Ex-Scientologists tell disturbing stories about David Miscavige, the 'pope of Scientology,' on A&E series - 2016-12-21
Actress Leah Remini left the Church of Scientology in 2013 — after 35 years as a devout member — and ever since, she has been on a crusade to expose the controversial organization's secrets. On "Scientology and the Aftermath," her new series on A&E, Remini seeks to "delve deep into shocking stories of abuse, heartbreak and harassment experienced by those who have left the church and spoken publicly about their experiences."
Tuesday night's episode had a theme: Disturbing stories about the organization's leader David Miscavige, whom ex-members refer to as "the pope of Scientology," as well as the "undisputed dictator."
As usual, A&E put up a disclaimer at the beginning of the episode and between each act break, given the religion's leaders harshly condemned the series and denied many of the claims. The church also has called Remini an "obnoxious, spiteful ex-Scientologist" who is angry that she was expelled from the church, and that she's doing the series for money; they also said the show is "doomed to be a cheap reality TV show by a has-been actress now a decade removed from the peak of her career."
Remini is well aware of how the church feels — each time she interviewed a new person during the episode, she read excerpts from a letter that the church sent to discredit them. One of these people is actually Ron Miscavige, David's father. Remini and Mike Rinder, another former Scientologist, visit Ron and his wife, Becky, to hear their side of the story.