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Scientology Continues to “Handle” the “Black PR” of Leah Remini’s Defection

FundamentalsPRScientology continues to “handle” the defection of Leah Remini and the subsequent media uproar. We have now learned that the church has produced a video about the controversy, and is asking Scientologists in the Los Angeles area to come to local facilities to view it and learn how to think about “Black PR” — Scientology jargon for negative press.

We have talked to numerous Scientologists who say they’ve been asked to come down and view the video, and we’ve asked our sources to get us details of what’s being shown.

Meanwhile, we’re told that there’s more fallout for Remini herself as Scientologists continue to “disconnect” from her on instructions from the church

“These people are really stupid, Tony. They really are,” says Donna Fiore. “They’re provoking Leah now, and if she opens her mouth — I mean really opens her mouth — it would be disastrous for them.”

For 28 years, Donna Fiore was Leah Remini’s stepmother, until, 10 years ago, she split up with Leah’s father, George Remini. Fiore says she and Leah are still close, and she’s been talking to the King of Queens actress frequently as she prepared to leave the church and in the chaotic days since.

“When I met George, I had a six-year-old, about the same age as Nicole and Leah. We’ve always been close,” she says.

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Over the years, she never liked seeing how much Scientology was a part of her stepdaughter’s life.

“Anytime I was there, she would get hassled. There were spies all around,” she says. “But I never argued with her about it. She would say, ‘Come on, let’s go to a meeting, let’s go to the Celebrity Centre.’ I just thought it was a lot of BS. They’re just taking your money.”

Donna Fiore

Donna Fiore

Fiore says she would talk with Remini about it, good-naturedly. “We’re all from Brooklyn and we all have big mouths,” she says. But then, Leah stopped debating about it.

“I noticed the change last year. Leah sent me heartfelt e-mails. She said she was doing some soul-searching, and she was worried about what would happen,” Fiore says. “I said don’t worry about it. We’re not disconnecting. And the whole family walking out is making a huge statement.”

Fiore says Scientology did try to pit the family members against each other.

“They dragged the whole family in when this all started. They put [Leah’s mother] Vicki through hell. They put Leah’s stepfather George [Marshall] through hell. They worked them over. They tried to turn Vicki against Leah, but that didn’t work. They tried to turn George against Leah, but that didn’t work. They even tried to get Leah to turn against her mom and stepfather,” Fiore says.

“Scientology says it doesn’t force disconnection? Are you crazy? That’s all they do,” she says, referring to the church’s statement last week that it doesn’t pressure families to split apart.

“And as for Shelly — produce her.”

As we first reported on July 8, Leah Remini first began to question her involvement in Scientology in 2006, when she realized that leader David Miscavige’s wife Shelly had vanished. For seven years, Shelly has not been seen by the general church population, and we have reason to believe Shelly is living and working at a very secretive base in the mountains above Los Angeles with only about a dozen other people. The church has repeatedly insisted that Shelly is simply a private person who wishes to be left alone. But Fiore, like others, wonders why Shelly can’t make a public appearance to quiet rumors.

“Give her a makeover, bring her out, have her say she’s a private person, and that’s it,” Fiore says — and that would end the questioning. Why, she wonders, doesn’t Miscavige make it happen?

While the church struggles to put out statements that sound convincing, Leah is hearing from many other people who support her decision, Fiore tells us.

“Leah’s been getting a lot of calls from people in the industry — writers, people at stations — and they’re congratulating her. They’re telling her something she never knew, that Scientology kind of gave her a black mark. I thought it was supposed to be the opposite,” she says. “She got a slew of phone calls from people like that.”

Those calls have bolstered her resolve as longtime Scientology friends cut off all ties.

“She’s alternating now between bereavement and warrior princess,” Fiore says.

“I’m sorry it took until she was 43 to snap out of it, but she did.”

 
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FreedomMagCoverWho Would Work for Scientology’s Freedom Magazine?

Yesterday, several news organizations reported that Scientology’s propaganda magazine, Freedom, is advertising an opening for an investigative journalist in Los Angeles. Even Drudge noted it, and we thank the New York Post for pointing out that we wrote about a similar job listing by the magazine in 2011.

Over the years, Scientology has found out-of-work reporters who were willing to take the church’s money to write slimy smear jobs about Scientology’s perceived enemies.

The journalism field has been decimated by the economy. But imagine how desperate you’d have to be to work for Freedom. We’d love to hear from those who have.

Meanwhile, our old L.A. friend Mark Ebner tweeted that he was going to apply for the job. It’s a shame Spy magazine isn’t still around to print whatever comes of Ebner’s adventure!

 
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Geir Isene on the OT Levels

An interesting new video from Karen de la Carriere, J. Swift, and Angry Gay Pope.

 

 
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Posted by Tony Ortega on July 24, 2013 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to tonyo94@gmail.com 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.

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