Up to this point, all we’ve heard about Leah Remini’s defection from Scientology has been from ‘sources.’ Leah issued a brief statement confirming that she was out of Scientology, but she was vague and didn’t even state it outright. Well now Leah’s older sister, Nicole, has really dished the dirt to a local radio station in Minneapolis-St. Paul, where she lives. Nicole basically confirmed all of anti-Scientology writer Tony Ortega’s scoops, and we can easily assume that she was Tony’s source, since Tony was interviewed by the same radio station to shed more light on this story. For those of us who have followed the criminal Scientology cult for years, nothing that Tony or Nicole reveals is new. The depths Scientology sinks to are astonishing, but these latest stories about Leah are consistent with what we’ve heard from countless other ex Scientologists. What’s impressive about this is how willing they are to go public with this story, and how much Leah’s entire family is sticking their neck out for her.
Here are some excerpts from Nicole’s interview, thanks to Radar Online for transcribing them. You can listen to clips of Nicole on MyTalk1071.com. I’m also including some segments from Tony Ortega’s interview with MyTalk107.1:
Nicole on how Leah got targeted by bigwigs after questioning Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ wedding
You know the funny thing is you start questioning things that are connected to Tom, things getting a little crazy. Leah had brought up to a very, very close friend of hers out of the house, like in private… ‘You know, I just think that it is really weird how involved Tom is with the upper levels of the Church.’ Like what, she just started questioning a little bit like, what was going on.
And just kind of the amount of, how do I, I just need to say this right, how involved he was with the upper level people.
And somebody actually wrote a report on her — her best friend wrote a report on her that she questioned it.
Well then Leah got pulled in it’s like how dare she question what is going on with Tom and his relationship with people within the church.
Nicole on how Tom brought church head David Miscavige with him on his honeymoon.
Yeah, they have a very strange relationship… when Leah came back from the wedding, you know, whatever happens, happens.
Tony on how Leah was treated
I’ve learned now that after Leah complained about the Tom Cruise and Katy Holmes wedding, she was called down for that security checking [security checking or 'sec check'-ing . It lasted three months. Three months of interrogation. And here's the thing, you pay [money] for that.
On how Leah’s entire family stood by her. They all got shut out of the church and all their friends
Everybody left… when this all came down, everybody had to make a choice whether they were going to stick by Leah or stick by the church. So they all left at the same time.
They all had to make a choice of what they were going to do. This is how we are as a family. We stick together. It’s just not an option. So, for my family, staying in Scientology under the circumstances was not an option. Choosing the church over Leah was never going to happen. You think about it, if they’d made the other choice, they lose their granddaughter. And me, I’m connected to Leah. My mom then can’t be connected to me.
I think it was hardest for my mom. She’s the highest level on the bridge. OT VIII ['Bridge' refers to 'The Bridge to Total Freedom', a series of levels churchgoers attain through a process known as 'auditing' to achieve spiritual awareness. OT VIII is the highest level]. And I think my dad is like OT VII. So, it’s really, really hard for them. They lost all their friends. I mean, literally, there have been meetings about disconnecting from them.
Nicole on Kirstie Alley ignoring Leah
Have any of Leah’s freinds told her that are in the Church, like, so-called (friend) Kirstie Alley, has Kirstie come to her and said, ‘Wait, what happened? Are you ok? Did these things really happen.’ No! Nobody has reached out to Leah. Not one person…
When Sandy happened… Leah called Kirstie and said ‘Hey, you know, I really want you to help me with Sandy relief, maybe help me get some generators, something, so we can, like, get Staten Island up and running.’ Never heard back from her. Not a phone call, not a text, not… nothing!
Nicole on Kirstie Alley organizing the mass shunning of Leah
Scientology is actually contacting her network of people. Kirstie organized a gathering of people at Melinda [Brownstone]‘s house and was tweeting about it [Melinda Brownstone was a longtime friend of Leah's and the godmother of her daughter Sofia]. What kind of bully does that?
The basis of Scientology is standing true to your own belief and holding onto your integrity and morals. There’s nothing about allowing people to hang on to their own integrity in this. When you’re saying it’s either Leah or us, there’s no integrity in that. When you’re threatening people with all they know, there’s no integrity in that.
Tony on why Scientology shuns ex members
I think in this kind of situation, they [Scientologists like Kirstie] take it so personally that someone has turned their backs on the church. Scientologists are so convinced that they have THE answer to the true nature of the universe and the future of mankind and that they really kind of think of themselves as above the rest of us. The rest of us are just clueless, we can’t see the truth of L. Ron Hubbard’s writing and so when somebody turns their back on it, it really burns them up.
[From on MyTalk101.7 and Radar Online]
There’s more on Talk101.7, including an interview with Nicole on how their family got involved in Scientology, and how she and Leah were sent to the forced labor camp Sea Org when they were teenagers. I was really impressed by how outspoken and candid Nicole was, and also how Leah is letting her sister speak for her. Nicole left Scientology by moving to Minnesota years ago, and she didn’t make waves at the time so no one in the cult told her family to disconnect from her. So she has enough perspective to tell her sister’s story, and she’s certainly done a very good job at it.
Of course Kirstie Alley is now squawking all over Twitter about a “whopping lie” but she’s all hot air. Radar also has a follow-up interview with Nicole in which she goes into further detail about how Scientology makes people disconnect from friends and loved ones.
Oh and in related Scientology news, BBC has an incredible article about how Scientology has tried to control the Internet. Back in the late 90s, they organized police raids and computer seizures of people who dared criticize Scientology on newsgroups like alt.religion.scientology. They’ve also of course blanketed websites with transparently pro-Scientology comments, and have sent notices to Google to remove the listings of anti-Scientology websites. The tide has certainly changed since then.
Photo credit: WENN.com
Leah Remini’s sister confirms that Scientology members have all shunned their family