Leah Remini, Scientology Part Ways: Reports
[caption id="attachment_67666" align="aligncenter" width="614"] Actress Leah Remini is expressing appreciation to fans and others following word of her decision to leave the Church of Scientology.
In a statement issued Thursday by her talent agency, the former King of Queens star said she was grateful to the media, her colleagues and fans around the world for their “overwhelmingly positive support.”[/caption]
Actress Leah Remini Has Left Scientology
43-year-old actress Leah Remini of the long running sitcom "The King of Queens" has parted ways with the Church of Scientology, according to media reports Friday.
Remini follows in the footsteps of Katie Holmes who also became disillusioned with the faith. Remini's departure is certain to draw more criticism of the sect regarded by many as being a cult.
She cites her reasons for leaving the faith as years of interrogations following her criticism of the Church's current leader David Miscavige.
In addition, Remini strongly opposes the practice of pressuring members to shun their own family members who decide to leave the church.
Those who leave the faith are branded "suppressive persons". Remini grew weary of harassment by the group Sea Org which is a quasi-naval order of 6,000 of Scientology's most loyal members.
“It all began when Leah questioned the validity of excommunication of people,” a source said of her decision. “She is stepping back from a regime she thinks is corrupt. She thinks no religion should tear apart a family or abuse someone under the umbrella of ‘religion.’ ”
The hierarchy is chosen exclusively from Sea Org. The harsh treatment that Remini received from Scientology was extended to her family. It was only several years ago that Remini was a loyal member who actively promoted the faith.
The source added, “She’s from Brooklyn. The church can’t hurt her . . . they don’t have her family, that’s all that matters to her.” And, “It’s not about wanting or not wanting to do Scientology . . . The issue is that [Miscavige] is taking down this church and hurting people and families.”
Other prominent celebrities who are Scientologists include Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Kelley Preston, Elizabeth Moss, Jason Lee, Giovanni Ribisi, and Lisa Marie Presley. The Church of Scientology denies all of Remini's allegations.
Even funny man Jerry Seinfeld dabbled in the religion, briefly.
"I did some Scientology courses about 30 years ago. The only thing that bothers me about people knowing that is that it is not my complete wacko resume. It's just one aspect!" he told Access Hollywood, explaining that he stopped because he was just interested in exploring and was "flitting from thing to thing."
A Scientology rep denied all allegations.
A rep for the actress had no comment on the situation.
On The Web:
Exclusive: Actress Leah Remini quits Scientology after years of 'interrogations'
Leah Remini breaks with Scientology: Report
Leah Remini Quits Scientology: Report