Blog: Leah Remini's Scientology and the Aftermath review - 2016-11-28
Leah Remini has produced a new television series called Scientology and the Aftermath which will be premiering tomorrow, November 29, on A&E. I was given an opportunity to see the first episode in advance and I wanted to give you my thoughts and feelings about it as someone who not only grew up in Scientology but who worked at its highest levels as part of the Sea Org for 17 years.
There have been a lot of shows, books, videos and interviews done about Scientology over the years, many of them mediocre or sensationalized but some completely spot-on and really nailing the subject from an insider's perspective which communicates just how insidious and horrible Scientology truly is for its members and anyone unlucky enough to fall within its area of influence. Probably the best of these was the documentary Going Clear, directed by Emmy-award winner Alex Gibney and written by Pulitzer prize winning author Lawrence Wright. This two-hour film was shown in selected movie theaters before premiering on HBO last year. Up until seeing that, I didn't think it was possible for anyone to truly communicate the culture, attitude and reality of what it was like to be a Scientologist, but Gibney and Wright pulled it off. Now, Leah Remini has taken a swing at this and based on the first episode, she has produced what is perhaps the best TV show I've ever seen on the subject of Scientology.
I respect Leah immensely but honestly, I did not have high expectations for this show. It's way too easy to sensationalize Scientology, to turn it into entertainment news fodder about its main celebrity members like Tom Cruise or John Travolta. Personally I'm sick and tired of hearing this subject trivialized into celebrity gossip about how often Tom Cruise doesn't visit his daughter or how John Travolta is trapped because of some blackmail Scientology may have about his secret gay lifestyle.