On Monday morning, we broke the news that Leah Remini was leaving the Church of Scientology over David Miscavige’s “corrupt management” of the organization.
It wasn’t until Thursday morning that the New York Post picked up the news and made it catch fire with the rest of the media.
But well before the Post printed its story, celebrities in Scientology were scrambling to figure out how to deal with Remini’s departure.
In particular, we’re told, Kirstie Alley was livid at Remini.
On Wednesday morning, at 9:14 am, Alley took to Twitter with this statement:
Our sources tell us that Alley worked the phones that day, raising a stink with the personnel at the Hollywood Celebrity Centre — what were church officials going to do about Remini’s defection?
A meeting was called for Alley and other celebrities to get a briefing from church executives about what was going on and what they planned to do about it.
The meeting was held at the home of Melinda Brownstone — a longtime Scientologist.
At 3:26 pm, Alley tweeted…
…and a minute later followed that with…
(@minmin1008 is the Twitter address of Melinda Brownstone.)
We’re learning that Alley’s tweet was a well-aimed arrow at Remini.
Our sources tell us that Brownstone was one of Leah Remini’s first and best friends after Remini moved to Los Angeles at only 13 years of age.
(We reached Brownstone by telephone, but she told us, “You know what? I have nothing to say.”)
Brownstone is the godmother to Remini’s daughter, Sofia. Remini’s sister Shannon is married to Brownstone’s brother, who Melinda cut off ties with earlier.
For years, Brownstone worked for Remini, but then they parted ways in 2008 after a dispute. They haven’t spoken since, our sources say.
They also tell us that Kirstie Alley and Remini are not close.
When Remini was working to raise support recently for Hurricane Sandy relief in New York and reached out to Alley for help, we’re told Remini never got a return phone call.
It seems very significant then, that Alley, after calling for a briefing of celebrities, not only held that meeting in the home of Remini’s former best friend, but also tweeted her location publicly in what looks like a taunt.
Since the news of Remini’s departure from the church went wide on Thursday, our sources tell us that Leah has been inundated with media requests and an outpouring of support from fans.
But she’s also heard from friends in Scientology who tell her that they’ve been ordered to “disconnect” from her immediately. That campaign is being orchestrated by a church “ethics” employee at the Advanced Organization of Los Angeles (AOLA) on behalf of the church’s Office of Special Affairs, Scientology’s intelligence division. The employee, Julian Swartz, is ordering people to cut off all ties with Remini. (In 2011, at his website, former top church official Marty Rathbun revealed documents in a previous OSA operation run by Swartz to disrupt relationships of a Scientologist who was targeted after she asked questions about fundraising and disconnection.) Our sources inside the church tell us that Swartz is calling people down for interrogations about their connections to Remini and what she has said about Miscavige.
We’re told that Remini is shocked that her former friends are complying with the instruction to cut her off rather than calling her to ask how she is, or even to discuss the concerns she has raised.
Remini is telling close friends that the church has designated her the condition of “Enemy.” In 1967, Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard laid out how such a person should be treated by other Scientologists…
SP Order. Fair game. May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.
Remini has been uninvited from at least one event that was coming in only days. Other friends have let it be known that they’ve been told that Remini is a liar and a “suppressive person,” and that she’s attached to a “squirrel group.”
(In Scientology, being declared an “SP” is something like being excommunicated — SPs are considered evil, and members in good standing must disconnect from them if they want to remain in the church. Scientologists who leave the church and continue to use L. Ron Hubbard’s processes are labeled “squirrels,” Scientology’s word for heretic.)
We’ve reached out to Remini’s publicist, hoping to get a comment from the actress. Our sources say that Remini is heartened by the overwhelming public support, but she’s also emotional and upset about longtime friends turning their backs on her.
Posted by Tony Ortega on July 14, 2013 at 16:45
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