5 Things We Learned From 'Scientology and the Aftermath,' Episode 2 - 2016-12-07
The second episode of Scientology and the Aftermath, Leah Remini's A&E documentary series about the Church of Scientology (which she left in 2013), focused largely on the story of Mike Rinder, the organization's former spokesperson. Rinder was a Scientologist for 46 years and worked alongside current Church leader David Miscavige for 25 years before "blowing" — the Scientology equivalent of "see ya!" — in 2007. He no longer has contact with his children, who remain devout Scientologists. As a former high-level executive, Rinder claims that he was both party to and victim of what he says is an authoritarian organization from which he had to eventually "escape." Here's what we learned from his story last night.
1. The concept of "fair game"Anyone who is an enemy of the Church of Scientology, Rinder explains, is considered "fair game" – a policy that he translates as meaning they "may be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed." While the Church maintains that this policy was canceled in 1968, Rinder claims that it's very much still in play. As Remini alleges, "If you are attacking or criticizing Scientology, you are evil. Period. No gray area."
If someone is deemed "fair game," Rinder claims that Scientologists have a free pass to go after them in any way they choose and can use Church policy to justify it. "If the Church decided someone was an enemy and needed to be silenced or destroyed, it was my job and I did it," Rinder alleges. "Everything from following them 24 hours a day to having people camped outside their door, to being vilified on the internet, to following them wherever they traveled, I was the guy [that did it]."