I had not heard of Leah Remini before but she is apparently quite a well-known actress. But more interestingly, she is a former member of the Church of Scientology. She apparently left after being interrogated for questioning leader David Miscavige’s authoritarian rule and is supposedly planning to write a memoir detailing her experiences.
Given that Scientology places such a high premium on recruiting and fostering celebrities, especially in the film and TV business (in fact that seems to be their business model), such defections have to hurt.
Tony Ortega, who has been investigating Scientology for a long time, says that Remini used to be friends with Miscavige’s wife Shelly and has filed a missing persons report on her because she has apparently not been seen in public for six years. [UPDATE: Ortega writes that the LAPD calls the missing person’s report ‘unfounded’ because they have made contact with Shelley.] (I wrote about Ortega’s past revelations about Scientology last year.)
While all religions have cult-like elements, Scientology is clearly one of the leaders. I hope Remini does decide to go public about her experiences.