Leah Remini: SJW (Scientology Justice Warrior)
The first trailer for Leah Remini’s Scientology show is here – and it’s as crazy as an alien volcano explosion (or whatever Scientology is). The trailer is short but it includes a lot of accusations you’d know about if you watched Going Clear, like the practice of disconnection and accusations of physical abuse.
But here is where the trailer got interesting (for me): I did not know the Church has been accused of facilitating or covering up rape. It makes sense, considering young people were allegedly put in vulnerable positions with older men. Scientology has a rigid hierarchy, and families basically give up their lives (and children) to the Sea Org. But to have a rape victim speak out this publicly – have we seen this before?
And it’s coming at time when these conversations are actually being received (in a large part thanks to social media). This isn’t to say victims are unanimously believed – that is far from the truth – but there is a lot more space for individuals to speak out about institutions that ignored or willfully covered up abuse in their ranks.
Leah’s role in this can’t be denied because she knows good TV and let’s face it – at this point she probably gets a bit of petty joy out of antagonizing David Miscavige. Who wouldn’t? They thought they could destroy her and she’s flourishing. She’s been on TV for most of her life, and she’s done a reality show with her family. She’s dramatic, she’s bossy, she’s incredulous. She is an actress – reacting is literally her job, and she goes EXTRA with it. This is her lane.
Right now, Leah has a huge advantage over Scientology, which engages in an awkward, hostile relationship with the media. Leah is the open book, the one who knows her angles and how to find the story that will entice viewers into caring about this relatively small, secret organization. When abortion is brought up, she knows what she’s doing. Whether her disbelief is genuine doesn’t matter, because it’s effective. She wants people to be shocked so she is acting shocked.
Leah’s whole takedown is ironic considering Scientology loves/courts/relies on celebrities. Now a celebrity is their biggest liability. They are probably more scared of Leah than they are of the IRS, and that’s incredible. Everyone is scared of the IRS. I am scared of them and I’m not even American.
The only thing I wonder is that, considering what we see on the news everyday, will audiences be shaken by Scientology tactics? It’s not exactly at the top of the list in the world’s issues right now. That’s why the personal stories will be imperative; she has to tell us something we haven’t heard before. It can’t just be shocking, it has to be heart-wrenching. Scientology can’t compete with genuine emotion. We’ve seen how they do joy/love/celebration, it’s probably the creepiest thing about them.