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Church of Scientology International response to ABC inquiry #2

The enclosed attachment and the separate letters referred to therein respond to the additional questions ABC sent on Friday, October 23, 2015.

October 27, 2015

John Bentley
ABC News 20/20
47 West 66th Street
New York, NY 10023

ABC 20/20’s Additional Questions

Dear Mr. Bentley:

Thank you for returning my call earlier today. As mentioned, I am sending you further information. The enclosed attachment and the separate letters referred to therein respond to the additional questions you sent me on Friday, October 23, 2015.

I have separately sent you a letter on how Mike Rinder is not credible, has a history of lying (for which he was removed) and that he wrote his own essay admitting he is dishonest. Additionally, we sent a letter from Rinder’s daughter addressing some of his false allegations. We also have sent you information on how Rinder has admitted under oath to being a paid consultant for anti-Scientology litigation, which discredits him as an objective source. Clearly he cannot be relied upon by ABC. Failing to disclose his list of sordid facts and his financial incentives to publicly disparage the Church would be dishonest.

You stated in your letter of October 23 that you have interviewed “other former members,” but have not disclosed any names beyond Mike Rinder, Leah Remini and Sherry Ollins. Are there any others included in the upcoming broadcast?

You mentioned in our call today that you may be sending further questions. If that is the case, I cannot stress strongly enough that you provide those questions to me as early as possible so I may respond. Time is obviously critical if we are to have any chance at all to respond at this late date.

Regards,

Karin Pouw

Attachment
Answers to ABC Questions of October 23, 2015

Leah Remini

All parishioners are treated with respect and dignity regardless of their profession.   Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard respected the value artists have in uplifting our culture. We are sure we are not alone among the world’s religions in recognizing the importance of the arts.

Mike Rinder

The questions pertaining to Mike Rinder have been answered in a separate letter. He is an unreliable and biased source who is on the payroll of plaintiffs’ attorneys suing the Church. He has admitted to lying on TV, and has admitted to the same in deposition testimony this year. He is also a wife beater, for which there are medical reports, a video interview with his former wife’s doctor, his wife and daughter, and photographic evidence of the injury. For ABC to use him as a source without disclosing all these relevant details would show blatant bias.

Sherry Ollins

We can no more answer such an insignificant, petty question as to whether someone did or did not wake Ms. Ollins three decades ago to discuss how she ironed a shirt any more than we can tell you what she had for breakfast that day. But we can confidently state that it is not our practice to awaken students to discuss wrinkles in shirts.

Regarding Tom Cruise & Regarding Katie Holmes

The Church of Scientology declines to gossip with Leah Remini. I note that both alleged incidents speak volumes about Leah Remini’s character, as does her callous disregard for the privacy of others.

The Real Story

You didn’t ask about the real story, which is quite simple: Ms. Remini was a Scientologist for some 30 years practicing the religion in which she was raised. It is a documentable fact that she was proud of and supported the religion she was in, and she voluntarily videotaped numerous testimonials on what the Church had done for her and the good that the Church does around the world. It was not until her meltdown in 2012, following reports she was fired from The Talk for being temperamental and difficult to work with, that events changed.

An ecclesiastical review for transgressions of the Church’s ethics codes—which apply to all parishioners—was necessary due to a number of actions on her part, not the least of which was her continual cruelty and mistreatment of others.

It is important to note that Ms. Remini desperately did not want to be expelled, so she voluntarily participated in a Church ethics program that consisted of religious study on morals and ethics, a Confessional similar to what other religions practice, and cooperation with a Church Ethics Officer. After confessing to numerous transgressions and promising to reform, she withdrew her promises. Our religious expulsion process continued, which found her guilty of having committed a dozen transgressions, leading to her being formally expelled. The Church has had nothing to do with her since then. Only after this did she begin her revisionist history of her time in the Church, and begin her campaign of harassment.

That she denies that she wished to remain in the Church is no surprise and is consistent with the dishonest conduct we experienced while she was in the Church. Sadly, rather than move on with her life and career, Ms. Remini can’t let go, remains obsessed and has aligned herself with a handful of paid anti-Scientology zealots consumed with harassing the Church to advance their personal agendas. With her book she now seeks attention for her stalled career and to profit by bad-mouthing her former religion and friends.

In 2014, Ms. Remini declared, “I don't want to be known as this bitter ex-Scientologist,” which pathetically is exactly what she has become. As USA Today wrote this week, Ms. Remini is “as famous for being an ex-Scientologist as she is as an actress.”