Friday, August 9, 2013

Leah Remini and Scientology

I AM NOT A CELEBRITY-WATCHER. I'm still (like most of you) trying to figure out who the heck the Kardashians are and what relevance they have to...anything. However, because of my history I have a keen interest in news stories relating to cult involvement. 

In July, celebrity Leah Remini, the onscreen wife of Kevin James in the now syndicated sitcom, King Of Queens, made a very public decision to leave The Church of Scientology. From what (little) I've read, her decision, at least in part, stems from the intimidating remarks she received after repeatedly inquiring on the whereabouts of her good friend and fellow Scientologist, Shelly Miscavige. 

Shelly also happens to be the wife of the church's current leader, David Miscavige. 

One doesn't have to be a celebrity or Scientiologist or best friend to wonder where the heck Shelly has been for seven years. Remini filed a missing persons report with the LA police which (in my opinion) must have scared Mr. Miscavige a teensy bit because not long after, Shelly magically appeared and assuaged any hint of fowl play. The police closed the case. 

And the secrets continue. 

However, it's reported that Remini, who was raised in Scientology, plans to write a tell-all book. If you've ever seen Remini in action, the woman's got gumption. It will be a best seller. 

All cults have similar characteristics. For one thing, there is that exclusivity. Swathed in self-importance, it gets angry when it's challenged. Remini's sister Nicole Remini-Wiskow left Scientology in 2005 and has been an outspoken dissident. The Church used intimidation to break the bond between these sisters. Apparently it has failed. Hooray! 

But not without a few stabs. A church rep is quoted as responding to Remini's missing person's filing with, "This is just harassment. It's a publicity stunt cooked up by a small band of unemployed fanatics who live on the fringe of the Internet." 

The battle will wage on. But Remini is now free to do her own thinking. There is no greater feeling. 

How do you feel about this? Has religion impeded your ability to think for yourself or just the opposite? 







5 comments:

  1. I am thankful that the Christian faith encourages us to think! I did not know that about the founder's wife not being seen for 7 years, now that is strange.

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  2. Wow, I had no idea she was part of that "organization." Interesting. I've always been curious about that religion. It never really made any sense to me. It will be fascinating to read her book.

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  3. My older brother challenged me to think for myself from an early age. As I matured with an open mind and found out a lot more about my religion, I totally changed my mind about it.

    As for Scientology, I know a young couple who are totally enmeshed working for it and seem happy, but I find it hard to accept as a religion, other than it seems to use the same brain washing techniques.

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  4. I have seen a couple of headlines about Remini but didn't read the story, so I didn't know what was going on. This is very interesting, and I will look forward to her book. I've always been curious about Scientology and wondered about its influence on its followers.

    I think any religion, in the wrong hands, can be used to try to control others. When I was a teenager, the fundamentalist teachings I was surrounded with really messed with my thinking and my OCD.

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  5. Not sure about your question but it may be why I left the Catholic church...rules with few answers and discrepancies between practice and what they tell you God said...actions are not even close...I'll go with the words and practice them as I think they were intended.

    With Catholic church there is a long history of intimidation especially for women.

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