On Leah Remini's new A&E series “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath,” the “King Of Queens” star and former Scientologist is continuing her mission to expose the religion's secrets and show it for what she feels it is: dangerous.
And Remini isn't playing coy about Scientology's biggest star, Tom Cruise.
The eight-episode series has Remini recording former Scientologists' stories of abuse by the church in chilling detail.
It's a subject Remini is intimately familiar with, having endured 30 years with the church before getting out herself.
But as Remini tells it in the new series, she may have found out more than she wanted to:
"When I first started filming this show, I thought I would just be documenting stories of families that were torn apart by the Church of Scientology’s policies and practices.
But what I uncovered was much deeper and darker than I ever expected.
What you’re about to see sheds light on the truth of what’s really going on with this church, a church that I promoted, defended, and believed in most of my life."
The highly-rated premiere episode focused on Amy Scobee, previously a high-ranking Scientology executive who'd been assigned to the church's “Celebrity Center.”
After leaving the church, Scobee reunited with her mother, Bonny Elliott, going against the church's strict policy that members completely shut out family members who are deemed enemies of the church, or “suppressive persons.”
It was a story typical of those who escape Scientology.
And Scientology didn't like it.
Leaders of the organization were determined to stop the show from ever airing, leading to Remini demanding $1.5 million in damages. The church responded by saying her demands were “extortion,” and says that the allegations leveled at the church in the show are completely false.
Of course, considering the bombshells Remini's show lands about the church, it has little choice but to deny them.
One of those bombshells involves an incident at a wedding that Remini says was the beginning of the end for her and the church.
In November of 2006, Remini went to the over-the-top wedding of Scientology's public face, Tom Cruise and “Dawson's Creek” star Katie Holmes.
Remini says during the course of the wedding, she realized that Shelly Miscavige, Scientology leader David Miscavige's wife, seemed to be missing from the proceedings.
Merely curious and without suspicion, Remini asked where Miscavige was.
She was immediately answered with a harsh and aggressive response. She describes it on the show:
"In my mind, I’m a parishioner but I’m also just a human being asking where another human being was.
The response that I didn’t have f—-ing rank to be asking about a human being, it spoke to the person in me that doesn’t like to be bullied.
And that's what started me questioning the church more and more."
Remini's suspicions about the church were raised further when she found out the hard way that members being interrogated for “bad behavior” actually pay for the interrogations themselves—often to the tune of hundreds of dollars per hour.
That's when Remini had a chilling revelation about the religion she'd been raised in since she was a child.
Scientology, she says on the show, is a business—and celebrities are one of its biggest cash cows:
“The Church of Scientology is a business. And like any business, they like to have a celebrity selling it.”
Amy Scobee, whose primary job at the church was looking after and wrangling Tom Cruise, concurs:
“Scientology concentrates on collecting celebrities. [The goal is to make celebrities] walking success stories of Scientology.”
Scobee also tells of how her job as Cruise's keeper involved surrounding him with Scientologists in order to limit any outside influences.
To that end, she hired Scientologist cooks, maids, and house managers— anything to keep the star in a bubble.
The show's stories about Cruise are consistent with others from the recent past— including the fact that Cruise and former wife Nicole Kidman weren't invited to their daughter Bella's wedding, despite Cruise having paid for it.
As of earlier this year, Cruise hadn't seen he and Katie Holmes' daughter Suri for two-and-a-half years—the speculation being that it had entirely to do with Holmes leaving Scientology after her divorce from Cruise.
Its “mission statement” reads:
“Leah Remini’s 'reality show, like her last one, is nothing more than a scripted, rehearsed, acted and dramatized work of fiction. She and the other anti-Scientologists in her program have been expelled from the Church for unethical conduct.”
But given the high ratings of the show's first episode, the church may have a long, and possibly futile struggle to fend off the bad press still coming its way.
“Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on A&E.