5 Things We Learned From Leah Remini's Scientology-Exposé TV Show - 2016-11-30
For decades, actress Leah Remini – best known as the female lead on the hit TV series King of Queens — was one of Scientology's most diehard celebrity members, along with fellow actors Jenna Elfman, Giovanni Ribisi, Kirstie Alley, John Travolta and, of course, Tom Cruise. She appeared in promotional videos and at events designed to recruit new followers, dazzling them with stories of how Scientology was not only responsible for her success in Hollywood, but offered the only solution to curing the planet of its many ills.
Then, in 2013, after 34 years of devotion, Remini left the Church of Scientology and became the religion's most famous defector – and its most outspoken critic courtesy of Troublemaker, her 2015 memoir about her time as a member. But the book's publication failed to provide her with closure; as she learned about the experiences of other ex-members, including former high-ranking officials, the actor found herself unable to walk away with a clear conscience. Having participated in promoting propaganda and vehemently defending the organization against criticism, Remini felt a responsibility to help undo the damage she says the Church has caused. So she began documenting these stories for her new A&E series, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, hoping to use her star power to expose the abuses of what the show calls a "multi-billion dollar church, corporation, empire and cult."
Like her memoir, this TV documentary series breaks down Scientology's allure, ably explaining the manipulative and abusive tactics used to indoctrinate followers into prioritizing the Church's supposed goals over anything else. Here are five things we learned from last night's premiere episode.