Leah Remini Dishes on Scientology Split & the Church Can't Make This Problem Disappear

Leah ReminiIs there a complicated multisyllabic German word for when you're both interested in what a person has to say and concerned about the repercussions they may experience as a result? Because that's pretty much how I feel about King of Queens actress Leah Remini, who is starting to speak out about her split from the Church of Scientology.

Remini was born and raised as a Scientologist, but it was reported earlier this month that she'd quit the controversial religion after she questioned the leadership of David Miscavige (whose somewhat creepy title is Chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center). On July 11, Remini issued a vague statement simply thanking the media and her fans for their support, but now she's opening up about leaving the church -- and in her words, "I'm not about to shut up."

Uh, AWESOME. But also: holy crap, Remini, watch your back.

Remini's break from Scientology is making headlines because it's historically been such a secretive religion, and its celebrity members are famously tight-lipped about the church's more controversial practices. As for why Remini left the religion after more than three decades, she says,

I believe that people should be able to question things. I believe that people should value family, and value friendships, and hold those things sacrosanct. That for me, that's what I'm about. It wouldn't matter what it was, simply because no one is going to tell me how I need to think, no one is going to tell me who I can, and cannot, talk to.

She hasn't confirmed any specific details about what she was questioning, but her sister recently told a radio talk show that Remini had brought up Tom Cruise’s “weird” relationship with church leader David Miscavige, and that Remini had also asked about the mysterious disappearance of Miscavige’s wife, Shelley, who hasn't been seen in public since 2007.

She's been curious for years. 'Where the h--- is [Shelley]?' ... This is all Leah asked, and this is what it's turned into?

Sources say that Remini had been subjected to years of brainwashing after questioning Miscavige's leadership. A rep for the Church first refused to comment on the matter, saying the organization "respects the privacy of parishioners and has no comment about any individual Church member," but did go on to denounce certain media reports without referencing Remini specifically:

(...) the allegations of 'interrogations' and 'thought modification' are absurd and pure nonsense.

All in all, it sounds to me like Remini has been through the wringer with Scientology and this might just be the beginning of her finally having the chance to speak her mind in public. When asked if she was happy now that she's separated from the Church, she said,

Happy is a relative word. Yeah. It's a time of change. I think the fact that my family has taken a stance and we are on a united front says a lot.

Good for Leah Remini. She's always struck me as such an outspoken, gutsy person, and she has every right to open up about Scientology's oppressive and, in my opinion, totally freaky and cult-like practices. I'm sure it must be hard as hell to sever ties with people she's spent so many years with, especially considering the Church's litigious and aggressive treatment of those it perceives as enemies. Here's hoping she continues to find her own truth, and if she goes missing in the process, we'll know whose basement to check. (I'm looking at YOU, Cruise.)

Are you surprised Leah Remini's starting to speak out about her break from Scientology?

Image via King of Queens

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kalisah kalisah

Because she is such an outspoken, gutsy person, I always wondered how she could be a Scientologist, knowing how they do attempt to control their members' thoughts and actions. 

nonmember avatar Guest43

Let’s be serious, did anyone here knew who this woman was when you woke up this morning, a week ago, a month ago or 10 years ago? NO. So by saying she left her church of 30 yrs, she’s front page news. People be careful of what you are encouraging and promoting. B/c I swear to God it won’t stop with Scientology. This attacking of our Constitution and Bill of Rights will fester to all civil liberties way after this Scientology stuff is over. Do hear me black people, women, gays and other cults or regions out there. When one dominant religion (stupid right-wingers) that want to impose their choices on one sector, and “we the people” allow it, they will continue and take away of all our rights the Forefathers and God himself has bestowed on us as individuals. I will think that black folks and Gay people should understand this the most. Yes Scientology today, but what out that what we as a society created and accepted don’t bit us in the back side. We all have the right to CHOSE. Take away one person’s right today, tomorrow yours. Are we still fighting abortion women – WHY?

Emmie25 Emmie25

Guest43- a lot of people know who Leah remini is from The King of Queens. Just because you don't know who she is doesn't mean everyone else doesn't.

Angi Everett

 Guest43 - she's quite famous.  From Who's The Boss to Saved By The Bell to King of Queens and many guest spots on many famous shows, she's not a nobody.  And I for one am GLAD she walked away.  Now if only my favourite actor in the world, John Travolta, would leave.................. lol

dixie... dixiechick2

She also had a guest spot on Who's The Boss, she played Sam's friend Charlie, from Brooklyn.

Rachelle Rinn Shurtliff

I've watched every single episode of "KIng of Queens" so I know who she is.  Glad she broke away.

Meg Moore

guest...she was on king of queens and the talk.  people know who she is...

Michelle Kaye

First off please dont call it a religion - its a cult with high celebs, and the poor ones who have to work like indentured slaves forever to pay off their schooling. They basically are hidden by society and arent allowed to speak to anyone at all. They do free labor like rebuild Tom Cruise's mega mansion for free. They are poor and unable to take care of themselves and are forcedto sign up for like a million years of courses that they can never pay off, thus their slave like status. Google Paul Haggis letter/interview when he left last year, its an eye opener.

That being said where is  the mysterious disappearance of Miscavige’s wife, Shelley, who hasn't been seen in public since 2007 -- if soeone hasnt been seen in 6 years, by family or friends why isnt someone asking this?


nonmember avatar symone says

heck yes, i know who leah remini is. and like others, i always thought she was very smart and funny, so hearing that she was a scientologist made me question those findings :) of course, i know little about scientology, and a dear friend is one, but i haven't questioned him about it because that's personal. it certainly appears from the outside to be far more cultlike and even more paternalistic than other more mainstream religions.

nonmember avatar anon4ever

I am thrilled for Leah to break away after being raised within that mind-set. It's a different aspect altogether when raised in that bubble and head-fuk. Hard enough to step away & lose every family member, friend, coworker,every familiar face you ever knew......my heart goes out to all trying to escape such an insidious thought-suppressing organization, masquerading as a "church"...tick tock COB

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