The Church of Scientology has spoken out against Leah Remini’s latest comments about her experience with the organisation, calling the former member’s account “absurd, insulting and motivated entirely by a desire to grab attention.”
The King of Queens star, who famously left the church last summer, gave an interview published on Wednesday on BuzzFeed in which she called the church “a lie” and said she left for the sake of her nine-year-old daughter, Sofia, around the time the process of “auditing” her child would allegedly begin.
“In my house, it’s family first — but I was spending most of my time at the church,” the 43-year-old said. “So I was saying ‘family first,’ but I wasn’t showing that. I didn’t like the message that sent my daughter.”
Remini, who will next star in the TV Land comedy The Exes, recounted her own experiences within the organisation for more than 30 years, both good and bad, but ultimately concluded that she had been a “hypocrite” for remaining with the religion.
“In the church, you’re taught that everybody is lost,” Remini said. “They say they’re loving, caring, nonjudgmental people, but secretly, they were judging the world for not believing what they believed. To me, that is not a spiritual person. That’s a judgmental person, and that is the person that I was. I was a hypocrite, and the worst thing you can be in this world is a hypocrite.”
On Thursday, the church, which was founded and brought to the masses by sci-fi writer L. Ron Hubbard, lambasted the actress.
In an email to The Times, a rep for the organisation said “it came as no surprise that someone as self-absorbed as Leah Remini with an insatiable craving for attention would exploit her former faith as a publicity stunt by rewriting her history with it, including omitting that she was participating in a programme to remain a Scientologist by her own choice, as she was on the verge of being expelled for her ethical lapses.”
Late on Thursday, the organisation expanded on its preliminary comments, claiming that the actress had not been attending church services for years.
“In fact, she was upset because no one in the Church was calling her or her family, going so far as to drag her daughter into the Church to insist upon being given special treatment,” the organisation said in a statement to The Times. “Sadly, this is the accurate, flip side of the events she now is spinning, which are absurd, insulting and motivated entirely by a desire to grab attention.”
It’s not the first time the Brooklyn native has upset the organisation. In August, she filed a missing person’s report for the wife of church leader David Miscavige and was met with a denunciation from the church when police deemed the case “unfounded.”
Additionally, the church touted several of the organisation’s practices that Remini addressed in her lengthy interview.
“We are saddened that Ms Remini now feels compelled to attack her former faith as if there is something wrong with a good work ethic, encouragement to live a drug free life, a happy childhood and strong family — all values she and countless others experience from the strong religious community in the Church,” the statement said.