‘Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath’: Beatings, Fake Websites And Hidden Cameras
Leah Remini has created so much buzz with her A&E docuseries titled Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath that the Church of Scientology directly responded to Leah’s claims and those of former church members. According to Us Weekly, Mike Rinder was a high-ranking leader in the Church of Scientology — who became the right-hand man and strong arm for David Miscavige, a man who took over after L. Ron Hubbard died.
Rinder alleges that Miscavige literally beat him during certain times when David was not pleased. Mike called Miscavige an angry man who often threw Church of Scientology members into “The Hole,” a place where Rinder says people were encouraged to beat one another until they straightened up in the eyes of the church. Rinder himself claimed that he had gotten punched or beaten by “Mr. Miscavige” nearly 100 times — and that Mike just took the punishment because he had been brainwashed to believe Rinder deserved the beatings.
Even though Rinder said he previously denied the rumors of beatings that he had been asked about by the BBC — on March 31, 2007 — Mike admitted that he lied. The interview had been conducted during John Travolta’s premiere of Wild Hogs, at a press junket, after Mike had been in the hole for two years himself. Mike said Miscavige had charged Rinder with the responsibility of killing the rumors about David’s beatings — and when those rumors didn’t die, Rinder escaped by running to the tube train station in London without an escort.
“I’m done. I’m out.”
Mike had been married to his wife (now ex-wife Cathy Bernardini) for 31 years when he left the Church of Scientology. Rinder said that he’d hoped his wife, his mother — Barbara Jean — along with his daughter, Taryn Kelly, would follow him out of the church. Rinder knew that if his family didn’t follow him out of the church, they would not be allowed to talk to him. He asked to speak to his wife, Cathy, but was denied. Instead, he received a handwritten communique.
“I received a handwritten letter from my wife saying, ‘F*** you. I’m filing a divorce.’ My children disconnected from me.”
Remini spoke with Mike during Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, and cried upon reading a heartbreaking letter from Rinder’s daughter. The letter insulted Rinder and claimed he didn’t care about her nor other members of their family. Leah told Mike that she wished she had a father like Rinder.
Leah also read some of the statements made that the Church of Scientology claimed about Mike, with the church challenging the credibility of the endless amount of former Scientology members that came forward in Remini’s docuseries, claiming abuse and all sorts of horrific events.
“No church should have the power to break up a family.”
Leah opened up in the documentary about her own journey to the Church of Scientology, which she initially believed was a blessing after her own father left her and her mother — when her mother had just given birth to Remini’s younger sibling. Eventually, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath exposes what a nightmare decision that turned out to be, simply because Leah questioned the whereabouts of Shelly Miscavige, David’s wife, who didn’t show up to Tom Cruise’s wedding.
Both Remini and Rinder detailed a campaign of harassment by the Church of Scientology that they called the church’s standard policy for trying to discredit former members. Those alleged tactics included publishing fake websites with heinous charges against the “suppressive person” who has left the church. Andrew Rinder, Mike’s brother, called Mike evil in a Scientology-produced video.
Rinder claims Scientology members rammed into the back of his car, filmed him everywhere he went, and even purchased his trash via a private investigator that paid garbage persons to do so. Mike showed a camera hidden inside a birdhouse that was pointed directly at his house.
“So I walked up around the street and I went, ‘Oh, right there.’ There’s this stupid birdhouse that I’ve seen a hundred times, never even giving it a second thought, and so I went and got a ladder and I walked over there, opened the lid and there’s a camera inside of the birdhouse pointing at our house.”
Remini called it “f***** up’ that the Church of Scientology would pay $10,000 per week just to follow folks around to discredit former members that criticize the church. Leah revealed that at one point in time, the leader of the Church of Scientology was viewed as the pope in her eyes.
The next episode of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath will dig into further allegations of mental abuse and monetary issues, such as $800 per hour Scientology sessions.
[Featured Image by Omar Vega/Invision/AP Images]