The King of Queens alum Leah Remini and a former Scientologist revealed shocking details about the Church of Scientology.
The 46-year-old actress is the executive producer on a new A&E docu-series titled Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. On the third episode of the show, former member Mary Kahn described an unfavorable experience as a part of the Church.
Kahn, with her husband David, described being the victim of a practice called "disconnection." The Church defined the act as the severing of "all contact with someone critical of the Church of Scientology."
In 2013, Kahn left the Church. However, her son Sammy is still a member. Mary Kahn hasn't seen her son in three years.
"The Church will pounce on your friends and family to such a degree they won't be able to see straight," Kahn said. "You won't have a chance to get to them."
Kahn reached the highest level of Scientology in 1987. She stayed with the Church for such a long time because she was afraid of losing her family.
Despite her commitment to reaching the highest level, she was told in 2009 "to revisit the Bridge to Freedom, a process to attain spiritual enlightenment," according to USA Today.
The spiritual journey required that she live on one of the Church's ships for two months. While being separated from her family, Kahn said, "Every second of it was hell."
Also involved with the episode was former International Church spokesman Mike Rinder. He discussed the tactic of isolation, and practice of sending members back to the Bridge to Freedom.
"You are a captive audience on board a ship," Rinder said. "So there are people that want to extract money from you and they have you and there's no hiding."
While aboard the organization's vessel, Kahn admitted that she was subjected to an intense line of questioning. She referred to the process as "spiritual meat grinding."
"This is grating on me so bad," Kahn said while recalling the experience. "I'm going to my room and crying privately."
After leaving the ship, Kahn decided to conduct some research about the Church of Scientology. Mary discovered allegations of abuse, and then decided to inform her husband, David, of what she'd found.
At the time, David considered divorcing his wife because questioning the Church would threaten his relationship with his son.
Mary Kahn went to meet with a Church member as last resort. The member wanted to interrogate her about her comments and hook her up to an electropsychometer. Kahn would not allow it, and she eventually left.
"It was so mentally abusive and such torment that I would never subject myself to that again," she said.
"I went through hell to try to save that family," Kahn said, "and went through such mental brutality as well as all the money we spent to try to hang on to my family."
Over the course of her time as a Scientologist, Mary Kahn says she has given "millions" to the Church.
The Church of Scientology gave this statement regarding the episode.
“There is no policy in Scientology that requires members to disconnect from anyone, family or friends, who have left the Church or who have different religious beliefs,” the statement reads.
“No Scientologist ‘disconnects’ from someone because they left the Church. Disconnection or ceasing to communicate with someone happens when an individual obsessively attacks the individual or those things that affect his spiritual progress, including his religion or Church and only after all other options have been exhausted.”
What are your thoughts about these disturbing details about the Church of Scientology?
[H/T USA Today]
- - - -
Are you excited for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story? Get your tickets here!