A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath features personal stories of physical and psychological abuse associated with the Church of Scientology. Beatings, sexual assault, and other disturbing events are described. The forced separation of families is addressed as well. There are some strong words, bleeped cursing, and occasional images of wine drinking.
What's the story?
LEAH REMINI: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE AFTERMATH is a reality series starring former Scientologist Leah Remini as she endeavors to raise public awareness about the practices of the Church of Scientology. Once a member and outspoken celebrity supporter of the Church, Remini is now committed to helping people disconnect from organization she once helped to promote. With the help of folks like Mike Rinder, the Church’s former international spokesperson, she talks to ex-Scientologists about their experiences with the organization and the harm that came to them as a result. Interviews with non-Scientology family members are also shown. By giving these folks a voice, she hopes that she can help those in the Church leave and reconnect with their families, while exposing the harm Scientology causes.
Is it any good?
This series is an informative, while somewhat sensational, exposé of the abuses committed by the Church of Scientology. Remini, who left the Church in 2013 and publicly discussed her experiences in a book and her previous TV series, Leah Remini: It’s All Relative, manages to weave her own story in between the narratives of the people she interviews. Meanwhile, former Church members offer detailed accounts of the sacrifices they made while practicing Scientology, which included giving up their families, friends, and worldly possessions while enduring physical, sexual, and psychological abuse.
Viewers are continually reminded that the Church of Scientology itself would not participate in the project or respond to questions. By doing so, it validates the idea that the Church is a cult, and that their intention is to hide the exploitation and intimidation they are accused of of. While some may take issue with this, the fact is that Scientology and the Aftermath isn’t meant to be objective. Ultimately, it’s a show specifically produced to underscore the dangers associated with the organization, while giving hope to those who need it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the Church of Scientology and how it's portrayed in Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. What are its guiding principles? Why is it often affiliated with celebrities? What makes it so controversial?
How has the media discussed and portrayed Scientology (and Scientologists) over the years? Has this coverage been credible? Why? How do you know which news is trustworthy?