Actress and activist Leah Remini, star of Scientology and the Aftermath, has been accused by The Church of Scientology of “inciting a murder” through her work exposing the religion’s darker side on the A&E series.
The attack that left one 24-year-old Scientologist dead and another 16-year-old church member behind bars is being blamed by the organization on the work done by Leah Remini, Mike Rinder, and their A&E docuseries.
The religious organization is asking A&E to stop production of the popular series.
The incident reportedly occurred on January 4 outside Scientology headquarters in Sydney, Australia, noted the Hollywood Reporter.
The victim, Chih-Hen Yeh, was a Scientology security worker, escorting a female church member to a “purification ceremony” when the woman’s teenaged son stabbed him in the neck with a large kitchen knife, according to a report by the Sydney Morning Herald.
Yeh later died of his injuries.
The teenager’s name is being withheld due to his age. He is being charged with murder and is currently being held without bail. There is no clear reason thus far, as to what motivated the attack on Yeh.
The Hollywood Reporter explained that the “Purification Rundown” — also known as “the Purif” and “the Hubbard Method” — is a controversial drug detoxification procedure developed by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard which involves subjects spending long periods of time, up to five hours per day, in high-temperature saunas, while taking high doses of vitamins and dietary supplements like niacin.
In a letter sent to A&E Network Group President Paul Buccieri, Scientology spokeswoman Karen Pouw alleged the assailant “spouted vicious religious hatred and propaganda, incited by A&E and the Leah Remini/Mike Rinder series” before stabbing Yeh.
“For years, A&E executives ignored our warnings that the series was inspiring bigotry and violence,” Pouw alleges.
“You knew what you were doing. Your intent was to stir up hate and turn it into cash. Now somebody has been murdered,” the letter noted.
Pouw alleges that the boy argued with his mother at home and then came to the base with a knife because he had read about Scientology on the internet, and was inspired by Leah Remini’s criticisms of her former church.
“The assailant had stated his intent to burn down the Church,” Pouw stated in the letter. “The attacker was inspired by an anti-Scientology website that featured your people and included a link to Remini’s show.”
The website The Underground Bunker run by Tony Ortega, a former Scientologist, which regularly challenges the teachings of the church, reprinted Pouw’s letter in full.
Tonight’s Season 3 episode is titled “Gilman Springs Road.”
The episode will expose the details, per the show’s official A&E site, of Scientology’s International Base, a compound that houses the church’s most dedicated members. Remini and Mike Rinder, a former occupant of International Base, speak with four other former high-ranking residents who reveal their shocking stories behind the locked gates.
The Hollywood Reporter revealed that a spokesman for A&E said the network had no response to Pouw’s letter.
Scientology and the Aftermath airs Tuesdays on A&E.