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Leah Remini pays for vexing Tom Cruise with Scientology’s ‘Truth Rundown’

[Leah Remini in 2006]

What a treat we have for you in this week’s Scientology Lit book excerpt. It’s from Leah Remini’s 2015 memoir, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology. The excerpt takes place in 2006, right after Leah had returned from the lavish Italian wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes when Leah had caused a stir by asking why Cruise’s best man, Scientology leader David Miscavige, was there without his wife, Shelly Miscavige, and was seen getting very friendly with his personal assistant. Leah was so concerned, she actually wrote up Miscavige in a “Knowledge Report” and submitted it immediately. After returning home, she would soon learn what price she would pay for turning in the church’s own dictator.

After I returned from Italy, I had planned on going down to Flag for a six-to-eight-week upper-level course. The timing worked out perfectly, since I had hiatus from The King of Queens. However, right after I got home from the wedding, my auditor, Todd Woodruff, my handler Shane’s brother, called to tell me I was wanted down at Flag earlier than planned. I questioned if this directive had anything to do with what had happened at the wedding. If it did, I was not going to go. Todd downplayed the request, telling me that it was just a little Ethics cycle that I had to do and that afterward I would get onto OT VII, no problem. This didn’t seem like anything too terrible, so I agreed and dutifully packed up myself, Angelo, and Sofia and headed to Flag.

But almost as soon as I arrived in Clearwater, I was routed to Ethics, where I was confronted with all the Knowledge Reports that had been written about me from the wedding. There were so many, it’s hard to know where to begin. I guess I’ll start with the plane ride to Italy, where someone I didn’t know accused me of being drunk and disorderly — on a plane trip where I didn’t touch alcohol. I hate flying, since it’s the ultimate loss of power. There was no way I was going to relinquish my last vestige of control by drinking. And if I was going to die, I wanted to be alert enough to strangle my husband while we plunged to our deaths. Another report detailed how I had tried to steal Brooke Shields’s hotel room from her, which was, as earlier noted, a strange twist on the truth.

According to these reports, I was the rudest person ever to walk the face of the earth. All my crimes were on the spectrum of things that you have immature fights about in your teenage years. Apparently the delay of the wedding ceremony, which started forty-five minutes behind schedule, was my fault because I showed up late to the castle. As if Tom Cruise was waiting for me to arrive to get married. (I had heard that the delay was caused by a reporter who had snuck onto Jenna and Bodhi’s van to the wedding location and was trying to get access.)


Jasmine, the MAA conducting the interrogation, showed me the Knowledge Report written by Katie Holmes, in which she referred to my behavior during the wedding weekend as “very upsetting,” and accused me of disrupting the party, which she claimed was a “poor example to others.” She went on to say, “[She] made the party all about her,” and concluded the report with reference to the fact that all of this so-called bad behavior “disturbed me greatly.” Jasmine told me I was a bad example for Scientologists and then asked me, “What do you say about this report?”

“What do I say about this childish report that looks like it was written by a seventh grader with all the exclamation marks?”

After that she showed me Jessica Feshbach’s Knowledge Report, where she went on and on about how she had to defend my actions to numerous people at various wedding events (including but not limited to CAA president Kevin Huvane and film producer Kathleen Kennedy). She wrote that I was perceived as “loud,” “late,” and “rude,” and that while I may have been trying to “solve a certain problem,” the way that I apparently handled it was “BPR [bad PR] for TC and Scn.” She claimed to have successfully managed and “handled” all of these complaints because she knew the “real me.”

Both of these Knowledge Reports, like all that are written and submitted to the church, are signed “This is True” or “This is OK,” meaning the person who wrote the report acknowledges that it is accurate in its reporting.

Jasmine continued, “I just need to know what’s true about it and what isn’t true.”

We went through each report that way, because I wasn’t about to back down. At this point, I felt LRH was on my side. It wasn’t that I thought something was wrong with my faith. It was that there was something wrong with the people at the top, like Jessica and Tommy. Look, I copped to some shit; yes, I’m rude and I shouldn’t have been late to the wedding and shouldn’t have asked to change seats. But there was something way more alarming going on in our church.

It was naive to think that I was saving my church when I filed Knowledge Reports on top officials in Italy like Norman Starkey for humping Brooke Shields; Jessica and Tommy for being inappropriate with each other; and none other than COB himself, David Miscavige, for letting his assistant treat him more like her date. While technically it’s acceptable to write reports on people above you in the church, no one writes reports on senior executives and certainly not on COB. Although I didn’t know it at the time, those who write up top officials are usually intimidated into recanting or wind up being declared Suppressive Persons.

As a result of these Knowledge Reports, rather than partake in an Ethics cycle as Todd had mentioned, I was instead sent into a sec-check. With those reports I had written in Italy in her hand, my auditor went at me for hours, days, weeks, and then months. It was relentless — absolutely relentless — as we went around and around on the same questions:

What have you done to Tom?
Do you have evil intentions toward Tom?
Do you have sexual intentions toward Tom?
What have you done to Katie?
Do you have evil intentions toward Katie?
What have you done to David Miscavige?

Do you have evil intentions toward David Miscavige?

It was understood that the only reason I was saying those things about such high-level Scientologists was because I myself was guilty of those same crimes. “You’re a cheater, a liar, a home wrecker,” I was told over and over. Well, yes, this was true. All true. I was a liar, a cheater … but that didn’t change the facts that so were they, and they were violating Sea Org policy and LRH policy.

The only way I could be done with it and leave Clearwater was if I retracted everything I said. They wanted me to say I didn’t see David’s assistant tap his ass affectionately or the young Sea Org member he brought along getting drunk.

When I wasn’t in session or Ethics I was up in my room, crying and writing reports. Angelo, who felt so bad about seeing me so upset, thought the whole thing was nuts. He knew I was being put through the wringer but I wasn’t allowed to share with him the details of my sessions or what sec-check questions they were asking me. “Babe,” he said, “just say the word and we are out of here.” He wasn’t attached to Scientology in the way I was. For him it was simply a tool to better your life, and if it wasn’t doing that, it was time to leave the church. He never got to Clear, despite spending more than $100,000 trying to get there.

But for me, leaving was way too much to contemplate. As my mom explained, if I kept causing trouble it was just going to result in more problems for her, George, Shannon, and Shannon’s boyfriend, William, who were all auditing. “Just get through it,” Mom said. “Answer all the questions.”

I was completely responsible for the fate of so many people. There were no good choices before me. As I explained to Angelo, “Either I decide that I’m going to drastically change everyone’s life and we leave, or I have to say what they want me to say.”

Still, I continued to fight, thinking that at any point David Miscavige was going to barge into my auditing room and give me life protection from Ethics for the way I had stood up for policy. Instead, my auditor, Irit, and my MAA, Jasmine, did a Truth Rundown — an interrogation process typically reserved for Sea Org members.

In a Truth Rundown, the auditor looks at all the reports you have written, all the reports written by others about you, and all the notes from your auditing sessions, Ethics Officer interviews, and any other material collected by the church to find critical reports or remarks about LRH, David Miscavige, or any person or policy of importance. Everything is fair game. So for example, if I said, “Tom Cruise is an asshole and I think he is damaging Scientology,” the auditor would say, “Let’s go to the earliest time you saw Tom being an asshole.”

“In 2004 when I saw him at a party and he ignored the guy who handed him a water.”

“OK, so that was the earliest time you saw Tom being an asshole?”


“Right before you saw Tom being an asshole, what overt did you commit?”



In response to that question you have to find something that you did wrong. When that is answered, the auditor moves on to the next question.

“Was there an evil purpose or destructive intention that prompted you to commit that overt?”

You keep doing this until you get to the earliest time you can recall — and that’s just for one report or remark. Then the auditor goes on to the next report. When the reports are done, they go to the main part of the sec-check, which is two hundred different questions like, “Have you ever said anything derogatory about Scientology?”

The Truth Rundown worked; I started to crack. I begged Irit to stop, and when that didn’t work, I looked into the camera in the wall of the auditing room and directly at the person watching the sessions. “This is not LRH,” I pleaded, “You are destroying my and your own faith.”

Irit announced we were taking a break, and when she opened the door of the room, which automatically stops the camera from recording, she broke every policy in the church by whispering to me, “Answer the fucking questions and let’s finish this shit.” In that moment, Irit didn’t care about the truth or the technology; she just wanted me to get through it.

Soon I started to question what I saw.

Maybe it is me? I have so many overts. I upset people. I did something to pull all this in.

Exhausted after a long day of auditing, I lay down with Sofia, who was sleeping in one of the large hotel room beds. I stroked her beautiful hair and studied her innocent little face. The last thing I thought before I fell asleep next to her was, What did you do to deserve such an evil person as a mother?

After weeks and weeks of twelve hours a day in auditing, they broke me and I retracted almost everything. I admitted that I caused a problem at the wedding. I admitted that I shouldn’t have asked to change seats. And I held seats that caused upsets to people at the wedding. I guess that was true. Then I started in on the process of creating “good effects” to offset my transgressions at the wedding that caused “bad effects.” So in the this-equals-that cosmology of Scientology, because I had bad manners I had to purchase Emily Post books for the library at Flag. I was making up the damage everywhere. I sent gift baskets accompanied by letters of apology to wedding guests like J.J. Abrams, who I was told I also upset. I bought everybody staying at the Fort Harrison a Christmas gift, and lastly I spent $2,000 on framing an invitation and other mementos from the Cruise wedding in a picture box for Katie, which I sent along with a note that said, “I’m so sorry that I destroyed your wedding.” Katie responded with a text: “Just handled it with your MAA.”

So after I recanted, admitted to what they wanted me to admit to, said I didn’t see what I saw, and created “good effects,” the church took away my ability to move up to the next OT level (even though I had already been made to do the first course of OT VI at night until midnight for four weeks). When I returned home I would no longer continue to move up the auditing side of the Bridge to the highest OT levels, but would be required to train as an auditor on the other side of the Bridge — the training side. It wasn’t just a change of direction but also a major slap on the wrist, a demotion of sorts. Training — as much as eight to twelve hours per day of drilling the data and delivering Scientology to others — was a clear punishment. They basically said, She’s trouble, so let’s punish her. I fully believed that this directive came from specific individuals, not LRH policy.

After staying at Flag for four months, spending $300,000 on auditing to get reprogrammed, and making up damage, I was finally told I could go.

My return coincided with the end of our hiatus from The King of Queens, and not long after I got home, I was back on set, where everyone was talking about their amazing vacations in Hawaii and how relaxed they were. “Leah, how was your hiatus?” Kevin asked me.

“Oh, yeah, it was great,” I said.


I was in Florida getting my ass handed to me for changing a fucking seat.

“What did you do?”

“I was in Florida for a while.”

When it came to talking about my role and required activities in the church, I would often lie to people. When a non-Scientologist girlfriend asked me how things were going with Angelo, I never admitted to the usual marital problems that couples have, because that would have been revealing something less than the perfect image demanded of Scientologists. The list of workarounds to keep up appearances goes on and on.

Being a Scientologist was like having a double life. When Jennifer Lopez asked me, “Oh, so you’re going to Florida?” after we returned from the wedding, like it was a casual trip to Disney with Sofia, I wanted to scream, “I’m going to Florida after Katie and Tom and everyone else wrote five thousand reports on me because I asked to change a seat at the wedding.” But I wouldn’t say anything other than the equally casual “I’ve got to do some auditing,” unless I wanted to be in deeper trouble with my church. I couldn’t even tell Angelo about the full extent of what I was doing at Flag every day while he hung out with Sofia by the pool, since it would discourage him from being on course. So I kept it all to myself, which was the loneliest feeling in the world.

— Leah Remini


Graham Berry with an update on Brandon Reisdorf

Graham sent us this update…

This morning (2/21/19) I appeared in San Diego Superior Court representing Brandon Reisdorf who has been charged with two probation violations (consumption of alcohol and failing to take medications as prescribed). The probation report requested a court order that he remain in custody for a further two weeks while he undergoes a forensic psychological examination, and a final probation report is submitted to the court. Accordingly, the case was continued until March 6, 2019. Initial reports indicated that Brandon might be charged with a violation for paying two visits to the San Diego Org (church). However, it turns out that the current location of the Org was not on the specific list of Scientology locations that he was to stay away from. Consequently, the Probation Department requested a complete list of Scientology locations in Southern California which church attorney Kendrick Moxon has provided. There are 25 locations listed.



More news about this year’s HowdyCon.

Janis Grady has set the June 22 combined event. Her annual reunion and barbecue will coincide with the Saturday event for HowdyCon. If you wish to attend that event, you will need to RSVP with Janis (, and there will be a small contribution she’ll be asking for to help pay for the cost of the event.

We are very close to securing our Friday night venue in Los Angeles, and we’ll provide another update on that as soon as we have it confirmed. All we can tell you at this time is the Friday night event will be more like a presentation in a theater (like the final night last year in Chicago), and the Saturday event will be a more casual barbecue setting.



Scientology’s celebrities, ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and more!

[Erika Christensen, Ethan Suplee, and Juliette Lewis]

We’ve been building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them. Head on over and help us with links and photos and comments.

Scientology’s celebrities, from A to Z! Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Scientology’s ‘Ideal Orgs,’ from one end of the planet to the other! Help us build up pages about each these worldwide locations!

Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society!

Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in our weekly series. How many have you read?



[ONE year ago] Laura DeCrescenzo fires back at Scientology’s desperate new federal court gambit
[TWO years ago] Scientology’s Celebrity Whisperer: An inside account of life in the fame-obsessed church
[THREE years ago] Scientology tried to suppress this video and that’s why you’re seeing it here today
[FOUR years ago] Scientology Australia spills its guts, and you can thank Bryan Seymour and Nick Xenophon
[FIVE years ago] Five things to watch for in today’s first Scientology wedding in the UK
[SIX years ago] Scientology Mythbusting with Jon Atack: Fair Game!
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology demands the right to employ slaves in Australia while getting puff pieces


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,369 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,500 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,002 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,482 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 545 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 433 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,740 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,608 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,382 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,156 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,502 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,068 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 6,988 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,155 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,736 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,996 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,036 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,748 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,274 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,363 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,503 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,823 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,679 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,798 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,154 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,456 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,562 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,964 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,836 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,419 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,914 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,168 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,277 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 23, 2019 at 07:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post 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 new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, 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, 1995-2018 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2018), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | 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 | 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 | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates, or join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele


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