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Leah Remini has changed Scientology forever — which episode was your favorite?

We had another good time last night watching the social media response to the latest episode of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, and it looked like another hit. Next Tuesday, there’s one more episode that will focus on Leah and was filmed earlier. So maybe now is a good time to look back on the series as a whole to look at who Leah brought on her shows, and to provide some links for further reading.

Is this thing a juggernaut or what?


 

 
Episode 1, “Disconnection”
First aired: Nov. 29, 2016

Leah’s episode about Amy Scobee and Mat Pesch was especially emotional because she had managed to film Amy’s mother, Bonny Elliott, just before Bonny died of cancer last year. Bonny’s explanation of how Scientology had forced her to choose between Amy and her husband, Mark, was a powerful way to introduce Scientology’s toxic policy of “disconnection.” Amy also described being raped as a 14-year-old Scientology mission staff member by an older male coworker, something the church covered up.

We followed up with Amy, and then interviewed Mark, who had been left out of the episode.

Scientology retaliated against the episode with an attack website that included a video about Leah. She explained to us, however, how the video actually had a fascinating connection to Katie Holmes.

And this episode caused another rather stunning response from the church: Scientology attorney Gary Soter warned A&E about airing the episode, claiming that in her rape, Amy had been the “sexual aggressor.” We’re still shocked that more media hasn’t picked up on this story.

 

 
Episode 2, “Fair Game”
First aired: Dec. 6, 2016

This episode focused on Leah’s sidekick, former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder, as well as Mike’s wife, Christie Collbran. They live not very far from Scientology’s spiritual headquarters in Clearwater, Florida, and they’ve been the subject of some intense surveillance by Scientology operatives in recent years. Mike shared video showing him catching private investigators paying sanitation workers for his garbage bags, for example, and he also found a camera aimed at his house that was hidden down the street in a birdhouse.

The day the episode aired we provided a number of links to other past stories about the ways Rinder has been harassed and followed by Scientology private eyes.

In the version of the episode we saw, Christie Collbran also got to tell heartbreaking story about being disconnected from her own parents once she left Scientology’s Sea Org. But that portion didn’t get broadcast when the episode was edited down and aired. But you can now see Christie’s portion at A&E’s website and we highly recommend it.

 

 
Episode 3, “The Bridge”
First aired: Dec. 13, 2016

Leah and Mike explained the basics of the “Bridge to Total Freedom” to series executive producer Alex Weresow. Then they heard the story of Mary Kahn, who had joined Scientology in the 1970s and had loyally moved up that Bridge into the expensive upper levels before she started to have doubts. And that’s when things got ugly. Scientology pressured her husband David to divorce her, and she also knew that if she continued to pull away from the church she might lose contact with her younger son, Sammy. She described the nightmare she went through subjecting herself to intense Scientology interrogations only so she could hold her family together before finally she had to walk away entirely, and her son then walked out of her life.

We interviewed Mary and David, and we also spoke to their older son, Michael, who had not appeared in the episode.

When the episode aired, Scientology added a vile attack on Mary Kahn to its smear website, and it included a video of Sammy, Mary’s son, doing his best impression of a North Korean P.O.W.

 

 
Reddit Special 1, “Ask Me Anything”
First aired: Dec. 19, 2016

By this time, the series had turned out to be such a hit, A&E was scrambling to find ways to seize the moment. It had begun showing “sneak peeks” of episodes on Monday nights, and on Monday Dec. 19 it broadcast an entire special episode that had been quickly put together only the week before. It featured Leah and Mike answering viewer questions from the Reddit website. But Leah also took advantage of the situation to have on several special guests.

Our readers are very familiar with journalist Paulette Cooper, who was the subject of our book The Unbreakable Miss Lovely. We thought Paulette did a great job rapidly laying out the basics of her very complex story — in 1971, she became one of the first people to publish a book about Scientology, and she nearly paid for it with her life. By bringing her on, Mike and Leah were paying homage to the people who had come before them to expose Scientology’s abuses. Leah and Mike also spoke to former Sea Org member Chris Shelton, whose videos show up regularly here at the Bunker. Karen de la Carriere was once married to the president of the Church of Scientology, and she described what it was like when her son died after he had disconnected from her, and the church wouldn’t even let her see his body. Her current husband, Jeffrey Augustine, talked about his blog, where he focuses on Scientology’s underlying documents and contracts.

 

 
Episode 4, “A Leader Emerges”
First aired: Dec. 20, 2016

Tom DeVocht, Jefferson Hawkins, and Ron Miscavige helped Leah and Mike develop a picture of how David Miscavige took over Scientology after the death of L. Ron Hubbard in 1986. They caught up with DeVocht in Seattle, where he moved a couple of years ago and is raising his young daughter Ellie. DeVocht revealed that one of the things which began his disillusion with Scientology after so many years in its Sea Org was hearing David Miscavige talk about having to gin up “OT 9” from random papers left behind by Hubbard.

Hawkins told Leah about what it was like to get pummeled by Miscavige, who would jump on his lieutenants, fists flying, even though he is not a very large man.

Ron Miscavige and his wife Becky Bigelow described escaping from Scientology’s Int Base in March 2012. Ron later learned that his son was paying private investigators to watch his every move, paying them $10,000 a week. But that’s not what motivated him to write his memoir, Ruthless, which came out last May. Ron explained it was when he realized that his daughters had disconnected from him on David’s orders that the became determined to write his book.

We wrote much more detail about the crisis in the Miscavige family last year, and revealed that a surprising figure involved in it was none other than Lisa Marie Presley, who encouraged Ron to write his book.

 

 
Episode 5, “Golden Era”
First aired: Dec. 27, 2016

Marc and Claire Headley have been favorites of ours since we interviewed Marc about his 2009 book Blown for Good. Both raised in Scientology, they were a married couple at Gold Base, also known as Int Base, the 500-acre international management compound near Hemet, California. Both of them witnessed all kinds of amazing Scientology history there — Claire supervised the auditing of Tom Cruise, for example, and watched the church spying on him.

In the episode, Marc explained to Leah and Mike how for years he had helped put on large Scientology events, and so he knew that the numbers David Miscavige cites at these events are exaggerated. Then Marc and Claire told their harrowing escape story, and Claire described being forced to have an abortion in the Sea Org. Claire previously appeared in a terrific film about Scientology’s forced abortion policy put together by the Tampa Bay Times.

Also in this episode, we see Leah and Mike dealing with private investigators stalking them on their trip to Denver to see the Headleys. Before the episode had aired, Leah told us about one private eye they had managed to identify, former disgraced cop Daril Cinquanta, and we managed to get him on the phone.

 

Episode 6, “Auditing”
First aired: Jan. 3, 2017

We were familiar with the story of Aaron Smith-Levin; we had interviewed his mother, Gayle Smith, for a lengthy story, and Aaron had become a regular contributor of videos to the Underground Bunker. But we really weren’t prepared for how well Aaron would tell his story and how much Leah and Mike managed to cram into this hour of television.

The story of Aaron’s twin brother, Collin, is not a simple one. But Aaron managed to tell it quickly and clearly, helping viewers to understand how young Scientologists get caught up in the pursuit of “technical perfection” as auditors, and then can become disillusioned and drop out, with the result of families being ripped apart. Of all the emotional moments of a very emotional series, Aaron describing what it was like to learn that the brother he had been separated from by Scientology had died in a car accident was the one that has stayed with us the most.

The night the episode aired, Scientology predictably posted a website attacking Aaron, but he fired back, explaining to us how the page was full of distortions and exaggerations. It was one of the most effective dismantling of a Scientology attack we’ve ever seen.

 

 
Episode 7, “Enemies of the Church”
First aired: Jan. 10, 2017

We have pointed out numerous times that Scientology should not be going near anyone with a history of mental illness. And the Reisdorf family story sure proved that all over again. Brandon Reisdorf had an undiagnosed bipolar condition, but his family were Scientologists and so it the last thing they would consider doing was get him help from psychiatry, which Scientology hates with a white-hot fury. Instead, they subjected him to Scientology’s quack cure, the “Instrospection Rundown,” which meant locking him up in a room 24-hours a day and denying him any sensory input. It only made him worse, of course.

Then, when his parents were declared enemies of the church, Brandon and his brother Craig had difficult choices to make. Brandon stuck by his parents, but his brother chose to stay with the church and disconnected from the family. In a manic episode, Brandon reacted by driving from San Diego to Los Angeles to throw a hammer through the window of Scientology’s L.A. org. As his father Gary pointed out, any other church might actually try to get Brandon some help. But Scientology pushed for Brandon to be charged with a hate crime — vandalism of a “place of worship,” which was a felony. Leah and Mike’s interview of Brandon was a real highlight of the series.

The night the episode aired, Scientology posted an attack page on the Reisdorfs that included video of Craig, Brandon’s brother, and we found it to be one of the strangest P.O.W.-style “attacks” yet.

Leah and Mike also talked to three journalists about what they’ve been through trying to report on Scientology — the BBC’s John Sweeney, videographer Mark Bunker, and the proprietor of this very website.

 

 
Reddit Special 2, “Ask Me Anything Special, Part 2”
First aired: Jan. 17, 2017

Last night’s second Reddit special was a particularly strong way to wrap the first season up. (One more special episode, which was filmed earlier, will air next week). Leah and Mike answered more questions from viewers, including whether celebrities are treated differently in the church, and how Scientology views homosexuality.

And once again, Leah took the opportunity to bring on more special guests. Author Lawrence Wright did a beautiful job taking apart Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s “stolen valor,” showing that Scientology had produced fraudulent records trying to convince him that Hubbard had been awarded combat medals that his actual war record proved he never received.

Attorney Ray Jeffrey talked about what it was like to face the legal onslaught of Scientology’s unprincipled attorneys when he handled the defense for Debbie Cook in 2012. We ran through some of his other cases when we previewed his appearance on the show.

Cult expert Steve Hassan broke down when he told Mike Rinder how much it meant to him that Rinder, who was once such a fearsome operative for the church, was now doing what he could to make up for those years running Scientology’s “Office of Special Affairs.”

And Leah broke down too, thinking about how far they had come this season, and how much the huge support of fans had meant to her.

The last episode of the series, “Apostate,” which will focus on Leah Remini’s own story, will air next Tuesday, January 24.

We sure hope she gets a second season. For now, however, we still haven’t heard anything definitive about that.

So, tell us, which was your favorite episode of this remarkable series?

 
——————–

June will be here before you know it

 

 
HowdyCon 2017: Denver, June 23-25. Go here to start making your plans.

[Thank you, Observer.]

 
——————–

3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on January 18, 2017 at 07:25

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2016 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2016), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield

 

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  • beauty for ashes

    My favorite episode was definitely Aaron’s. There were many similarities in our family dynamics that were similar at the time of our siblings death. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I have asked my brother to watch this episode, because he had to tell my parents that Alicia had died, just like Aaron had to tell his Mom that Collin had died. You know I just don’t know of many situations that could be that similar to what our family experienced . And that’s all I’m gonna say about that.
    On the other hand we all knew Aaron was taking some big personal risks with how much of his story he was sharing with Leah and the WORLD. How scary would that be? So I enjoyed the live blogging and making jokes. Hoping Aaron felt our support. Collin sort of stole my heart and I doubt I will ever forget about his story. and continue to remind people just like Aaron has two A’s Collin has two L’s.;)
    As a whole I am most impressed with Leah. If you haven’t seen her huge growth as a person you must be blind. It’s been a beautiful sight to see. On the whole her attention has turned away from self to other. She listens without defenses and acts from her own core of what she believes is right. That is some hard soul work. <3<3<3

    • Kay (aka Nasty Lady)

      (((hugs)))))

  • BuberZionist

    I’ve not seen them all, but Episode #2 where Mike Rinder confronts the fat guy who was loading Mike’s trash into the back of his car was enjoyable. The recording of Jenny Linson shrieking at Mike was dramatic.

    I had not realized that Mike’s wife Christie was herself a former Scio whose parents disconnected from her. My friend and I both commented on how young and beautiful she was. If one were to go on looks or personality Mike is better off because his Scio ex-wife, who if the truth be told is unusually hag-like, disconnected from him. Her exterior mirrors her interior.

    I only took one course in Scio but I left after a reg wanted $800 from me, which was a tidy sum in 1975. I do wonder, could I have gotten sucked in? What if the reg had only wanted $80? Would I have stayed? There but for fortune…

    Recruiting new Scios, which in 2016 is nearly impossible, is like reeling in a fish. The reg at the Elmira NY mission in 1975 tried to hook me too soon. If she’d let me run for awhile I think she might have done better. I was plenty gullible at 22.

  • Ella Raitch

    Welcome DG!

  • breezybubbles

    If Leah needs any interns to make season two happen I promise to use my English major skills for good.

    • chukicita

      Meanwhile, you can use ’em to write your elected officials! Don’t try to explain everything that’s abusive about Scn in one letter; no one can do this. Pick just one thing, and send it to the appropriate agency and cc your elected officials. Maybe ask why Scientology is still tax exempt.

  • Willie Jones

    This may not have been the highest commenting day but it was very meaningful for me. Thank you Tony for your unwavering daily posts. You affect more people than you know. You will go down in scientology history as someone who truely made a difference . You are a gem. Thank you.

    • Baby

      Hi sweetie.. I absolutely agree with you.. xo baby

    • Todd Tomorrow

      Well, we love your dedication and passion! Greatest idea on this sight ever.

  • Ella Raitch

    Just saw a comment by Karen Delac at ESMB and confirmed on a foxtel site that ‘Aftermath’ will be airing in Australia on the Crimes and Investigation channel. Other shows featured on this channel –
    Crimes that shook Australia
    Deadly Women
    Escaping Polygamy
    The Killing of Jon Benet: Her father speaks

    You get the picture

    An explosive new documentary series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, which explores the experiences of American actress/producer Leah Remini and other former members of the Church of Scientology, will premiere exclusively in Australia on Foxtel’s crime + investigation network on Wednesday, February 8 at 9.30pm AEDT.

    http://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Docos/Leah-Remini-Scientology-and-the-Aftermath/td-p/175308

    • What’sup

      Tony had that up a few days ago. The irony of it being on CI was not lost on me.

  • Juicer77

    Welcome, DG!

  • Juicer77

    If you haven’t seen it, watch Steve Hassan describe how he got into and out of the Unification Church (Moonies). It’s an amazingly honest journey which he describes in detail. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sw-oF-Z_I7U&t=731s

  • Juicer77

    Welcome, newbies and lurkers and under-the-radars. Take the comfy chair and I’ll make some tea.

  • Todd Tomorrow
  • mrssandoval

    I’ve never belonged to a cult, but I am religious (Lutheran.) I’m astonished, outraged, heartbroken, as well as hopeful after watching this series; I’m hopeful that the tide will wash away this harmful org.
    What I’m most proud of is the participants in this series. As my dad would always say to me “you got guts, kid.” They all have incredible strength and courage to come forth knowing how vicious and litigious this cult is.
    How many people left the Catholic Church after all their scandals? Did the pope then punch them? Throw up smear sites? Tear apart families? Does any religion really do that? Like the auditing episode said “most churches would pray for [him] and quietly settle the bill.” I know for sure that the church I belong to would do that, as would most others.
    I pray that those harmed by this cult find peace, love and happiness. I pray y’all find the strength within to rise above what you’ve been through. And though I am religious, I don’t judge, nor have some of those ugly attributes of organized religion. Maybe my hope and prayers will mean nothing to you, but do know that others are looking out for you.

    • Juicer77

      Welcome, fellow Lutheran! πŸ˜‰ This has been an amazing series and I am really hoping they get a Season 2. There is much more to explain.

      • mrssandoval

        There really is Juicer77! I really want justice now!!!
        I had to drop out of law school because I had cervical cancer. Then, after an infertility diagnosis, I had a baby! So, law school has been on the back burner.
        I was going to go to Cornell, but they have an anti-death penalty clinic as their specialty. I believe in the dp, but a Cornell degree would look nice, no?
        My point is, once I have this piece of paper, I’d have more strength to go after this cult. My main specialty is fighting for the rights of the mentally ill! Ironic, right?
        I’m mentally ill. I’ve never met most of my family members because they’ve committed suicide. Anxiety and depression run in my family. Think Hemingway family.
        Long story short, I knew I was different for as long as I can remember. In 1986, when I was 7 and diagnosed as anxious/depressed, Prozac wasn’t yet invented! There was nothing my family could do and I couldn’t take medication until I was 19 for safety reasons with SSRIs.
        At 19, and at my worst, I was approached by a scientologist and fell for it hook, line and sinker. It wasn’t until my dad spit in the dude’s face did I realize this was a cult.
        I ended up trying to commit suicide at age 19. I didn’t know why my thoughts were racing, why I always felt like I was having a heart attack, why I couldn’t stop crying; I didn’t know there was a treatment for this and so I slit my wrists and downed a bunch of painkillers.
        If it wasn’t for Paxil and occasionally taking Xanax, coupled with a psychologist for therapy, I’d be dead. This, like diabetes, is a lifelong disease that requires care, meds, therapy and lifestyle changes. It’s real, it’s deadly, and it has changed my life for the better; I can weed out bad people, I’m much more empathetic to human suffering, etc.
        I wish LRH, DM, Tom Cruise, other mindless followers would get that.

        • Juicer77

          I’m glad you have found good treatment. Medications and therapy are such blessings. You have had an incredible journey! Law school can happen again. Enjoy that kiddo. πŸ™‚

          • mrssandoval

            Thanks, Juicer!
            It’s actually quite hurtful to me that the cos feels this way about me, my illness and the kind team of doctors that care for me. My disease is so real, as real as any other. I’ve literally got a 4″ long by 1/4″ wide scar on my wrist that proves just how real it is.
            In the beginning, I felt like I’d be stigmatized and maybe I was just weak. I’d get off my meds, stop going to therapy, then end up in a psych ward within a few months.
            And where do they get this “evil psychiatrist” thing? Every one of them that I’ve ever encountered have been so kind, have tremendous empathy and gave really allowed me to be hands-on with my own treatment. I’ve never been forced to to ect, nor any other wacko treatments the cos says happens.
            I can fully attest that vitamins, saunas, exercise and lots of water would not have saved my life. There’s nothing I can do but meds.
            As for the kiddo, I’m 37 and I’m trying really hard to have another. I’m an only child and it was very lonely for me. I want my kiddo to have all that I had + more! I’m gonna change my avatar back to him instead of duck butts, which I love πŸ™‚

            • Juicer77

              Look at that face!! So cute!! I had one psychiatrist that I had to “fire” because I didn’t feel he was managing my case properly (he wasn’t). More a case of benign neglect than anything. But everyone else I’ve dealt with has been professional, appropriately empathetic and worked with me to put the tools in place that I need to manage daily life well. The $ci routine makes me ill just thinking about it. How can poisoning your body (literally) and exhausting it help the situation? Those are two huge triggers for many mental illnesses.

    • Robert Eckert

      Well of course when Luther’s original series on A&E exposed the Catholic Church’s constant regging and many people left the Church, the Vatican did get a little violent in the response… but most religious organizations have matured somewhat since those days.

      • mrssandoval

        I do know, plus what happened with Protestants and the Church of England. For brevity’s sake, I left that out.
        There are bad congregations of every religion as well. Look up Creflo Dollar (really, who’d get ministered by someone with that name?!) There’s bad everywhere. I bring it up a lot because I studied it, but look up Peoples Temple and how it started. Then, look at how it ended.
        I try not to shit on the Catholic religion, though I don’t necessarily agree with it, because I’ve met some really good Catholics and have seen the good they do. I guess that also leaves the door open to the good in Scientology…
        Sorry I can’t form a coherent post. I’ve got a toddler and I’ve got Graves’Disease, which causes a tremor while I type and my thoughts get jumbled. But like you said, most organized religions have matured and you’d be hard-pressed to compare one’s tactics with former members to that of cos.

        • Robert Eckert

          “Look up Creflo Dollar (really, who’d get ministered by someone with that name?!) ” A friend of mine said that name sounded like, “I’m’a’go creflo a dollar outta momma’s purse.”

          • mrssandoval

            YESSSS!!! And he’s soooo ghetto: gold teeth, gold chains, then had the congregation donate for his new G5 plane! He’s supposedly a “Christian baptist minister.” Creflo sounds so much like millenial slang! =)

  • Please don’t take me too serious πŸ™‚ but i thought of posting success stories from the Bunker and throw them at #Scientology on Twitter. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/72a5a81658662efa67d7180a07250ac0fb1a6d1f2db7b93c29cbee91346cefff.png

    • breezybubbles

      not enough RANDOMIZED CAPITALIZED ….words…

      • Juicer77

        LOL

    • Juicer77

      Nice idea, but I prefer to direct people here to the actual post so they can see the context and read more for themselves. πŸ™‚

      • the comment link could be included in the tweet. i have done that before but without any picture, so this is as usual just a test. if it works, it works and all that Jazz

  • Ella Raitch

    Just caught up with episode 7 and the AMA from yesterday.

    At the end of 7, as Leah and Mike were getting out of the car to see the lawyer, there were a few visible signs and no doubt identifiable buildings. I bet OSA have been pouring over the video to try and determine who they were going to see. Of course, I expect Mike and Leah know this and were nowhere near the lawyer’s office when that was shot (how much does it suck to be you OSA).

    In the AMA, loved Leah’s reaction to Wright’s mention of sheep dipping. And of course the moment where Steve Hassan addresses Mike. It looks like Mike is receiving as much healing as he’s giving to people in telling these stories – the power of truth and reconciliation.

    • Dave Reams

      Sheep dipping is how syphilis crossed over from sheep to humans

    • you have the link to the AMA on reddit?

      • Ella Raitch

        No, sorry

        • just trawled reddit. don’t think there are any!

          • Ella Raitch

            I’m talking about the AMA episode of Leah’s show, not a new Reddit AMA – sorry if I confused you.

      • Eclipse-girl

        Try youtube. That is where I found it yesterday.
        I think it was put up by a poster, Lollipop.

  • Noallball

    Last night’s episode probably touched and outraged me for reasons not everyone will understand. My youngest son is a Marine currently deployed somewhere in the Mideast. During his time in the military he has risked his life many times in defense of our country, civilians, journalists and foreign national troops. To hear that Hubbard represented himself as a hero when we know very well he was nothing but a screw up who depth charged a log is an insult to every man and woman who has served their country honorably. Anyone who represents Hubbard as an honest, almost God-like being should take a soul searching look again. If you still see him as the answer to life’s problems, woe-is-you.

    • Qbird

      I understand, Noallball… I’m married to a combat Vietnam Vet.
      When I saw Tom Cruise receive his medal & then salute David Miscavige in military fashion, why I was thunderstruck. A pretty-boy actor SALUTING the leader of a {{church}}?! WTF!?
      THEN, I learned of Hubbard’s shtick… holy crap, it chaps my ass! No kidding.
      I am so glad for that last episode addressing this bullshit.
      L. Ron Hubbard – lying LIAR that lies. about everything.

      • Noallball

        You’re my new BFF! Give your husband my thanks and undying respect for his service. Tommy Boy is already being scorned in many circles so he’ll get his Karma. We’ve all known Hubbard and Miscavige were/are consummate liars, perhaps this was the last push into sanity for some. Thanks to you!

        • Qbird

          I showed Mr. Q a photo of DM in his FAKE uniform… This is the leader of the COS, says I. He said, “Well, holee shit, looks like a bag of smashed asshole right there; boy needs another uniform to hold all that hardwear.” https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5dc537a1ed946921adf41540e3fb22da93071c89f365a64a33aae2e6b1e2c282.png

          • Noallball

            You’re hero is a goddamned riot! Chortle, chortle.

          • InterestedObserver12

            A monogrammed KKK shirt? Please tell me the KKK was photo-shopped.

            • Qbird

              i really have no idea – believe it means something other than KluKlucksters.

          • Noallball

            BTW did your husband see LR’s “medals” supposedly earned during WWll? He’d just love that. Whereas your guy got his with blood, sweat and tears, Hubbard just cobbled his together from a pawn shop and a little needle and thread.

            • Qbird

              My guy doesn’t give a rat’s ass about war medals. period. Sorry, but truth.
              (not his own & certainly not LRH’s). He pays absolutely no attention to Scn whatsoever.
              Only the Medal of Honor & the Purple Heart does he respect with absolute solemn high regard. He threw all of his own away, along with his green beret & uniforms… upon his return to the world, everything went into the garbage except his DD214, a letter declaring him an officer & a gentleman & a few photographs. His Mother kept all of the letters he wrote while in-country (I’ve read them). He has some PTSD issues, but manages as best as he can, mostly preferring not to talk about it… at all. “A million dollar experience I wouldn’t pay a dime to experience again.” He has survivors guilt, Noallball, and he still to this day has terrible nightmares. So it is. “It’s just a thing.”

            • Noallball

              Q, my son, who is still active and deployed, is the same. He dosn’t talk about what he does. And the only certificate he’s proud of is being first in his class at Force Recon school. My sincere regards to your husband. He’s just getting on with life. Bless his heart.

  • What a great series! The support I have received from so many people who know about my disconnection from my daughter has been incredible. Most are still in shock that this organization does what it does and hides behind the first amendment, Great job Leah,Mike and all the crew behind the scenes bringing this message to life! Thank you. I know this will help get my daughter free as I am sure she will experience the influence of this from those around her!

  • RedShoeLady

    I can’t choose one. Each one had me riveted to the TV, set me off on @twitter, had me talking about it to my friends and family here then calling & texting people to remind them “next episode is tonight”, had me on FB sharing news stories etc. However the last one touched my heart to see Leah’s authentic emotions come out when she realized she’d touched the hearts of millions! My heart went out to her and Mike both.

  • Juicer77

    Glad you like the video. He has done a few with ex-$cientologist Tory Magoo that are worth watching, too. There was another video (which I am having trouble finding) where he talked about having broken up with a girlfriend while in college. Just after that some nice-looking girls approached him and invited him to a 3 day retreat. Basically they used sex appeal and love bombing on a vulnerable young person.

  • Carolina G. Nulatienpo

    my favorite one was where they were talking about the propaganda videos. i also loved how the series ended with them lighting a candle. im so impressed with mike rinder and how devoted he is to not only helping people but to getting his children out. every time i see leah in an episode i just want to hug her and say “its ok, we understand! we love you, you are brave and beautiful and you should keep fighting”. she is so dear and so sweet and i thought it was hysterical how she called that 20/20 guy and asshole on camera. she’s so right. i have seen all these episodes a million times (i was in cults myself) and am an avid $cientology watcher. ive been reading the underground bunker for years and love what you do here, tony. i cant wait for season 2. oh, 1 more thought-even though i have read every book and seen every documentary nothing has helped me understand the co$ like leah’s show. im so thankful she did it. thanks to everyone who made it possible and keep the faith mike rinder-i believe you will see your children again!

  • Gladys Kravitz

    i loved them all, but for some reason aaron’s episode resonated the most deeply. i found myself weeping openly with him. such a great, compelling series. thank you to ALL who participated!!!!

    • Phoebequeen

      Me too. I think just hearing how this tore him apart just gutted me.

  • Jeneralskant

    I would definitely say the one that had the most impact on me was the “Auditing” episode. I cried my eyes out. But every single episode was compelling.
    The one thing that blew my mind was the disclaimer they had to show when the episode began, after every commercial, and the end. You can tell that A&E received a lot of pressure. I tip my hat to them, Mike Rinder, and especially Leah Remini for their bravery.

  • Eclipse-girl

    To answer Tony O’s question:

    I think every episode built on the previous episode(s). I believe that is is good producing / production.

    I can’t wait to see next weeks episode. It will likely be the best of the season.

    Because our propietor might have an in with Leah and Mike, my suggestion for a 2nd season is to focus on the treatment of children — kids in the cadet corp, and kids who sign up for damned billion yr contract. If there needs to be something to ‘fill out’ the season, please deal with conditions that the SO (both children and adults) has to deal with.

  • Evie

    My fav ep was Auditing. I had just binge watched Aaron Smith-Levin’s interview series with Mike Rinder on youtube the week before this episode aired. So I had seen hours of him talking about the church in a matter of fact way. He was so powerful on Aftermath, so emotional and raw. When he broke down talking about his brother it shattered me. And of course the stuff with the neighbour and the dog was hilarballs and insane!

  • stateofcircle

    I just absolutely love the chemistry between Leah and Mike. I could watch them all day – they’re a fantastic duo. I truly hope this series keeps going and comes back soon.

  • They all impacted me quite a bit as I’ve had personal experience, either it’s happened to me, or I’ve done it to others, or I’ve seen it happen to others by others – when I was on staff or worked with the Sea Org. I really really really hope A&E and Leah continues to produce this. This show could literally have more seasons than the Simpsons … the abuses are worldwide and span decades.

  • aurabass

    The Mary Kahn story still haunts me. She reminds me of a friend – so sincere and unguarded – even Rinder was brought to sobs as she described the pain. Here is a perfect member – faithful, dedicated, industrious – a seeker who only wanted to help make a better world. She gives her money – over $300,000 and reaches the highest level OT VIII only to be informed of mistakes requiring a do-over – at her own expense of course. She even gives her son Sammy. And when she finally has some doubts following a grueling 2 month cruise to get to OT VIII the second time – what happens? Mary confides her doubt to husband Mark who reports her to the CoS.
    Mark’s best friends first advice – DIVORCE HER. Mark’s first reaction – THINK OF YOUR FAMILY. This isn’t some short timer troublemaker. This is a 30 year faithful devotee and a first time doubt is met with what? Not some compassionate caring reasoned attempt to solve the issue – NO. It’s met with a KR and Divorce – and punishment and emotional pain. For 30 years and 300,000 and a son – a twice OT VIII is immediately considered an enemy and confronted with nothing but threats. That’s the CoS. Is that CLEAR ENOUGH/
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/685cfa465e18bbcf316ee75516d57ef08c74f2c1648ad1d8f50deeaf36c95d53.jpg

  • Carolina G. Nulatienpo

    man, i cant wait for June. I know its not what the show is about, but i want so badly to hear them talk about project chanology.

  • Elli Fordyce

    As a former Scientologist, both public and staff, I was very touched when Mike broke down thinking about some of his own past contributions to others’ painful experiences. Also, found Aaron’s story about separation from his identical twin brother extremely profound.

    Elli

  • rainbow3364

    What happened to the Apostate episode that was suppose to air January 24th? I don’t see it anywhere on A&Es site or any other place to watch it. Did it not air?