If you've been wondering how Leah Remini's been doing since her much-publicized split from the Church of Scientology, the official answer is that she's okay -- but saying goodbye to the religion came with a pretty high cost. Remini was a guest during the season premiere of Ellen DeGeneres' daytime talk show this Monday, and although she was there to promote her upcoming appearance on Dancing With the Stars, she ended up answering a few questions about what life is like post-Scientology.
I'm glad to hear that Remini seems happy these days, and clearly the publicity of being known as a former Scientologist paid off in terms of nailing a new gig. But most of all, I'm glad she's out of that creepy-ass cult, because based on the fallout she says she's received, it was the best decision she could have made.
Ellen asked Remini why she chose to leave the church, and Remini said,
My mother got involved when we were very young, so it's all we really knew. But over time, my eyes got opened and I could just no longer be affiliated with the organization, and my family felt the same, so we left.
Remini probably didn't want to get into too many details, but it's worth noting that her official statement a while back was this:
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.
Ellen went on to point out that leaving the Church of Scientology is rumored to be different than leaving other religious organizations, and asked if Remini was okay. Her answer:
I'm okay. It's hard. We lost friends who can no longer talk with us who are still with the organization. (…) these are friends that we've had for dozens of years. But I have great friends, other friends that are not in the church, who have stood by us. Our family is stronger, we're together, and that's all I can ask for.
Basically, Remini straight-up acknowledged that once someone leaves the church, they can no longer have any contact with those who are still involved. Which, what the HELL, right? How messed up is that? I can't imagine any sort of explanation for why this sort of attitude is even remotely okay. It verifies what most of us already know about Scientology: it's controlling, it's freakishly secretive, and it's designed to punish anyone who dares to step outside its boundaries.
Here's the clip from Ellen:
Hooray for Remini being free of this oppressive religion, and I hope she does well on DWTS. On that topic, she says she's not quite as copacetic, since rehearsals started a week ago and she's definitely feeling the effects:
(I hurt) everywhere, places I didn't know could hurt. ... It's so much harder than I thought, and most people do say that, but it's true.
Are you surprised to hear that Leah Remini is banned from talking to her Scientology friends?
Image via Ellen