Sunday, May 19, 2024

Leah Remini Balked at Scientology Giving Out Free Turkeys at Thanksgiving Stuffed with Propaganda


So far my favorite episode from Leah Remini’s “Troublemaker.” She writes about the millions of dollars she was conned into donating to “the church.” The asks for money, Remini writes, were “relentless.” Remini was punished or criticized when she asked what happened to the money.

At one point she puts her foot down about community outreach. This is what happens:

““We came up with this,” one self-satisfied Scientologist told me. “We’re handing out turkeys with a Way to Happiness book.”

“First of all, the idea that you think anyone needs your fucking turkey is condescending. But on top of that, you have the balls to stuff it with The Way to Happiness?”

The entire room went quiet. I knew they were shocked not only by how I was talking to them but also because I thought their idea was terrible. In turn, I was angry not only because their idea was shitty but also because they didn’t know it was a shitty idea. As I had felt many times before, I wished these Scientologists had better human technology.

“I’m out,” I said. In the aftermath of that meeting, the group working on the new org begged me to go to the opening. David Miscavige personally requested that I be there, and there would be hell to pay for everyone if I didn’t show up. But they wouldn’t back down on their turkey-and-booklet plan, so I compromised. I agreed to attend the opening but said I would only sit there.

“I’m not speaking, because I don’t want to be part of this org.” (They picked me up at my house, probably just to make sure I actually went.)”

The book is out today. I bought it on Kindle-Amazon. And it’s just about as satisfying a report on Scientology and all the things we’ve heard about it over the years as you could find. Bravo, Leah.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
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.

Read more

In Other News