Leah Remini has claimed that the Church of Scientology continues to threaten her two years after her A&E Emmy-award winning series Scientology and the Aftermath debuted and five years after she publicly exited the controversial religious organization.
“I get threats,” the former member told Us Weekly. “They try to destroy our lives.”
The star of the new film Second Act, co-starring Jennifer Lopez, explained she’s able to cope with the backlash from her former church because “I just know it’s what Scientology does. They just use any avenue they can.”
“They send out these attack dogs on social media,” Remini said in an interview with Newsweek regarding the religious organization’s fear tactics.
“Scientology hides behind the $3 billion they have with lawyers and social media. And they, too, are pretending they’re descenders of [the] First Amendment, freedom of religion and freedom of speech. And yet, they attack viciously anyone speaking out against the policies,” she claimed.
Newsweek also reported that the A&E series recently took a hard look at another religious organization, Jehovah’s Witnesses, in an episode which aired in November.
“We have received many letters; please look into the Jehovah’s Witnesses,” said Remini on the episode focused on how Scientology and Jehovah’s Witnesses are allegedly becoming intertwined.
Scientologists have blamed the series for somehow inciting a string of arson attacks on several churches within that group in Washington state.
Although they claim that the hate crimes are connected to the airing of the special episode, the first attack took place in March 2017, eight months before the special aired.
Newsweek reported that the episodes for Season 3 include a focus on disappeared members, a story about how the church ruined one man’s career and reputation, the heavily guarded, secret Scientology compound, the emotional aftermath of losing one’s belief system within the Scientology system, and The Jehovah’s Witnesses episode will reveal how it ties into Scientology.
The Church of Scientology claims that Remini “has made anti-religious bigotry her private cottage industry.”
“People will continue to speak. People will continue to fight,” Remini said of her work in exposing the inner workings of the religion and how it has deeply affected the lives of those who escape its ties.
The actress became a member of Scientology at the age 8 when her mother became a church member, taking Leah and her sister Nicole from their Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, neighborhood to the organization’s “spiritual headquarters” in Clearwater, Florida, where Nicole and Leah were recruited into the Sea Org, created when Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard took his operation to sea in 1966 after he had been made unwelcome in both the United States and the UK.
Sea Org officers wear naval uniforms and sign contracts for a billion years, promising to come back and work for Scientology, lifetime after lifetime.
Remini exited the religion in 2013. In 2015, she released her memoir Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology.
Season 3 of Scientology and the Aftermath currently airs on A&E, co-hosted by Mike Rinder.