The Underground Bunker has learned that Scientology celebrities have received their marching orders from the Hollywood Celebrity Centre: They cannot be “in comm” with Leah Remini after we broke the news last week that she has left the church.
Our inside church sources tell us that Scientology’s leading lights have been calling in to the Celebrity Centre for instructions since the news of her defection began to spread. As we reported earlier, chief among them was an angry Kirstie Alley, who demanded a briefing on Wednesday for herself and for other church celebrities.
Members calling the Celebrity Centre are being told that Remini has not yet been “declared a Suppressive Person” — Scientology’s equivalent of excommunication — but she is considered “not in good standing,” and celebrities are told that they cannot communicate with her, and must also immediately defriend her and any of her family members on Facebook.
When one of our sources asked for clarification on why Remini’s family also had to be avoided, a Celebrity Centre official said that Remini’s stepfather, George Marshall, had seen “an auditor in a squirrel group” for counseling. (In Scientology parlance, an auditor who continues to give counseling outside of the official church is a “squirrel” — a heretic.)
Meanwhile, it’s not only celebrities who are obediently following the church’s order to cut off ties with Remini. Our sources tell us that longtime Scientologist friends are suddenly dropping Remini from their lives in an effort that is being coordinated by an ethics officer named Julian Swartz at the Advanced Organization of Los Angeles.
We asked our sources for an example and were told about Remini’s former assistant, Jianine Giorgio, 29, who is scheduled to be married on July 28.
Giorgio is a Scientologist who had once worked for Remini but is now nurturing a career as a standup comic — a career that Remini had been encouraging by showing up at her performances. On April 18, Remini attended one of Giorgio’s shows, and the next morning, Giorgio let another comic, Tory Shulman, know that Remini had enjoyed her routine…
A few minutes later, Giorgio retweeted Leah Remini’s statement of support for the group of comics, Pretty Funny Women…
Over the weekend, however, a distraught Giorgio was overheard explaining to friends and family that she was forced to uninvite Remini from the upcoming wedding. On Monday, however, Giorgio retweeted a statement by Kirstie Alley that appeared to be aimed at our Sunday afternoon story…
We submitted a message to Giorgio to call us, but we heard nothing back.
Another longtime Scientologist, Michelle Workman, touts herself as “one of Hollywood’s most sought-after interior designers,” and listed Leah Remini among her celebrity clients (and was a friend for more than 20 years).
Remini helped promote Workman — here she’s seen helping the designer with a previous business.
For several years, here’s how the first paragraph of Workman’s “about” page read on her current website…
Recently, Workman moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and just days ago, Remini’s name was removed from her website…
Yesterday, we left a message for Workman on her cell phone. We haven’t received a call back.
Many of our readers have asked about Remini’s husband, Angelo Pagán, and whether he has also been affected by the church’s disconnection order.
We’ve kept watch on his Facebook, noticing some Scientologists defriending him in recent days. But we reported earlier that Remini’s family members have vowed to stick together.
For Pagán, that may present some real difficulties.
Our sources tell us that four years ago, Leah Remini provided seed money for a startup vitamin business owned by Pagán, the actor Michael Wiseman, and Stephen Price, a chiropractor whose clients include Scientology leader David Miscavige.
Price will obviously be under pressure because of his illustrious client, but Wiseman is also in a tough spot: His father, Bruce, is a longtime leader of Scientology’s anti-psychiatry front group, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.
We will be watching to see if Pagán is forced to give up his interest in the business.
Meanwhile, records show that Remini’s stepfather, George Marshall, is a partner in MyActingSite.com with Eric Brownstone, husband to Melinda Brownstone, whose house, we reported Sunday, was the site of a briefing for Kirstie Alley and other celebrities designed to discredit and alienate Remini and her family.
We have requested information from Remini’s publicist about these businesses and whether they are under pressure to split apart.
In general, Pagán and Remini, we’re told, are stunned that their friends in Scientology are marching in lockstep with the church’s orders to cut ties with them.
Posted by Tony Ortega on July 16, 2013 at 07:00
E-mail your tips and story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.