Leah Remini has been a critic of Scientology for many years. Following the release of her 2016 docu-series Scientology and the Aftermath — which the Church of Scientology said resulted in “assassination threats against the leader of the Scientology religion,” per The New York Post — the former Scientologist has been extremely vocal about calling light to the controversial group’s involvement in many court cases.
So it came as no surprise when Remini also had a strong opinion on the church rallying around 44-year-old Danny Masterson and his rape allegations. On June 17, 2020, the noted Scientologist was charged with the alleged rapes of three women between 2001 and 2003 by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, according to Page Six.
Masterson is a prominent member of the international mega-church, and the leaders of the Church of Scientology have inserted themselves into his case by offering him legal representation and calling for “ecclesiastical justice” in the case. With the church getting involved, Remini says this is the start of the downfall of the faith. Let’s take a closer look.
The Church of Scientology wants to handle Danny Masterson's case
According to Page Six, former That 70’s Show star Danny Masterson is accused of raping a 23-year-old woman in the winter of 2001, raping a 28-year-old woman in April 2003, and raping another 23-year-old woman in the fall and winter of 2003. All three alleged incidents are reported to have occurred in his Hollywood Hills home in Los Angeles, California. Masterson is facing up to 45 years in prison if convicted at trial, which is scheduled to take place September 18, 2020. He was arrested on June 17, 2020 (via E! News).
The Church of Scientology will be co-defending Masterson in the case, and they’re calling for a “religious arbitration.” Per Hollywood Reporter, the church claimed that the women in question, who are also members of the church, agreed to “ecclesiastical justice procedures” when they began practicing Scientology.
The church’s motion states, “Under the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the United States and California Constitutions the Church may establish its own rules governing its relationship with its members exempt from civil law.” It also added for clarification, “The Church’s ecclesiastical arbitration is a condition of participating in Scientology services. This Court may not interfere with this condition by imposing civil rules for arbitration.”
But as a long-time critic of the church, Leah Remini has shared her two cents on the matter.
Leah Remini wants Scientology survivors to be heard
While the outcome of Danny Masterson’s case will have huge repercussions for both him and his alleged victims, the court’s ultimate ruling will also set precedent for future religious organizations and their civil liberties.
Leah Remini will surely be a voice heard in the court of public opinion, as she’s stated that she’s ready for more stories surrounding Scientology’s practices to come to light. In the Season 3 finale of Scientology and the Aftermath, which premiered in August 2019, Remini focused the two-hour special on interviewing a couple of Masterson’s accusers, according to New York Post, after their lawsuit was filed earlier that same month.
In a tweet posted June 2020, Remini said, “Finally, victims are being heard when it comes to Scientology! Praise the lord! This is just the beginning Scientology, your days of getting away with it is coming to an end!”
Of course, the church is not a fan of Remini; in August 2019, they told The Post that “Leah Remini has blood on her hands” and that her show’s “lies, distortions and exhortations” have led to “physical attacks on Churches and the murder of a Scientology religious worker whose throat was slashed by a madman egged on by Remini’s horrendous distortions.”
Leah Remini has plans for the future of Scientology
Even though Leah Remini decided to end her show about Scientology after three seasons — as she never planned for the show to go past two — the “Scientologist-turned-anti-Scientology activist” has other plans for her upheaval of the Church of Scientology.
According to New York Post, Remini is looking to take away the church’s tax accreditation. “Ultimately it needs its tax-exempt status taken [away], so they can stop using the millions of dollars they use each year to follow and harass people and bully them into silence,” she said. “Churches have tax-exempt status because you’re supposed to be helping and servicing the public.”
The actress also alluded to other plans, but she told Hollywood Reporter that she’s not “not dumb enough” to give the church an idea of what they have coming.
While no one has the full story of what goes on behind Scientology’s heavily secured doors, the fate of Masterson’s court case will surely give spectators a clearer picture. In the meantime, you can watch Remini’s Emmy-winning docu-series on A&E.
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