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The actress, who appeared on the talk show following conservative writer Milo Yiannopoulos, discussed her A&E show Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, which shows how the church affects the lives of ex-Scientologists.
“[Cruise] could end this singlehandedly,” said Maher, to which Remini responded, “He could end this. Correct. And because they are saying he singlehandedly is clearing the planet, is changing the planet, so most Scientologists believe.”
Maher then interjected saying, “Clearing the planet? He couldn’t even make Jack Reacher a hit.”
Added Remini, “Scientologists believe that if he didn’t make it a hit it was because there were suppressive, evil people working against him, because he’s winning in life and clearing the planet.”
The actress discussed the “self-brainwashing” that Scientologists perform through their hours of daily studying: “I didn’t realize that, because we are required to study two-and-a-half hours a day, like, minimum, we are looking up the words, we are being checked out on the policies of Scientology.”
When Maher asked if Cruise and other celebrities participated in this, Remini confirmed and added that at times rules are often bent for the star.
“Yes,” she said. “Not only does Tom Cruise do exactly that … now, I don’t want you to get the idea that he’s not, that certain policies are not being bent for him because they are and that is the truth, and that was part of the hypocrisy.”
Remini also said that Maher’s 2008 documentary Religulous played a role in her realizations about Scientology, even though she wasn’t fully aware at the time of watching it.
“Scientologists are not allowed to look at things like this. We’re not allowed to look or listen to people who are critics of Scientology. I watched it because I was a troublemaker, apparently, always. What you were revealing in your documentary, I wasn’t even at that level yet,” she said. “So you seemed a little crazy to me, because I didn’t know what you were saying was true, so I was, like, ‘That shit is crazy.'”
Maher told Remini he admires her greatly and believes she is playing a key role and “putting a human face on the people who suffer from this awful cult.”
Said the host: “When the history of Scientology is finally written, it’s going to show that fate chose you to come in, like in Act Five. You’re like Reagan with, ‘Tear down that wall!'”
Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw said in a statement that Remini is “pathetically exploiting her former religion, her former friends and other celebrities for money and attention to appear relevant again” and provided a website that the Church of Scientology created in response to the actress. Read the full statement below.
The Church has published a website responding to Leah Remini’s bigotry, http://www.leahreminiaftermath.com. Leah Remini has become what she once declared she never wanted to be known as: “this bitter ex-Scientologist.” As USA Today wrote, Ms. Remini is “as famous for being an ex-Scientologist as she is as an actress” who is pathetically exploiting her former religion, her former friends and other celebrities for money and attention to appear relevant again.
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