In the premiere of “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath,” the former Scientologist and “King of Queens” star interviews several former prominent members of the controversial religion, who make some startling accusations.
To be fair, the Church has adamantly denied the stories portrayed in the new A&E reality series, saying in a letter on their official website that it is “nothing more than a scripted, rehearsed, acted and dramatized work of fiction.”
There are also title cards throughout the premiere episode stating Scientology’s leaders deny the statements made by Remini and those she interviewed.
Read the five most shocking allegations below.
Sexual Assault/Statutory Rape
Former Scientology executive Amy Scobee told Remini that she went to work for the Church as a teenager after her mother became a member. At the age of 14, she says she was raped by her 35-year-old boss, but the incident was swept under the rug by Church officials.
“They didn’t tell the authorities because it would be bad PR for Scientology,” Scobee said. “They indoctrinated me that anything serious that goes on, it’s handled internally.”
Keeping Tom Cruise Surrounded
Scobee said that one of her duties involved managing Scientology’s celebrity centers, as well as coordinating the personal staff of Tom Cruise. Scobee says she was instructed by Church leadership to only hire other Scientologists to work around Cruise, in order to keep him isolated from the outside world.
David Miscavige’s Temper
Scobee said that David Miscavige, the head of the Church of Scientology, was a “very angry man” who was prone to violent rages against his subordinates.
“If you said something that didn’t please him, he would go off on you,” she said. “If you were a man, he would hit you, knock you down, choke you.”
Under Constant Watch
Scobee and her husband, Matt, said that when they spoke out against what they saw as abuses within the Church, they were sent to the Rehabilitation Project Force, a sort of prison camp for Scientologists. When they said they wanted to leave altogether, they were placed under 24-hour guard, with an individual security officer assigned to watch both of them.
After Scobee decided to leave the Church, she knew it would be a matter of time before officials approached her mother, who was also a member, and convince her to disconnect from her daughter.
When she went to talk with her mother first, a Scientology ethics officer — whom Scobee’s mother described as an “enforcer” for the Church — showed up unannounced at the door. Scobee hid in a back room for over an hour while the ethics officer tried to convince her mother to break off contact.
“What he was telling me was that my daughter was evil and everything she touched was poison,” Scobee’s mother said.