Leah Remini’s new docuseries airs on A&E Tuesday, November 29 at 10 p.m. ET. The actress and executive producer will take questions live on Reddit before the premiere. She’ll also appear on Live From E! and E! News Tuesday night before the premiere. Social media is abuzz with news about the docuseries, and people are sharing posts, photos, and articles with the hashtag #ScientologyTheAftermath. Check out the videos above for previews, behind-the-scenes footage, and more.
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath takes a look at how the group many refer to as a cult impacts members’ lives once they choose to leave. The eight-part series consists of one-hour episodes that feature ex-members’ stories about life inside and outside Scientology as they describe harrowing tales of abuse, stalking, and harassment.
Although representatives of Scientology want the organization viewed as a religious movement and church, cult experts consider Scientology as meeting the definition of a cult. There is great controversy regarding the movement founded by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard as to whether Scientology is a cult or a church. Maybe some will have those questions answered after watching Leah Remini’s new docuseries.
There is a Reddit thread devoted to the upcoming show, and many are discussing the nature of Scientology and whether it is a cult, an abusive spiritual organization, or a church that has disgruntled ex-members.
If a person searches the internet for information regarding Scientology, they are bound to receive information from Scientology itself. One of the earliest cult organizations was formed in the 70s during the height of cults such as the Children of God (aka The Family) led by David Berg and the People’s Temple led by Jim Jones. After the 1978 murder/suicides of the Jonestown cult members, Ted Patrick founded the Cult Awareness Network (CAN). The group would kidnap cult members in order to deprogram them. The goal was to hopefully restore them to their former personalities, states of mind, and ultimately reunite them with their families.
CAN operated from 1978 until 1996, when it was essentially bought out by Scientologists, according to a report by CNN. Today, the Cult Awareness Networks has been renamed the New Cult Awareness Network, an organization run and operated by Scientologists.
Scientologists have used many avenues to revamp the way the world views their organization. They have paid a high price to remove the association with cults and be considered a modern-day spiritual group or religious organization. Still, when ex-members like Leah Remini come forward and share their accounts from life on the inside, the public is left to make up their own mind. Even the Julian Assange-founded WikiLeaks began their organization with Scientology leaks exposing the organization for its practices.
It is these very practices that people experience and the alleged harassment they face after leaving that Leah Remini brings to public attention through Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. Another website determined to expose the truth about Scientology is Xenu.net, also known as Operation Clambake.
Operation Clambake publicizes information regarding Scientology’s secret documents. Additionally, they provide resources for those questioning the organization’s practices and beliefs. Those seeking resources and support for leaving Scientology will find plenty of helpful information at Operation Clambake or Xenu.net. Other resources for those leaving Scientology or questioning the group’s practices include Ex-Scientology Kids, Scientology at Neocities, and Exposing the Con.
Paul Haggis: 'I've seen Scientology ruin people' http://t.co/SjOap61ILw— Operation Clambake (@oper_clambake) July 23, 2015
Leah Remini joined Scientology with her family in 1979 when she was only 9-years-old. She remained a Scientologist until leaving with her family in 2013. Remini did not leave the organization in good standing, and she has been a harsh, outspoken critic of the practices used by the highest levels of Scientology. She has since spoken publicly in numerous interviews and published the best-selling book Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology. Will exposing Scientology practices and beliefs become what Leah Remini is remembered most for? Has her outspokenness helped others break free from the group?
It appears the longer Leah Remini is out of Scientology, the more she has to say about it. Leah Remini serves as executive producer for Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, and Scientology leaders aren’t thrilled about the upcoming show. According to a report by the Telegraph, the church of Scientology has declared war on Remini. They issued a lengthy statement discrediting Remini and her new show.
Leah Remini released a statement regarding the upcoming docuseries.
“This series is about sharing the truth about Scientology. Truth born out of very personal experiences. Truth that is shocking, things I did not expect to find when I embarked on the journey of making these shows. For too long, this multi-billion-dollar organization bullied victims and journalists to prevent the truth being told. It is my hope that we shed light on information that makes the world aware of what is really going on and encourages others to speak up so the abuses can be ended forever. I hope that people who have left now feel they have a safe place to go. I hope others who have also experienced abuses will come forward and help us to do something about it.”
Are you going to watch Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath? Will you participate in the Reddit forum? Do you think Remini is a troublemaker who should let things go, or do you agree with her shining a light on former Scientologists’ stories?
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath premieres on November 29 at 10 p.m. ET on A&E. Check local listings for times and stations in your area.
[Featured Image by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]