Leah Remini’s 20/20 interview aired on Friday and plenty of the information was eye-opening, but not too shocking. By this point, the complaints and stories about Scientology have been heard, be it the top ex-high level members to celebrities who managed to leave the church behind. All of them carry their own twists and Remini was no different.
Much of her interview was spent focused on Tom Cruise, especially during his relationship with Katie Holmes, but there were plenty of moments that showcased her life within the organization, including her time in Sea Org according to The Hollywood Reporter:
After plugging into the New York branch, Remini moved with her mother and sister to Clearwater, Florida and enrolled in Sea Org, the fulltime religious order of the church at its headquarters, where she signed a billion year contract to commit herself to the church.
During her time at Sea Org, Remini admitted in the interview that “you live in roach-infested dorms with other children” and “could go from working in a laundry room to working industrial sanders.” Though she was “learning how to learn Scientology” and the food “didn’t taste like food and you had to get it at a certain time,” she considered the church her home.
But during her one-year involvement at Sea Org, Remini and her then-boyfriend partook in physical actions the church deemed inappropriate. “I allowed my boyfriend at the time … to go like this over my shirt,” she said while lighting touching her breast over her shirt. Remini remarked the action was a church violation and she was threatened to be put in the rehabilitation project force. “When you have screwed up royally in the Sea Org, it’s basically to reform you. You have to wear black, you have to run everywhere you go, you have to call everyone sir. It’s pretty severe punishment for an adult, not to mention a child.” Remini said.
Her interactions with Cruise and Scientology head David Miscavige carry some of the oddest details of her stay, including word that the group was allegedly trying to get to Remini’s friend Jennifer Lopez and Mark Anthony in order to have them join the organization.