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17th of December 2018

Celebrities



Leah Remini says the Church of Scientology is harassing contributors of ‘Aftermath’

Leah Remini‘s hit show Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath entered its third season this week, and the actress said it plans on approaching the Church of Scientology differently from the past.

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In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, the ex-Scientologist and co-host (and former Scientology senior executive) Mike Rinder opened about the direction of the docu-series’ newest season.

“We’re approaching Season 3 a little bit differently because, like our viewers, Mike and I have been working diligently to try to effect some change,” Remini said. “It’s been trying and devastating and, in some ways, eye-opening. I’m still unraveling, almost five years out of Scientology, and I’m still learning what was actually going on and what is the true underbelly of Scientology.”

READ MORE: ‘Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath’ renewed for Season 3

The two said the show will focus on the church’s tax exemption, the alleged disappearance of leader David Miscavige’s wife Shelly, and the Nation of Islam. Remini said when she was part of the church, she was asked to introduce the Nation of Islam to the Church of Scientology.

“I had no idea what [Nation of Islam leader] Louis Farrakhan stood for, [like] the hatred for Jews… and then you have Scientology, which hates anybody who isn’t a Scientologist. I feel partly responsible for this connection [so] we’re doing a special on them,” she told the magazine.The co-hosts also opened up about alleged attacks from the church since it announced the show would be renewed for a third season.

WATCH: Tom Cruise credits Scientology for his success

“It’s a collective: it’s hearing from past contributors of our show, contributors that have not even been on our show that [Scientology] thinks are going to be on our show,” Remini said.

READ MORE: Leah Remini and ‘Scientology’ co-host defend Paul Haggis amid sexual assault claims

“They’re harassing people on a daily basis, literally sending people to their homes, calling their businesses saying they’re under some kind of investigation, they’re taking out ads, hiring private investigators…”

Aftermath first aired in 2016 and even landed the duo and A&E a Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Informational Series. As ex-Scientologists, Remini and Rinder seek to tell the unheard stories of the controversial church, getting insight from past followers as well.

In March, The Church of Scientology announced they would launch its own 24-hour television network, with original series like Meet A Scientologist, L. Ron Hubbard in His Own Voice and Inside Scientology.

READ MORE: Leah Remini wants ‘Aftermath’ to prompt federal investigation into Scientology

The church classified Remini and Rinder as “Suppressive Persons” or SPs — people who speak ill of Scientology and its teachings.

And along with accusations in former seasons of sexually and physically abusive practices, the church denies all allegations made by the show. The organization even has a website dedicated to disproving all the claims Aftermath proposes, as well as discrediting Remini and Rinder.

Last year, the church spoke out on some of their own harassment incidents after the show went on air.

“There have been more than 500 incidents of vandalism, harassment and threats of violence against the church, its parishioners, staff and leadership,” said Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw in 2017.

“Leah Remini is just an actress whose current role is starring in a scam of a show whose singular goal is to incite religious hate and violence for ratings, money and Emmy nominations.”

Read the full interview with Entertainment Weekly here.

Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on A&E.

— with files from Chris Jancelewicz

arti.patel@globalnews.caFollow @ArtiPatel

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