Home Celebrity Leah Remini’s Scientology Exit: May Never See Husband, Mother, Sisters Again

Leah Remini has left the so-called “church” of Scientology. She sent out a brief statement last night thanking fans and friends for their support. But what hasn’t been addressed is what happens to her husband, mother, sisters, and stepfather. They are all in the cult, too. And one of the main things about Scientology is called “disconnection.” When someone leaves the group, they are cut off from any left behind who’s still inside.

When Oscar winning director Paul Haggis left Scientology a couple of years ago, he cited disconnection. His now ex-wife Deborah Rennard was cut off from her parents, who’d been in the cult for years.

Remini’s mother Vicki Marshall started with Scientology in at least 1997. She worked her way up to 8th level of Operating Thetan. I think this means she speaks to aliens. Whatever. She’s in it up to her eyeballs.

Leah Remini has three sisters– Shannon and Nicole, a half sister named Elizabeth. They are all listed as having taken many classes and worked their way through the system. This also means Scientology has made a fortune off of them because the classes cost a lot.

Elizabeth Remini  has had problems with the law because of her drug addiction. She was arrested in 2005 in North Carolina and charged with five felony counts of cocaine possession and dealing the drug.

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Leah Remini also brought her husband, Angelo Pagan, into Scientology. He owns a popular diner called Vivian’s in suburban Los Angeles. Last Tony Ortega called Pagan and asked him if he and his wife were leaving Scientology. Pagan said they weren’t. But now that Remini seems to have made the break, Pagan would have to go, too.

“He’d have to leave,” says one former member. “They’re very happily married. Otherwise, they’d have to divorce. She wouldn’t be allowed to see him again.”

Of course, that’s what Tom Cruise did to Nicole Kidman after their divorce in 2001. He disconnected from her, and made it difficult for her to have a relationship with their children.

Pagan did not return phone calls yesterday.

The ex-member I spoke to said to may take some time before Remini or her husband are able to deal with the reality of the situation. “You have to go through like a detox period. A debriefing. You realize how you’ve been treated, how much money you lost, how lied to you were. It’s not easy. And you’re losing all your friends.”

Remini is taking a gamble. Through Scientology she was able to associate with Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, Will and Jada Smith, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony. She and JLO had gotten very buddy buddy. When Suri Cruise was born, Remini was one of the few insiders who was on the scene thanks to her Scientology connections. Now it’s all over.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
13 replies to this post
  1. Dear Estee, Please accurately advise the commenters as to why your group has adopted the Christian cross (with a star in the middle) as your emblem? It denotes Jesus dying on a cross. It couldn’t possibly be that you are trying to lure people in by false means would it.

    Why are Scilons like you that post on these comment boards always so angry? Because your house of cards is falling, no more hiding the truth. We are onto you and your Effeu message is quite juvenile.

  2. I think it is a tax scam where people with big bucks donate to the “church” for a write off and since the “church” is tax exempt they can give half of the cash donated back to the members, it’s a win win deal and since the members are guilty of conspiracy and tax fraud they have to keep their mouths shut even after they leave.

  3. As a corrugated box sales rep in the 1970’s, I was given a lead. When I walked into the building and walked toward the back, I saw what looked like a library. Everyone in the room looked like they were in a trance. aka they were zombies.
    It got such an eerie feeling, and got bad vibes, that I left. It was scientology, I talked with a person who left it. It is a very evil group and should not get tax free status.
    It your a member, get out while you can from this BS group.

  4. Ronni:
    Just thought your correction of PSD ought to be corrected.
    “Pagán is not a “latin” [sic] name. It’s a Spanish name.

  5. PSD….Pagan isn’t pronounced with the emphasis on the first syllable. It’s a latin name that has the emphasis on the 2nd syllable (Pa-GAN…not PA-gan). Just though you might need to know that.

  6. Good for Leah and anyone else who can move on from such a difficult situation. My mother put me in a Scientology school when I was 12 and it was the weirdest, most jacked up school year of my life. Thank god she moved onto crystals and pyramids the next year.

    Through “auditing”, Scientology extracts the most intimate details of their trusting members lives and the potential for blackmail is huge. It’s disgusting organization.

    I hope that Leah, and all that manage to leave Scientology, can heal and re-connect with family.

  7. Dear Estee, nobody cares about the cost of that nasty cult’s courses and books. It would be stupid to pay even one thin dime for that nonsense. The only thing dianetics is useful for is lining the bottom of a bird cage with the pages – the writer was insane and on drugs… pinks and greys.

  8. The Scientologists are such a weird group. Notice I don’t say religion. Estée Efeu implies that one doesn’t have to invest much financially the first year or so. Estée why don’t you share with us how much a member has to donate in order to move up the levels? Or explain why they make it so difficult for you to leave Scientology once you’re in? If Leah leaves why can’t her husband stay in if he choses to? Isn’t it bizarre to demand her family members, that are in the cult, to sever all ties with her now that she has “disconnected.” What kind of religious faith disconnects it’s followers?

  9. Dear Raja,

    Please accurately advise your readers that the first year or so of Dianetics and Scientology classes cost only a few hundred dollars plus the books.

    You should have attended journalism classes at university.

    PS: Odd you include your film credit in your bio. The only event in history that sold fewer tickets was a raffle for a two-week trip to the mining towns.

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