Two years ago, Leah Remini made a decision to do something that few of us rarely have the courage to even consider — to leave the religion in which our parents raised us — but Leah knew it was something she had to do for the good of her family, as well as for herself. Us Magazine reported on an interview Ms. Remini did for Oprah Winfrey’s Where Are They Now? and revealed that, two years later, Leah is still trying to cope with that decision to part ways from Scientology.
“My mother was in Scientology my whole life. Most people don’t know that we were raised in it. I didn’t decide to get into it — I was brought into it by my mom.”
Regardless of how she came to be a Scientologist, Remini admits that she was completely devoted to the Church of Scientology for thirty years. Leah revealed that Scientology requires a deep commitment, requiring members to spend a minimum of three-and-a-half hours a day in service to the church, usually seven days a week.
“You know, I’m working most of my time, and then the other time was spent at the church, so minimal time is really spent with your family,” Remini said.
Remini’s burden to the Church of Scientology really began to take its toll on Remini, particularly when she realized that the time spent on Scientology coursework was taking away from the time Leah was able to spend with her daughter.
“I was at one of these hotels in Florida, and I saw my daughter swimming for the first time while I’m reading this thing,” she recalled. “And a tear came down my face. And I was like, ‘What am I doing?’ “
Leah’s decision to leave the Church of Scientology came as the result of several issues, but Remini says that her inability to be there for her daughter was her primary reason for making such a bold decision. Leah added that she knows how her daughter feels, because her own mother had done the same thing, always putting the Church of Scientology before everything else, even her own family.
“Our decision to leave the organization — it’s not just something you get over. It’s people and a lifestyle you’ve known all your life. It formed who I am, good and bad. It formed the way I think, good and bad. And so there’s a lot of pain connected to it, there’s a lot of healing.”
Remini’s departure from the Church of Scientology created some controversy within the church in 2013, but nothing like the chaos caused by the recent documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. The recent documentary has placed Scientology under a microscope, revealing some disturbing practices that may have also influenced Remini’s decision to leave the church.
Unlike the Going Clear documentary, Leah Remini’s departure from the church has earned a response from the Church of Scientology, according to Us Weekly.
“Given Leah Remini’s insatiable desire for attention, it comes as no surprise that for two years she has been incapable of moving on with her life and remains obsessed with shamelessly exploiting her former religion in a pathetic attempt to get publicity,” read a statement submitted in response to the article.
[Featured image: Leah Remini courtesy of Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images]