Church of Scientology International reply to People magazine
August 27, 2017
Re: People Magazine Story on Leah Remini
Thank you for writing.
Leah Remini’s A&E reality TV program is a fraud. Discredited subjects are paid to spread hate by making provably false claims, a number of which were tossed out of courts years ago. Remini’s show is so reckless that one entire episode from the first season had to be pulled from future airings and from A&E’s website. The reckless lies continue unabated in Season 2 and the Church is using its website to expose the lies that A&E irresponsibly airs from a hateful Remini and her unvetted—albeit compensated—subjects.
To date, Remini’s A&E show has generated more than 500 incidents of hate, vandalism, threats of violence and crimes directed against the Church of Scientology, its ecclesiastical leader, its clergy and parishioners who seek to practice the religion of their choice.
A&E is the same network which intended to broadcast a KKK program and tried to cover up the fact that cash payments went to members of the hate group. A&E is the same network which promoted a family with Duck Dynasty whose patriarch had a history of homophobic and racist comments. And now they have Leah Remini, who is spreading hate and inciting acts of violence against a world religion.
If People is actually putting Remini on the cover, then why not make the angle A&E’s hate programs? You could even feature a picture of her alongside Phil Robertson or one of the young KKK members they were planning to turn into a celebrity. That’s how vicious Remini is at spreading hate and bigotry.
The Church was forced to put up this material on the Internet because we continue to be subjected to hate and violence stirred up by Remini and her show.
Remini’s falsehoods about the Church begin in 2013. Only in 2016, with Remini’s anti-Scientology reality TV show on the air and with the hate crimes accelerating, did the Church put up a website to expose the lies and provide the truth. Anyone can see that it is Leah Remini who is spreading hate, and the Church has simply chosen to defend itself and its parishioners.
Remini’s own words reveal how low she will stoop to harm others and promote herself to make money. Her own words speak for themselves. It is in her statements, in statements from her own family, and in documented evidence that her lies are exposed:
- It is not the Church saying that Remini’s subjects are not vetted and have no credibility. Remini said it with a bombshell admission to the Hollywood Reporter when, during a roundtable, Remini is asked, “Leah, I want to turn to you. How much vetting is done of the people who are going to tell their stories on your show? Is that something…do you have people who make them prove their stories? Remini: “What do you want me to do? ‘Prove it to me’? You know? So there is NO VETTING. I just take their word for it.” Reporter: “And Legal will let you get away with that?” Remini: “Well they have to. Because they are ‘my people.’” See the video for yourself: leahreminiaftermath.com/thr.
- It is not just the Church saying Remini is spreading hate to make money. She said it on ABC 20/20, where Remini admitted: “I don’t work for free.” See the video, including her coarse statements: leahreminiaftermath.com/2020.
- It is not just the Church saying Remini is in bed with homophobes, bigots and racists. Her co-producer’s ally is a blatant homophobe. Remini and her cohort, Mike Rinder, courted a Southern pastor and set up a “town hall meeting” to spread hate against Scientologists. The pastor has demonstrated his contempt for virtually anyone who is not a member of his faith: he is anti-Muslim, anti-Scientologist and vehemently anti-LGBTQ. He even tried to incite his parishioners against Scientologists using a violent Biblical metaphor: “Someone has to pick up a rock and a slingshot and trust God with the results.” Yet Remini still insists he should be used to advance her anti-Scientology agenda. See the video: leahreminiaftermath.com/antilgbt.
- It is not the Church talking about Remini’s family. It is her actual father explaining on YouTube her cruelty toward her family as she sanctimoniously coaches people on screen to cry and make up stories. George Remini, Leah’s biological father, reveals she won’t even care for her father, her sister or other family members—including some who approached the Church because they are so upset with what Remini is saying. See the videos at: leahreminiaftermath.com/georgeremini.
- And it is not just the Church saying that Remini’s show is scripted and acted. Look at the first video in which someone Remini recruited for her show—Remini’s sought-after “dream team” member who was the “kingpin” of the small group of anti-Scientologists that are her subjects—Mark (Marty) Rathbun exposes the dishonesty of the series. i) He exposes she stage-managed her “roll out” (departure from the Church) to help her career. ii) He also reveals that she offered Rathbun a producer credit and that he could “write my own ticket” and be paid for participating as a subject on her show. iii) He further reveals that Remini explained how her reality TV shows are scripted and quotes Remini’s shocking admission: “Listen, that’s how it works, honey, doll, that’s how you do it. It’s not reality. I work it out, I plan out all these episodes and we figure it out beforehand who’s going to say what…” See: leahreminiaftermath.com/aftermathexposed.
You and the editors need to watch these videos. After all, whatever length of time was spent interviewing Remini was more than it would take to watch the videos at the above links. Remember, these are not our words. These are Remini’s words, her family’s words or the words of a former insider, the man she wanted on her show and the man her cohort, Mike Rinder, worshipped. He’s the same man who was there when she launched her hate campaign against the Scientology religion and our parishioners!
HATE AND VIOLENCE
There’s a much more sinister and serious concern, because her show has triggered an explosion in hate crimes, threats and even violence directed at Scientologists. Since Remini started her hate campaign, the Church of Scientology, its ecclesiastical leader, its clergy and parishioners have been subjected to more than 500 acts of vandalism, incidents of harassment and threats of violence and death, coinciding with the airing of her bigoted series. Within an hour of the debut of Leah Remini’s second season, the Church received threats like these:
“You are dead. I’m going to murder all of you pig cult bastards and blow up all your buildings. You are f***ed.”
“All Churches are going to be gone all every as***le Scientologist dead.”
Another stalker is being investigated by law enforcement for threats against the religion’s leader, including, “Let’s exercise our 2nd Amendment rights, since that’s the only Amendment these Traitorous C***s care about.”
The number of threats we have received is unprecedented in our history due to Leah Remini’s four-year hate campaign. These criminal acts include vandalism (defacing a cross in our Tampa Church) and acts of arson which occurred while parishioners were attending services in our Minneapolis/St. Paul Church. Thankfully, no one was injured. Some of the worst incidents of violence and death threats include:
- A woman drove a car through the front doors of the Church of Scientology of Austin, Texas, stopping just short of the nursery where children had been playing a short time earlier. The woman called Leah Remini “a true inspiration!!”
- A man armed with an arsenal of guns and carrying a police insignia was jailed for threatening to “assassinate” our Church leader. When questioned by authorities, the man said one inspiration for his threats was “the King of Queens lady.”
- In another case, law enforcement investigated a threat that stated, “hope you all die… if i see [the Church leader] i will kill him.” It turned out this was posted by a 13-year-old boy (no one could tell that from the posting) who had just finished binge watching Leah Remini’s program.
- This is a program that even brought a convicted felon on as a guest, condoned and supported by Remini’s A&E paymasters. This unhinged individual threw a hammer through the plate glass windows of our U.S. headquarters building and threatened to assassinate the Church leader. He was stirred up by Remini, while Remini was appearing on a television program with the assailant’s mother. Before his arrest, the man was placed under mandatory mental health supervision, because of his irrational conduct and threats to kill the leader of the Church. (We know this for a fact as the psychiatrists/psychologists issued a Tarasoff report, required by California law, to those a patient intends to harm—in this case Mr. Miscavige.) The man was charged AND convicted of a FELONY for these crimes. Authorities also issued a Criminal Protective Order to protect the Church leader and all Scientology Church facilities in Southern California. AFTER he was convicted of a felony incited by Remini—with Remini knowing full well the crime committed, his conviction, his threats against the leader and his ability to carry them out and her and Rinder’s involvement in all of this—she brought him on her show and praised him! You can read about it on the website at leahreminiaftermath.com/inspiredhate.
How can Remini (or anyone) excuse the behavior of a convicted felon? The answer is simple: generating hate so incendiary that it can lead to violence is the intent of Remini’s Aftermath.
This past Tuesday, in her insatiable quest for ratings, Remini disparaged the mother of a suicide victim. The woman had suffered enough through a family tragedy, yet Remini portrayed her as uncaring to her daughter’s distress—airing a completely false story told by someone who had no relationship with the daughter for over a decade. As a result of Remini’s sadistic hit job, the mother received hundreds of hate messages, such as: “I hope you can live with the fact that you essentially killed your daughter, you brainwashed, cult freak!!! I hope you burn in hell!!!!” See “Using Tragedy to Profit,” with two embedded videos including this mother: www.leahreminiaftermath.com/mothers.
And with all that, Remini has the audacity to say that the Church is attacking her? What Remini is really saying is that she wants to put out her propaganda and there should be no defense for it. Most Scientologists ignore Remini, recognize her scam, but others have had enough. Most vocal have been members of STAND (an acronym for Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination). Similar to the Anti-Defamation League, STAND is made up of everyday Scientologists who fight intolerance and prejudice. They work to dispel rumors and lies about our religion. Remini burned her own bridges with the friends she had. Her latest lie is saying her friends “disconnected from her.” She’s the one who cut off all communication with her Church and with her friends. Her previous friends describe her as vindictive, dark and a bully. Example: One of her friends, singer Stacy Francis, was subjected to abuse nonstop by Remini, even calling her babies “niglets” (Stacy is African-American). See: www.leahreminiaftermath.com/stacyfrancis.
THE REAL STORY
Leah Remini is a prima donna sitcom actress who felt that she should be afforded special treatment because she was a “celebrity.” This is how she acted in the Church—in fact she wanted to be treated as if it was the Church of Leah. She even threw a fit over her seat at a wedding. Remini was so delusional that she believed a sitcom actress could be an advisor to the leader of the Church. Remini is the living proof refuting her silly allegation that celebrities don’t get the kind of special treatment she claims they get in the Church. When Remini’s ethical crisis came to a head, the Church would not bend, requiring her to go through ecclesiastical justice proceedings like any other parishioner and demonstrate ethical conduct. Remini knew she was on the verge of being expelled, became indignant and stormed away.
We now know that Remini orchestrated her exit from the Church to give her the most publicity possible so that she could try to revive her failing career. People well knows, because we told you at the time, that we do not speak about parishioners. And despite being trolled by her in an effort to provoke a response, we did not say anything for some time. It is Remini who is the attacker, it is her “battle,” not the Church. Her whole anti-Scientology shtick was scripted and choreographed by her, casting herself in her drama as the “victim” so she could cash in on her false narrative while savaging her friends and those who helped her most of her life.
Remini recruited people who were kicked out of the Church 10, 20 or even 30 years ago for ethical and moral misconduct and whose stories are so old, false and in some cases discredited by courts of law. In short: all liars. So, what did Remini do? Give them a platform. Out of the blue they appear and have some “new” wild story. And on those rare occasions when A&E has bothered to let us know about these people, we have provided the information. Predictably, it is never used.
Here is an example: Amy Scobee, subject of the first episode of Season 1, was a serial sexual predator for which she was expelled. The rules in the religious order on sexual relations are extremely strict. Call us prudes, if you will. Despite various disciplinary measures and promises to reform, Scobee, as a minister, had sex with the person she was ministering while she was counseling him. That was the last straw. She was dismissed from the religious order. Now Remini brings her on TV with a wild claim that she had sex with an older man when she was 14 years old. A&E put out a second teaser simultaneously with Scobee saying this occurred when she was 16 years old. They had cut two trailers and had already played both on TV. And they overdubbed each with a different age. What sort of credibility is that? And to present Amy Scobee as a sexual victim is just absurd when she was dismissed from the Church for her sexual misbehavior. Did Leah Remini reveal on her show that Amy Scobee was kicked out of the Church for sexual misconduct? No. That’s just one reason why her show is dishonest propaganda.
Remini demonstrates that propaganda is not so much what you say as what you don’t say. Her show covers up the misdeeds of others to present an entirely false narrative. Remini and Rinder willfully leave out the truth to paint a false picture. More important, as noted above, none of the subjects are vetted to ascertain if they are telling the truth, and the resulting program is a fraud.
And now Remini has a part on Kevin James’ show. And it’s not even surprising that she would bring up his name to you. We have nothing to do with Kevin James and never attempted to “recruit” him to the Church. How does Leah Remini bring this up now after she wrote an entire book and didn’t mention it? Remini does it to get attention. Indeed, the only thing we know about Kevin James is that Remini would repeatedly tell the Church that he was a bully and we tried to counsel her to be more open and communicate so they could get along better.
And throwing in Jennifer Lopez is another typical Leah Remini stunt in which she uses celebrity names to get attention. We’re unaware that Jennifer Lopez was ever a Scientologist.
Remini wrecks families. She did it with her husband’s former family, she did it with her own family and she does it with others. Not one child/parent relationship was “disconnected from” as a result of the Leah Remini show. In fact, subjects of Remini’s show had themselves, prior to going on the show, estranged themselves from their families. Her co-producer, Rinder, abandoned his wife and two children. When his daughter and wife came to see him and inform him his son had a life-threatening illness, he violently attacked his wife (and mother of his two children) and damaged her arm for life. He has never to this day apologized. He continues to cover it up, even though he has seen the video of his ex-wife’s surgeon telling how she will be in pain for life. See: www.leahreminiaftermath.com/mikerinder.
Again, it is imperative you and your editors watch the videos as it will only take you a few minutes. It is not us saying these things: Remini, her family and confidants say them. She has started a “battle” against her former friends and religion. It is stunning you are asking us as though there is something wrong with defending against her insane attacks. The more appropriate question would be if a KKK member was attacking a Jew, would you ask the Jew if there is something wrong with defending himself?
Here follows the answers to your specific questions.
1) She says as a child in Scientology, she worked from 7am to 10 at night and had virtually no schooling…
This is a provable lie. Leah Remini was only in the religious order for a very short time as a teenager, not a child. She attended school and religious study.
More relevant is that Remini was kicked out of the religious order for being promiscuous and for what she described as “light” heavy petting (whatever that means). Remini petitioned to be allowed to stay in the religious order, which was denied. She was a teenager desperately wanting to continue her commitment in the religious order and yet she was dismissed, so any statement in her show that she makes about “sexual misconduct” is contradicted by her own experience. She was desperate to stay in the religious order, just as she was desperate to remain a member of the Scientology religion when she was expelled for failing to follow the ethical and moral codes of the Church. End of story.
2) She says Scientologists have been forced to “disconnect” from those who leave the church…
Here’s a woman who is making a career of attacking her former religion. And when I say making a career, I mean literally being paid to attack her former friends and lie about the Scientology religion. So the real question is why would any of those friends who are Scientologists even want to talk to her at all? This isn’t a situation of someone who has left the religion and decided to go on another spiritual journey. This does not happen to be somebody that is simply not a member of one’s own religion. Scientologists interact with people of all faiths (or none at all). People have tried to communicate with Remini and all she does is start attacking them and doesn’t want to communicate. She’s the one who broke off communication with her former friends and her former Church. She is the one who betrayed all her friends—and she is being paid to do it by A&E!!
As you already know, no Scientologist is ever “forced” to disconnect from anyone. Disconnection is no different than someone choosing to divorce another—they disconnected. It is a choice people of all faiths make.
And most hypocritical, Remini is talking about disconnection and she doesn’t even speak to her own father!
3) Remini says the people who are speaking for the A&E series are getting bullied by Scientology and their children/parents are disconnecting.
Not true. (See above.)
4) She says the church is “hypocritical” and treats celebrities and their families differently from the everyday Church member. For instance, she mentions that her friend Jennifer Lopez’s father, who is a Scientologist, has been allowed the luxury of not disconnecting due to Lopez’s celebrity.
Not true. (See above.)
5) The story says after her book was released, the Church created websites claiming to “expose Leah’s lies,” and show “the hatred and violence [she] incites toward her former religion and friends” - and used video of her father and his wife to attack Remini’s character.
This question is pretty unbelievable considering Remini is complaining that the Church has reposted a video her father made which is posted on YouTube. It’s a video exposing Leah for betraying her own father at his time of need. So it is the Church’s fault that she has betrayed her father and wouldn’t even attend the funerals of her grandmother, grandfather and sister? It isn’t as if the father is or ever was a Scientologist. He isn’t. Apparently everything is the Church’s fault according to Leah Remini!
You don’t need to know anything more about Leah Remini except what her father and stepmother say. That’s what they have to say. Now Leah Remini is blaming the Church because she was so terrible to her family and wouldn’t help her father in a time of need when he had cancer? That Remini did not help her sister, who then died of cancer? That Remini had her other sister rip off her grandmother’s jewelry and cash when her grandma was on her dying bed, literally? Those are her family and that is how she treated them. And that is not to mention her mother and her stepfather and her younger sister who the Church was constantly attempting to assist through their trauma created by Leah’s abuse.
See the videos:
- Video of George Remini: Leah’s biological father, George, speaks of Leah abandoning him in his greatest time of need: leahreminiaftermath.com/abandonedherfather.
- Video of George as well as Leah’s stepmother, Dana Remini. They reveal how she won’t send a card and how she wouldn’t even attend family funerals: leahreminiaftermath.com/georgeremini.
- Article in which Donna Fiore, Leah’s former stepmother of 28 years, says Leah put her through a “nightmare” during the death of Leah’s sister, describing Leah as a diva, using words like “liar” and “mean.” A cousin also claims she is “lying about family and her beliefs on national TV”: leahreminiaftermath.com/family.
6) She says Scientology policy is for members to “never defend, attack” any person who leaves, to attempt to destroy the person’s life and attack and discredit them.
See the above answer regarding who is “attacking” whom. It is false and defamatory to say the Church is seeking to “destroy” anyone’s life; people are free to come and go. This is Remini spreading false propaganda, pure and simple.
The Church only put up a website on Remini after she attempted to extort the Church first for $500,000 and then $1,000,000 and thereafter continued to spread lies about the Church and instigate hate and violence.
7) She says fellow Scientologists are encouraged to tell church officials about others’ infractions.
This is ridiculous and has been answered above. Church officials do not get involved in the pettiness Leah Remini thrives on. She is confusing the Church’s high ethical standards with her ethical misconduct.
8) She says she sees a therapist now, a practice she says is forbidden by the religion.
It is probably a good thing that Remini is seeing a therapist, because they deal with psychotics and we agree she is one. She can do whatever she wants to do. She can go to a psychiatrist, get Thorazine, electric shock therapy or a prefrontal lobotomy if she wants, too. We really have no debate with a psychologist. We do have issues with psychiatrists who subject patients, especially children, to dangerous procedures and drugs. In the last decade there have been over 60,000 reports to the U.S. FDA’s MedWatch system on psychiatric drugs causing violent side effects or death including: 30,500 cases of suicide or suicidal ideation, 15,988 cases of overdose, 1,536 cases of homicides or related incidents, 4,180 cases of mania and 8,311 cases of aggression. Note: The FDA estimates that less than 1% of all serious events are ever reported to it, so the actual number of side effects occurring are most certainly higher. Our position on this is well known. That’s our stance and we are not ashamed of it. We help people all over the world on this issue through the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.
9) She says the Church tried to get her to recruit Kevin James over the years when she was shooting King of Queens.
See above. As a note, this was not in her “memoir” either.
Haters Hate. Remini is a hater and makes money for herself by spreading hate and religious intolerance including inciting violence. Giving Remini a forum is the same as providing a forum to the KKK to spread their racial or religious hatred. Remini stirs up criminals to commit crimes aimed at the Church of Scientology religious leader, our Churches and parishioners. There is certainly no glamour or heroism in that. Remini’s actions are nothing more than anti-American.
August 28, 2017
Re: More on Leah Remini, WHISTLEBLOWER
Thank you for responding to my letter. I appreciate that the materials were reviewed. In addition, it is critical that you and your colleagues review an explosive new video from a whistleblower which we have just today added to our website. It is the latest and most damning in a series of revelations that subjects are coached in interviews to spread hate and are compensated for their appearance. I provide a link to the recording of the call, which is also on our website exposing the falsehoods that run throughout Remini’s bigoted program: http://leahreminiaftermath.com/whistleblower.
This individual describes Leah Remini as encouraging former members to embellish their stories and to lie to make their tales more “shocking.” This person who was present for Leah Remini’s filming says of Remini:
- “She kept telling them that it needed to be more dramatic...they needed to make it sound as bad as possible.”
- “She kept stopping and telling them to up the ante.”
- “She was telling the husband you really need to start crying at a certain point.”
- “I asked, at one point during a break, my friend if she was really OK with it. She said yes and that they were RECEIVING A PAYMENT FOR THE INTERVIEW.”
These facts are no different than Generation KKK—A&E’s now cancelled program, designed to generate hate, just like Remini’s program.
Your readers deserve to be made aware of the evidence discrediting Remini’s subjects that shows they are paid to lie and spread hate. Leah Remini and A&E are irresponsibly showing reckless disregard for the truth.
People should take this additional information into consideration.