Leah Remini is railing against the way she claims Scientology leaders treat children in order to coerce them into staying in line with the principles of the religion.
Remini used the latest episode of her award-winning docuseries Scientology and the Aftermath to illustrate church leaders believe “children are viewed as equal to adults and therefore responsible for their actions in the same way adults are.”
The episode featured two former young members of the church who claimed they were forced to reside at the Scientologist-run Mace-Kingsley Ranch as a form of discipline, where their daily routine consisted of manual labor and corporal punishment.
Church officials have long claimed to be in the dark about how those facilities are run, further drawing the ire of the former King of Queens star.
“Bulls**t” the Hollywood Reporter reports Remini countered. “Scientology schools are run on Scientology technology. It doesn’t matter if you’re just an average Scientologist, it is all run the same way.”
In the latest episode, Aftermath co-host Mike Rinder recounted how he claims Scientologists would send their children to Mace-Kingsley Ranches in California and later New Mexico “to get them onto the straight-and-narrow and move them to the first steps of the Bridge.”
The episode also featured the stories of third-generation Scientologists Nathan Rich and Tara Reile, both of whom resided at the New Mexico Ranch-based in the late ’90s.
Rich alleged he was first sent to the ranch when he was just 8-years-old as punishment for actively rebelling against some of the church’s teachings.
“Life at the Palmdale ranch was generally that you [when you] wake up, you’ve got to clean your room immediately,” he said. “You would do some kind of like schooling—things that you need to know for Scientology…there wasn’t any, like, math or history or anything like that.”
Rich recalled one instance where he was punished for being dirty from playing outside by being taken to an outside shower and scrubbed in front of the entire student body and staff. Later, as punishment for being caught smoking, he said ranch manager Wally Hanks spanked him with a wooden paddle.
“The whole Scientology aspect of that, of truly making you believe that you are at fault for everything that’s happened, it really, really messes with you as a person,” Rich said. “I still struggle with that. I still have that deep-rooted fear that I am a bad person and I’m not worth it and I don’t know why I’m here. I don’t know how I’ve made it this far because I’ve wanted to give up many times, and I’m still trying to figure out how to just be okay.”
After a period of homelessness and drug addiction, Rich attended college and is now the chief technology officer for a major visual effects company.
“I don’t feel that there’s any one cause for anything, but the largest piece of my life that’s caused me the most trouble was definitely Scientology,” he said.
Remini has spent the last several years openly bashing the religion she spent many years a part of. Among her many claims is that the church routinely brainwashes members and does anything leaders feel is necessary to control them.
Us Weekly recently reported if the A&E network signs off for Season 3 of the series, her new focus could be the Jehovah’s Witness religion.
“I’m open to doing a Season 3 in a different way,” the Kevin Can Wait actress recently shared. “We’ve been getting an overwhelming amount of emails and people contacting us through [social media] about other cults that are similar [to Scientology], so I’m looking into that.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses followers now total more than 8 million around the world, and Remini has been warned that the Christian denomination that believes that Jesus Christ is the son of God and not part of a holy trinity is “super powerful.”
Through it all, USA Today has reported church leaders have constantly blasted Aftermath as nothing more than “salacious lies to promote A&E’s ugly brand of religious intolerance, bigotry, and hatred.”
[Featured Image by Frederick M.Brown/Getty Images]