'Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath' Explores Celebrity Ties - 2017-09-19
The sixth episode of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath's second season focused on the Church of Scientology's effort to recruit celebrities—and what happens when those celebrities leave. In addition to Remini offering her personal experience, she and partner Mike Rinder interviewed a former Celebrity Centre recruiter along with one of the Church's most high-profile ex-members: Paul Haggis.
The Church's efforts to focus on recruiting celebrities began with L. Ron Hubbard back in the '50s. In 1955, the Scientology-run publication Ability Magazine ran an article titled "Project Celebrity," which detailed plans to recruit stars. That's why the Celebrity Centre in Hollywood was created, Rinder said.
"It's hard to dispute that from the very earliest times Hubbard was almost obsessed with getting celebrities into Scientology," he said. "The purpose of recruiting celebrities was to give legitimacy to Scientology and to popularize the subject and hopefully get other people interested because celebrities were interested."