Scientology watchers atwitter about defection of Leah Remini

Leah_Remini.jpgActress Leah Remini has reportedly quit the Church of Scientology over its treatment of her and of members who stray from the party line, and in the circles of defectors and journalists who watch the church she's a big one. According to Tony Ortega, the author and former Village Voice editor who now watches at his blog, The Underground Bunker, Remini has been pulling away ever since the 2006 wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. At the event near Rome, she asked church head David Miscavige — Cruise's best man — why his wife Shelly was not there. Remini ended up being summoned to the headquarters compound in Clearwater, Florida where she underwent “thought modification" and other Scientology interrogation procedures. The whereabouts of Shelly Miscavige have been a mystery to outsiders since 2006 and apparently aren't talked about by proper Scientologists.


Remini continued to be an outspoken advocate of Scientology for at least a few more years... But according to numerous sources, Remini has also long been considered a troublemaker inside the church for asking questions about reports that members of Scientology’s “Sea Org” suffer abuse, and for refusing to “disconnect” from family and friends who were “declared” by the church. (Declaring someone a “suppressive person” or SP is Scientology’s version of excommunication.)

We’re told that Miscavige and his minions made multiple attempts to convince Remini that she was out of line, but their heavy-handed efforts only convinced her that her questions were valid, and that the church had no right to tell her who she could talk to and what questions she could ask.

Some of Remini’s own friends in the church reportedly deserted her when she reached out to them for support, further causing her to distance herself.

We’re also told that Remini’s mother Vicki Marshall, who is an Operating Thetan Level Eight (the highest level of Scientology spiritual advancement) and Class Six Auditor, her stepfather, who is Operating Thetan Level Seven, and her sisters are standing by her and have promised not to let Miscavige split the family apart with the disconnection policy.

Remini's website and Wikipedia page have been scrubbed of their former references to Scientology, Ortega says.

The Hollywood Reporter posted on Thursday it has "confirmed" that "Leah Remini is leaving Scientology after questioning its treatment of church members and the controversial, allegedly autocratic leadership of David Miscavige."

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