[There was a video here]
A large part of last night’s Season 2 premiere of TLC’s Leah Remini: It’s All Relative was devoted to the actor’s departure from the Church of Scientology after about 30 years of involvement. Early in the episode, Remini discussed being labeled a “suppressive person” by the church and why she left:
If you make a stink in the public world, they call you a suppressive person, which means the church has put a stamp on you that says you are bad. They then go to all your family and friends and say you have to disconnect from this suppressive person.
...I decided I didn’t want to raise my daughter in the church because from what I’ve experienced and what I saw was the church becomes your everything. It becomes your mother, your father, your everything. You are dependent on the church
Later, as seen in the clip above, she and her family attended group therapy led by a woman with pink hair who goes by Dr. Michelle. Remini discussed how her departure had residual effects on her family:
This whole thing with the Church of Scientology began because of the things that I saw and was calling people out in the church about not following their own policy. And because of that, they put me through major interrogations. Then they go after your family and try to get your family to go against you to put pressure on you to straighten up. It was getting to a point where we just all couldn’t subscribe to these policies anymore.
...I think it was really hard on everyone, not so much the leaving part, but also there was a lot of pain having been in the church for so long. When you’re affiliated with this organization, not a whole lot of communication goes on about what you might be going through. You get conditioned to deal with any issues you’re having in your life with the church. And now it’s picking up the pieces with the feelings of loss and guilt with each other.
Many of Remini’s family members discussed the friends and family members they had to leave behind when they left the church. Her brother-in-law William, who’d been a part of Scientology since was a child, shared this:
I’d seen a lot of crazy shit, like crazy shit. Like it really goes back to when I was 7-years-old. My parents had joined the Sea Org and it was probably like midnight or 1 in the morning one time and I was asleep and there was this woman who had a breakdown. She was going psychotic, like she was screaming, “They’re coming to get me! Ahhhh!” This crazy whole…like she was going nuts. And it woke me up and I looked out in the hallway and there were these guys, like manhandling her down the hallway and threw her in a room someplace and it was this whole crazy thing. The point is when something happens to you that young, in your mind it normalizes. So when Leah’s whole thing blew up and then we were forced to leave, that was very actually clarifying for me, because then it made me really stop and think about everything and break down how could someone become that.