We must admit, Tom Cruise's antics over the years have made us wonder about what really goes on in the church of Scientology. Luckily, Saved By The Bell actress and former Scientologist Leah Remini agreed to answer any of our burning questions about the controversial faith in her Reddit AMA on Tuesday (all part of a promotion for her A&E Series Scientology and the Aftermath).
After years of silence, Remini didn't hold back — she detailed the abuse, financials, and tactics of the church, revealing how her life has improved since leaving Scientology in 2013.
Some questions got straight to the point — like, how much money did she give the church throughout her time there? And her answer was straight to the point as well.
Others wanted rumors confirmed: were meetings really recorded and then used for blackmail?
Yes, every "therapy room" is equipped with cameras and listening devices, as admitted by the "Church." Do they use it for blackmail? No, they use it to discredit you when you speak out.
Some wanted to know if HBO's new documentary about Scientology, Going Clear, was accurate.
Very much so. I thought it was very accurate. I was shocked how accurate it was for not coming from Scientologists. I wanted to see more stories about how it affected children. The systematic recruitment of members' children. I wish it would have told the story of how Scientologists give their children to the "Church." It protects the life source that is continually bolstering the religion. But, I think they did an amazing job and they cleared the path for people like me to speak about it. HBO was very brave in taking it on. As is A&E, as it will be the first network is do a full series about it.
One Redditor wondered, if all of the negative press is true, how are they able to recruit intelligent people into what appears to be "an obvious scam and cult?"
Most Scientologists are 2nd or 3rd generation, they were born and raised into an ideology and have been surrounded and isolated. It is all they know. They are victims. Most of the original Scientologists are all out and have spoken out. Unfortunately, their children were indoctrinated by them.... are still loyal, faithful and have cut off communication due to the policy of disconnection.
Another wanted to know which of Scientology's secrets is the most shocking.
When you reach the top of The Bridge (OTP 8) you will be told that God is a lie for LRH, and there are more levels ahead, that will cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. There is no end to Scientology.
One person asked about the single worst thing she'd seen the church do.
I would say the "church's" Fair Game policy, and how they systematically go after anyone who publicly speaks out against them. Anyone who speaks out against the "church" is seen as an enemy.
People had to wonder why she maintained the commitment to Scientology for so long, especially with all the negative press it was getting.
Because i was taught to believe that the controversy was due to people being unaware of what Scientology was truly doing in the world which was good things. I also felt the press was focused on making fun of Scientology and not what was important, so it was easy to turn away from the information. And also a major part of Scientology is learning how to fight your critics. If i wasn't fighting I wasn't being a good Scientologist.
...And why were there so many celebrities involved with the church?
If you really look at the numbers at the entertainment industry, in comparison to the small number of Scientologists that are celebrities, the number wouldn't even register. I think Scientology has done an amazing job convincing people that there is a great number of celebrities in the "Church."
Perhaps her most frightening response was to one commenter's question about which rumor about the faith was hardest for her to hear.
I don't what rumors we're referring to here. I haven't read anything that has been inaccurate.
Some Redditors even asked how Scientology could be destroyed.
I don't want to destroy Scientology. I only want them to admit to the fraud that they promote, to not deny the confidential upper levels of the religion, so people can decide if they want to spend $250K and their lives doing it. That they admit to the policies of Fair Game. That they allow people to decide for themselves where they get their information. That they admit to disconnection and leave families the fuck alone.
Remini's eight-part A&E series will air on Tuesday nights 10/9c.