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Tomorrow’s ‘Leah Remini’: When Scientology destroys a family, it burns it to the ground

 
How far will a Scientologist parent go to punish their kids if they reject the church? That’s one of the questions we were left with after watching Tuesday night’s episode of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, the third episode of Leah’s second season.

Leah Remini and Mike Rinder travel to Oregon in this episode to spend time with Liz Gale, someone we wrote a lengthy story about in November. But even if you’re familiar with that story, you’re going to learn a lot about Liz and her family in this episode that you haven’t heard before.

Liz and her older brother Philip grew up as third generation Scientologists. In fact, Liz explains that her grandmother got her great-grandmother into Dianetics, so she might be considered a fourth generation church member. Scientology, in other words, is a long tradition in the family, but it’s not the family’s only legacy.

As Liz explains to Mike and Leah, her great-great grandparents came west on the Oregon Trail and homesteaded what turned into a 1,300-acre spread of spectacular Oregon backcountry that, when the filming starts, Liz shares with her mother, Marie Gale.

And it’s fortunate that there’s so much land, since the two really don’t want to have anything to do with each other, and Liz points out that her mother lives far down the hill from her.

The two families uneasily shared the family land for a variety of reasons that Liz goes into in great detail. Her parents, she explained, were pretty much the perfect Scientology couple who met at a Scientology “org.” Their mother, Marie, became a national spokeswoman for Citizens Commission on Human Rights, Scientology’s unhinged front group that pretends that it’s going to rid the earth of the mental health industry. Marie did her best to give the impression that she was raising the epitome of a healthy Scientology family.

But parents who are so deeply into their Scientology journeys rarely have time for kids, and Liz and Philip were shipped off to Scientology boarding school at a young age. For Liz, it was hell, and she rebelled in many ways, culminating with her attempt to commit suicide at 14. Philip rebelled in another way — by being a prodigy, getting himself into MIT at only 15 years old.

As you can imagine, things didn’t turn out well for either one of them. Philip Gale’s 1998 suicide — he threw himself out of MIT’s tallest building on L. Ron Hubbard’s birthday, March 13 — and Liz’s rejection of Scientology have been well documented here at the Bunker and by journalist Mark Ebner. But once again, Leah Remini finds so much untold material as she draws it out of Liz in another compelling and emotional episode.

There’s a bit of a surprise ending which we’ll let you find out about for yourself. But we’re really interested in hearing from you about this episode. It’s a bit of a departure in a couple of ways, as Leah and Mike never play it safe but keep trying to evolve their show so that it gets results. We really respect them for that.

 

[Leah Remini reads Philip Gale’s remarkable suicide note]

 
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Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,856 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 1,839 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,613 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,959 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,453 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,493 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,205 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 731 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,820 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,960 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,280 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,255 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 611 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 4,913 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,020 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,422 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,295 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 876 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,381 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,625 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,734 days.

 
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3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on August 28, 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 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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