What the Church of Scientology Has Said About Leah Remini's Netflix Show

Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath aired on A&E for three seasons from 2016-2019, but is set to find an all-new audience now it has arrived on Netflix. After arriving on the streamer at the start of November, the series from the former Scientologist has now hit the Netflix series top 10 for the first time.

This is likely to redraw the ire of the Church of Scientology. As is typical with the enemies of the church, Scientology conducted a smear campaign against the King of Queens actor when the series first aired on A&E.

In fact, the Church of Scientology created a whole website dedicated to smearing Remini's name, leahreminiaftermath.com. On this website, they accuse the actor of inciting violence, writing: "For three years, A&E profited from broadcasting Leah Remini's lies, distortions and exhortations to hate. These resulted in threats, violence, and the brutal murder of a Scientologist in Australia in January 2019. Prior to committing his heinous act, the murderer spouted vicious anti-religious propaganda, incited by A&E and the Leah Remini series."

This was not the first time that the church blamed Scientology and the Aftermath for the murder of 24-year-old Chih-Jen Yeh, stabbed in the neck by a 16-year-old whose mother was taking part in a ceremony at the church's Australian spiritual center.

leah remini scientology
Leah Remini's A&E documentary (which is now on Netflix) has caused the Church of Scientology to launch multiple attacks at her. Getty

A letter leaked to press from church spokeswoman Karin Pouw to A&E president Paul Buccieri, reads in part: "Week after week, month after month, and now year after year, this series has poisoned the airwaves in an avowed effort to create hatred against the Scientology religion and Scientologists...Now, somebody is dead. You paid for the hate that caused his murder."

The association the church makes between the show and the murder is murky at best. They claim to murderer had visited a website that included a link to the show, and it was this that lead to the crime being committed. However, this was not confirmed by the police investigation into the crime.

Leah Remini's show's co-host (and former church spokesperson) Mike Rinder said of this to 7 News Sydney: "They basically seek to shift the blame to our show for their abuses. Their statement that this is all caused by A&E and our show because someone apparently looked at a website that mentioned our show—that's absurd."

The website by the church about Remini's show goes on to make some personal attacks about Remini herself. It says: "Leah Remini proclaimed in a 2014 BuzzFeed interview that 'I don't want to be known as this bitter, ex-Scientologist.' Not only has she become exactly that by failing to move on with her life, Remini's anti-Scientology shtick is the dead horse she keeps beating in a desperate attempt to stay relevant."

This BuzzFeed interview is something the church has cited before. In a 2015 "Church of Scientology Statement Concerning Leah Remini," they wrote: "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.' She needs to move on with her life instead of pathetically exploiting her former religion, her former friends and other celebrities for money and attention to appear relevant again."

This statement goes on to say: "Sadly, bitterness and anger are common threads through Ms. Remini's life. Ms. Remini is showing herself to be a spoiled entitled diva."

Scientology's attacks on Remini could be seen to be part of what was once called its "Fair Game" strategy, a term the church's founder L. Run Hubbard used to describe its policy of using whatever means necessary to attack those it deems as "Suppressive Persons." Though officially the church has ended this strategy, many allege it continues to this day.

In 2015, for example, a private investigator pled guilty to conspiracy to commit computer hacking after he illegally gained access to email accounts including those of Rinder after he took part in another anti-Scientology documentary, Going Clear.

In her book Troublemaker, Remini seems to anticipate these attacks on her. She writes: "After the Church of Scientology gets hold of this book, it may well spend an obscene amount of money ... in an attempt to discredit me by disparaging my reputation."

Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath is streaming now on Netflix.