Leah Remini (@leahremini) is an actor, producer, host of People Puzzler on The Game Show Network, co-host of podcast Scientology: Fair Game, and co-author of Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology.
What We Discuss with Leah Remini:
- What Scientology is, how it came about, and why it’s so dangerous.
- The lengths the Scientology organization has gone through to protect itself from the government and its disillusioned apostates.
- How Leah and her Fair Game co-host Mike Rinder have survived the stalking, harassment, and threats of post-Scientology life.
- What die-hard Scientologists really believe.
- How Scientology recruits and retains its A-list celebrity lineup.
- And much more…
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The Church of Scientology sounds like just the sort of thing a half-baked science fiction author and valor-stealing, shamefully dismissed naval officer might invent in order to dodge taxes and flex his ego over a gullible flock of true believers — and it is. Or it was until this inventor, L. Ron Hubbard, passed away in 1986. Somehow, decades later, the organization carries on in the larger-than-life shadow of its corpulent commander, recruiting new blood while raking in giant piles of cash. Scientology supports the A-list ascension of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities (like Tom Cruise and John Travolta) in return for their undying loyalty while ruthlessly condemning and seeking to destroy those who have turned their back on its teachings.
Spoiler alert: it’s a cult. Scientology is totally a cult.
In this episode, we talk to actress and former Scientologist Leah Remini, someone who knows first-hand how far the Church of Scientology will go to wreck the lives of those who defect from its ranks. Leah is the host of People Puzzler on The Game Show Network, co-host of podcast Scientology: Fair Game, and co-author of Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology. Here, she gives us a glimpse into how Scientology came about, what it publicly claims to do while carrying on a much more sinister mission, what die-hard Scientologists really believe, how it preys upon and recruits the well-intentioned, and much more. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
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THANKS, LEAH REMINI!
If you enjoyed this session with Leah Remini, let her know by clicking on the link below and sending her a quick shout out at Twitter:
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at email@example.com.
Resources from This Episode:
- People Puzzler with Leah Remini | The Game Show Network
- Scientology: Fair Game Podcast
- Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini and Rebecca Paley
- Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief | HBO
- Leah Remini | Website
- Leah Remini | Twitter
- Leah Remini | Instagram
- Leah Remini | Facebook
- L. Ron Hubbard | Wikipedia
- Mike Rinder | Twitter
- Operation Snow White | Wikipedia
- List of Guardian’s Office Operations | Wikipedia
- Scientology Fair Game | Mike Rinder’s Blog
- United States v. Hubbard | Wikipedia
- Scientology’s Sea Org: An Escape Story for Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise | The Daily Beast
- Clearing The Planet | Mike Rinder’s Blog
- STAND League Clickbait | Mike Rinder’s Blog
- Scientology’s Puzzling Journey From Tax Rebel to Tax Exempt | The New York Times
- The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger (Original Narration by Randall) | czg123
- The Bridge to Total Freedom | What Is Scientology
- Auditing (Scientology) | Wikipedia
- E-meter | Wikipedia
- Who Is Overlord Xenu?: Scientology’s Creation Myth | Learn Religions
- Why Do Scientologists Accept the Xenu Story? | The Village Voice
- The Sunk Cost Fallacy | The Decision Lab
- The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships by Patrick Carnes, PhD
- Where Is Michele Miscavige, The Disappeared Wife Of Scientology’s Leader? | ATI
Leah Remini | Surviving Hollywood and Scientology (Episode 485)
Jordan Harbinger: Coming up on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:02] Leah Remini: If you had a best friend that you knew you had a wife that was with him all the time or her, wouldn't you say, "Well, I haven't seen your wife, like I need to see her, I'm starting to worry that she's in a f*cking freezer somewhere?"
[00:00:18] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people. We have in-depth conversations with people at the top of their game, astronauts and entrepreneurs, spies and psychologists, even the occasional Russian spy, drug trafficker, or economic hitman. Every episode of this show turns our guests' wisdom into practical advice that you can use to build a deeper understanding of how the world works and become a better critical thinker.
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[00:01:17] Today's guest Leah Remini, you might recognize her from the crazy popular sitcom King of Queens among other places. She was actually raised in a cult called the Church of Scientology, which you may have heard of. I've been speaking out against cults for a while now, as many of you know, especially dangerous cults and I think Scientology probably qualifies here. And yes, lawyers for Scientology are warming up their letter writing fingers right now. I can just feel it. Founded by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology and a science fiction writer who wrote a book called Dianetics, which was supposed to be this psychological self-help manual.
[00:01:52] The founder, L. Ron Hubbard, said the best way to make real money is to start a religion because people will do anything for religion and the government can't take away your money and your power. So that's a pretty strong statement of someone's intent there, I think. Good people get into this because they want to help people. They want to help others, which is extra tragic. I mean, the mission of Scientology, the mission they state is to help humanity and it's essentially self-help in the beginning. And then it just, you know, turns into what it really is.
[00:02:19] Scientology uses celebrities like Leah Remini, Tom Cruise, John Travolta, to make the organization more attractive. I heard murmurs that it keeps them there with blackmail, but you know, we'll talk about that on the show. Also, there's a lot of muscle the church can use to attack enemies and protect these people. It sounds a little bit like the mafia, which we've also covered here on the show. The reason I think this cult is so dangerous is partially because it's not just fringe weirdos that end up in Scientology. It's regular good people. You never think you can get sucked in and abused until it happens to you.
[00:02:53] So today we'll discuss some of the craziness that is Scientology, especially at the higher levels of the church. And we'll explore some of the harassment and chaos that comes your way when you try to leave the Church or speak out against it, especially as a former member. There's some spooky stuff in here and they have a policy called Fair Game where essentially, if you're an enemy of the Church, then anything goes. It's just absolutely bananas.
[00:03:15] And if you're wondering how I managed to book all these great authors, thinkers, and creators every single week, it's because of my network. I'm teaching you how to build your network for free over at jordanharbinger.com/course. And by the way, most of the guests on the show, they subscribe to the course and the newsletter. Come join us, you'll be in smart company. Now here's Leah Remini.
[00:03:35] I want to talk about Scientology because I've been speaking out against this. I've never was a Scientologist, but I've been telling people, "Hey, this is not just a regular religion" since college, when I was in college, like 20 years ago. And people used to say, "Hey, you know, look, you've got to be open-minded." And I just thought, "Am I the crazy person here? This is not a real religion. It's a cult and it's dangerous." And now people are starting to realize and go, "Hey, remember that thing you were talking about? Yeah, you're right. I went to that and now I'm like escaping."
[00:04:06] Leah Remini: Right, and I think what we accomplished in the aftermath was, you know, our fear was that people would see it as this kind of, you know, Tom Cruise, jumping on an innocuous little crazy Hollywood cults. And it's obviously not as innocuous as that. It's a three-billion-dollar business for profit parading itself around as a cult. And it destroys lives. The biggest difference I think Mike Rinder pointed out was there is no religious organization on the planet that is responsible for the largest infiltration of government agencies in American history — you could look that up — by Scientology.
[00:04:47] Jordan Harbinger: Can you speak to that a little? Like Mike Rinder —
[00:04:48] Leah Remini: Sure.
[00:04:48] Jordan Harbinger: First of all, who is he? Because — I know who he is, but my audience is probably like, "Who?"
[00:04:52] Leah Remini: Sure.
[00:04:52] Jordan Harbinger: And also the infiltration thing, like needle off the record moment right there.
[00:04:57] Leah Remini: Yes. And I don't know why I keep telling people, "Look it up." I don't want anybody to believe anything that I'm saying. And I actually get offended when people say, "You know, I believe you, Leah," I'm like, "You don't need to believe sh*t." Like, it's all out there. This is all proven and vetted information. This is not information that I am coming up with, but I believe it was in 1977, L. Ron Hubbard in the beginning of Scientology, when the government started to see Scientology as the dangerous cult that it is, you know, started to launch investigations against Scientology.
[00:05:29] So L. Ron Hubbard smartly started to write policies and directives naming — and this is what cults do. They name the enemy, right? So that is the news media, the media, the AMA, psychiatrists, psychology medical doctors. Us-versus-them concept is very important whilst setting up a cult because it makes people feel special. That they're fighting something that's bigger than them, right? And I think we can all relate to that feeling, about feeling special. No matter how successful your podcast is, Jordan, how successful any of the shows that I do, you're still left with the trauma of your childhood of feeling insignificant or not special. Or, you know, there's always something else to compare it to, right? Like, but I'm not as big as this, or I don't have these things. So that is a major element of how to set up the enemy.
[00:06:31] And so L. Ron Hubbard set up what's called the Guardian's Office, and the Guardian's Office's job was to silence those speaking out or doing any investigations against Scientology. I looked this up. Please look this up, so you know for yourself. You could see Scientology and the Guardian's Office, Scientology dirty tricks. You can Google any of those variations and come up with the story. And 12 Scientologists eventually went to prison for infiltrating government agencies. They were breaking into government agencies, planting listening devices, stealing documentation evidence against the Church of Scientology for these dirty tricks called Fair Game. And Mary Sue Hubbard was one of the 12 people who were found guilty of this and she went to prison, L. Ron Hubbard's wife.
[00:07:25] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, my gosh. So this is basically like, "Oh, I'm going to get a job with the FBI or something. And then just start taking all the files I can find on Scientology, copying them and sending them back to the Church," like a spy, literally it's just spying.
[00:07:36] Leah Remini: Spying, renting an office above the Better Business Bureau and breaking into the offices of the Better Business Bureau and stealing the documents that they had on Scientology, all the complaints of Scientology. Getting jobs close to people who were working for these agencies and finding out the dirt on those people and destroying evidence that they had on Scientology and reporting back to Scientology, what evidence they did have, or just simply giving them the documentation.
[00:08:03] Jordan Harbinger: Now we would call those people domestic terrorists or like potential domestic terrorists, if you're spying on the FBI —
[00:08:09] Leah Remini: And the IRS.
[00:08:10] Jordan Harbinger: And the IRS. Right.
[00:08:11] Leah Remini: Yes.
[00:08:11] Jordan Harbinger: And then trying to blackmail individuals that work there that is, not just like, "We're going to take this isolated incident and put this person in prison." That's like, "Let's put the entire organization under surveillance because they're up to no good, obviously."
[00:08:22] Leah Remini: Correct. So you would think that that would end the Guardian's Office, right?
[00:08:26] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:08:26] Leah Remini: And the practice of Fair Game, because the practice of Fair Game is covered by these policies, directives in Scientology. So what they did was they just created a new Guardian's Office called OSA, and that's the Office of Special Affairs. And that is still operating today, the Office of Special Affairs. Mike Rinder, who was my co-producer on Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath on A&E, and now was picked up by Netflix. So if you haven't seen it, I hope you guys can watch it. So now they are OSA and Mike was the head of OSA. And OSA's job — and these are employees of Scientology. There's a special department in the Scientology organization. Their sole job is to go after those speaking out against Scientology. That's all they do day in, day out.
[00:09:17] Now, there's a difference — I don't know if you know this, Jordan, but just for your listeners, please feel free to cut me off if you know this, but there's a difference between Sea Org members and Scientologists.
[00:09:28] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:09:29] Leah Remini: So a Sea Org member is somebody like Mike Rinder. They are raised in Scientology and they want to serve Scientology. So they join this kind of paramilitary section of Scientology, which is called the Sea Organization. They wear military uniforms. They have set up the Sea Organization to run like it's a military. I mean, it was literally, you know, lanyards and military uniforms and they run Scientology. So they administer Scientology to the parishioners of Scientology. They've run the organizations of Scientology and their front groups. They signed billion-year contracts. I'm not exaggerating. Scientologists believe that you come back. And that is the actual — if you look up the Sea Organization —
[00:10:18] Jordan Harbinger: Sea as in like ocean, right? Like S-E-A.
[00:10:21] Leah Remini: Yes, you'll look and you'll see that the motto says, "We come back." Their insignia says, "We come back." It means that. And so they've signed billion-year contracts. They give up their lives, they give up their bank accounts, they give up their families, and they go live communally in Scientology ruling. They eat, sleep, and work at Scientology day in, day out, and they make $50 a week. They work from eight in the morning until midnight. They don't get time off to visit family. These are things once you join the Sea Org, and even as a Scientologist, you know, family members are frivolous, you know, it's about the mission of clearing the planet. And that is the intention of Scientology. And we've been asked many times: what does clearing the planet mean?
[00:11:07] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's my next obvious follow up, like clearing the planet of what?
[00:11:11] Leah Remini: Well, it means that Scientology's goal is to make 80 percent of the planet Scientologists.
[00:11:17] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, that's it. Just 80 percent?
[00:11:18] Leah Remini: Yes.
[00:11:19] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:11:20] Leah Remini: Yeah. So they believe that the number is about 20 percent of the world's population are just absolutely insane. So there is no worth in there. But if you have the majority of the people being Scientologists, then the world would be a saner place. Without Scientology, there's no hope for men. And that is the extremist attitude of every Scientologist on the planet. That is what they truly believe that, "You are lost, I am lost. There is no hope for men but for Scientology." And so if you're a Sea Org member, that's what you're doing all day, all night. Now, if you work for OSA and you're a Sea Org member, you can imagine the amount of attention people like me get from OSA. And that's all they do is they fair game all of us all day, all night.
[00:12:11] You can go on Twitter. You can see, they have front groups. One is called the STAND League and this group is pretending to be the protectors of the first amendment. And yet 99.9% of their tweets are hate tweets directed at me and people who have been raped, molested as children in Scientology, and the Sea Org who were coerced into getting abortions they didn't want, who were physically abused their whole life. And this is what the STAND League is attacking all day, all night. And the purpose of it is to just discredit anyone who's speaking. One of the policies that we talk about on the Fair Game podcast is these Fair Game directives that I'm talking to you about.
[00:12:53] One of the directives by L. Ron Hubbard says, "Find out what the person is seeking to protect and go after it." And I'm quoting now, "If at all possible, utterly destroy." So this is when you want to talk about, oh, it's like any other religion. You need to get your head out of your f*cking ass and really understand what the difference is between having faith and having an organization that has a price list, Jordan. I mean, Scientology is a price list. You can't just walk in and say, "I want to be a Scientologist." You have to prepay for your services in Scientology. And if you leave and speak out, it's forbidden to report crimes of other Scientologists to the police. It's actually defined as a high crime in Scientology policy and has an organization dedicated solely for the utter destruction of people who leave.
[00:13:48] Jordan Harbinger: So that sounds like going to the doctor and getting medical treatment or something like that where you — it's like you go in, "Okay, this is a thousand dollars. This is $10,000." That doesn't sound like a church where you walk in, you light a candle and you're like, "Okay, I'm just saying goodbye, praying for my grandmother," or something like that and then you leave.
[00:14:03] Leah Remini: No, nothing like that. First of all, they don't believe in God, although they claim they do, they don't, but that's purely for PR. The question that we continue to ask is — and by the way, you should look up what Scientology did to the IRS, of how they got tax exemption is by fair gaming the individual IRS agents who were investigating Scientology.
[00:14:25] Jordan Harbinger: So when you say fair gaming, it's like if I'm an IRS investigator and I'm investigating Scientology, you're showing up at my doorstep with a video camera — if you're Scientology, you're showing up at my —
[00:14:34] Leah Remini: That's exactly what they did.
[00:14:35] Jordan Harbinger: — doorstep with a video camera and you're saying, "Hey, Jordan Harbinger steals," or —
[00:14:40] Leah Remini: No. Worse than that.
[00:14:40] Jordan Harbinger: — worse.
[00:14:41] Leah Remini: Jordan, they will accuse you of — they have accused me and they have accused Mike, his daughter, who's a Sea Org member who works for OSA, has a campaign called Justice for Mom. And this Sea Org member has literally started a campaign claiming that Mike Rinder beat her mother. And she is taking pictures with the Mayor of Los Angeles. She's showing up at events that are organized for true victims of domestic violence with her signs. And she has a website and they have a letter writing campaign, the STAND League organized a letter writing campaign, and you can look all this up. They have websites on me and Mike. All you need to do is type in "who is Leah Remini?" and all these hate sites come up. And they accuse you of every heinous crime imaginable.
[00:15:35] Jordan is a child molester. Jordan beats his mother. Jordan — and it's really not about it being true. Clearly, it's just about planting the seed of doubt to discredit you. That's simply the purpose of Fair Game, but what they did to these IRS agents was they were following them home. They were going through their garbage. They were filing complaints with Child Protective Services and they were showing up to their house. It's relentless. They filed a 200-and-something million-dollar lawsuit against the IRS claiming religious bigotry. And so this is the line now is the religious bigotry line and hiding behind the first amendment. So that is their new game, but this is what they did and this is how — now, the individual agents for their investigation, I think, the criminal investigation department of the IRS, because they are being fair gamed, and because they saw that Scientology does not in fact deserve tax exemption, they voted no.
[00:16:34] Jordan Harbinger: They voted no on what?
[00:16:35] Leah Remini: On Scientology getting their tax exemption.
[00:16:38] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. So they basically said, "Hey, this isn't really a church. It's a business. They're not tax exempt. They owe us a billion dollars in tax," or $300 million in taxes or whatever the bill is that point.
[00:16:46] Leah Remini: Correct. And they submitted that to their boss. I forgot his name, Fred something, who is the commissioner and David Miscavige. David Miscavige, I mean, David Miscavige says this in his own words, it's on our show, "We have the moment."
[00:16:59] Jordan Harbinger: He's the current head of Scientology, right?
[00:17:01] Leah Remini: Well, yeah. Yeah. He calls himself Chairman of the Board, they call him COB, or they call him Sir COB. And Mike Rinder was part of this. They went to his office and basically said, "This will all stop if you just grant us the exemption." And Fred was exhausted and scared and granted them tax exemption.
[00:17:20] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, my God.
[00:17:21] Leah Remini: Now granting them tax exemption is the reason they're able to stalk, bully, harass victims of Scientology because they spend millions of dollars in a week just on hiring PIs and the highest-paid lawyers that they can get. And they have these lawyers on retainer in every state, in every country. And they are able to harass — they have the funds available to them to silence victims. And that is the goal and the objective that says it in the policy, of the Fair Game policy, it says that the product of Fair Game is a dismissed attacker.
[00:17:59] Jordan Harbinger: What does that mean?
[00:18:00] Leah Remini: Meaning that we are silent. They're calling us attackers, right? So that we are dismissed, that we are silenced. That is the product of Fair Game and Fair Game directives is that we are silenced, either by death, by destroying our careers, by destroying our families, by destroying our reputations.
[00:18:19] Jordan Harbinger: So Mike Rinder, who was in this for years and years, who was kind of doing this to other people and is now out, that must've been so scary for him as well because he knew what was going to happen, because he sort of came up with all these ideas on how to f*ck people over, right?
[00:18:32] Leah Remini: Well, he didn't come up with the ideas. These ideas are laid out by L. Ron Hubbard.
[00:18:36] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:18:36] Leah Remini: They literally have checklists. They'll say like, plant a story in such and such magazine, and then there's a line for you to sign, done. And they battle plan it out. They plan it out and these directives have to be followed per L. Ron Hubbard's policy. So there's policy about policy changing in Scientology. And that is that it can never change. So Fair Game will continue until the IRS revokes their tax exemption. You could be a Scientologist all you want, but I want to be clear about that. I don't want to take away what you believe in.
[00:19:09] You can believe in Xenu and what they believe in, but having tax exempt money — the reason why the Church has had a tax exemption is because they're supposed to be doing work that benefits the public. Scientology doesn't do any work that benefits the public. For Scientology, they use this tax exemption to bully, harass, and silence those who speak out against it. You'll probably get a tweet from the STAND League saying, "How could you have a religious bigot on your show?"
[00:19:43] Jordan Harbinger: What do I do then? Do I reply and tell them, "Hey, I have all kinds of people on the show," or do I just ignore?
[00:19:47] Leah Remini: See, I would think that would be a pussy move on your part, Jordan, to say, "I have all kinds of people on my show."
[00:19:53] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:19:53] Leah Remini: I would hope that you would say, "I've done my own investigation on Scientology. And I stand with the victims who are speaking out against your toxic and abusive policies."
[00:20:03] Jordan Harbinger: I think anybody who listens to the show knows that I never take that kind of criticism lying down. I always like, I'm like a little, what's that? Honey badger? Where it's like, you don't even want to open the can of worms because it's bad for you. If you're trying to avoid shining a light on your bullsh*t, you don't want to like, come at me with some weak sh*t like that.
[00:20:21] Leah Remini: Okay, good. I'm glad to hear that because I've done many interviews, and I respect the work, but when I hear that their response to it is like, "Look, you know, I'm open-minded." I'm like, "So you have no opinion about what you've heard or what you yourself can read?" You should have a very pointed opinion about this.
[00:20:45] Jordan Harbinger: That's why you're here, right? Because if I want to just to get sort of impartial description of what Scientology is, I would go to those websites that describe —
[00:20:53] Leah Remini: As well you should.
[00:20:55] Jordan Harbinger: I've done that here, but then it conflicts greatly with people that I know like yourself and others who get out and go, "So there's this other thing that isn't talked about." And I want to get into what the path that Scientology offers and sells for money is —
[00:21:08] Leah Remini: Sure.
[00:21:09] Jordan Harbinger: — because like you look at it and you look at their sites and you go, "Okay, cool, self-helpy kind of stuff." Like they try and grab you off Hollywood Boulevard and give you a stress test. And the people are nice. Like honestly, the people I've met in Scientology are all nice, but then you read more and you hear this alien shit and you go, "Hold on. What?"
[00:21:31] Leah Remini: Right.
[00:21:31] Jordan Harbinger: You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Leah Remini. We'll be right back.
[00:21:36] This episode is sponsored in part by Simple Mobile. At Simple Mobile, you get the no contract advantage. You can get a powerful nationwide 5G network all without a contract. 5G capable device and SIM required. Actual availability, coverage and speed may vary. 5G network not available in all areas. 5G upload speeds not yet available. Simple mobile, out with the old, in with the simple.
[00:21:58] This episode is also sponsored by Sunday lawn care. We've received, certainly put down a natural lawn in our backyard, which I know, it's California. It's such a luxury and also Jen's idea. You know, we wanted to take good care of it. Our baby Jayden loves to run around and play on the grass, so we wanted something that is non-toxic, safe for people, safe for pets, safe for the planet. I've never had any luck keeping my own lawn looking healthy other than mowing it for three hours a day, back when I lived in Michigan. So pretty excited about our new sponsors Sunday. It's like a meal plan for your lawn, customized to your region, and customized to your soil. They do a soil test, which is pretty cool. Spring is just around the corner. It's a perfect time to get your lawn back on track. It only took me a few seconds to sign up online. I entered my address and Sunday calculates the size of the lawn using satellite imagery. It's kind of like CIA technology for your lawn. Sunday created a tailored lawn care plan and my first box arrived in a few days with everything that I need. I just attached the ready to use pouch filled with safe nutrient solution to our garden hose, with the included spray attachment. And then we fed the lawn, it took like 15 minutes. Guys, this stuff really works. Our lawn looks really lush, really green. It's kind of the envy of the neighborhood, or at least the people that come and see the 10-foot-square patch in our back here.
[00:23:11] Jen Harbinger: Let Sunday take the guesswork out of growing a greener, more beautiful lawn this spring. Visit getsunday.com/jordan to get $20 off your custom lawn plan at checkout. That's $20 off your custom plan at getsunday.com/jordan.
[00:23:26] Jordan Harbinger: Now back to Leah Remini on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:23:31] So that's what I want to know. I want to know what the path is and I want you to tell me when the weird alien sh*t happens, because your reaction to that must have been like, "Hold on."
[00:23:40] Leah Remini: All right. So do you have a computer in front of you?
[00:23:42] Jordan Harbinger: I do, of course, yeah.
[00:23:43] Leah Remini: If you could just pull up the Scientology's Bridge to Total Freedom, then I can explain it to you.
[00:23:50] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:23:50] Leah Remini: I could give you a real answer to that. And while you're doing that, to answer your question, the confidential levels of Scientology are on this chart, this Bridge, that Scientology has laid out. These are exact steps that you have to take in Scientology. You can't veer off the steps of the Bridge. And the goal of Scientology is to get up this Bridge all the way to the top on both sides. There's two sides of this Bridge. One is training. One is what they call auditing or processing. And that's the part where you're getting, in layman's terms, it would mean counseling, but it's nothing of the sort. Do you see what I'm talking about? It's a big chart.
[00:24:30] Jordan Harbinger: These are like ranks. So for people who can't see this. You can Google — we'll link to this in the show notes, but it's like — because there's a tweet about it from somebody who says, "OTA is great," or something like that. And he clearly, he's not a pro-Scientology guy.
[00:24:42] Leah Remini: No.
[00:24:43] Jordan Harbinger: But this is the chart from the — clearly like the chart that they use and its rankings about different prerequisites and like how you get it and little bits of abilities that all say confidential mostly, honestly.
[00:24:57] Leah Remini: Yeah. Yeah. But you'll see on the lower Bridge, it'll say like what the end phenomena is or it says what you're supposed to expect from that level of Scientology, right?
[00:25:07] Jordan Harbinger: It's like a Boy Scout rank, only it costs a lot of money and is pretend.
[00:25:12] Leah Remini: Well, it'll say like "Ability to communicate with others on any subject." So you see, it says like it starts at the bottom, the Purification Rundown, right? That's where you sit in a sauna for five hours a day, consume large amounts of niacin. And this is supposed to free you from the — I can't read without my glasses — but I think it says restimulative effects of drug residuals and other toxins.
[00:25:38] Jordan Harbinger: Avail detox, the old detox bullsh*t.
[00:25:41] Leah Remini: So that costs, I believe, $2,000. And then you have these little courses that say TRs and Objective, Scientology Drug Rundown, all this stuff. Below that you see those intro courses, right? Personal efficiency, life improvement courses, these little courses are not actually on the Bridge if you've noticed.
[00:26:01] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. These are just like different —
[00:26:03] Leah Remini: They're outside the box.
[00:26:04] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:26:05] Leah Remini: Okay. That's actually on the Bridge. So these are introductory services. Now, you know, I can't say that these things are not things that anybody can agree on, right? It's little courses on how to, personal values and integrity. These are basic morals that most people know. You read them and you go, "I could agree with that. You know, I could agree with that." And these are just common-sense courses. There's a communications course where you learn to communicate with people, where you learn to look them in the eye when you're talking, to acknowledge them when you want them to be quiet or you say, "Mm-hm," or, "Tell me more about that," to keep them talking. So these are things that you learned that could be quite helpful. So those courses are, you know, $65, $35, but as you get onto the actual Bridge, that's when the money begins. And you have to prepay these things like I said. So what people are doing in Scientology is trying to get up the Bridge.
[00:27:06] Now, you see OT I, it used to end at OT VIII, which is Scientology's genius, that they keep finding these new releases, since L. Ron Hubbard died. It's just a way to keep people in and paying.
[00:27:20] Jordan Harbinger: So they just add more on top. That's like, you get to OT VIII, and you're like, "I'm done." And they're like, "Oh, we found OT IX stuff," but it's 40 grand.
[00:27:27] Leah Remini: Swear to God.
[00:27:28] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, my gosh.
[00:27:29] Leah Remini: This is exactly what they said, "We have uncovered LRH technology, that was placed in a — " Like they literally stopped at OT VIII, always, always stopped at OT VIII, but now they have invented more because people were going to OT VIII, still dying of cancer, still dying of illness, which L. Ron Hubbard promises on OT V, that you have been cured of all illnesses, which they should be taken to task for practicing medicine, without a license, because this is not faith. This is — you literally have to pay for this. And because Dianetics, the first book, L. Ron Hubbard sets himself up as a scientist, that these are vetted, proven scientific facts. So that starts pretty early in your Scientology career. These are mandatory books and these are mandatory steps.
[00:28:20] So when I got to the first confidential level — so when we're talking about confidential levels and you asked me, you know, "What did I think?"
[00:28:28] Jordan Harbinger: It goes from look people in the eye, here's persuasion and influence techniques or whatever, to like the crazy sh*t that I honestly want to hear, like what that is and how you reacted to it. Because if you're not insane, you look at that and you go, "What?" Because you're already in this for years and years at this point, right?
[00:28:44] Leah Remini: Oh, years, it takes you years to get up this Bridge. Most people live their whole lives and don't ever get to these confidential levels. So you have to sign — I don't know what to call it, like NDA. I mean, you're not allowed to give up the secrets of the confidential levels to anybody else, including Scientologists who haven't gotten to that level because they could literally die. I mean, that is what they told to us.
[00:29:06] Jordan Harbinger: Like the information will just blow your brain up basically. Is that the idea?
[00:29:10] Leah Remini: Because you're not set up for it correctly, because you haven't done the lower parts of the Bridge. The lower parts of that Bridge are supposed to set you up for the amazing secrets of the universe. And you have to be properly set up for that for you to accept these truths. Do you see what I'm saying? So, by the time you get there, you're like, "Oh, my God, what am I going to read?"
[00:29:30] So the first major level, the first one major level where you learn some serious stuff is OT III. And on OT III, you find out that your body — this is what they're teaching you now. You've seen Going Clear?
[00:29:44] Jordan Harbinger: I have. Yeah. And I recommended it. We're going to link to it in the show notes. It's a documentary about Scientology and some of the abuses. So we'll link to that as well. I've seen it, yes.
[00:29:52] Leah Remini: Yeah. But it also sets up what the story is of OT III.
[00:29:55] It does, yeah.
[00:29:56] And that is all true, by the way. A lot of people don't know because they haven't done it so they don't know if it's true or not, right? So I can tell you that is true. That is what you're reading. What you're reading is true.
[00:30:06] Jordan Harbinger: Can you give us a brief over it? Because the audience is going to go, "Wait, hold on." People who haven't heard of Scientology or just knowing a little bit about it, they're going to go, "Yeah, self-help," and then they kind of like rope you in and they take more of your money. But then when you hear the Xenu story, right? The OT III story, you just go, "How the fuck did you fall into this? What?"
[00:30:23] Leah Remini: One other thing, Jordan. It's not about believing it. That's the other thing. It's not that anybody was asked to believe it. They don't care if you believe it. They don't care if you believe it. They say you just have to do it. That's a simple answer that's given to you. So if you say, "This sh*t is f*cking crazy, man. I mean, this is crazy." They go, "Okay, keep moving." It doesn't matter to them that you believe it. They just tell you to keep going.
[00:30:46] Jordan Harbinger: Can you give us like the 10-second overview of what this is? Because when I heard it, I was like, I had to look it up and be like, I was like, "Nobody reads this and doesn't walk out the door. Right?
[00:30:55] Leah Remini: Yeah. So 10 seconds? I don't know if I can —
[00:30:57] Jordan Harbinger: 30 seconds, two minutes, whatever.
[00:31:00] Leah Remini: Well, basically, what was it? 75 trillion years ago, there was an evil — what do they call him? Galactic warlord who captured beings in DC-10s and dropped them into a volcano where they were incinerated and all of those beings, right? Spiritual beings are now, you and me. So our bodies are composed of what L. Ron Hubbard calls body thetan and clusters of body thetan. Thetan meaning spirit. So our whole body is composed of these dead spirits that are — what I told you about OT V that are being cancer, being poor eyesight, being lung cancer, being Alzheimer's and simply you need to, in Scientology, find them and have them realize through Scientology processing that they are not those things, that they are spiritual beings and they disengage from your body or your thoughts. And they go off and find themselves a new body. And that is what you're doing in Scientology for a half a million dollars.
[00:32:15] Jordan Harbinger: So basically, the reason someone is sick is because they have alien ghosts in their body.
[00:32:21] Leah Remini: Well, they have body thetans that are being cancer or that are creating cancer in your body. And it's insane. And you're talking to these beings. So you can only imagine when people say like, "This one's crazy or that one's crazy." I'm like, "Uh-huh." They're talking to imaginary beings that are not there. It's very similar to people that we see on the street who are like screaming at somebody that's not there.
[00:32:47] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:32:47] Leah Remini: So that's what you're dealing with. And then I love the fact that Scientologists who are currently in Scientology negate the story. A, because they haven't actually achieved OT, right? That place on the Bridge that's confidential. And B, they're not allowed to say that it's true, even if they know that it's true because it's for your own benefit, Jordan, that they're lying to you.
[00:33:12] Jordan Harbinger: At some point, they must lose people at this level, right? When people read, okay. So there's the new, the alien overlord dropped a bunch of beings in volcanoes and then dropped nuclear bombs on them. And now their spirits fly around, making people sick. And you go from like your acting classes and your eye contact and persuasion classes to this. Like you must have looked around and been like, where's the real OT III stuff. You guys are hilarious. Where's the real stuff? Right?
[00:33:35] Leah Remini: I did. But their point is you're taught to believe the lie detector that you're raised in and Scientology. And also, Jordan, I want to give something else to another concept, Scientology, whether you're a Sea Org member or just a parishioner Scientologists, Scientology, once your parents become Scientologists, they are your primary caretaker.
[00:33:57] Jordan Harbinger: Scientology is?
[00:33:59] Leah Remini: Yes. So if you see them as your parents, as the authority, because your parents give up all rights to you, they sign over rights to you if you joined the Sea Org. So they send their kids to the Sea Org thinking they're serving this big mission of clearing the planet gladly. And as a Scientologist, if you have a question to your parents about any issues you're going through in life, they'll send you to Scientology to get your questions answered by a Sea Org member who will then look in the book of L. Ron Hubbard. So they don't think for themselves, but it doesn't really, my point was, I'm sure your parents have told you lies, but you didn't run out of the house. I'm sure there are people out there that have been abused by their parents and yet still loved and protected them.
[00:34:43] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:34:44] Leah Remini: You have to look at that. I just read a book called the Betrayal Bond, which explains why people stay in these types of relationships if you see them as your primary caretaker. There's also the aspect of brainwashing because Scientology, you have to go in two and a half hours a day minimum as a parishioner, and you were taught to believe what the Scientology meter says. So when you say, "This is f*cking crazy," which I did. They go, "What does the meter read? What does it register on the meter?" And the big saying in Scientology is: "Believe the meter."
[00:35:20] Jordan Harbinger: We're going to talk about the meter real quick because this is how they tried to recruit me. One of the ways they do this is they give you a so-called stress test.
[00:35:28] Leah Remini: Yes.
[00:35:28] Jordan Harbinger: And it's called auditing, right?
[00:35:30] Leah Remini: Yes.
[00:35:30] Jordan Harbinger: And so you're holding onto these things that look like cans. They're connected with wires to some sort of like any kind of meter that you would expect to measure electricity or something like that.
[00:35:40] Leah Remini: Yes.
[00:35:40] Jordan Harbinger: Maybe we can link to an image in the show notes.
[00:35:41] Leah Remini: Yeah.
[00:35:42] Jordan Harbinger: It doesn't look like futuristic technology by any stretch.
[00:35:45] Leah Remini: Right.
[00:35:45] Jordan Harbinger: Maybe it did like in the '50s, but —
[00:35:47] Leah Remini: Well, they've revised it as well as revised the price.
[00:35:50] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. So they're asking you questions and then this meter is going up and down for whatever reason. And they're like, "Well, look, you had some thoughts in your head. This is stressing you out." And are they controlling the meter when they're doing this? Or the meters just going, because it measures electricity in the human body and it's going to go no matter what.
[00:36:06] Leah Remini: Yes, it's the latter what you said. But as somebody who read the meter and trained in Scientology to use the meter. It does register — the cells remember. I mean the cells have, your hands have sweat, I mean, it's registering something. So you see it with your own eyes which make you a believer. And so I actually have for you a reason, because this was one of the things that I had to talk to my therapist about. I was, "Yeah. But yeah, but how come this works? How come that works?" You know what I mean? And I needed this explained to me and remember Scientologists, most of us, we did not get an education. Scientology does not look kindly on an education, traditional education. They believe that your Scientology education is the most important.
[00:36:53] Jordan Harbinger: So how much school did you have?
[00:36:54] Leah Remini: I didn't make it out of the eighth grade.
[00:36:56] Jordan Harbinger: So you have an eighth-grade education?
[00:36:58] Leah Remini: Yes.
[00:36:58] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:36:59] Leah Remini: Yes.
[00:36:59] Jordan Harbinger: And a bunch of Scientology.
[00:37:00] Leah Remini: Yes. Like I have a PhD in Scientology or doctorate's degree. And I was really proud of that, you know, because I felt stupid most of my childhood. Here, I had to study. You have to read hundreds of books, they're mandatory books to read, and I felt special. I felt that I was part of something special. I felt special. I felt I was on a mission to help save the planet, mankind. And so all of that working together and the fact that if you leave — like you're saying Jordan, why didn't I just throw down the book and say, "I'm out of here"? Was I ready to leave every family member and my whole life and my whole community? And what would that mean for me, for my life? I would lose everything in one day, which is what happened ultimately, except my family decided to go with me.
[00:37:48] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Because the Church, people who are in the Church can't associate with anybody who's left, right? You're — what do they call it? Suppressive person. Is that what you get labeled? Something like that enemy basically.
[00:37:57] Leah Remini: That's what they label — anybody who speaks out or files a police report or welfare check is a suppressive person. And that is two percent of the population are truly suppressive people. And L. Ron Hubbard literally says in one of the basic books that the two percenters are the SPs of the world, 20 percent of the world, let's say, should be eradicated from the face of the earth. And so that is truly what they think of suppressive people like me.
[00:38:26] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:38:27] Leah Remini: Yes.
[00:38:27] Jordan Harbinger: That's like a little genocide, kind of.
[00:38:29] Leah Remini: Well, he says this in the book called Science of Survival while talking about homosexuality and people like me who are considered a suppressive person.
[00:38:41] Jordan Harbinger: The auditing is extra creepy, right? Because the sort of using the meters and things like this. What are they asking you? You know, they're asking you a lot of personal questions and they record all this stuff. So I assume at some level you can't leave, not just because you'll lose all your friends and family, which is probably the main reason, but also they know everything about you and they have all this information that you've told them. And it's all on tape.
[00:39:04] Leah Remini: Yes. And it's written down, they have everything contained in their folders. Everybody who goes into a Scientology organization has a folder. Anything that you say is written down in these folders. Any confession you've ever made is all written down and recorded. Like you said, it's all recorded. And somebody is always watching your confidential counseling and unbeknownst to you, when you leave, you had signed paperwork that said, "You are protected by the codes of Scientologists, but once you violate one of those codes, anything you've ever said to us, we're allowed to release."
[00:39:39] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, my God.
[00:39:40] Leah Remini: Yeah. So they release all of your secrets out of context or in context of something that they forced you to say from another lifetime, literally because they believe in other lifetimes. So for example, if you go in crying that you've been molested by your own father. They will say, "Okay, so when have you molested another?" And you're like, "Well, I've never molested another. I can't say that I've ever molested a human being, but did you hear the part where I said my father — ?" "Yeah. Yeah. We heard that part, but we here in Scientology wants you to know that you are at cause. You're at cause for everything that happens to you. So anything that happens to you only happened to you because you did something this lifetime or another lifetime, either exactly like it or similar. So you as a child or a victim of rape or being molested, will literally have to — " And they have that meter in front of them. So they'll say, "Yep. Yep. What are you thinking? What are you thinking?" And you're like thinking, "Maybe, I don't know." And they go, "Okay, so you had other lifetimes, right?" "I guess, yeah. That's what you told me." "Okay. So can you see that maybe in another lifetime you were, you could have done something like this. Yeah. That, that — " And they're looking at the meter and you're like, "Oh, what'd you think of?" "Just tell me what you thought of." "Oh, I thought of being a man." "So you're a man then. Okay, good. So what? Look around and just tell me what you see." "Oh, I see," whatever. They make you make up these things and you just —
[00:41:02] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:41:02] Leah Remini: You just go along with it. And then by the end of this, you know, confession, they'll say, "Your needle's floating, which means you've released the energy of this bad experience. And now it's now from your reactive mind to your analytical mind, and it will no longer affect you." That's it, that's all that's done. And as far as the rapist or the child molester, they're sent to a department in Scientology and they say, "Hey, you can't be doing that stuff. You understand that? So you need to make up the damage for what you've done." And that's about it.
[00:41:37] Jordan Harbinger: This is The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Leah Remini. We'll be right back.
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[00:43:27] This episode is also sponsored in part by Edmunds. Our parents and friends give us a lot of great advice about life and in some cases about cars. Heck my dad worked for Ford for 30 years, and while he knows a lot about cars, his advice might be a little bit outdated. We're in the market for a new SUV now that we have a kid and the search comparison, budgeting, and options, it's all of it's kind of daunting. Buying a car is one of the biggest purchase decisions we can make and Edmunds, they know all about cars and they've been taking the stress out of the entire car shopping process for over 50 years. Edmunds car experts ranked the best cars in every category. So it saved us hours of time and narrowing down all of the overwhelming options in the SUV category. Plus it lays out the pros and cons of each vehicle model for you. The Edmund's vehicle testing team is also one of the largest in the industry. Every year Edmunds editors drive more than 500,000 miles and conduct over a thousand hours of testing on hundreds of new vehicles.
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[00:45:13] Now, for the conclusion of our episode with Leah Remini.
[00:45:18] We've done shows on false confessions and we studied like everything from false confessions in the law to North Korea, Chinese Communist Party, reeducation camps, whatever it is. So you're confessing your imaginary crimes from your past life, or you're snitching about someone else's imaginary crimes that never happened just to sort of make this interrogation stop at some point.
[00:45:36] Leah Remini: Well, if you believe in the indoctrination, because remember your parents have said, "This is a man who is the savior of mankind. So anything he says is true."
[00:45:45] Jordan Harbinger: The founder of the Church, yeah. Okay.
[00:45:47] Leah Remini: L. Ron Hubbard. So your parents are co-signing these and sending you there. And the people in the military uniforms are banging their hands on a desk saying, "You have done this. You have done this. It's the only reason you're upset about it. And why were you in a position where you were a victim?" I mean, it's a perfect example of victim blaming, and then it's not reported to the police because like I said, it's a high crime in Scientology to report a Scientologist in good standing to the authorities.
[00:46:19] And so you are just made to confess to some heinous crime, like you said, or even this lifetime Jordan, it could be as simple as I might have flirted with a kid in kindergarten. Like they literally find a reason that justifies that behavior towards you. That it happened to you because you've done something to "pull it in," which is what they call it. Like, if you're going into a car accident, Scientology, you're in trouble, you don't get sympathy. They send you to the department that says, "Why did you get into an accident? Like what kind of idiot gets into an accident? Like, were you reading anything anti-Scientology? Are you talking to anybody anti-Scientology? Like there's a reason this happened to you. It's something you did."
[00:47:04] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. So even if you're like walking home and someone jumps the curb and hits you, it's like, well, you brought this on through some transgression against the Church or against the values of the Church.
[00:47:13] Leah Remini: One thousand. That is the mindset of Scientologists that literally, they define a victim as being somebody who's incapable. One of the first policies you're forced to read in Scientology says, "We'd rather have you dead than incapable." Like a victim is a very bad word in Scientology. Most of the work that I do off-camera is literally counseling people the best that I can with the therapy that I'm getting. You know, I say victim, like, "You know, maybe you were a victim to abuse. I mean, Scientology, it's part and parcel to Scientology's child abuse." Like the first words out of their mouth, "I wouldn't say that I was a victim. I mean, I'm not a perfect person," and I go, "Right, right. That's Scientology talking."
[00:47:56] So I hope that we've established the difference between a real church and Scientology — by the way, I pulled up some of the prices.
[00:48:07] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, I'd love to know, yeah.
[00:48:08] Leah Remini: Please look it up yourself. Scientology's a price list. Nobody thinks that I'm lying. This is not made up. This is not something that I just decided to put a number on. Do you have that Bridge thing in front of you?
[00:48:21] Jordan Harbinger: I do. Yeah.
[00:48:22] Leah Remini: Okay. So if you see the box that says Clear to OT VII, it says for packages of 12 and a half hours is $6,800 and you have to buy a few — so the way Scientology auditing is purchased is by called intensives and intensives are packages of 12 and a half hours of auditing, which you do in one week. So you have to buy more than one intensive. You have to prepay.
[00:48:51] Jordan Harbinger: At $544 an hour, which is like the most expensive lawyer that you could probably find.
[00:48:58] Leah Remini: $6,800 just for a prep action, right? Then you have another 12 and a half hours, 7,800, six months of them looking at your folders at 1700, then OT VII is $2,800. OT VI is $13,600, an intensive of auditing for OT V. The one that cures all medical conditions, $7,800, an intensive.
[00:49:25] Jordan Harbinger: These all stack up. It's not like you can just go, "Hey, I'll take OT VIII. Okay. That'll be 40 — " It's like, no, no, no. It's one thing after another, after another.
[00:49:31] Leah Remini: Right. And this is from, this is for Flag. This is for the place in Clearwater, the Mecca of Scientology. And it says right on here, a sliding scale of pricing established, which provides a discount on the total cost in cases where several intensives are bought and paid for in a single block, such as scale as a range whereby the percentage of discount increases in proportion to the number of intensives purchased. And that's just for one block. That's not for the Bridge. That's just for one section of the Bridge.
[00:49:59] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, wow. So this can add up to like millions of dollars if you want to go there.
[00:50:03] Leah Remini: Oh, no, the whole Bridge is probably a half a million dollars. Plus they keep coming out with the new releases. So you buy the basic books of Scientology, which is $700 to $800 for the basic books, which are mandatory reads and that's $5,000 or something. And then they'll say, "Oh, there was a mistake in the book. You got to — " We just kept buying and kept buying. Do you know of any real church that has a price list like this?
[00:50:30] Jordan Harbinger: No, of course not. I mean, I don't know — no.
[00:50:33] Leah Remini: You want to hear the sickest sh*t, Jordan? I mean, this is not the sickest sh*t. This is probably maybe 50th on the scale of sicked sh*t that has to do with Scientology. Because you have to prepay for these services, right? Do you know how much money is sitting on accounts at Scientology organizations?
[00:50:50] Jordan Harbinger: It's got to be millions.
[00:50:52] Leah Remini: Well, the last time I spoke to somebody who left. He was in Scientology in the '80s. Now, these are for services that people never got and never planned to get —
[00:51:01] Jordan Harbinger: Because they bounced, they left.
[00:51:02] Leah Remini: They left or they were let's say kicked out. So the last time he checked, this was in the late '80s. The last time he checked, Jordan, 280 million sitting in unused accounts at Scientology in Florida.
[00:51:18] Jordan Harbinger: In the '80s. So now it's like a billion dollars.
[00:51:21] Leah Remini: These people have contacted us, right? There's been thousands of people who have contacted us throughout the years. How could I get my 50,000 that would save my house? How can I get back my hundred thousand? There's thousands and thousands of people, hundreds of thousands of people. I mean, I don't even know the number, Jordan, who cannot get that money back because if you call a lawyer and say, "Hey, I have 50,000 on that account." They tell you, "Go f*ck yourself. I won't even talk to you about Scientology with 50,000." Who can afford that? Who can afford to fight Scientology to get their money back? And they use that money to bully, harass, and silence their victims. That's why tax exemption is a big deal.
[00:52:02] Jordan Harbinger: There's so much here. And I'm like trying to figure out how to use the time best because there's missing people in Scientology. The leader's wife has been missing for like years now. No one knows. What do you think happened to her? Where is she?
[00:52:13] Leah Remini: Jordan, if I knew that I wouldn't let it go. The problem is I'm not a family member. Well, I did what I could do, which was I filed a welfare check on her. The problem is when you join the Sea Org, you sign away your rights. You can have a representative of Scientology speak on your behalf or a lawyer, even if, even if they actually conducted a correct and righteous welfare check or wellness check on Shelly.
[00:52:40] The LAPD said, "Shelly doesn't want to be found or doesn't want to communicate or. We can affirm that Shelly is alive and well, something." They gave me some kind of bullsh*t answer. For which my response was, "Did you see her? But was she alone? Did you pull her away from her handler? If you actually did see her, was it a lawyer? Give me the information." He said, "I don't need to give you that information, but feel free to file something through the Public Information Act," which I did. I hired a lawyer, cost me thousands of dollars.
[00:53:15] And by the end of it, they basically told me to go f*ck myself. They don't need to give me that information. So I don't know that Shelly's alive. I don't know where Shelly is. This is David Miscavige, the leader of Scientology, Chairman of the Board. This is Tom Cruise's best friend.
[00:53:32] Jordan Harbinger: This is crazy.
[00:53:33] Leah Remini: Jordan, if you had a best friend that you knew had wife that was with him all the time or her, wouldn't you say, "Well, I haven't seen your wife, like I need to see her, I'm starting to worry that she's in a f*cking freezer somewhere?"
[00:53:45] Jordan Harbinger: I would literally think she's in a f*cking freezer somewhere, yeah.
[00:53:48] Leah Remini: Right. Okay. Well, no one's done that. I have been the only person that has ever inquired about Shelly Miscavige.
[00:53:56] Jordan Harbinger: There's so many stories like this. People who are listening right now, they're like, "Wow, she has a lot of stories." When you watch Going Clear, when you watch Scientology and the Aftermath, there's people following you that you're catching on tape. Like you're catching people following you in cars, just while filming. These are people who are trying not to get caught too. The people who probably caught like 20 percent of the people that were following you and trying to do weird stuff.
[00:54:17] Leah Remini: But they don't give a sh*t. Jordan, now, they've taken to hiring through one of their lawyers, people who are not stable, mentally stable. They're doing this repeatedly with the courageous women, in the Danny Masterson case, they've been doing this to victims. They had somebody break through my gates who is not well, who's been diagnosed with schizophrenia and they do this every day. Now, of course, trespassing, breaking and entering into a community apparently is not that big of a deal.
[00:54:53] Jordan Harbinger: Geez.
[00:54:54] Leah Remini: Yeah. Person's been arrested four times now and he continues to come back.
[00:55:01] Jordan Harbinger: So you're always having to look over your shoulder for these people.
[00:55:04] Leah Remini: Constantly. But again, this is what I have chosen to do to expose Scientology for what they're doing. But the thing that keeps me going is that they don't have you to talk to. They don't have 2020 to talk to, right? Because these stories sound isolated and not insane. When in fact, it's coordinated and organized attacks from Scientology and OSA, being funded by the IRS by granting them tax exemption. This is not the reason why Scientology has tax exemption is to do this all day, all night.
[00:55:40] And that's why I continue to speak out. And that's why I continue to speak out against celebrities who I wish I didn't have to, because it becomes such a tit for tat for some. They don't see the bigness of this and what these people, the celebrities are supporting. And it's hard too, because I'm trying to find a new way, Jordan. I don't want to hate these people. I'm learning to try to have compassion and see them as victims as I was. But it's difficult to do when you're being attacked every day.
[00:56:09] Jordan Harbinger: Do you think a lot of these celebrities — we don't have to mention names. Everyone knows the big ones in Scientology, but do you think they stay in because of the blackmail from the auditing or because they basically are super powerful inside the Church?
[00:56:20] Leah Remini: Well, first I think for one particular person who is second in command there, enormous power, power that you can never understand. Power that would be on the same level as a prince, a Saudi Prince. I mean, it's that kind of power. You can't compare it to any of the biggest celebrities of Hollywood. It's just a different kind of power and people get drunk on that power. And fear, fear that they're leaving something that is saving mankind. I think they truly believe as I did. You have to get in the mind of an extremist. Somebody who is used to dehumanizing people who are not them as an extremist mentality, and that is Scientologists across the board, no matter how friendly they come off to you, Jordan, that is something that we practice, by the way, behind the scenes, how to be nice because Scientologists are not nice. We are abusive. We're conditioned to receive and give abuse. So when people accuse me of being that I absolutely was. This is what Scientology taught me to be. I knew no other way. It's only through my work, you know, therapy and books that I've learned that that's not normal. That's not normal. Literally, could you imagine learning how to drill talking to people to appear as though you were a compassionate and empathetic person?
[00:57:37] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That's super freaking weird. Yeah. It's weird. I know we're short on time, but when you grow up being indoctrinated into something like this, and then you have to manually learn how to come across as like a sane human being. When you leave, do you feel, do you come out vulnerable because there's some vacuum in your psyche, right?
[00:57:53] Leah Remini: Completely, like you're raw. You don't know how to act. You don't know how to talk. You don't know how to, you know, what do I think of this? Everything's Scientology is, is teaching people what to think all day, all night, I said, you're studying two and a half hours a day, minimum. You're self-brainwashing. You're looking up every word you don't understand. You have people standing behind you as you're studying. If you twitch or scratch your head, they pull you in another room and go, "What didn't you understand? What's the definition of awe? What's the definition of there? What's the definition of — ?
[00:58:23] And this is the way you're studying Scientology under this duress. And you do you come out not knowing what it means to be a human being. You have been taught to hate anybody that isn't you inside Scientology for so long that when you come out, you have to find who you are and you have to accept who you are, what you've become, and you have to work on changing it.
[00:58:51] Jordan Harbinger: Has the Internet been taking a bit of the wind out of Scientology sales? I mean, it seems like now with the information,
[00:58:56] Leah Remini: Oh, my God. Yes. I mean, without the Internet, I know that's a double-edged sword there.
[00:59:02] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:59:02] Leah Remini: I mean, Scientology would still be operating as it did in the '50s, '60s, and '70s. Although what saddens me is that because there is so much information available now, why it's still continuing to be able to act with impunity the way it is and why it has. So I always ask people like who are listening or watching anything that we do or listening to our podcast, your podcast is please don't underestimate the power that you have to affect some change for not only victims of Scientology, but cults like it. You know, people often ask us what they can do. Well, it's writing letters to the criminal investigation department of the IRS. It's writing to the IRS commissioner and asking for an investigation into Scientology. It's putting pressure on your Congress women and men, and it's doing anything that you can do to protect and support the victims of Scientology, who, like I said, if you're following the EPStand League, Edward Parkin on Twitter and any STAND League, you're supporting an organization that is bullying victims all day, all night, and they are part of OSA. And any help that you can give us is so much appreciated just watching and supporting anything that we do listening to this podcast is helpful.
[01:00:25] Jordan Harbinger: Thank you so much for coming on and sharing. I have bajillion more questions. I'll have to do it next time. And hopefully, we'll be able to see each other and do that one in person. But this is very informative. I do these because not because I'm determined to smack talk Scientology, but I think I'm determined to warn people away from cults in general. And people, this is a nefarious cult, right? The whole thing is designed to abuse people. It's a money-making scheme.
[01:00:48] Leah Remini: Yes.
[01:00:49] Jordan Harbinger: It's not something that like, kind of just has bad business practices. It's just —
[01:00:53] Leah Remini: Right.
[01:00:54] Jordan Harbinger: — designed for all of this and that's —
[01:00:55] Leah Remini: I agree.
[01:00:56] Jordan Harbinger: — why it's more dangerous. So I really appreciate you coming on and your candor.
[01:00:59] Leah Remini: And, Jordan, I want to thank you for what you're doing and for having me on and for being — listening to this side, that I think is the right side of this fight. And for having an opinion about it, because that means a lot to me personally, and to those who've been hurt by Scientology. It means a lot to them that you have an opinion.
[01:01:20] Jordan Harbinger: Well, I'm far from impartial. I'll tell you that.
[01:01:23] Leah Remini: Thank you. No, I appreciate it. I want you to know that I appreciate it. And I come on any time you could write down all your questions and, you know, I can have everything prepared for you that you need and want and evidence and anything that you want, Jordan. I can get it for you.
[01:01:37] Jordan Harbinger: You got it. Thank you so much.
[01:01:38] Leah Remini: Okay, sweet angel. Thank you, again.
[01:01:42] Jordan Harbinger: Of course, I've got thoughts on this episode, but before I get into that, here's a sample of my interview with Guy Raz, who hosts NPR's How I Built This. He shares his number one secret to getting a great interview, how asking difficult questions during the interview serves both the overall story and the guest's being grilled, and it's kind of nice to just riff with a fellow interviewer on an episode here. Here's a quick bite.
[01:02:03] Guy Raz: I came to NPR as a 22-year-old intern. I was very lucky. You know, I really wanted to be an overseas reporter and the stars were sort of aligned in the right way where I got the job and I was totally terrified. You know, I was sent to Berlin to be the correspondent for NPR.
[01:02:20] Jordan Harbinger: Don't mess this up. Oh, yeah, and by the way, you're going to Bosnia tomorrow.
[01:02:23] Guy Raz: And that was how I began overseas as a foreign correspondent. Bearing witness to historical events, being somewhere where they're unfolding in front of your eyes in real-time is thrilling. It's absolutely extraordinary and fascinating. I mean, imagine if you were standing at the Berlin Wall on November 9th, 1989.
[01:02:42] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:02:43] Guy Raz: It's an extraordinary feeling to be in these places. And I was able to witness history unfold in front of my eyes many, many times.
[01:02:51] If there's really a secret to interviewing people, this is my secret, if you really want to get a good interview from somebody, you need to honor their story. You need to honor them. If they're coming to talk to you. And the way you honor them is you learn a lot about them. You spend the time. You do the work. And if you do that, there's a better than 50 percent chance that they will appreciate that and respect that.
[01:03:16] I mean, those wow moments, they're real because what I do in an interview is I completely leave the world that I'm in. I completely leave the surroundings, every, all the chaos, the noise, you know, Trump and politics. I just leave it. It's out, all the noise. COVID, it's gone.
[01:03:34] It's like when you see a movie, I am just in that person's world.
[01:03:40] Jordan Harbinger: For more, including the one teachable quality all entrepreneurs seem to have in common check out episode 404 of The Jordan Harbinger Show with Guy Raz.
[01:03:51] Well, she was super nice. I wasn't totally expecting that. She's a very, very sweet person on air, off air, just very, very nice. I wouldn't want to be on her bad side. I will tell you that. But, look, I was wondering how she got into the Church of Scientology. It turns out she was nine when she got in via her stepdad. Her mom eventually left. She's been out about six years or so. She's 50 now, right? She looks great for 50, but she's 50. So imagine she's been in Scientology basically. She's basically been in for 40 years. I mean, that's incredible to leave anything that you've been in for that long. Just unbelievable.
[01:04:24] I also asked offline what happens to mentally ill or just sick people in general in Scientology. They often don't send those people to psychiatric or medical care. There's like a fake rehab. They say psychology and psychiatry is fake. And L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology had it in for psychiatry. And the reason, supposedly, the reason is because it was just an ego thing. He submitted his science fiction book to be a psychiatry manual. And of course, the Society of Psychiatrists was like, "No, you're not qualified. And this has no basis in science." So they said it was essentially just a dumb self-help book and he went, "Okay, fine. I'm going to destroy you and make a bunch of money and, you know, fluff myself." And that's what he did.
[01:05:05] They have centers everywhere for Scientology. There's probably one near you. There's certainly one near me. It's not some underground cult. It's a very, very above-ground cult, a very dangerous cult according to our guest today. They also recruit using free or cheap acting classes. So it'll be like learn from this famous actor. And it would be like 20 bucks or 50 bucks. And they get a bunch of people in there. And it's a front group for Scientology. There are financial gurus on the Internet that are Scientologists that use their real estate investing programs as front groups for Scientology and for recruiting.
[01:05:36] Leah told me that Scientology expects you to be there two, two and a half hours per day. And of course, while filming King of Queens, she had to make it up later because she had 12 hour plus filming days during the season. So she had no time off virtually, just everyday in the cult, working on stuff, paying money to learn stuff because each level costs a bunch of money.
[01:05:55] I asked her if John Travolta and Tom Cruise don't leave because of blackmail, because of course, you're doing these audits. You're telling all these secrets. Do they have insane amounts of info on everybody? She said, yes, but also celebrities have insane amounts of power inside the Church and you get a status that's called and I'm not kidding here. It's called Kha-Khan and that means these people can do just about anything they want. And other people have to look the other way or even aid and abet because they're essentially untouchable, right? They're on this other plane. And look, I would be lying if I didn't say it's a little spooky that anyone who speaks out against Scientology is according to Scientology, evil and a criminal. So I'm sure I fall into that camp now.
[01:06:34] Recommended resources, Going Clear. It's a documentary on HBO about Scientology that gives you some good background. It shows you the founder, tells you some crazy abuse stories, Going Clear on HBO. We'll link to that in the show notes. You know, we know from previous episodes of this show that when you believe something wholeheartedly just with your whole self, and then you suddenly realize that it was all BS, we actually don't change our minds slowly. It's very fast. Malcolm Gladwell talked about this, right? We believe something. We believe something. We believe something until the dam breaks and then our belief changes just in a rush. It's not like I'm slowly converting my beliefs. We just gather evidence until we just can't reconcile things with one another. And the cognitive dissonance just ruptures. That's why we hit this tipping point and change our beliefs. So it's very interesting, but also makes it very difficult to get somebody out of a cult or a belief system like Scientology.
[01:07:26] Big thank you to Leah Remini. Her book will also be linked in the show notes. If you do buy anything from our guests, please use the website links to buy books and such. It does help support the show. Worksheets for the episode in the show notes. Transcripts in the show notes. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram, or you can hit me on LinkedIn.
[01:07:43] I'm teaching you how to connect with great people and manage relationships, using systems and tiny habits over at our Six-Minute Networking course, which is free over at jordanharbinger.com/course. Dig the well before you get thirsty. Most of the guests on the show, subscribe to the course, they contribute to the course. Come join us, you'll be in smart company where you belong.
[01:08:02] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Millie Ocampo, Ian Baird, Josh Ballard, and Gabriel Mizrahi. Remember, we rise by lifting others. The fee for this show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful or interesting. If you know somebody who's interested in cults, interested in Scientology, interested in belief systems, please share this with them. I hope you find something great in every episode of this show. So please share the show with those you love and even those you don't. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
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