The Church of Scientology, infamous for its affiliation with Tom Cruise, has somehow wormed its way into today’s pop culture media. Hundreds of celebrities have claimed to be a member of the cult, many of whom have since escaped and spend their time detailing the horrors of the religion, the most recent of them being Leah Remini from the hit sitcom King and Queens.
Remini has recently published a tell-all book discussing her long stint with the church. The book, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, details the controlling ways of the church and includes horrible stories involving Jennifer Lopez, Nicole Kidman, Katie Holmes, and Cruise.
In her book, Remini talks about having to give up some of her closest family and friends because of their title as “suppressive persons” (SP), or those who have no affiliation with Scientology.
Remini talks of Kidman’s inability to see her own children with Cruise because she was an SP.
She also recalls the time she had to pay $40,000 to the church for stealing hamburgers and the dismissive ways the church handled children. Remini claims Cruise’s daughter Suri was once left to cry alone in a bathroom.
Lafayette Ron Hubbard’s controversial religion is based on a tale involving a past alien society resembling the United States of the 1950s. The galactic overlord of the society, Xenu, took massive numbers of people to Earth as prisoners. Their alien spirits were then shown films of crucified people, after which they become “thetans,” or the neurosis-inducing souls of people within Scientology’s mythos.
This is not the first time someone has stepped forward after years of allegiance with Hubbard’s church. In March, a documentary called Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief aired on HBO describing in great detail the isolating world of scientology.
The documentary related the tale of the church’s origins, its climb to immense power, and the psychological toils put on those who once called it home.
In the documentary, three former members, Mike Rinder, Marty Rathbun, and Lawrence Wright, all describe the psychological and mental abuse they endured for almost half their lives. They discuss prison camps, the manipulation of Hollywood media, and the constant fear they still live in.
The documentary goes on to explain the religion’s infrastructure, in particular what is referred to as the “Sea Org.” The Sea Org consists of the church’s most faithful members, who are forced to endure slave labor for the church’s celebrity converts, receiving only 40 cents an hour to satisfy their slightest whim.
Past members recall the time Sea Org members were forced to plant the church’s new meadow by church head David Miscavige. However, when it didn’t pass Miscavige’s inspection the meadow was ripped apart and Sea Org members were forced to replant it for virtually no compensation.
Both Remini’s tell-all book and HBO’s revealing documentary detail the ways in which Scientology relies on star power and the influence of Hollywood to recruit new members and raise money. From blackmailing and psychological manipulation to physical torture, the Church of Scientology has become a force to be reckoned with.