Scientology and the Aftermath is back for another season after an explosive Season 2 premiere. There were some big claims last season of sex abuse, forced abortions, and imprisonment of followers. It’s tough to even picture what the show will cover next.
After the first season, Leah Remini has continued to speak out against Scientology and some of its most notable followers. But what has she said exactly, and how has Scientology responded? Here are seven things to know about what happened after Season 1.
1. Remini claims Tom Cruise is diabolical
The star held a Reddit AMA and of course, fans were curious about what she had to say about Scientology’s biggest action star. A person asked her if she believed Tom Cruise was a good person. She then quickly got to the point with the following answer:
No! Just going to get straight to it, no! There is a public persona of the guy who looks at you directly in the eye and shakes your hand and hugs you and is an attentive person to you and there’s the person behind the mask who is a completely different person. Someone could say we all have that — what we are to the public and who we are behind the scenes, but the people who are around Tom [Cruise] and work for Tom, not even people who are Scientologists, they will say he is diaboloical. People who’ve worked with me will say I can be an a**hole — all actors can be. That is different. He’s very similar to David Miscavige, they could be twins.
2. Elisabeth Moss responds to comparisons between The Handmaid’s Tale and Scientology
The television star is now starring in The Handmaid’s Tale, a show that focuses on a group imprisoning women and forcing them to have children for the rich. So some have been tempted to make the comparison between that story line and Scientology, which she was born into. Elisabeth Moss has responded to this.
A fan commented on the actress’ Instagram with, “Love this adaptation so much. Question though, does it make you think twice about Scientology? Both Gilead and Scientology both believe that all outside sources (aka news) are wrong or evil … it’s just very interesting.”
According to People, Moss answered:
That’s actually not true at all about Scientology. Religious freedom and tolerance and understanding the truth and equal rights for every race, religion and creed are extremely important to me. The most important things to me probably. And so Gilead and THT hit me on a very personal level. Thanks for the interesting question!
3. Remini claims Moss isn’t allowed to talk to her
The Handmaid’s Tale actress has made her feelings known about the comparison to her show and Scientology, but she hasn’t responded to Scientology and the Aftermath. Remini claims this is because Moss is no longer allowed to associate with her.
“Elisabeth Moss believes that she can’t talk to me,” Remini told The Hollywood Reporter. “There’s a thing in Scientology called ‘acceptable truth.’ It means you only say what’s acceptable to the public. But she believes that I’m an antisocial personality — because I’ve spoken out against Scientology. So she isn’t allowed to talk to me.”
4. Scientology has reportedly responded by making websites about the show’s participants
Scientology is known for targeting those who speak out against the religion, so it’s not that surprising that they have responded to people who appeared on Season 1 of Scientology and the Aftermath. Remini told The Hollywood Reporter that the people they’ve interviewed have been targeted in different ways.
“They don’t get paid to do the show,” explained the actress. “The only thing they get is a hate website put out on them by Scientology. They get paid internet ads against them. Their families turn against them. Any award I get is for them.”
If you search the names of some of the people that appeared on last season, or that of Remini, you will find such sites, like leahreminiaftermath.com.
5. A+E Networks President and CEO Nancy Dubuc claims Scientologists have been harassing her
The show claimed that Scientologists are relentless to those who speak out against it. According to Business Insider, this has been the case for A+E Networks President and CEO Nancy Dubuc.
“My personal Twitter is all anti-Leah,” Dubuc reportedly said. “My friends think it’s wild.” Dubuc believes the amount of response is due to the church paying for negative social media posts about the show.
But it doesn’t seem like it will stop the series from continuing. “We’re very proud of [Remini]. It’s a courageous thing to do,” Dubuc stated.
6. The show has won an Emmy
Scientology has gone to great lengths to infiltrate Hollywood, so it’s a pretty big deal that the community is willing to nominate the show. Scientology and the Aftermath earned a nomination in the category of Informational Series.
Remini shared this honor with those who came forward with their stories on the show, telling Entertainment Weekly:
I don’t look at this as something I should acknowledge myself for. “My subjects deserve it. They were brave enough to come on Aftermath knowing there were repercussions for their actions. This is why I created the show. The reason people come on our series is for no other reason but to tell their stories of how destructive cults like Scientology are.”
At the 2017 Creative Arts Emmys in September 2017, Remini took home the award (her first ever Emmy) for the series. While accepting the award, Remini dedicated the award to the “brave contributors who [worked on the series] despite ongoing risk and repercussions.”
7. The show has also won a Teen Choice Award for Best Reality Series
The actress accepted the award for the new hit show, and her speech showcased her sense of humor. “I had always hoped to win something for comedy,” she joked.
But she also gave a heartwarming statement. “I spent most of my life being told the world outside Scientology would fail me, that I would fail, and that without it I wasn’t worth a whole lot,” she said. “I thank you for proving those theories wrong.”
Follow Nicole Weaver on Twitter @nikkibernice.
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