Leah Remini says she left Scientology for the sake of her daughter Sofia.
“From what I experienced and what I saw, the church becomes everything,” the “King of Queens” actress said in a new promotional video for her upcoming TLC series “Leah Remini: It’s All Relative.” “It becomes your mother, your father, everything. You’re dependent on the church.”
Remini left the church, the subject of the recent explosive HBO documentary “Going Clear,” in 2013.
In that documentary, a former church member named Spanky Taylor, who was close friends with John Travolta, described how the church separated her from her daughter and relegated her to menial labor and meager living conditions after she criticized the church. Taylor said she had to plan an escape and sneak around to grab her daughter and run to a getaway car that was waiting outside the building where she and her daughter were being held.
In the clip provided to People, Remini says that Scientology treated former members like necrotic limbs that required amputation lest they infect the rest of its flock.
“If you make a stink in the public world, they call you a ‘suppressive person’ which means the church put a stamp on you that said ‘you are bad,'” Remini said. “They then go to all your family and friends and say, ‘you have to disconnect from the suppressive person.'”
Remini said that if you’re in the church and you refuse to stop communicating, you’re also considered suppressive, which is basically Scientology terminology for “excommunicated.”
“I didn’t want [Sofia] to be raised that way,” Remini said. “Let’s say in 10 years, if I didn’t want to be connected with the church anymore, my own daughter would be taught to disconnect from me.”
When People reached out to the church for a response to Remini’s assertions, a spokesman told the magazine, “It comes as no surprise that someone as self-absorbed as Leah Remini continues to rewrite history and exploit her former religion in a pathetic attempt to get ratings for her cable show and seem relevant again.”