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What the first trailer for Leah Remini’s Scientology series tells us about her show

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Last night, the A&E network released a trailer for Leah Remini’s upcoming series about Scientology, and wow, does it look great.

We thought we’d slow it down and take a look at the people in it, provide a few links about who they are, and just bask in this moment. We can hardly wait for November 29 and the start of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.

 

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The clip starts off with a familiar face for Underground Bunker readers…

 
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Marc Headley: The pope of Scientology just beat the shit out of me…

We first wrote about Marc in 2009 when he published his great escape narrative, Blown for Good. He and his wife Claire were Sea Org officials at Scientology’s secretive international headquarters complex, Gold Base, near Hemet, California.

Marc’s book explains how they managed to escape the place, including a dramatic scene when Marc raced away from the complex on a motorcycle and was nearly run down by chasing Scientology goons. Marc and Claire have appeared numerous times on camera (Claire told her own escape story to David Pakman, for example), but they’ve never really been given the screen time they deserve. Marc’s line here suggests that Scientology leader David Miscavige’s reputation for assaulting his employees will be a key subject for the series. This should be good.

 
Leah Remini: My whole life I was a very dedicated Scientologist…

Jefferson Hawkins: David Miscavige started hammering my face…

 
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We’re so glad to see that Jefferson Hawkins is going to be a part of the show. We’re huge fans of his memoir, Counterfeit Dreams, and he’s done some great work for us here at the Underground Bunker, especially his excellent series about Scientology’s Orwellian “ethics” rules that are used to enforce obedience. He also made a memorable appearance in Louis Theroux’s film, My Scientology Movie.

 
Leah: I didn’t want to find out what I’d done was a lie.

Mary Kahn: All the money we spent to try and hang on to my family. They’d been owning me for all these years…

 
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Mary Kahn told her story of disconnection at Mike Rinder’s blog in 2014. She had completed all of the work to finish OT 8, the highest level in Scientology, but it only turned her off of Scientology and left her determined never to audit again. Eventually, that got her into trouble, and after she was declared a suppressive person, her son decided to follow church orders and cut off all ties with her.

We met Mary when we were in Clearwater last year with Paulette Cooper on our book tour. Mary hosted a reception for us, and we’re still extremely grateful for that. We really look forward to seeing her tell Leah her story on camera.

 
Leah: Something inside of me was saying, get them out of this thing.

Amy Scobee: I was 14 when I started in Scientology. I had a boss who was 35 years old, and we had sex. And the organization did not tell my mother, did not tell the police. They’re going to sweep it under the carpet and it will all be over with.

 
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Amy Scobee and her husband Mat Pesch are so instrumental to the story of Scientology in recent years. They were among the first former Sea Org members to reconnect with Marty Rathbun in 2008 when he began to reemerge on the scene. Amy told her story of sexual mistreatment and other harrowing experiences in her book Abuse at the Top and was one of the top former officials who took part in the epic 2009 series “The Truth Rundown” in the Tampa Bay Times.

Mat, meanwhile, has his own fascinating history. He worked in finance at the Flag Land Base, and so he was able to confirm some of the claims by Marty Rathbun about the way Scientology spent millions to try and influence Florida’s court system when the church was mired in the Lisa McPherson scandal.

When we were in Los Angeles this weekend, Leah told us that her series originally started as a project to tell Amy’s story on camera. We expect it’s going to be the emotional center of her 8-episode show.

 
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Leah: Fight for your family. Fight for your daughters, your sons…

 
When Leah says these words, we see glimpses of three people. Tom DeVocht’s adorable daughter Ellie (who many of us have watched growing up on Facebook)….

 
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Marc and Claire Headley’s youngest son Grayson, who made an auspicious debut here at the Bunker…

 
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And a quick glimpse of Tom DeVocht himself…

 
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Leah: Let’s get to the abuses. Let’s get to the abortions. Wake up.

Kapow. And with promos airing, you know that no amount of angry letters or creepy stalker guys is going to slow down Leah and A&E.

 
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Roger Friedman on Tommy Davis and the Packer-Carey split

Roger knows the players here better than most, and we think he has an interesting take on the James Paker-Mariah Carey split and Tommy Davis’s possible role in it.

Like us, he assumes that Tommy is still a Scientologist, and that it’s more likely that he’s trying to get James Packer back into the fold than to reduce his expenses. And so if Davis did contribute to the split between Mariah and Packer, it has more to do with Scientology than it does with how much he was spending on her.

Again, for the proper background on this stuff, our August story gives you most of what you need to know. We are still working our sources, and hope to have an update soon.

 
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3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on November 2, 2016 at 07:00

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.

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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