Actress and activist Leah Remini explains why she is wrapping up Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath after just 3 seasons. It is the end of this Emmy-winning docuseries, which has revealed some of the deepest and darkest secrets about one of the most controversial organizations in America.
Remini felt compelled to speak out against this organization due to her own experience and when she decided to leave the famous organization in 2013. She joined the church in 1979 at the age of nine when her mother joined. She stayed in the church for over 32 years before leaving after she questioned the management of the church leader, David Miscavige. The decline in the church happened after she attended fellow Scientologist Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' wedding in 2006, where she asked why David's wife wasn't present at the wedding, only to be shut down by David. She filed a "knowledge report" against David and other senior church member and was subsequently subjected to years of interrogations and "thought modification" before being blacklisted by the church.
In each hour-long episode of the A&E show, Remini turns investigative reporter and teams up with co-host Mike Rinder to find the shocking truth about the controversial Church of Scientology. The passion Remini has for exposing this church comes from her own experience of alleged abuse and harassment while being devoted to it. The Church of Scientology is ever-expanding, and Remini is trying to stop its reach by bringing awareness to the truth behind it by interviewing excommunicated or escaped members of the church to talk about their experiences. Remini spoke to THR about her decision to not continue past season 3. She said, "We did not plan on more than a season or two. I always thought it would be six or eight episodes and that would be enough for the FBI, local police and the IRS to start doing something about it - or at the very least revoke their tax exemptions."
Remini continued, "People kept telling us more stories, and we had to tell them, but there’s only so much you can do in this forum and in this way." Remini then spoke about how she wanted to focus her fight against Scientology in a better way. She said, "We’re going down another avenue that we feel will bring real justice to victims of Scientology but also prevent it from happening in the future - particularly with children." As Remini was only 9 years old when she became a member, this cause hits very close to home. However, she didn't want to give too much away as to tip off the Church of Scientology on her plans; She said, "I’m not dumb enough to give Scientology a heads up on what we’re planning exactly." When asked about what's next for the future, the she said:
"I want to focus on protecting its future victims. We’ve done our job. The public is seeing what a truly evil organization it is. It’s not about religious beliefs. They can believe whatever the f*ck they want. But they can’t just do whatever the f*ck they want - because that’s what they’ve been doing."
Although the groundbreaking show will not be returning for another season, the fight is still going strong. The finale will air a two-hour special that will give the stage to former-Scientologist victims who allegedly endured years of sexual abuse, rape, and physical abuse while involved in the religion. Even though the shift has changed for Remini, the cause is still so close to home; and one thing fans can count on is Remini continuing to fight for the victims.
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath's two-hour finale airs August 26 on A&E.