Leah Remini Speaks Out Against Scientology, Says She Wants to Help Those Who 'Don't Have a Voice' | NBC Bay Area

Leah Remini Speaks Out Against Scientology, Says She Wants to Help Those Who 'Don't Have a Voice'

Remini said she feels like she has the power to send a message to those who might not be in the position to walk away or speak out like she has.

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    Leah Remini appeared on the "Today" show Monday to speak out against Scientology ahead of her A&E documentary "Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath."

    Remini, a former member who detailed her experience with the Church of Scientology in her book Troublemaker, explained why she decided to come forward with her revelations, telling "Today's" Savannah Guthrie she's only in it to help people.

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    "I'm not a big fan of bullies, so it is part of who I am. I was a fighter in the Church. This is what they taught me, so I'm going to continue my fight, but I'm on the right side of that fight now," she said. "I just want to send the message that I'm not going to sit back and allow it to go on."

    Specifically, Remini said she wasn't OK with the church "victimizing victims." The Church of Scientology has repeatedly denied all of Remini's allegations. In response to Remini's "Today" interview, the Church issued a statement denying all of her allegations.

    With such a high-profile career, Remini said she feels like she has the power to send a message to those who might not be in the position to walk away or speak out like she has.

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    "It's for the victims," she shared. "It's for the people who have spoken out, but it's also for people who just maybe don't have the strength to fight, feel they don't have a voice...I just want to give people strength and not just with this organization but with any bully. I just hope that that's what the message is."

    The biggest difference between the Church of Scientology and any other church, Remini claimed, is how Scientology treats its dissenters.

    "Well, it's difficult to leave. But again, I am on TV because I was an actress and I have a lot of support," she continued. "So for me, it pales in comparison to what former high-ranking executives had to deal with and what parishioners had to deal with, just average, everyday Scientologists who dedicated their lives, money and families to this. Now they're suffering for speaking out."

    Guthrie mentioned how in other religious organizations people are free to come and go as they please, to which Remini claimed that's exactly what makes Scientology different.

    "If you speak out, you're labeled an enemy to the Church and the Church has policies on how to deal with its enemies," she explained, "and they go after them. It's in their own policies. So they don't know any different, as I did when I was if the Church. So I understand this. I have compassion for it. Because you do become a person who's very hateful and you're very judgmental towards anyone who isn't a Scientologist."

    She added, "And a critic of Scientology is dealt with in a very specific way. And that is unlike a real church."

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    Guthrie noted that the Church says it does not disconnect families or encourage people to separate from their friends and family. Remini, however, claimed the Church is "sly" in its efforts to separate its members from people outside of the organization.

    "They are sly in that they are right about there is no 'policy' of disconnection as it's categorized in the press. Because if you're not in it your whole life you don't actually know the inner workings of their policies. And their policy is very specific about how you deal with someone who has spoken out about the Church of Scientology, and there is no option but to disconnect or you will get kicked out of the church," the "King of Queens" alum said.

    "Now for members who were in it their whole lives, this is an every day proposition. This is a quarter of a million dollar proposition for just average parishioners. The dedication it takes to be a Scientologist is a lot.

    "And it's not easy to just walk away. Because most people say, why not just get up and leave? Well, you're leaving everything you've ever known. You're giving up your whole life because that is what it takes to be a Scientologist. Then you're going to be losing your family because most of your family and friends are Scientologists."

    When the trailer for Remini's docu-series first aired, a spokesperson for the Church issued a statement to E! News: "Desperate for attention with an acting career stuck in a nearly decade-long tailspin, Leah Remini needs to move on with her life. Instead, she seeks publicity by maliciously spreading lies about the Church using the same handful of bitter zealots who were kicked out years ago for chronic dishonesty and corruption and whose false claims the Church refuted years ago, including through judicial decisions."

    The spokesperson encouraged people to learn more about Scientology by visiting its website.

    Now that Remini has embarked on this journey, she admitted she often has doubts. "Every day I'm like I don't know if I want to do this. It's not an easy thing to do, but I think it is the right thing to do," she said. "And I'm not talking about myself. I'm talking about its victims and I feel it is important message and I feel this is the path that I'm supposed to be on at this point in my life."