Leah Remini TV series about how Scientology rips families apart

Discussion in 'Celebrity News' started by The Wrong Guy, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

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    Days before jumping to his death, actor Brad Bufanda credited Scientology with saving his life

    By Tony Ortega, November 17, 2017


    In August, Brad Bufanda, a 34-year-old actor and chiseled gym instructor, showed up for an initial table reading of an independent film he’d landed a role for.

    Bufanda is primarily remembered for appearing as the biker gang character “Felix Toombs” in two seasons of the 2004-2006 UPN/CW teen mystery series, Veronica Mars. But his career had been in a bit of a slump since then, and this year he was trying a comeback.

    In February, he acted in a forthcoming Vivica Fox and Michael Madsen end-of-the-world mob comedy. That film, Garlic and Gunpowder, was based on an original story by a man named Steven Chase, who also had an acting role in it. And now, in August, Chase was directing a romantic comedy titled Stan the Man, and he’d given two of the lead roles to actors who had played smaller parts in the February movie.

    They were Brad Bufanda and Angelo Pagan.

    In February, being on the same cast didn’t seem to present a problem for either of them, even though for more than a decade Bufanda had been involved in Scientology, and Pagan is a former Church of Scientology member married to Leah Remini, Scientology’s most famous defector. Remini’s second season of A&E’s Scientology and the Aftermath had aired its first episode five days before the August table reading was held.

    The trouble didn’t start until another actor showed up and was seated directly across the table from Pagan.

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  3. The Wrong Guy Member

    Tonight: Leah Remini and Mike Rinder wrap up their 2nd season with questions from viewers

    By Tony Ortega, November 21, 2017


    Our favorite duo is back tonight at 8 pm to wrap up their second season with a clips show to answer questions submitted by viewers. And so while you wait for tonight’s episode to air, we’re going to take a look back at the this season from Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath and ask you once again to tell us which chapter was your favorite.

    The questions that Leah Remini and Mike Rinder take on tonight are generally pretty standard. They’re the sorts of questions we see over and over again at places like Facebook and Twitter: What was life like in the Sea Org? How does the church recruit? Why hasn’t law enforcement stepped in? And the like.

    But why at 8 pm? Well, you know A&E wouldn’t pass up one last opportunity confuse viewers. It’s just how they roll.

    So let’s look back at season two, which in many ways was stronger than the first season. But it also had its challenges, and A&E never got to air as many episodes as it planned. We know that A&E shot 10 “regular” episodes, 4 “special” episodes, and tonight’s Reddit AMA. Only nine of the regular episodes aired, however, because one of them featured three women who are accusing Danny Masterson of rape, and as we revealed earlier, the Los Angeles District Attorney asked Leah to hold off on airing that show as long as they are still trying to decide whether to charge the Scientologist actor. Will that episode ever air? We don’t know. But here’s what was put on the air.

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  4. The Wrong Guy Member

    KID CORPS: When a disease outbreak brought Scientology unwanted attention

    By Tony Ortega, November 24, 2017


    The Bunker: Sunny, today we have another 1979 document, this time about an outbreak of hepatitis at Scientology’s Los Angeles headquarters, known as Pacific Area Command, or PAC base.

    Sunny: I’ve been able to confirm that when this outbreak occurred, there were approximately 600 Sea Org members at PAC, and of those 600, at least 240 adults were infected with hepatitis A. The document doesn’t reveal what caused the outbreak. But one floor of one wing at PAC base was closed down and became off limits to everyone except those with confirmed cases. That’s 45 percent of the staff, a very high percentage, and that doesn’t include the children who were infected.

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  6. The Wrong Guy Member

    Don’t give short shrift to one of Scientology’s most defining qualities – its arrogance

    By Tony Ortega, November 27, 2017


    You can’t really begin to understand why it’s so difficult for Scientologists to rejoin the outside world unless you keep in mind that throughout their time in the church, they’ve had it pounded into their heads that Scientologists are superior to the rest of us, who are considered “degraded beings.”

    Founder L. Ron Hubbard promised his followers that his ideas would literally transform them into a new, superior species which he called homo novi, or “new man.” And along with that came a sneering disregard for what he called “wogs,” Hubbard’s word for non-Scientologists which has racist origins in British slang.

    The promise of “evolving” to a new sort of creature is a common feature of New Age charlatanism, of course, but Scientology takes it to the extreme. Not only do Scientologists believe that they go to a higher, superhuman state as “Operating Thetans,” but they are led to believe they will eventually reach a godlike state giving them the power to crush whole planets between their thumb and forefinger.

    Imagine, then, the disappointment of learning that we’re all just wogs and there are no homo novi, and you begin to understand why some former Scientologists can be a bit cranky.

    Anyway, we were reminded of Scientology’s inherent arrogance when we noticed this particularly obnoxious statement at Scientology’s official website recently…


    This comes directly from Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, of course, and you can hear him use virtually these same words in a 1966 television interview talking about Scientology as a “religion of religions.”

    The presumption of superiority here is off the charts – the website is saying that other religions may be false, but they can achieve salvation if they really want to by going through Scientology. Wow.

    We thought it would be interesting to ask a couple of Christian pastors what they thought about that statement.

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  7. The Wrong Guy Member

    EXCLUSIVE: Former Scientology officer reveals the church tried to recruit A-list celebs such as Brad Pitt, Demi Moore and Sean Penn - and leader David Miscavige deems Tom Cruise his 'biggest trophy'
    • Karen Schless Pressley, 65, has told DailyMailTV that she served as the Commanding Officer of the Church of Scientology's Celebrity Centre Network
    • She claims celebrities are called 'raw meat,' and lists of desirable 'quarry' included Juliette Lewis, Sean Penn, Demi Moore and more
    • Brad Pitt was another name on their lists and Karen recalled he came in for 'a few courses but fell away'
    • L Ron Hubbard's wrote up his personal 'wish list' in 1965 which included: Pablo Picasso, Walt Disney, Ed Sullivan, Orson Welles and Ernest Hemingway
    • He viewed celebrities as a special breed, higher beings who could raise the 'tone' of the planet and he preached they should be treated as such,' Karen says
    • One name that usually gets erased from the church's list of actual conquests, Karen noted, is Charles Manson
    • Concerted efforts were also made to ensure that celebrities did not leave and the church encouraged A-listers who were 'fading' to attend an 'auditing session'
    • Karen left the church in 1998 and never saw her husband again after he chose to remain a member
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  8. The Wrong Guy Member

    Leah Remini Rediscovers Her Faith In Scientology After Going Through Difficult Point In Life

    The Onion, December 1, 2017


    Saying she had never felt more complete and was “so grateful to be home,” Kevin Can Wait actress Leah Remini told reporters Thursday that she has rediscovered her faith in Scientology after going through a difficult point in her life.

    “I was really lost for the last few years, and it wasn’t until recently that I reached for my copy of Dianetics and understood how desperately I wanted to reconnect with my faith, that I was Clear once and could be again,” said Remini, adding that as soon as she realized how unhealthy it was to repress thousands of years of traumatic memories from past lives, she was ready to fully recommit to unshackling herself from her reactive mind.

    “The folks at my church welcomed me back with open arms and started auditing me like I never left—they’re just that kind of people. And now that I’m back on track and focusing on reaching OT Level 8, the past three years seem like a terrible dream.”

    At press time, Remini was reportedly struggling with her faith again and was deeply thankful for the opportunity to rehabilitate in a labor camp.

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    Sensibly Speaking Podcast #124: Scientology Exposure ft. Karen Pressley | Chris Shelton


    Former Sea Org member Karen Pressley and I discuss the 80+ books that have been written since the 1950s about Scientology. Karen has put together a PDF presentation of all of these (link below) and we talk about the history of Scientology, how these books and other events have shaped that history and which ones we think are the most important to check out.

    Karen's presentation:
  13. The Wrong Guy Member

    ‘It was my job to get Mike Rinder’s trash’ — A former Scientology spy begins to spill her guts

    By Tony Ortega, January 9, 2018


    Yesterday, former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder posted a chilling account by his wife Christie Collbran about a Scientology spy who worked to become a part of their lives.

    Christie wrote that beginning in January 2012, a woman named Heather living on their street in Tarpon Springs, Florida began approaching her about spending time together. When Mike and Christie moved the next month to another nearby town, Heather, an unemployed single mom, somehow had the money to move into an expensive home not far from their new place.

    Heather was so persistent about wanting to become a part of their lives, Mike and Christie eventually figured out that she was working to gather intelligence on them for the Church of Scientology. The woman, who identified herself as Heather McAdoo, ended up apologizing to Mike and Christie, and admitted that she had been working for her then boyfriend, Scientology spy Dwayne Powell.

    It’s a great tale, and Christie tells it in all its creepy detail. And we’re very well acquainted with Dwayne Powell here in the Bunker. It was Dwayne and his son Daniel Powell who were arrested and questioned by the West Allis, Wisconsin police and admitted to following Scientology leader David Miscavige’s father, Ron Miscavige, in a spying operation. (You can hear tapes of those interviews here.)

    And now, we wanted to let you in on another interesting development that’s been going on for a little while. Several weeks ago, we were approached by another woman who was recruited by Dwayne Powell to work as a Scientology spy, and who kept an eye on Mike Rinder and Christie Collbran, off and on, for three full years.

    This woman — for now we’re going to refer to her as Jane — has been working with us to spill a lot of secrets about the work of Dwayne Powell and the Church of Scientology, and we expect that she may be going on the record soon.

    But because of Christie Collbran’s remarkable account that was put online yesterday, we thought we would give you a small preview of what Jane has been telling us, since it is so closely related to Christie’s story.

    Jane preceded Heather as Dwayne Powell’s operative to keep tabs on Mike and Christie. Like Heather, she was Dwayne’s girlfriend, and she even had a child with him. But unlike Heather, she wasn’t tasked with becoming friends with Mike and Christie. Instead, Jane’s job was to gather their trash and identify people who visited their home.

    “We had to pay the trash people to keep Mike’s trash off to the side. And I had to go through it. My job was to save any receipts, any alcohol bottles, any paperwork. Anything that would tell us something about them. What they were doing, and what they were buying,” Jane says.

    She also gathered the trash for another former Scientologist who lived in the area, Haydn James, but she says what the church wanted most of all was information on Rinder.

    “Mike was the number one that they always wanted. And the trash people got fired because they weren’t supposed to do that,” she says.

    Jane ended her surveillance of Mike and Christie in August 2011, a few months before Heather took over and then reached out to Christie in January 2012. And later in 2012, Rinder actually filmed his trash being taken away by Scientology operatives — but by then Jane had moved away.

    She tells us she met Dwayne Powell at a Florida community college that was a recruiting site for Scientology operatives — even the faculty was involved, she says — and we’ll be going into more detail about that later.

    She came out of school in 2008 and began her work for the church, and besides keeping tabs on Rinder, she was also assigned to infiltrate the Anonymous movement, which was holding large rallies and protests that year.

    “I went on raids with the Anons,” she says. “I would go to the protests. At one point I was filming them with one of their own cameras.”

    When Anonymous held its pirate-themed “Sea Arrrrgh” rally in Clearwater in June 2008, Jane was in the crowd, chanting along with the other protesters.

    “I even rode around with one of the top Anons in Clearwater in their car, holding a sign out the window.”

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    Top Anon....
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  15. The Wrong Guy Member

    In Scientology’s backyard, Baptist preacher ‘takes a stand’

    By Tracey McManus, Tampa Bay Times


    The Baptist preacher stepped to the stage, his image projected on two mega screens behind him, and looked out at nearly 2,000 parishioners filling his worship center.

    "Scientology is a cult," Calvary Church Pastor Willy Rice said into his microphone Wednesday evening.

    "Scientology is dangerous. It is dangerous to those within and without, and Scientology should be exposed and opposed, not only by committed Christians but by moral, law abiding citizens who care about human rights and human justice everywhere."

    Since Scientology settled in Clearwater in 1975 under a false name, then later declared the city its international spiritual headquarters, there is still distrust within the community. As allegations of human trafficking, physical and emotional abuse, and financial exploitation abounds, Scientology has continued to buy more land, becoming downtown’s largest property owner with more than $200 million worth of known real estate.

    Because the 152-year-old Calvary shares this city with Scientology’s headquarters, because reports of abuse and secrecy continue, Rice said it is his obligation "to take a stand."

    On Wednesday he dedicated his quarterly pastor’s forum to discussing Scientology, a relatively unprecedented public condemnation by a local religious leader.

    In a statement to the Tampa Bay Times, Scientology spokesman Ben Shaw called Rice’s "uninformed tirade" un-Christian and un-American.

    "Where Christianity teaches love, the only message of his divisive and provocative rhetoric about Scientology and Scientologists is hate," Shaw said. "Why seek to provoke harm to your neighbors just because you do not understand what they believe?"


    Rice closed his lecture by asking his congregation to pray for their "Scientology friends" and for a spiritual awakening. For kindness and understanding. For telling the truth.

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    Scientology’s ‘scripture’ includes a thoroughly debunked mammoth-meat hoax

    By Tony Ortega, January 11, 2018


    David Miscavige and the Church of Scientology are doing their ecclesiastical best to play up the “religion” thing as much as possible these days. As their organization shrinks and comes under heavy fire from the media, they hold up their holy double-cross and proclaim that they are the victims of religious persecution.

    It’s a cynical strategy that actually works for them among a certain set of the public. Even some intelligent folk, who ought to know better, come to Scientology’s defense, asking why it should be singled out from “other religions.”

    Sadly, this farce will continue into the future, we have no doubt.

    But in the meantime, we like to remind people what Scientology is really all about, and it’s not about David Miscavige’s popish fakery, it’s about L. Ron Hubbard’s space opera!

    Scientologists, behind closed doors, are not doing catechisms hoping to get to heaven, they are doing what they believe is actual science that will unlock the secrets of the universe and grant them godlike superhuman powers, right out of science fiction.

    We thought we’d bring you another reminder of that today, which was inspired by something a former church member mentioned recently over at Facebook. Her citation of a lecture sent us searching for it, and yeah, it’s fun stuff.

    And it comes out of a lecture we’ve previously excerpted, when we looked at how Hubbard expressed pity for Christians who don’t realize they shouldn’t be praying to God when they ought to understand that they are god. And Hubbard talked about Scientologists with “OT” super powers being able to crush whole planets between their thumb and forefinger.

    That lecture was 1963’s “The Free Being,” part of the vaunted “Saint Hill Special Briefing Course” which Hubbard spun together while he was in residence at Saint Hill Manor in East Grinstead, England.

    David Miscavige may be playing down the SHSBC these days, but there’s no doubt its lectures are central to Hubbard’s vision of Scientology and are considered “scripture” by Scientologists.

    So please keep that in mind as we take another plunge into “The Free Being.”

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  18. The Wrong Guy Member

    Producers Guild Awards 2018 Winners: List in Full | Hollywood Reporter

    Relevant excerpt:

    Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath claimed the award for outstanding producer of non-fiction television. In her acceptance, Remini, an outspoken critic of Scientology, called Scientology “an organization that uses its power and money to try to intimidate and silence its critics, but as evidenced tonight, they have not succeeded.”

  19. The Wrong Guy Member

    Evidence, finally, of how Scientology obsessively tracks down its former members

    By Tony Ortega, February 13, 2018


    One of the most-well known things about Scientology is that once you get on their mailing list, it’s very difficult to get taken off of it.

    On social media, you often see people speak of being tracked down by the church decades after they bought a single book or took a single course. We talked to a man who was still getting calls and mailers more than forty years after he’d left Scientology and had moved multiple times.

    We’re often asked by people how the church tracks them down when they’ve moved, or when they have an unlisted telephone number. We’ve told them that we have to believe Scientology has a fairly sophisticated database that is constantly being updated, and that it must use fairly sophisticated tools.

    Well, now we may have finally have obtained some proof of that.

    This week we obtained a really fascinating internal Scientology document which goes a long way to explaining how thorough the church is about tracking people.

    In order to protect our source, we can’t tell you a lot about how we obtained the document. But we think for the most part it speaks for itself.

    So what is the document? It’s a one-page record of a particular person whose involvement in Scientology appears to have ended around the year 2005. We have blocked out the person’s name, as well as the numerous listings of their addresses and phone numbers. But even so, the document has a lot of information we wanted you to see.

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