'Scientology and the Aftermath' participants send in their tributes as series is set to end - 2019-08-17
Leah Remini's remarkable Emmy-winning series Scientology and the Aftermath will be coming to an end with a 2-hour special on August 26, but we are still stunned that the show existed at all, and that Leah and her co-star Mike Rinder were able to expose so much about the abuses of the Church of Scientology.
And of course, besides the two stars themselves, what really made the show unique were the many fascinating guests who told their stories. Here are some of the things they told us about Leah's program and what it meant to them...
Mark Bunker The fact this show existed at all was mind-blowing. I remember going into CNN's L.A. headquarters back in 1999 and speaking with some of the employees who told me that CNN had prepared three different stories on Scientology which the network's lawyers blocked from airing. The media was frightened of covering Scientology at all after the costly Time magazine lawsuit of the 90's. To have a weekly series exposing Scientology's fraud and abuse seemed miraculous. The show would not have been possible without Leah Remini's tenacity, dedication and heart. Week after week, she showed compassion to those abused by Scientology and brought stories to the public that reduced many viewers to tears. And what insight to bring Mike Rinder in as a co-host. For years I have advised the city of Clearwater to have Mike Rinder on speed dial to have access to his knowledge on how Scientology interacts with city officials, to no effect. Leah and Mike together are a powerhouse and will continue to have a real-life impact that lasts beyond the three seasons of Aftermath. You can see it in the lawsuits being filed. They encouraged me to run for office during the taping of the two-part episode on Clearwater earlier this year. I had been talking about this since I moved back to town but they prompted me to actually get down to doing it. We have a mayor here who seems proud to have never watched a moment of Leah's show but I continually run into citizens here who are so glad it was on. That show may be leaving but we haven't heard the last of Leah Remini and Mike Rinder by a long shot.