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Cover-ups, Tax Fraud, and the Church of Scientology: Leah Remini Spotlights Danny Masterson's Accusers

Four women have filed a lawsuit against actor and Scientologist Danny Masterson, the Church of Scientology, and its creepy, enigmatic leader, David Miscavige.

We're familiar with the Catholic Church's abusive priests, child-abusing Jehovah's Witnesses in the UK, and fundamentalist Mormon sects condoning child brides.

Now, it seems that the closest likeness the Church of Scientology has to a legitimate religious organization is a shameful history of sexual abuse. This week, Leah Remini's controversial, Emmy-winning A&E series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath ended with a two-hour finale featuring four women's stories of sexual assault by actor and Scientologist Danny Masterson (That 70's Show)—and how the Church of Scientology systematically covered it up.

Two weeks before the finale aired, Huffington Post contributor Yashar Ali broke the news that the organization was accused of "stalking, intimidation, and conspiracy stemming from rape allegations." Four women have filed lawsuits against Masterson, the Church of Scientology, and its enigmatic leader, David Miscavige. In 2017, Remini and co-host Mike Rinder (a former high-ranking official within the church), reportedly agreed to postpone the special as to not interfere with the LAPD's investigation. However, after nearly two years, Ali criticized that the investigation "inexplicably stalled" despite "overwhelming evidence."

As such, Remini's interviews with two of the accusers were a call to action. Filmed in front of a live studio audience, the special included Marie Bobette Ríales, who dated Masterson in 2002 and alleges that Masterson repeatedly drugged her and sexually assaulted her while she was unconscious. A second woman, Crissie Bixler, appeared in a pre-filmed interview from 2017 recounting her abusive relationship with the actor in the '90s. She described him as "controlling and violent." She detailed a 2001 incident in which she blacked out during dinner with Masterson. "Last thing I remember is getting up from the restaurant to go home. Complete blackout," Bixler said. "The next day when I woke up the back of my head hurt, and I thought I'd fallen. I thought I was poisoned. I didn't know where I was. He was downstairs sitting at his desk... I went downstairs and asked what happened. He just kind of chuckled. I said, 'I'm in a lot of pain.' I was ripped. I was injured. He started laughing. He said, 'Oh, I had sex with you last night.' I said, 'Was I unconscious?' He said, 'Yeah.'"

The two remaining plaintiffs in the lawsuit prefer to remain anonymous. As for Ríales, she says she was inspired to come forward after hearing about the backlash against Bixler's allegations after she reported the abuse to the Church of Scientology. "I knew a lot of things were wrong in our relationship," Ríales said. "Never once did it occur to me that he was doing this to other girls."

The common thread throughout the women's stories of abuse is the Church's invalidation of the alleged victims. Bixler says she reported the incident to an ethics officer within the organization but was told, "It's not rape if you've been in a consensual relationship."

Furthermore, stories of sexual abuse have shadowed the organization for years. The finale of Scientology and the Aftermath also featured former scientologists who allege they were abused as children and forced to interact with their abuser for years afterwards. One man recounted having to "audit" (scientology's form of rudimentary talk therapy) a grown man who confessed to molesting a 5-month-old child—he was barely a teenager at the time. "When I was 13 I had to audit an older man," Joey Chiat said. "Here's a 13-year-old kid asking a 50-year old man, 'What fingers did you use?'...Very specific questions that we were trained to ask him." These accusers highlight Scientology's internal policies that discourage members from reporting abuse to law enforcement.

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Of course, the organization has denied the allegations for years. When The Daily Beast reached out for a comment, a spokesperson replied, "The Church adamantly denies that it ever ignores any allegations of criminal behavior, especially at the expense of alleged victims. What is being stated is utterly untrue. This has nothing to do with religion. This story is being manipulated to push a bigoted agenda." A lawyer for the Church of Scientology was more accusatory of Leah Remini, telling EW that the recent lawsuit is "baseless" and a "dishonest and hallucinatory publicity stunt." The statement continued to call Remini's show "full of lies, distortions, and exhortations generating hate and bigotry" and that any further allegations she makes are "absolutely untrue, part of her paranoia, and unworthy of further comment."

Masterson has also denied all allegations, telling USA Today, "I'm not going to fight my ex-girlfriend in the media like she's been baiting me to do for more than two years. I will beat her in court — and look forward to it because the public will finally be able learn the truth and see how I've been railroaded by this woman."

'Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath' (Season 3 Trailer) | Premieres on November 27 | A&E youtu.be

After leaving Scientology in 2013, Leah Remini has been fiercely outspoken against the abuses, manipulations, and toxicity of the "church." The three-season arc of Scientology and the Aftermath has been a call to action: Strip the organization of its tax exempt status. It's clear that revoking Scientology's religious exemption is the first step to curbing its menacing hold over people's faith, finances, and psyches. A Change.org petition for the IRS Commissioner to investigate the organization has nearly 20,000 signatures. It lists 11 reasons why Scientology disqualifies for the exception, including, "Scientology's internal cover-ups of child sexual abuse and rape as described by the victims of the sexual abuse and rape."

As for former members, Remini has used her show to reinforce the message: "It's not about me. It's about the people who are willing to speak out, good people who are willing to file lawsuits or speak to us on camera or speak to the Tampa Bay Times or go on CNN. Many people have left who did blog posts and YouTube videos way before me. These are the heroes."

Leah Remini’s highly anticipated new book is finally out—and it’s every bit as good as expected.

As Popdust previously reported, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology is a blistering take-down of the “church” and its hierarchy, detailing the corrupt inner workings of the notoriously covert organization.

Leah Remini  Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, Slamming Scientology (And We Love Her For It)

But, it’s the tantalizing glimpse into the bizarre life of Scientology’s most esteemed celeb member that we found most engaging and enjoyable.

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Like the time Tom Cruise threw a temper tantrum over baking cookies:

Once when Angelo and I were over, Tom decided he wanted to make cookies. He walked into the kitchen, where a batch of prepackaged cookie dough had been prepared and was sitting on the counter, a perfect loaf ready for cutting and baking. Tom was looking for flour and other ingredients and must not have seen the cookie dough, and he instantly got angry.

“Guys, where’s the cookie stuff?” he said, furrowing his brow.

His assistants came running in wanting to explain that it was right there, on a nearby counter, but all one of them could say was, “Uh, Tom.” They both grew more flustered, and Tom got angry. “Goddamn it!”

Looking at the dough sitting on a cutting board, obvious to all of us except Tom, I wished his assistant would say, “Hey, the stuff is right under your nose, dumb-ass.” But she didn’t. She couldn’t. Instead, Katie whispered something to Tom, who repeated, “Can I just get the stuff for the cookies, guys?”

And, the time Tommy boy wanted to play hide-and-seek during a play date dinner party with his little (adult) buddies...

As the dinners continued and we spent more time with Tom, I came to think of him as a big kid with his loud laugh, high energy, and goofy ideas of fun. Like when he invited some Scientologists and a few other celebrities like Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, to his house and announced he wanted to play hide-and-seek. At first I thought he was joking, but no, he literally wanted to play hide-and-seek with a bunch of grown-ups in what was probably close to a 7,000-square-foot house on almost three full acres of secluded land.

“I can’t play—I’m wearing Jimmy Choos,” I said.

“Well, good,” Tom said with his signature grin. “So you’re It, then.” And with that he tagged me and ran to hide.

“Huh?”

But then, inevitably, there’s the creepy darker side too—like, how Katie Holmes freaked out after being displeased by Remini’s behavior at her 2006 wedding to Cruise—and went all North Korea on her:

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?”

Amazing.....

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Leah Remini refuses to shut the fuck up when it comes to the cult “Church” of Scientology—and, we love her for it.

Despite the organization’s whiny butt sore little bitch reaction to her revelations about life inside the notoriously covert and media hating “church”, Remini can’t stop, and just won’t stop, slamming it.

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As Popdust previously reported, the 45-year-old is currently bracing herself for the inevitable backlash she’s in line for, as she gears up to release her explosive Scientology expose, detailing the alleged corrupt inner workings of the organization.

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, is set to be released November 3, and the candid tell-all promises to be a blistering take-down of the “church”, its hierarchy and leader, David Miscavige.

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As part of her book promotional tour, Remini sat down for a talk with 20/20—ABC has released a teaser of the interview, which airs in full this Friday—you can watch it right here on Popdust.

In the clip, the actress talks about joining Scientology as a child—her teacher mother, Vicki Marshall, brought her daughter into the “church” when she was just 9-years old—and, Remini shares that her life was drastically affected by the decision.

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“Because Scientologists view children as spiritual beings, you’re given a lot of responsibility and your ego becomes extremely inflated,” Remini says.

She goes on to talk about how, similar to mold on cheese, before you know it, Scientology manages to creep all over and into you, ultimately ending up consuming your entire life.

“I feel that people need to understand this has been my whole life,” Remini admits, “I want [people] to understand how it happens.”

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“As time goes on, you start to lose touch with the real world,” she says later in the clip. “The mindset becomes 'Us against them.’

“The decision to leave is you are giving up everything you have ever known and everything you have worked for your whole life.”

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Since defecting back in 2013, Remini has become a high profile thorn in Scientology’s side, bravely speaking out against the organization, and sharing secrets of the hideous day-to-day life within the “church.”

She previously opened up to Oprah, for an episode of Winfrey’s Where Are They Now?

I don’t think people know the amount of dedication it takes to be in this organization. I mean it was every day, three-and-a-half hours minimum, seven days a week usually. You know, I’m working most of my time, and then the other time was spent at the church, so minimal time is really spent with your family.

I was at one of these hotels in Florida, and I saw my daughter swimming for the first time while I’m reading this thing [Scientology coursework].

And a tear came down my face. And I was like, ‘What am I doing?’

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Despite Scientology’s vehement claims to the contrary, the organization engages in many practices that are viewed as being the staple of modern day cults—including isolating members from “negative forces” outside of the “church”—or, in Scientology jargon, “suppressive persons” (SPs)

Remini discussed how unhealthy that can be for those unfortunates still inside the organization.

I didn't want to raise my daughter in the church because from what I experienced and what I saw, the church becomes everything, your mother, your father, your everything. You are dependent on the church.

In 10 years, if I didn't want to be connected to the church anymore, my own [daughter Sofia] would be taught to disconnect from me. I didn't want to create that. I didn't think that would be healthy for her.

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Sure enough, since leaving, Remini has become a pariah in social circles involving her former Scientology friends—pals like Kirstie Alley, whom she was close to for years, but is now shunned by.

Alley slammed her former friend during an interview with Howard Stern, branding her an anti-faith "bigot" who picks on Scientologists for no reason ... and declaring that Remini is now her "enemy."

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For their part, Scientology has taken the usual tried and tested aggressive and nasty attack stance against their former member, releasing a bitchy little statement to the press:

It comes as no surprise that someone as self-absorbed as Leah Remini with an insatiable craving for attention would exploit her former religion as a publicity stunt in a pathetic attempt to get ratings for her cable show and seem relevant again.

She is rewriting history and omits that she was participating in a program to remain a Scientologist by her own choice, as she was on the verge of being expelled for her and her husband’s ethical lapses.

Wah! Wah! Wah!

It’s impossible to imagine any other supposed religion acting this way—people leave the Catholic Church, and speak out against it, all the time, but we’ve yet to read a statement from the Pope tearing them to pieces for doing so.

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But then, Scientology ain’t your regular, run-of-the-mill “religion” as much as they like to pretend they are when it suits them....and, Scientology's creator, L Ron Hubbard definitely ain't no Jesus figure—although, we have to give major props to the failed science fiction writer for his awesome imagination, which is on full display when it comes to the utterly fantastical and ludicrous tenets of Scientology.

For those of you out there who remain blissfully unaware of what Scientology preaches, here's some of the best bits for you:

  • Earth is over-run by evil dead alien souls (“Body Thetans” in Scientology lingo) who live and roam amongst us, posing as humans.

  • Body Thetans are the result of a mass murder spree undertaken ions ago by the blood thirsty evil alien ruler Xenu—who killed millions of aliens (“Thetans” in Scientology lingo)

  • The blood thirsty evil alien ruler Xenu killed the millions of Thetans by kidnapping them, transporting them to earth in shimmering DC-8 “space-planes”, stuffing them in volcanoes around the world and then blowing them to pieces with hydrogen bombs.

  • The poor murdered Thetans’ souls (the aforementioned Body Thetans that live and roam amongst us to this day) were then captured by Xenu and his peeps, brainwashed and released out into the world—where they immediately attached themselves to the human population

  • The human population of old genetically passed on those pesky Body Thetans to their children, and their children passed them on to their children..and so on, up until present day—where, we, unenlightened non-Scientologists, remain riddled with pesky brainwashed Body Thetans, which are the cause of the vast majority of our mental and physical ailments.

  • Luckily, we can rid ourselves ("clear" in Scientology lingo) of the pesky brainwashed dead alien souls clinging to us, by paying vast sums of money to specially trained potential blackmailers Scientology “auditors”

  • The specially trained potential blackmailers Scientology “auditors” will then hook up the poor Body Thetan riddled human (“pre-clear” in Scientology lingo) to a Hubbard Electropsychometer (“E-Meter” in Scientology lingo) which consists of a plastic box type thing with some dials, wires, and a couple of empty soup can kind of things attached, which is purported to “measure changes in the electrical resistance of the pre-clear by passing a small electric current (typically in the range from 50µA to 120µA) through the pre-clear's body” via the empty soup can kind of things.

  • An average auditing session involves the pre-clear divulging all of their deepest darkest and most shameful secrets to the auditor, who tapes it all for future blackmail opportunities reference.

  • After shelling out shit loads of money and divulging every single one of their deepest darkest and most shameful secrets, the aforementioned auditing will eventually rid the pre-clear of all of their attached Body Thetans, rendering the pre-clear all nice, clean and evil dead alien soul free.

  • Scientologists who dare break any of the organization's many rules, are forced to submit themselves to a regime of physical punishment, total isolation, intense ideological indoctrination, an ongoing series of forced self-confessions, and hard labor, in some weird prison camp type scenario (the “Rehabilitation Project Force” (RPF) in Scientology lingo).

  • Scientologists are entitled to physically and emotionally injure any critics or enemies of the organization, in addition to seizing dissenters’ property.

  • Contrary to both evolutionary and creationist belief, all humans actually evolved from clams

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Leah Remini’s life is very likely about to get a whole lot creepier.

The 45-year-old is about to release an explosive Scientology expose, detailing the corrupt inner workings of the notoriously covert organization—and, not surprisingly, she’s bracing herself for the inevitable backlash.

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According to the DailyMail, Remini’s book, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, is set to be released in November, and will be a blistering take-down of the “church” and its hierarchy.

After spending 30 years as a Scientologist, Remini is only too aware of the bullying, heavy handed tactics the organization likes to employ whenever anybody dares question or criticize them, something she got a small and unpleasant taste of after she dared to leave and then speak out against them.

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As Popdust previously reported, the “church” acted decidedly un-church like—more like a butt sore whiny little bitch in fact— after Remini chose to exercise her first amendment rights, and talk about the difficulties she experienced leaving Scientology during a conversation with friends, which aired on her reality show, Leah Remini: It’s All Relative.

“When you leave, you can leave quietly,” Remini shared. “But If you make a stink in the public world, they call you a Suppressive Person, which means the church has put a stamp on you that says you are bad. They then go to all your family and friends and say you have to disconnect from this Suppressive Person.”

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“I decided I didn’t want to raise my daughter in the church because from what I’ve experienced and what I saw, the church becomes your everything,” she continued. “It becomes your mother, your father, your everything. You are dependent on the church.”

Fair enough, right? Nah, not according to those Thetan loving cult leaders "church" elders.

“It comes as no surprise that someone as self-absorbed as Leah Remini with an insatiable craving for attention would exploit her former religion as a publicity stunt in a pathetic attempt to get ratings for her cable show and seem relevant again,” Scientology shot back via a statement to the press.

Leah Remini Slams Scientology, ‘Everything The Church Taught Me Was A Lie’

“She is rewriting history and omits that she was participating in a program to remain a Scientologist by her own choice, as she was on the verge of being expelled for her and her husband’s ethical lapses.”

Whatever losers.

So, shit is likely to GO DOWN after she releases her book—which, by all accounts, sounds like Going Clear, but on steroids.

The Daily Mail reports that in the book, Remini blows the lid on all the bullying tactics the “church” is so found of (allegedly) employing, including blackmail, slave labor, intimidation, good old fashioned abuse and control over high profile celeb members, such as Tom Cruise, Juliette Lewis, Beck, John Travolta and Kirstie Alley.

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Alley has already been walking the Scientology line, turning her back on her “suppressive person” former friend, calling her “repulsive” and branding her a “bigot” for daring to speak out about her own personal experience with Scientology.

Remini says she started questioning Scientology after she became disturbed by the mysterious disappearance of Shelly Miscavige—the wife of Scientology head, David Miscavige—who has not been seen in public since 2006.

She landed on the organization’s shit list sometime around Cruise’s high profile wedding to Nicole Kidman, when she made the mistake of publicly questioning Shelly Miscavige’s whereabouts.

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According to Remini, shortly afterwards, she filed a “knowledge report” which included criticism of Miscavige, Cruise, and other high level Scientologists, detailing behavior by them that she believed to be inconsistent with the organization's rules.

Remini claims she was subsequently blacklisted within the church, that Scientologist friends of hers wrote damning internal reports about her that lead to an investigation into her family by the church, and that she was “subjected to years of ‘interrogations’ and ‘thought modification.’”

Well, brace yourself Leah, we have a feeling the Thetans are going to be trying to get at you a whole lot more within the next few months.

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Scientology just can’t get over Leah Remini leaving its fold.

In fact, the controversial “religion” is acting like some whiny butt sore little bitch—slamming the 45-year-old for daring to part ways, and even worse, (GASP!) talk about why she decided to leave.

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It’s hard to imagine any other religion acting this way—people leave the Catholic Church, but we’ve yet to read some statement from the Pope tearing them to pieces for doing so. But, Scientology ain’t your regular, run-of-the-mill “religion” as much as they like to pretend they are when it suits them.

The latest anti-Remini diatribe coincides with the premiere of the new season of the actresses’ reality show, Leah Remini: It’s All Relative—during which, as per her first amendment right, she speaks about her departure from the organization—Popdust has video, which you can watch below.

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"When you leave, you can leave quietly," Remini tells her friends in the sneak peek clip. "But If you make a stink in the public world, they call you a Suppressive Person, which means the church has put a stamp on you that says you are bad. They then go to all your family and friends and say you have to disconnect from this Suppressive Person."

"I decided I didn't want to raise my daughter in the church because from what I've experienced and what I saw, the church becomes your everything," she continues. "It becomes your mother, your father, your everything. You are dependent on the church."

Leah Remini Slams Scientology—Everything They Taught Me Was A Lie

Fair enough, right? Nah, not according to those Thetan loving cult leaders Church elders.

"It comes as no surprise that someone as self-absorbed as Leah Remini with an insatiable craving for attention would exploit her former religion as a publicity stunt in a pathetic attempt to get ratings for her cable show and seem relevant again," Scientology says in a statement.

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"She is rewriting history and omits that she was participating in a program to remain a Scientologist by her own choice, as she was on the verge of being expelled for her and her husband’s ethical lapses."

Wah, wah, wah! We were just about to break up with her, so she broke up with us first!

Pathetic…. truly pathetic.

Leah Remini better not be hoping for a dinner invitation from Tom Cruise, Kirstie Alley, or John Travolta anytime soon.

The 44-year-old is opening up about the craziness of her time in the Church of Scientology—and, that’s very likely to not sit well with those still committed to the controversial organization.

As Popdust previously reported, The King of Queens star caused a Scientology furor when she left the church in 2013, claiming she did so for the sake of her daughter.

Shortly after, Remini spoke to Ellen Degeneres about how she had been shunned by her former Scientology friends

"It's hard. We lost friends that can no longer talk to us who are still in the organization,” she said. “And these are friends that we've had for dozens of years. But I have great friends, other friends that are not in the church, that have stood by us. Our family is stronger, we're together and that's all I can ask for."

Remini is now discussing the subject further, talking about the demands the church allegedly puts on members, and how difficult it was for her to get the hell out.

"My mother was in Scientology my whole life,” she tells Oprah, during a recording of Winfrey’s Where Are They Now? “Most people don't know that we were raised in it. I didn't decide to get into it — I was brought into it by my mom."

"I don't think people know the amount of dedication it takes to be in this organization,” she goes on to claim. “I mean it was every day, three-and-a-half hours minimum, seven days a week usually. You know, I'm working most of my time, and then the other time was spent at the church, so minimal time is really spent with your family."

"I was at one of these hotels in Florida, and I saw my daughter swimming for the first time while I'm reading this thing [Scientology coursework]” Remini continues. “And a tear came down my face. And I was like, 'What am I doing?'"

Two years on from her exit, and Remini admits she’s still struggling to adjust to everyday life outside of the church.

"Our decision to leave the organization — it's not just something you get over,” she explains. “It's people and a lifestyle you've known all your life. It formed who I am, good and bad. It formed the way I think, good and bad. And so there's a lot of pain connected to it, there's a lot of healing.

“When you are raised in something, and you are taught to think a certain way, a lot of times you grow up thinking, 'That's the way I think.' I'm learning there's a new world out here, and there shouldn't be any kind of judgment toward somebody who has a belief system that is not yours."

Wise words indeed.

So, how is Scientology responding to the comments from their star defector—in a caring, compassionate, loving and forgiving manner, befitting that of a supposed religious organization? Or, in a nasty, angry, spiteful little-bitch bully way?

Hmmm….. that's a tough one…..

Well, here’s their statement:

Given Leah Remini's insatiable desire for attention, it comes as no surprise that for two years she has been incapable of moving on with her life and remains obsessed with shamelessly exploiting her former religion in a pathetic attempt to get publicity.

Ah! Scientology, keeping it classy since 1954…….