Unexpectedly, Leah Remini’s documentary made me feel empathy for famous Scientologists like Tom Cruise

Remini, who was a member of the Scientologist church for years, asks people in the documentary not to dismiss members as naive

Clémence Michallon
New York
The Independent Voices

Leah Remini’s documentary series Scientology and the Aftermath earned its fourth Emmy nomination on Tuesday – two years after nabbing the Outstanding Informational Series or Special award in 2017. The show, which wrapped up its third season in February, is built upon the testimonies of former church executives and members (including Remini herself, who joined Scientology aged nine and left 34 years later, in 2013).

Throughout the series’ 45-minute episodes, former Scientologists describe the emotional and financial toll they say the church took on their lives. They offer up stories of being separated from their families after leaving the church, and, for some of them, of being stalked, placed under surveillance, or otherwise harassed.

Some share breathtaking tales about having to physically escape the premises in order to leave the organisation for good. One couple in the first season recount having to plot their respective escapes in secret. Others claim they had to leave spouses behind, or that they were allegedly chased on the highway after making a break for it on a motorcycle. One woman breaks down in tears when she shares her account of being forced to have an abortion after becoming pregnant while being a member of the Sea Organisation, Scientology’s religious order.



1 reply

  1. Once in a meeting I met the author of a book about ‘Sects in Switzerland’ and I asked him why there was no chapter about Scientology. His answer: Scientology is a business not a sect (or religion).

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