Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Scientology leader David Miscavige launches new personal attacks at Leah Remini

Scientology leader David Miscavige is demonstrating some real concern about Leah Remini’s upcoming second season of her A&E series, Scientology and the Aftermath.

As we mentioned earlier, since Leah’s defection became public in 2013, Miscavige had seemed to treat her with kid gloves, holding back the kind of retaliation he let loose on other prominent members who had turned critics, such as Jason Beghe, Paul Haggis, Amy Scobee, and Mike Rinder. Each of them had been smeared mercilessly with the use of private investigators and online attacks. But for the most part, Leah had escaped that treatment, despite her high profile. Even when the first season of her show proved to be a huge unexpected hit for A&E this past fall, the website Scientology put up to attack it was targeted more at her guests than at Remini herself.

But then, with the news two weeks ago that A&E had approved a second season, the gloves came off. Suddenly there were pages at the attack site which made it clear that Scientology’s private eyes have been digging into Remini’s past, interviewing former friends and family members, all in an attempt to attack her in personal ways.

Last time, we told you about a video that was made by someone who at one time had been Remini’s best friend, singer and longtime Scientologist Stacy Francis. Now, another new page has appeared at the attack site which hosts five new videos featuring people who were formerly close to Remini.


We wanted you to see their transcripts to get some sense of how Scientology thinks. Rather than address any of the actual issues that Remini’s series has brought up — forced abortions, families ripped apart, fortunes extorted — Scientology follows L. Ron Hubbard’s playbook to the tee and goes after Remini in order to “dead agent” her. Miscavige can’t answer the allegations being made about Scientology, so he’s trying to make the same allegations against Remini by having her former friends who are still Scientologists give POW-style videos.

Take a look at what they say, and imagine that this strategy makes sense to David Miscavige. We hope that some of these people, after they inevitably leave the church as nearly everyone does sooner or later, are able to recognize how they were misused by something that calls itself a “church.”


Shannon Burwell

I was acting in an episode of King of Queens. I was cast in it. I didn’t know Leah or anybody in her family beforehand. I just was cast. And when I arrived on the set for rehearsal that week, immediatley she’d had a huge blowup with the director. And she was acting very mean and pretty awful and they actually had to shut the set down for at least an hour while she, you know, whatever, cooled off, came back, and then, she was pretty mean the whole week. And because I knew she was a Scientologist, I actually was embarrassed that she was acting that way.

So it was the day of the show. We were both — we were the only two people in the make-up room at the time, other than the make-up people working on each of us. And she was trying to create some energy in the room, and she turned to her make-up girl, and she said, ‘What do I have to do, do I have to stick my hand up your bleep to get a rise out of you? And I was stunned, and the other — and you could tell that it actually kind of deflated the energy in the room. But because she was the star of the show, everyone had to kind of pretend that they thought it was funny.


Michael Duff (married to actress Denice Duff)

My wife and her friends, they were, you know, they were friends with Leah, and, whatever — a party or something and she just always — just be a little unnerved, like feeling small after an encounter, you know? That was the, that was the unfortunate thing that I saw was she would try to make herself propped up by putting other people down. And that’s just unpleasant to be around. As just, as ooh, it’s really funny because I’m a comedian. It’s like ah, there’s, it’s not funny, really. You know, especially with your friends. You know it’s like that — but oh, they can’t take it, well. You know, take what? What should they actually have to take?


Jim Kilmartin

My name is Jim Kilmartin, and I’ve known Leah since she was a teenager. She initially hung around with one of my daughters. And later in life, my son ended up marrying Leah’s sister.

When I used to go to Leah’s house for the holidays, I never felt like I was part of the family. I mean, my daughter was there, my son was there, so in that sense they were always happy to see me. But I never got that same feeling from Leah at all.

Leah never made me feel that I was part of the family. And when my wife she was sick for quite a long time and in the hospital numerous times, I don’t recall Leah ever coming to visit or calling me and, or doing anything along those lines, you know even though she talks about family, you know I theoretically should have been part of the family because considering my son’s involvement, my daughter’s involvement with Leah and the amount of time that went on for. And I don’t remember her being at the memorial service when she passed away or getting any kind of communication from her about my wife passing away. And so how is that caring about family?

Even though she says the family is very, very important, obviously I wasn’t considered family. But yet I was.

I had gone to quite a few holiday events, whether it be Thanksgiving or Christmas or whatnot at Leah’s. And that was the most interaction, I guess you could say, with her. And one time at one of these parties she wanted me to have something to eat. And I said no, I don’t eat that kind of food, and for some reason that got her a little bit upset. And from that moment forward, I didn’t get invited to as many things as I used to, prior to that.

I would say the reason I didn’t go back as much was because I didn’t do what she wanted me to do and that didn’t go over well.


Joanne Schnitzer

One time I was at the house and I was like in absolute shock. You know, I played with Sophia. She was on the trampoline, and Leah would be like, ‘Get out of there! Move back! Stop that!’ You know, and I just couldn’t believe how she was treating her daughter.

And I was just very embarrassed that she would do that with her daughter and I felt horrible for the kid. I, you know, I thought it would have a very bad effect on Sophia.

Leah had an assistant who, they were like best friends, like forever and then one day, Leah up and fired her. And this assistant went through hell because Leah would not talk to her. You know, there was no way of having a conversation and coming to terms with it. And this went on ‘ad infinitum.’ In other words, this girl, this assistant who she fired, who’d been her best friend, to this day has no clue what happened.


Cristin Woodruff (married to Todd Woodruff)

My husband was one of the main ministers in Scientology who helped Leah throughout the years. And that’s the truth. It’s just really hurtful that, after all that he did for her that this would be what we get in return, you know. So, I just hope that my son can grow up to understand that actions like this are wrong, and I only hope that we could teach him to, you know, love people and care about people, and never turn on the people that you love and that you care about. You know, that’s what we want to teach him, and you know we want to keep him out of any other situations where you wouldn’t, you know, love somebody and care about somebody and, and be loyal to somebody who’s helped you so much, you know. That’s what we want him to grow up, you know, believing and feeling, and we’re going to use Scientology to do that.


Malena Pichot doubles down

After Jonny Jacobsen dug up the tweets that apparently got Argentinean comedian Malena Pichot in some trouble with the Scientologists in her country, we hoped that she might have something to say about the controversy. She had told a news organization there that a Scientology official had reported her to a national anti-discrimination organization because she had called Scientology a “cult” on Twitter.

Well, she hasn’t got back to us, but she did post this brief video, made in her car.

The first thing she does is wonder about the packaging of some tampons, which says in a butterfly symbol that it’s now “more feminine”

“How can it be more feminine? Does it have more roses, butterflies? [screaming]: WHAT IS IT?”

Then she turns to Scientology.

“It seems that I said it’s a cult but it’s not a cult so I have to say something [screaming]: IT’S A CULT!”


This woman is a hoot. We hope she talks to Jonny soon.


Your proprietor gets MythInformed in Milwaukee

Sean Fracek and Brian Edward at Mythicist Milwaukee invited your proprietor back for another podcast for Mythicist Milwaukee. This time, they have lots of questions about recent stories here at the Underground Bunker.



Countdown to Denver!


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


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,709 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,812 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,306 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,346 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,058 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 525 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,673 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,813 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,133 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,108 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 464 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,766 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 873 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,275 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,148 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 729 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,234 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,478 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,587 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on April 3, 2017 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.

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


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email