A few years ago I watched a BBC documentary about Scientology and found the whole thing fascinating and a little jarring at the same time. So last year we discovered on Sky that Leah Remini had done a documentary series on Scientology after her leaving the church. I had only ever known her from “The King of Queens”, so thought it would be interesting from a comedy actresses point of view. We watched the first series and are nearly finished with the second. Whilst watching I found that the story she was telling was quite familiar with what I had heard from not only the BBC documentary, but other people who had also left.
A quick search and there it was, “Leah Remini – Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology”, a press of a button and I had bought it.
I knew of L. Ron Hubbards writings of science fiction novels, and when I was in my late teens (late 80’s) I attended a “fair” in Liverpool that had many things from occult societies to religious nuts, D&G, and a whole host of things, but, little did I know that one of the things there was the Church of Scientology. The girl I was with persuaded me to do a “dianetics test” with her to see what kind of personality we had. We did it and that was that, and I never thought about it again. But people were really into the “findings” and wanted to take things further. I was a student who had no money so I was out. Lucky me!
I’m also a very sceptical person and find the whole cult/religion thing outlandish. I am agnostic, and cannot commit to the belief that there is or isn’t a god or higher being. I mean, if he/she were introduced to me and could prove it, then I would change my mind, so until then…
Anyway, Leah tells of her being brought into Scientology at the age of 13 and how her life went through her 30 years in the “church”. She talks of neglect of children as the “church” believes that all people are responsible for their own lives including children, which I find outrageous. The physical and mental abuse that goes on is quite startling, but I suppose this is true of near all religions and is not something that is unique to Scientology. One of the eyeopeners is the cost to all of this and that people get themselves in so much debt in order to cross “The Bridge To Total Freedom” by completing courses, auditing, and being forced/managed into donating massive amounts of money, Leah donating millions. Signing a billion-year contract to join the Sea Org was something that made me laugh as if something like that could be upheld. Leaving the “church” Leah lost most of her Scientology friends as they were forced under the rules of LRH to disconnect from her as she would be labelled a suppressive person. One positive thing that came from here “church” activities was her husband who was not a Scientologist when she met him, and was, as she put it “more fucked up” than she was. She does name drop quite a lot, so keep a dustpan a brush at the ready to sweep up the names.
Her book is quite raw and revealing and if you don’t mind lots of bad language/cursing then give it a go. My view of Scientology has never changed, but my eyes have been opened up a little more to her candid writings.
One final thought, LRH was a science fiction writer, which should tell us all we need to know about his billion-dollar religion.