Five Things to Know About Leah Remini

Leah Remini

1. Leah Remini’s stated intention is to strip Scientologists of their First Amendment rights and to destroy Scientology.

Shortly after Leah Remini was expelled from the Church of Scientology in 2013, she commenced a hate campaign against the religion.

Remini, who had been an actress, sought an opportunity to revive her career and chose to make a “brand” of her anti-Scientology animosity. In a 2015 ABC 20/20 interview with Dan Harris, Remini described herself as “a crappy, has-been actress who is trying to make a dollar off my church.”

In 2017, Leah Remini launched a television show on A&E which attacked the Scientology religion, its members, its ecclesiastical leader and its founder. The show involved interviews with anti-Scientologists who used the platform to legitimize disinformation, hate speech and lies. When asked by The Hollywood Reporter how much vetting Remini had done of these anti-Scientologists before their appearances on her show, she stated: “There is no vetting.” She added that she “take[s] their word for it” because “they are my people.”

The show was cancelled after inciting violent hate crimes.

In an effort to continue advancing her anti-Scientology campaign, Remini today co-hosts a podcast with a small listenership. She states that her intent regarding Scientologists is to “get them out” of their chosen faith.

Though the Scientology religion is recognized by federal governments worldwide, Remini consistently expresses her objection to its members exercising their religious freedom and First Amendment rights. In particular, she is violently opposed to Scientologists speaking out against her hate speech on STAND League, the mission of which is “to end forever the defamation and bigotry toward Scientologists and the Scientology religion, and to protect everyone’s basic inalienable right to practice their chosen faith.”

  • “I’m offended by [Scientologists] trying to hide behind the First Amendment.”
  • “What is disgusting is that Scientologists hide behind the First Amendment… It’s there to protect people, to protect real religions and beliefs.”
  • “They’re hiding behind, now, freedom of religion.”
  • And, revealingly, as to her true intent: “They’ve met the religious requirements on paper, so we need more time to effect change.”

2. Leah Remini has a documented history of lying to the police or inciting others to do so concerning the Church of Scientology.

Within one month of Leah Remini’s expulsion from the Church, she devised a publicity stunt to harass and incite hate against the Church, filing a knowingly false “missing person” report with the Los Angeles Police Department in 2013. Her former acquaintance, Mark Rathbun, whom Remini had told of her stunt at the time, stated she “knew it was a scam from the beginning.” Within hours, the police deemed the fraudulent report unfounded. Her ploy exposed as pure harassment, Leah Remini then maligned the LAPD.

In June of 2018, Leah Remini and her staff orchestrated one of multiple anti-Scientology false reports to police containing outrageous allegations. The purpose was to air those false allegations on her anti-Scientology show with immunity from defamation claims. Accordingly, a young woman was escorted by an individual working for Leah Remini to the Clearwater Police Department, where the officer taking down the information in a report recorded: “She is appearing on the A&E Network with the ‘Aftermath Foundation’ against the Church of Scientology and was required to bring forward the following information before the show is aired.” The police department could not find a single witness or any evidence to support the claims made in her latest report. The case was closed.

The chapel of the Church’s Clearwater cathedral, the Flag Building

That same month, a young man was likewise escorted to the Clearwater Police Department by the same individual working for Leah Remini. The young man filed false claims, with the police once again recording that he “was involved in some sort of TV show and the show required him to make a police report.” The case was later closed, with the police department noting: “There was no evidence to support his allegations.” By then he had already made an appearance on Leah Remini’s anti-Scientology show.

Also that same month, Leah Remini and a producer from her show arrived to a California sheriff’s office demanding a “welfare check” be done to harass an elderly Church staff member, whom she falsely claimed had recently had a stroke. Remini demanded she join law enforcement to film their visit to the Church, which she was informed was against procedure. The sheriff’s office promptly confirmed the staff member was healthy and well cared for. Their time wasted, they instantly closed the case.

3. Leah Remini’s lies have led to violence against Scientologists.

Leah Remini’s hate speech has resulted in more than 600 threats and acts of violence against Scientologists and their children and families.

In 2015, 31-year-old Erin McMurtry called Leah Remini “a true inspiration” on social media. Several days later, McMurtry smashed her car through the front doors of the Church of Scientology in Austin, Texas, stopping just short of the nursery. When she was informed no one was hurt, she replied, “that’s too bad.” McMurtry was convicted of felony vandalism.

Erin McMurtry

In 2016, Andre Barkanov called the Church of Scientology in Los Angeles and threatened to assassinate the Church leader, the receptionist, her family, Church staff and Scientology parishioners. Barkanov, who was found to have an arsenal of guns, had no direct knowledge of the Church but, when interviewed by the LAPD, stated he made the threat after watching “the King of Queens lady,” referencing Remini’s character in a cancelled sitcom.

The following are among the hundreds of threats Remini’s hate speech has inspired, with many issued within one hour of the broadcast of an episode of her anti-Scientology show:

  • “Literally gonna torch down every scientology center #ScientologyTheAftermath.”
  • “You are dead. I’m going to murder all of you pig cult bastards and blow up all your buildings. You are f***ed.”
  • “You should all kill yourselves. Or come to my neighborhood and let me do it for you.”
  • “I hope someone blows your f***ing building up on live tv!!!” “[I will] join the fight with Leah Remini and do my very best to end your miserable existence!”
  • “We’re gonna f***ing destroy you. Your son and your daughter are gonna suffer. I’m gonna burn your f***ing house. I am gonna f*** you up so f***ing bad.”
  • “I don’t watch this show that often... I want to burn down every single Scientology building. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.”

On January 3, 2019, a man incited by Leah Remini’s hate speech murdered a 24-year-old Scientologist, Aaron Yeh, outside the Australasian headquarters of the Church.

Newspapers internationally published that Leah Remini had blood on her hands.

4. Leah Remini’s blatant anti-Scientology rhetoric is designed to inflame and incite hate.

Only the most hate-fueled, abusive language would inspire threats and violence such as that described above:

  • Leah Remini has dehumanized Scientologists as “zombies” and “robots.”
  • Leah Remini issued a challenge to every Scientologist to “prove whether or not [they’re] a decent human being” by leaving their religion.
  • Remini has told those who refer to the Scientology religion as a religion to “shut the f*** up with this” and called Scientologists “these pussies” whom she says “need real help.”
  • Leah Remini has stated: “Scientologists are so easy to attack” and threatened to use the “information” she has “on all of you” and “your famil[ies]” to silence them.
  • Leah Remini denigrated a Black female civil rights leader for expressing support of the Church’s human rights work, then broadcast her effort to make it dangerous for individuals to collaborate on humanitarian projects with Scientologists by stating proudly: “We have come after other people who have supported Scientology.”

5. Leah Remini has attempted to make a living out of attacking the Church of Scientology.

Prior to the airing of her show, the Church provided media with documented evidence of Leah Remini’s hate, harassment and lies. Leah Remini responded by having her lawyer send two letters attempting to extort the Church—the first demanding $500,000, the next $1 million, threatening a lawsuit should her terms not be met. The Church, of course, rejected Remini’s demands. There was no lawsuit.

Leah Remini has profited significantly from her attack on the Scientology religion, her primary occupation over the course of nearly a decade.

Where she has occasionally secured employment not connected to her anti-Scientology campaign, Leah Remini has exploited the platform to use the name of her former religion—seeking to remain “relevant.”

Prior to her quest “to make a dollar off my Church,” Leah Remini had glowing things to say about her religion, including the following:

  • “By being a Scientologist and by having integrity and by living by certain moral codes that this group abides by, I can look at myself in the mirror.”
  • “I wouldn’t be successful if it wasn’t for Scientology… It means everything to me. Without it I would really be lost, I’d be in the dumps and I would probably be an animal. I would be a horrible, horrible person.”
  • [The Church] is a special place because whatever you’re going through there’s somebody always here to help you… it’s my second home and there is not a person here that I can’t go to when I am having a problem in life.”
  • “Scientology gives you hope and the certainty that you can improve any condition. This, to me, is priceless.”
  • Of anti-Scientologists, Remini said: “They want to run around and tell stories and get a minute of fame… I just look at these people as people who have nothing better to do. I know that Scientology’s good… You start being disrespectful to my religion, to me you’ve crossed the line.”