Despite the ongoing reprimand, the actress eventually filed a missing persons report with authorities.
Although she faced stark criticism for her decision, Leah Remini said her mother has remained supportive throughout the ordeal. The support from her friends, family, and fans, has given her strength to stand behind her decision.
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