Almost a month ago, I posted that I had begun watching “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” on the A&E cable channel on Tuesday nights (see here). Well, I caught the seventh and final episode of the series last night via on-demand.
This was an absolutely fascinating documentary/exposé of Scientology. Remini was a member of the “church” for 30 years and is now on a personal crusade to reveal the cult’s homemade “theology” and abusive practices. The bulk of the episodes consist of Remini and Mike Rinder, a former senior executive of the church, visiting other former members whose lives and families were torn apart by the church. If you have any interest in cults and how they control and abuse their membership, I highly recommend this series.
After leaving Scientology, Remini returned to the church she was baptized into as an infant; Roman Catholicism. Here’s a couple of my observations with regards to the series:
- Not once throughout the entire series does Remini mention Jesus Christ. She left Scientology and re-embraced Catholicism, but in seven one-hour episodes she does not name the name of Jesus Christ even once. If I came out of a false religion and found salvation in Christ, I would be SINGING about Jesus! And I do! 🙂 I suspect Ms. Remini is like the overwhelming majority of Catholics who take some comfort in the institutional rituals and trappings of Catholicism but have never accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. But how could they? Their church does not preach the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through Jesus Christ alone. Remini never does name Jesus, however, episode after episode she repeatedly uses more expletives than a drunken sailor on the first night in port.
- In the final episode, Remini and Rinder travel to New York City to meet with lawyers about possible litigation against Scientology. Prior to the meeting, Remini enters St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 51st Street, saying she wants to light a candle “for luck.” For luck? The viewer then sees Remini lighting a votive candle inside the cathedral and pausing as if in prayer. Next we see Remini kneeling in a pew and gazing ahead solemnly at what is presumed to be the altar at St. Patrick’s. Unfortunately, it appears that Ms. Remini has exchanged one system of religious shackles for another, although Catholicism no longer controls peoples lives to the degree Scientology does. But remember back just fifty years ago when there were many convents throughout America crowded with virginal Catholic women who were cut off from their families and were attempting to merit their salvation though self-deprivation and complete obedience to their superiors?
“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first…” – Matthew 12:43-45