Church of Scientology International response to ABC inquiry #1 The publication of Ms. Remini’s book is a thinly veiled effort to gin up publicity to boost an otherwise sagging career.

October 26, 2015

Mr. John Bentley
ABC News

Re: ABC News-20/20 Inquiry #1

Dear Mr. Bentley:

The publication of Ms. Remini’s book is a thinly veiled effort to gin up publicity to boost an otherwise sagging career. It also is her latest effort to harass the Church leader and his wife that culminated in her dishonest “missing person” report filed in 2013 with the Los Angeles Police Department that was declared “unfounded” and closed within hours. When a person makes disingenuous reports to law enforcement, they simply cannot be trusted.

Ms. Remini needs to move on with her life and quit wallowing in self-pity. In 2014, she declared “I don't want to be known as this bitter ex-Scientologist,” which is exactly what she has become. Now she is exploiting it for attention and profit.

The problem is that Ms. Remini is bitter no matter what she does. She has a habit of blaming anyone and everyone for her problems and is constantly picking fights. When she was publicly fired from The Talk in 2011, we tried to pick her up off the floor but she continued to treat everyone around her in a degrading manner. Her behavior was intolerable.

While we have not seen her book, the portions that you have shared with the Church are the typical regurgitation of the same tired myths the Church has repeatedly debunked. They are circulated by the same tiny clique of expelled former staffers bitter at having lost their positions when their malfeasance was exposed and whom she now has partnered with. They are deadbeats, admitted liars, self-admitted perjurers, wife beaters and worse.

Ms. Remini knows the truth she conveniently rewrites in her book—she desperately tried to remain a Scientologist in 2013 knowing full well she was on the verge of being expelled for refusing to abide by the high level of ethics and decency Scientologists are expected to maintain. Her repeated ethical lapses and callous treatment of others led to an ecclesiastical review which subsequently expelled her from the Church.

Now she is making up stories about the Church and prominent names to sell a book, underscoring the same crass, unethical and unprofessional behavior the Church finds intolerable.

Scientology is the only major religion to be founded in the 20th century and emerge as a major religion in the 21st century. The Church has grown more in the past decade than in its first 50 years combined under the ecclesiastical leadership of Mr. Miscavige, a visionary who parishioners and Church staff hold in the highest regard for carrying out the legacy of Scientology’s Founder through the renaissance the religion is now experiencing. Mr. Miscavige works tirelessly for the parishioners and their benefit and to aid millions through sponsorship and participation in global humanitarian initiatives and social betterment programs. For the real story of the Church of Scientology, what it does, its beliefs and practices, go to the Church itself by visiting

Answers to your questions are enclosed, as are relevant records and statements from individuals you requested to speak with. We will be supplementing those answers in the coming days with additional video footage.


Karin Pouw

Church of Scientology International
answers to ABC 20/20 questions
from John Bentley

Questions regarding her “TIME IN CLEARWATER”:

Per our records, Leah Remini was dismissed from her brief stint in the Church’s religious order, the Sea Organization, for her inability to maintain the ethical standards related to fraternization with other trainees. Neither she nor her sister was in a Rehabilitation Project Force and any claims made to the contrary are false. Ms. Remini was dismissed. She petitioned to stay, promising to uphold the standards, but she was unable to. She never obtained the first status of a member of the religious order.

Ms. Remini’s characterization of her brief stint in 1984 and 1985 in Clearwater, Florida is false. During her stay, she lived in a dormitory at a converted Quality Inn motel. All crew members received three balanced meals daily. The facility received regular inspections by the Pinellas County Health Department. The daycare center was licensed by the Pinellas County Day Care Licensing Board and received routine inspections. All licenses were maintained in good standing with the health department during the entire period that Ms. Remini was in Clearwater.

You will be receiving a letter from Mike Kehrli, her supervisor in the initiation training program, denying he ever threw Ms. Remini into the ocean as she claims. Beyond the fact that this allegation is as sensationalistic as it is false, Mr. Kehrli contends and our records show the program was based on land. You should also note that Mr. Kerhli bumped into Ms. Remini in Clearwater years later, after she had become an actress, and she fondly recalled to him her time in the program. Thus, the allegations in this section are false.

Questions regarding her “LIFE IN CHURCH POST-CLEARWATER”:

It is ridiculous for ABC to allege that Ms. Remini received a “special favor” by being featured on the cover of a Church magazine distributed to parishioners. It is all the more ironic considering she is receiving a “special favor” from Dan Harris who has covered her in over a dozen ABC programs since 2013 where she has spread anti-religious hate about a worldwide religion. That said, as we never considered Ms. Remini an actual Sea Org member, because she never rose above a cleaner, it would be impossible to provide the imagined “special favor.” She never made it to any actual status in the Sea Org. Our records show Ms. Remini was featured in Celebrity Magazine in 1995 and 2002 as an up-and-coming young actress who benefited from the religion and wanted to communicate that to other Church members. In the 1995 interview she stated: “I attribute my ability to take charge of my life and my career directly to these [Scientology Life Improvement] courses. My career took off immediately.”

Her claim regarding Church donations for religious services:

As with most religions, donations by parishioners are the primary source of financial support for Churches of Scientology. As with all religions, donations vary depending on each member’s means. Donations are designed to (a) provide funds for further dissemination and growth of the religion as a whole; (b) assure that the Churches and Missions that minister to their parishioners remain viable and capable of expanding; (c) make Scientology religious materials available to the average person; and (d) help support the Church’s many religious and social programs.

Scientology parishioners are requested to contribute financially to the support and expansion of the religion by making donations for services and by contributing generally to Churches and their affiliated organizations. Other religions may have a system of tithes while some others require their members to pay for pew rentals, to make offerings for masses, religious ceremonies and services or to purchase tickets for admission to High Holy Day services.

Church policy forbids engaging in “refinancing,” “using 401k’s” or any other practices of that nature.

As to the rest of the questions, and the contention that the Church “reissues or revises” courses, the entire line of questioning is utterly ludicrous and offensive. Ms. Remini knows nothing of the ecclesiastic structure of the Church’s religious services. The restoration of our Founder’s Scripture in accordance with his wishes is something our parishioners embrace. I am incredulous that ABC will take sides with an apostate about religious services. Ms. Remini has hooked up with the “suppressive people” she seems jaded about, and she can enjoy them—people like Mike Rinder and his fellow wife beaters.

If you truly are interested in knowing about Scientology and our religious services, we invite you to spend the time to visit our website and find out for yourself. Otherwise, I find these questions absurd.

Ms. Remini’s claim that the Church tried to use her to “recruit her co-star, Kevin James”:

There was no effort to recruit Mr. James into Scientology. As we understand it, it is no secret according to various press reports that they had difficulties getting along, which is consistent with the experiences many others have had with Ms. Remini.

Her claim that the Church compelled her to marry Angelo Pagan for “PR reasons”:

Another ridiculous and false claim. While the Church encourages strong family ties and the institution of marriage, it cannot and does not dictate marriage. The Church also does not interfere with the personal decisions of parishioners. It’s a matter of public record that Ms. Remini wrecked Mr. Pagan’s marriage with his second wife, which was covered in the celebrity press at the time. According to one of those accounts Mr. Pagan’s former wife said, “When Leah met Angelo he was married with a small 4-year-old child, when she started dating him he was married, and when he moved in with her he was married. Leah didn’t care about destroying a family. She brags about Angelo, but what she’s not telling fans is that for two years she was a married man’s mistress.”

The Church always tries to encourage ethical relationships. Ms. Remini attempted to change and lead her life ethically but continually failed. We never endorse those who shatter the bonds of marriage or allow infidelity to occur.

Her claim that she did not achieve spiritual gain:

The Scientology religion offers an individual spiritual development. The Church does not discuss the personal spiritual quests of its parishioners. People all over the world speak of their spiritual gains and increased success in life as a result of Scientology. (See Ms. Remini’s complaints are consistent with her ethical lapses as our Scripture describes. She is what we call a “No Case Gain” due to her repeated and continuing transgressions against herself, her family, those she knows and works with and others.

Her claim regarding the Church ecclesiastical ethics and justice:

Ms. Remini misrepresents the Church’s internal ethics and justice system. All religions have codes of conduct and methods to assist members to honor them. Ms. Remini’s complaints derive from her inability to uphold the ethics and moral level Church members live by to lead happier, more ethical lives. Ms. Remini was desperately trying to remain in the Church while undergoing this process, which led to her being expelled.

Unfortunately, she continually blames others instead of taking responsibility for her decisions and her inability to confront her issues. Now, she blames the Church for the problems she had with her husband and her inability to get along with others, something that resulted in her getting fired from The Talk.

Her claim regarding Mr. Cruise and his wedding:

The Church declines to comment about Mr. Cruise or his wedding in 2006—and find it absurd that ABC is asking the Church about a private wedding. As regards the allegations you raise with respect to the Church, every claim Ms. Remini has made is not only untrue, but ridiculous and stupid. She is just trying to latch onto a prominent celebrity for her own publicity. As a note, every guest but Ms. Remini respected the couple’s privacy by not speaking about it afterward. That in itself describes what kind of person Ms. Remini is: self-absorbed, rude and embarrassing, all traits she displayed as a guest of this event according to parishioners who attended.

Ms. Remini has a history of stalking Mrs. Miscavige. The leader of the Church does not want Ms. Remini anywhere near his wife.

Her claim regarding Jennifer Lopez:

These claims are another lie. The Church does not single out anyone for its services, while its doors are open to all to make the able more able. The Church has not cared that Ms. Lopez was Ms. Remini’s friend. The only dealings the Church had with Ms. Remini with regards to Ms. Lopez was having to listen to her complaints about Ms. Lopez. We are not going to detail it here other than to say it was disrespectful to Ms. Lopez.

Her claim regarding Mrs. Shelly Miscavige:

(In light of your second set of questions sent Friday, October 23, this answer will be augmented.)

You have raised many allegations related to the wife of the leader of the religion. These claims are false and Ms. Remini has been harassing the Church about this matter for some years. Mrs. Miscavige is not now and has never been “missing.” Ms. Remini was told that in no uncertain terms on several occasions. Yet, despite knowing the truth, Ms. Remini filed a false missing person’s report, which required the Los Angeles Police Department to waste precious resources on a wild goose chase, while Ms. Remini’s friends leaked the story to the media to smear the Church. Within hours of that media leak, the police declared her claim “unfounded” and closed the case. It has been two years since Ms. Remini’s harassment blew up in her face, yet she still perpetuates this falsehood. Ms. Remini should have been embarrassed and ashamed for filing the report and diverting public resources that were better used to protect the City of Los Angeles. Instead, she won’t let go.

Her claim that Shane Woodruff called her a “fucking bitch”:

This, apparently, was true. It was in reaction to Ms. Remini saying unkind things about Ms. Kidman who is a fine human being.

Her claim regarding “disconnection”:

Ms. Remini knows very well that the Church’s practice of disconnection is a voluntary practice (spelled out at designed to help members remove themselves from abusive and hostile relationships. Her description is not true. The Church’s disconnection policy is not different than the Jewish faith of shunning.

There is no policy in Scientology that requires Church members to disconnect from anyone, let alone family and friends who simply have different beliefs. To the contrary, the moral code of Scientology mandates that Scientologists respect the religious beliefs of others. The Church encourages excellent family relationships, Scientologists or not, and family relations routinely improve with Scientology because the Scientologist learns how to increase communication and resolve any problems that may have existed before.

In fact, here is how Ms. Remini described it herself when asked about it in 2007:

“You are taking it out of context. No it doesn't happen like that. There is [sic] people in the world that don't think their family members should be actors. They look down on them… and you have families willing to disconnect from their own child because they want to be actors, it doesn't make sense. We are about family, we are about being the best mom, the best family.”

The Church never pressured Ms. Remini to disconnect from anyone nor did it “pressure,” mandate or otherwise cause anyone to disconnect from her. From what they have told us, those friends who are no longer connected to Ms. Remini chose to do so because of her attitude, selfishness and unpleasant behavior.

As for relationships with others, Ms. Remini broke up Mr. Pagan’s marriage with a woman with whom he had a very small child. In addition to Mr. Pagan’s family, Ms. Remini also alienated her father. His statement to her before he died, which her sister gave to the Church, was “You have some money and some fame [and] you’re still a self-centered bitch. Everyone around you knows that but because their survival depends on you they really don’t say what’s really on their mind.” According to her father, Ms. Remini treated her stepmother like a “second-rate person.” Ms. Remini refused to loan her stepmother money ($1,200) for a CAT scan. While Ms. Remini had plenty of money, she didn’t offer to assist her father. As a result, he and his wife almost lost their house. Her father stated that he called her three times on Thanksgiving and each time she was too busy to take the call. She was too busy also on Christmas and New Year’s Eve to take his call. The Church tried to help her with relationships with others, something she had trouble with. After she left the Church and her father died, Ms. Remini later apparently snubbed her dying sister. Ms. Remini’s stepmother claimed Ms. Remini turned her back on her cancer-stricken sister who tragically died.

Her claim regarding the Church’s advanced scripture:

This line of questioning is offensive and the Church declines to discuss its advanced Scripture and would never debate it with ABC or an apostate. The core beliefs of the Scientology religion are publicly available to anyone. These are contained in any of the basic books and lectures by L. Ron Hubbard available in every Church and Mission of Scientology worldwide as well as in public libraries. Mr. Hubbard writes and speaks about the origins of the Universe, the questions of Man’s relation to the Supreme Being as well as the Creation theory (“The Factors”). These are Scientology’s beliefs. The twisted interpretations promulgated by anti-Scientologists are not.

Scientology does include a belief in past lives extending back through endless time. Should ABC wish to make a mockery of our beliefs, may we suggest you review the book History of Man, which contains the track of a spiritual being and provides more than enough material for ABC to ridicule. We do not preach the parting of the Red Sea nor that God created the world in six days, but our beliefs are interesting enough to mock.

It is not unusual for a religion to have confidential scriptures and practices, such as Judaism and Mormonism, not to mention secret texts of Christianity held in Vatican archives.

Ms. Remini is violating her own sworn promises to respect the confidentiality of these materials.

The vast majority of Scientology Scripture is widely available to the general public and can be read and studied by anyone. A very small portion that deals with the most advanced levels of spiritual counseling is restricted to those parishioners who have attained the prior levels of spiritual awareness.

Ms. Remini herself said, on camera, the following in 2007:

“I wouldn't be disrespectful to any of my friends’ religion. I don't think they should put up with that. It is just disrespectful.”

Final Question not asked:

It was not one of your questions, but we will answer it right now. We are very happy that Ms. Remini is no longer in the Church. She needs to move on with her life.