Leah Remini explains why being a mom made her leave Scientology
So remember back in June of 2013, when it went public that Leah Remini left The Church of Scientology? When that happened, I totally wanted to find out details because ... well, what really goes on in The Church of Scientology is like one of the best kept secrets in the world and also because I am a big Remini fan (I love her in The King of Queens!). She seems like a total straight-shooter. Still, I didn't get into it because I'm busy and didn't have time for it and I figured I'd eventually find out. Anyway, today, I totally had to make time for it because Remini revealed in an article that a HUGE reason she left the church is because of her daughter. I'm the mamá of two daughters and I was super intrigued. Why would Remini want to protect her daughter from the church even though she herself grew up in it?
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Remini is very candid in an interview she did with BuzzFeed. She talks about her childhood, growing up in the church, her career, her family, her friends, and her difficult decision to leave a church that she had devoted most of her life to. That's got to be hard when your entire life has revolved around an institution and a belief system, don't you think?
Before she was 10 years old, Leah's mom moved her and her sisters from Brooklyn, New York to The Church of Scientology's Clearwater, Florida location. That's when Remini's life of service to the Church began. She describes the experience as, "We were working from morning until night with barely any schooling. There was no saying no. There was no being tired ... There was only, 'Get it done.' "
As tough as her experience in the church was as a child, it gave her a drive and work ethic. Once she and her family moved to Hollywood, California, Remini made a carreer in acting. She's been successful and I'm sure the Church has had something to do with her success, so why leave especially when you risk longtime friends from church like Kirstie Allie coming out and bashing you on Howard Stern's show and calling you names like "repulsive" and "a bigot?" Ouch!
I'm sure it was a complicated decision, but sometimes being a mother makes even the most difficult and complicated choices seem like a no-brainer. Remini has a 9-year-old daughter named Sofia. Sofia would soon have to go through an auditing church process for acclimation. "I started thinking of my own childhood and how I grew up resenting my mother because she was never home," Remini says. "But my mom thought she was doing something good; she thought she was helping the planet. That's what the Church tells you."
In the end, Remini wants to live by the creed, "family first," not "Church first." I respect her decision. I know she was lost lots of friends because of it, but she has had the continued support of her mother (yay!) and her bestie, Jennifer Lopez.
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