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Leah Remini is filming an ‘Aftermath’ episode in Clearwater’s oldest Baptist church on July 22

[Pastor Willy Rice]

UPDATE: This event has now been canceled. See our new story about what happened to it.

In a letter that Pastor Willy Rice sent to his congregation, the Clearwater Baptist minister revealed that Leah Remini and Mike Rinder will be filming an episode of their A&E series, Scientology and the Aftermath, at the Florida church on July 22 at 12 noon.

The pastor explains that this won’t be a church event, or even a Christian event, but it will give Clearwater residents with questions about Scientology and about Remini’s show the chance to get some answers in the city where Scientology has its “spiritual mecca.”

We confirmed with the Aftermath team that the filming is taking place, and they said they would get back to us soon with an official statement about it. In the meantime, here’s the pastor’s letter…


Dear Calvary Family:

Many of you may be aware of the A&E series Scientology and the Aftermath featuring the actor Leah Remini and Mike Rinder. Both Remini and Rinder are former Scientologists who have shared their own stories and spoken out about the cult’s dangerous, deceptive and abusive practices. The series, which first aired last season, has received great attention.

The series is in production for a second season. I believe it has the potential, perhaps more than any book or documentary so far, to expose the truly horrific practices of Scientology.

Recently, the producers of A&E reached out to us to ask if we would be willing to host an episode of season two featuring Remini and Rinder. After consulting with other pastors and leaders we have agreed to do so. Leah Rimini and Mike Rinder, along with others, will be at Calvary for an open public forum on Saturday, July 22 at 12:00 noon.

This event will not be a Calvary event, in that we will not run or direct the event. It will not even be exclusively a “Christian” event, in that its aims are not exclusively for evangelism, worship or discipleship as we would normally identify those terms. The television program does not come from a Christian perspective, nor do the persons producing the show and running the event necessarily share our faith. Why then are we doing it?

We believe this represents an important, perhaps historic, opportunity to expose the cult of Scientology and the harm it has brought to our community and to many thousands of people. Rinder and Remini are two of the most prominent persons to ever defect or escape from this group and their story deserves to be heard. As Clearwater’s oldest church, we believe we have a unique opportunity to help this message be heard and to facilitate the discussion our community deserves. Therefore, even though this event falls outside of the normal parameters of an event our church would host, we believe it is strategic for us to do so.

While, we will not be in charge of the event or its content, we are involved and will do our best to make sure the discussions and decorum demonstrate respect for our church, our mission and our facilities. Nevertheless, you should know that the content or views expressed at the forum may not necessarily represent those of the pastors or members of Calvary.

What can you do to help? Get the word out. This event is being driven by the production schedule of A&E. It is happening quickly and a Saturday event at 12:00 pm is highly unusual. However, we believe there will be high interest across our community. The doors will open at 11:30 that morning and it will be open to the public.

Next, pray. Pray that God will use the event for His purposes and that the light of truth will shine on one of the dark corners of our community. Pray also for our church and leaders. The historic pattern of Scientology has been to viciously and unfairly attack their critics. Instead of answering the concerns raised, the cult has often sought to attack the messengers, their character, and their family. They are liable to do anything they can do to distract from the issue at hand. This is known as an Ad hominem argument and it is a familiar logical fallacy. We should anticipate an attack upon Calvary and our leaders and thus should pray for God’s protection and pray that what some may mean for evil, God will use for good. Please understand what is happening should you read or hear of some attack upon our church and/or our leaders. Our pastors and congregational leaders will respond as necessary to any attacks in the way we feel honors the Lord and defends the truth.

Our prayer is that through this event God would be glorified and our Calvary family would have the opportunity to point people to the Truth. This will not be possible without your faithful prayers. Starting Friday, July 21st, at 12:00 pm and for the following 24 hours, we are asking our Calvary family members to commit to pray for this event for 15 minutes. Register for a time slot at

This is a highly unusual opportunity but the presence of Scientology in our community is a highly unusual phenomena. We believe we have an opportunity to help those who are telling a story that needs to be told. Please pray. If you have an interest, plan to attend. Get the word out on social media.

Our community needs people of courage who are willing to speak out and support those who do. Who will be courageous if those of us who claim to trust in the Lord are afraid to speak up and help those who do? Our community has been tormented by this Goliath for far too long. Someone has to pick up a rock and a slingshot and trust God with the results. We believe we are in a unique position in this community and should try to help. As always, we will put our trust in the Lord who is sovereign over all.

I hope this offers some explanation of why we are taking the unusual step of hosting this event. I hope it calls you to prayer and I hope that if you have an interest and/or know others who do, that you will plan to attend and help us spread the word.

Pastor Willy Rice


We looked it up: 6.1 miles…


UPDATE: Looks like this has been in the works for a little while. Here’s a Facebook post by Pastor Rice dated May 9 which indicates that the church had Mike Rinder come by to talk about Scientology to the staff…


…and back in February…



Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,809 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,566 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,912 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,406 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,446 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,158 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 684 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,773 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,913 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,233 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,208 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 564 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,866 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 973 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,375 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,248 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 829 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,334 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,578 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,687 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on July 12, 2017 at 17:19

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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