While Scientology’s celebrity ranks remain strong, still boasting such actors and actresses as Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Giovanni Ribisi, Kirstie Alley and Kelly Preston, among others, it appears that the movement founded by L. Ron Hubbard has lost one of its more prominent members in King of Queens star Leah Remini. According to the New York Post, the 43-year old actress has decided to cut ties with the controversial church after she had allegedly been punished for disagreeing with the church of Scientology’s leader, David Miscavige.
In recent years, Miscavige has become the focus of allegations of abuse from former Scientology members – this story about Sea Org is an interesting read – but if there is any validity to the Post’s sources about Remini’s motives, this could be really bad news for Miscavige.
The source tells us Remini is quitting because of policies that don’t allow parishioners to question Miscavige’s management or the reported abuse of members of its Sea Org religious order — and for forcing followers to “disconnect” from family members branded as “suppressive persons” if they choose to leave the church.
“It all began when Leah questioned the validity of excommunication of people,” a source said of her decision. “She is stepping back from a regime she thinks is corrupt. She thinks no religion should tear apart a family or abuse someone under the umbrella of ‘religion.’ ”
Former Sea Org member Mike Rinder blogged this week that at Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ 2006 wedding, Remini innocently asked where Miscavige’s wife, Shelly, was. Former Scientology Celebrity Centre head Tommy Davis scolded her, “You don’t have the [bleeping] rank to ask about Shelly.” Mrs. Miscavige reportedly hasn’t been seen in public since 2007.
As a result, Remini “was put through interrogations and blacklisted within the church that she donated millions to and that her family has spent their lives in. She was put through ‘thought modification’ for five years,” our source said.
The Post’s source also claims that Remini’s “friends” within the church had been writing internal reports about her recently, and those led to investigations on her family. It isn’t known if Remini plans to go public with any dirt on Miscavige or Scientology as a whole, but the least she could do is explain to me why half the cast of That 70s Show joined the church. Did Danny Masterson offer to DJ church parties for free? Did they make Laura Prepon die her hair? And was Wilmer Valderrama turned away? These are things I’d like to know.