Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath (2016) s02e08 Episode Script

The Greatest Good

The largest piece of my life that's caused me the most trouble was definitely Scientology.
The goal that everybody has in the Sea Organization we are clearing the planet.
We are doing the most important work that possibly anybody on Earth is doing.
We cannot be distracted from that.
Nothing must deviate us from this road to accomplishing a clear planet, and every possible distraction is removed.
Family in the Sea Org is something that is given lip service but isn't considered to be important.
If you're married, you're unmarried, if you have kids, if you don't, if your parents are dead, if your parents are alive, all of that is completely irrelevant to, "Are you doing your job in the Sea Organization? Are you doing the greatest good and absolutely nothing else?" I am the writer of the textbooks of Scientology.
The aim and goal is to put man in a mental condition where he, him, can solve his own problems.
Without any Scientology organization things are not gonna change on this planet.
After years of slowly questioning Scientology Leah Remini and her very public break with Scientology.
Stop lying to people that they hold their eternity in their hands.
Stop telling parents that it doesn't matter what you do this lifetime other than Scientology.
If your religion is so amazing and doing all these amazing things for the world, then it should stand up to some questioning.
I would repeat this line, "I want to die.
I want to die".
That was my first idea of I want to end my own life.
"You gave me up "at 13 years old.
"How could you think that this was okay for me?" These people are doing extreme things, and they need to be held accountable.
For us to do more of this, we wanted to do something that could help these people.
We need to do more than simply document stuff.
You got this.
People will continue to speak.
People will continue to fight.
We are dealing with a population stuffed with lies and artificial disabilities who have been brought almost to the point of obliteration.
For the first time ever, we have the tech to reverse this chaos.
We are the ones who can make it happen, and we are the ones who will make it happen.
Scientology offers the person who desperately wants to be more than what they are a mission of saving mankind, and the policy that feeds into that is called "Keeping Scientology Working".
It says, "The agonized future of every man, woman, and child "depends on what you do here and now in Scientology.
This is our only chance to get out of the trap".
So Scientologists are banking on, "Okay, I'm gonna sacrifice this lifetime because we're gonna clear the planet".
This is the chance now.
And if we don't do it now, we might never have the chance again.
This thing called Scientology and you working with it can change the course of this civilization and therefore Earth.
The saying is, "The greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics".
In Scientology, they have a thing called dynamics which is just taking every area of your life and separating them into eight departments.
So your first dynamic would be yourself.
Your second dynamic is your family.
Third dynamic is groups, your job.
Fourth dynamic is mankind.
Fifth dynamic is living things up until your eighth dynamic which is infinity, God.
And when making a decision in Scientology, a Scientologist will ask you, "Well, what's the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics?" "Do I pick my child who doesn't want to be in Scientology," that's one dynamic, "in comparison to mankind, to sacrifice one "for the betterment of the survival of mankind, not just this lifetime but for eternity?" - Hi, gorgeous.
- Lovely to meet you.
- Hi.
- How are you? I'm well.
Nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you.
I'm Mimi Faust, and my mother abandoned me for Scientology when I was 13 years old.
As far back as I possibly can remember, we were living a normal life in Atlanta, Georgia.
I have one brother and a sister.
They're both older than me, eight years older, my brother, and my sister's six years older.
We had a home.
My mother worked a regular job.
Regular life.
When I was very young, my mother, she was like a regular mom, but she was searching for something to fulfill her.
She was experimenting, like, different religions.
My mother entered into an African religion.
My mother was so heavy into this religion that she changed her name from Gloria Eva Simmons James to Olaiya E.
J.
Odufunke Olayinka.
If it was something that she got hooked on, she was in it 1,000%, and that's exactly what she did when she entered into Scientology.
My mother started dating a guy who introduced her to Scientology, and she started going to the missions out in Atlanta and taking courses.
She became more involved and more involved and maybe about a year she said, "I'm out of here.
I'm moving.
I'm doing this.
I'm joining the church".
We're selling everything we have: our car, furniture, all of our belongings, the only thing we actually took with us were our clothes and, you know, toiletries, and things of that nature.
My sister was old enough to stay with a family friend, and that's what she did.
My brother was living in the dorms at the University of Georgia.
So, you know, he was pretty much on his own.
I was the baby.
I had to go.
Leaving my siblings, my brother and my sister, at that time, it was heartbreaking.
Like, how do you just just leave your brother and sister that you've lived with your entire life? We made our way down to Clearwater, Florida.
How old are you? Nine.
I think we stayed there for eight months, and then they shipped us to California where we moved to Big Blue.
Big Blue was a former hospital.
There were roaches, rats.
Conditions no one should be living in.
At some point I said, "Well, maybe when my mom goes away "for hours and hours, she's getting this great thing "that she's looking for 'cause I didn't see it at all at all".
My mother is running around calling people "sir" and saluting.
I didn't understand it.
When we did get to Los Angeles, I was now enrolled in Scientology school.
It was very few African American families, and the kids that were there, they were very mean.
They called me names nigger, jigaboo.
Um, just things that I was not used to or accustomed to at all.
So I'm trying to download my mother onto all of the things that happened to me during the day.
"This one spit on me.
This one called me a name.
This one da-da-da".
Like, it just fell on deaf ears.
She would just kind of, "Okay, okay," acknowledge me, but she would just she wasn't she was there physically, but she wasn't there.
Her interest in me or my day-to-day was just it just wasn't there.
I felt like I didn't exist to her at the time.
At 13, I remember there was a huge meeting called for all of the children that were there that had not signed the contract.
- Sea Org contract.
- The Sea Org contract.
They called all of the parents and all of the children into this conference room.
They went down a list of everything that the child had done, had been doing.
Like, there were people that were watching our every move.
- Like what? - This entire time.
What kind of things were these kids doing? "Such and such stole something - out of the general store".
- Food.
- Yeah, food.
- Yeah.
At this point, they said we were all out-ethics.
We were freeloaders because we were living at the building, and we weren't giving back.
So in order for us to give back, to not be out-ethics, they presented us with the billion-year contracts to sign.
I was like, "This is not what I want to do".
I didn't see the great parts.
I saw all of the bad parts.
I declined.
At that point when I declined, they said, "Well, then you have to leave".
And you're how old? Thirteen.
Just like that.
And your mother was there with you? Yes, she was.
And what was your mother doing during this time? She was out of here, mentally just not there.
Her emotional switch was off.
The church had convinced her that if I did not want to be a part of the equation, then I was going to be a distraction.
I didn't comprehend what that what they were saying at that moment.
- Yeah.
- It didn't register fully.
I have to leave.
"You got to go".
And they gave me a deadline, which was 7:00 p.
m.
- That day? - That same day? That same day.
They didn't give me one red cent, not even a $1.
50 to take the bus, or a blanket.
"Here you go, go sleep on this park bench".
Nothing.
And then they sent people up to escort me out of the building, a 13-year-old.
My mom was in the room with me, escorts there, packed up everything, and we're walking down the hallway and I'm like, "Any minute now, mom's gonna stop me.
Okay, this isn't happening" or whatever.
I went down that elevator to the bottom and went outside, and we all went out there together.
And I walked down the steps.
My mother did not utter one word.
She watched me walk out of that building and said nothing.
It was incredible.
The feeling of "abandonment," like, right in your face like that is It's terrible.
It's terrible.
So they escort me out of the building, and I had no one to turn to.
I had lost complete contact with my brother and sister, and I didn't know my dad at the time.
And so, I then went to a pay phone and I called a friend in South Central Los Angeles, and I asked her, "Could I come over?" And I took the bus to her house.
Did they ask you, the parents? - Like, "What's up? - They didn't know.
- Where's your mother? - No.
- Why are you here?" - They knew my mom.
They just thought I was coming to visit.
I didn't even know how to begin to tell someone that I fully didn't even understand what was going on at the time.
I spent the weekend at her place, but Monday her parents are going to work.
She's going to school.
So I'm like, "What am I suppose to do? I can't just sit at their house".
Everybody's getting up, you know, carrying on with their lives.
I took the bus back, and I went to school.
I didn't know what to do.
I didn't know what to do.
It's all I knew, and that afternoon, after school, I'm like, "Okay, now what am I going to do?" So I just watched who was riding home in nice cars, and I asked, "Could I spend the night?" I asked a kid every night, "Could I spend the night?" And I went home with them, and I took a good bath.
And their parents fed me.
They never knew I was homeless.
I think the next time I saw my mom after that I was 17.
It had been four years.
Around 16 years old, I had met a couple from one of the girls that I was gone to school with, and they took me in, um, very nice people.
And so I was living with them right here in LA on Olympic and Beverly.
And at 17, I got a call from my mother.
She reached out to me, and she said she wanted to see me.
I was ecstatic.
Took the bus down to the blue building, found out where she was.
I'm sitting in the office.
We're chatting.
It was good.
It was good for a good 15, 20 minutes or so.
Four Sea Org members enter the room, we're in a small office, and they're not doing anything.
They're not working.
They're just kind of in the room with us.
At this point, my mother zones completely out.
She was just staring out into space.
They take over the conversation, and then here comes the contract out of the drawer.
They slide the billion-year contract over to me, and they say, "Sign the paper".
And I'm looking at my mom like, "Is this what you called me down here for?" Like, I'm so I'm I'm pissed at this point.
And then another one, "Sign the paper".
Now they're chanting, "Sign the paper.
Sign the paper".
I was so mad at her for, again, not sticking up for me, not taking my defense, not having my back, not stopping them for fucking harassing me and bullying me with this bullshit.
I'm so over my mom, this whole situation.
I get up to walk out of the door.
They close the door, lock it, and tape the contract to the door.
And they're all surrounding me at the door, and they're chanting again.
I just lost it.
And after about a good ten minutes of me going ape shit, they let me out.
I was doing really good, had my own apartment, my own car.
- I was working.
- And were you excited - for her to see - I was so excited.
- This what you accomplished? - Yes.
Yes.
I honestly wasn't looking for an apology or an amends.
I just wanted to just be in her presence.
I wanted to talk to her.
I just wanted to just be with her.
We cooked.
I made spaghetti.
We baked a cake.
We drank red wine.
I mean, it was great.
And, like, a week went by, and my mother calls me out of the blue.
And she just criticized my entire situation.
I had a friend that was down on her luck, and she was living with me at the time.
So I was there.
My friend was there.
My mom's there.
Everything was all good.
We had a great time.
But then a week later, she called me with, "I'm disappointed in your lifestyle".
And she said, "You have this gay woman living in your home".
What does her sexuality have to do with anything that has to do with me? Now I'm starting to get pissed.
I said, "You cannot have "an opinion about how I'm living.
"You gave up your parental rights "damn near at eight or nine years old "when you joined the church, "and I never saw you.
"So don't come to me now, at 27, "telling me you don't like the way that I'm living.
"I'm doing very well for myself "to have brought myself up.
I've been on my own since I was 13 years old".
What was her reaction? She was flabbergasted.
This was news to her? She was shocked.
And she cried, and she was just, "I can't believe you felt like this".
I said, "Really? "You gave me up "at 13 years old.
"You watched me walk out into "the world.
"You didn't do anything, "and you had no idea that I was harboring "some sort of animosity toward you "or this whole situation? "Really? "Like how could you think that this was okay for me?" It just let me know how fucked up my mom was in the head that she just didn't understand where I was coming from at all.
And now you want to criticize my life when I'm doing okay for myself, you know, and you don't like the way I'm living.
I said, "I really don't care what you like "at this point.
"You didn't raise me.
I raised myself".
My mother came to visit, and she revealed to us that she had pancreatic cancer.
It was stage four.
It was heartbreaking.
Whether she was there in my life or not, like Like It ran its course pretty quickly.
She was in a hospice here in Los Angeles for maybe three months until she passed, but I came down here to be with her.
She had a chaperone, a Sea Org member, that was assigned to her in the hospital room with her the entire time.
You said, "Could I be alone with you?" - Yeah.
- And she said? No.
- No? - No.
She sat in the hospital room with myself and my mother day in and day out until my mother passed away.
What exactly do you think is going to happen if you left my dying mother alone with her daughter? My mother, while she was physically dying, her body's breaking down, her she's like, gurgling, I mean, it was horrible, she wanted to recite a poem to me.
The poem was called "If".
It's about forgiveness.
It's about a father who had wronged his son, and he was trying to apologize.
It took her almost two hours to get this poem out, just to say, "I'm sorry".
It was pretty incredible.
She couldn't just say what she wanted to say.
I guess because this person would not give us alone time even on her death bed.
But the fact that she was going to leave this earth, I wanted to be with her.
I wanted to show her love.
I wanted to show her that I cared.
I wanted to show her that when you love somebody, you are there for them.
My mother wanted to be cremated, and so that's what we did.
She wanted to be spread over a body of water.
And so I went out, and I spread my mom's ashes in the water as she requested.
The whole time she was in the Sea Org, um, she was just brainwashed.
That's probably why I've made some of the decisions I've made during the course of my life.
I was always searching for love from the wrong types of men, um, always looking for validation, always looking for approval.
I've made some horrible decisions, and I think this is due to my upbringing, um, and the lack of parental guidance throughout my childhood.
You know I was thinking, Mimi, when you were talking how horrendous your story is, but you know there is a real silver lining to it.
- You've had a life since then.
- I have.
You could have still been in Big Blue.
Absolutely, and you know what, I have a daughter of my own now.
She's seven years old.
When I'm around her, I hug her, I kiss her, I tell her I love her.
Like, she is everything to me, and I want her to always know that.
I never want her to experience an ounce of what I went through because it was horrible.
If anyone ever tried to recruit my daughter into Scientology or the Sea Org, it's gonna be a problem.
As long as I'm on this Earth, that is not happening.
No.
Thank you.
In my experience, Scientology tears families apart.
If you can't keep a mother and child together, how are you supposed to unite the planet? Does that make any sense to you? 'Cause it doesn't make any sense to me at all.
Mike, the levels of damage go so deep.
These kids are just out on the fucking streets.
Right? With no education, no parents, no nothing, no guidance, no setting up for their lives, for what? For what? - Hi.
- Come in.
- How are you? - Good, how are you? - Good to see you.
- You too.
- You okay? - Yeah.
- Don't start crying.
- I won't.
I'm Christi Gordon, and I was in Scientology from 1969 to 1988.
So from the beginning, my mother got in to Scientology because she suffered from some post-partum after I was born.
My aunt was a Scientologist.
And she came, and she brought an auditor with her.
And he helped my mother, and she came out of whatever she was going through and very quickly became obsessed with Scientology.
I was about two.
Scientology made her feel special.
It made her feel like she belonged to something that was greater than herself.
A lot of parts of Scientology are very ego-stroking.
They make you feel very valuable and important as if this job of clearing the planet cannot happen without you, and that's a pretty sweet poison.
Our lives at that point changed pretty dramatically right away.
She started spending all her time at the Org.
So you and your sister were left alone.
We were left home alone with strangers and learned things that we shouldn't learn at a really early age.
Like what? Sexual stuff.
Did you ever tell anybody? - Who'd you tell? - We told our mother.
We were moved to my grandmother's apartment, and we were left with another man.
And he did something similar, and so then we told our grandmother.
And we weren't left with him again.
So, it was just kind of trial and error.
Good God.
We were being put in situations we shouldn't be.
We knew that wasn't okay.
My mother began teaching us as she learned them and accepted them.
Anything bad that happens to you, it was our fault.
My mother was allowing us to spend time with these non-Scientology children sometimes, and I began to see in their homes that the parents were there.
They help them with homework.
We didn't have any of that.
My sister and I shared a coat closet that just was big enough for a twin size mattress.
We just thought that was normal.
It's all that we had ever had.
And we began to realize that that maybe wasn't normal.
So I just began to see the disparity, and I began to become upset with my mother.
I really think I knew then we were not her priority because we weren't the greatest good.
My mother told me that we had more than these families because we had Scientology, and it was the most powerful technology in the world.
And that, that was better than the things those families had because we're going to help L.
Ron Hubbard clear the planet and save mankind.
My mother announced that we were going to join the Sea Org, and she moved us to LA.
And we were told that we would get to live with kids, and there would be other Scientology kids.
So that was a little bit exciting, but what we didn't know was that our mother would go somewhere different.
We wouldn't be together.
I was 10, Lisa was 111/2.
And we were sent to Cadet Org in Los Angeles.
In the Cadet Org it's just children.
There was a Cadet coordinator that would come some days, but often we didn't see them.
So we just had to run ourselves.
- Unsupervised.
- With other children, yeah.
It was awful.
And during this period, we did not go to school.
We worked 12 hours a day at least, no pay.
A lot of in-fighting and bullying and physical fighting.
And if you report it, you were punished.
So you don't.
So how long were you in the Sea Org for? At that time, only a few months.
My mother was found to be disqualified because of LSD.
Because you're not allow to be in the Sea Org if you had taken LSD.
Exactly.
And so we scrambled and found somewhere to live and did get to go back to public school.
But that only went on for another year, a year and a half, and then we went to Clearwater to join the Sea Org again.
Even though she wasn't qual What happens typically is that someone says, "Oh, I've taken LSD so I can't go into the Sea Org".
So then they sit them down, and they interrogate them.
"Was it really this? What? I I don't think that was really LSD".
- Right.
- And they convince them that it wasn't really LSD.
It may have been something else, and so therefore they're qualified.
It was another opportunity for us to be in the Sea Organization.
It was supposed to be the friendliest place on Earth where the best services, Scientology services were delivered, and that's where she wanted us to be.
So we arrive again we're thrust into the Cadet Org.
My mother goes wherever, and we're working again full-time.
We just cleaned all the time, really.
We didn't go to school.
We did do some more little Scientology check sheets in the Cadet Org.
We began being constantly corrected because we didn't ever get trained in the Cadet Org.
We're now on a post, but we haven't actually been trained to do anything.
You kind of making excuses for yourself.
The thing is you were children, and you shouldn't have been "working".
You should have been in school.
I'm I - I get the in - I think I'm in the mind - that I was then - Yes.
Feeling like I need to defend myself.
How could I - You don't need to.
- Okay.
This is the mindset.
"You are not a child.
You are a Sea Org member".
Christi, you know my children were there.
Were they? I put them there, and I didn't think that there was something wrong with that.
I had two children born into the Sea Organization.
They were little Sea Org members, and they were always destined to be grown-up Sea Org members.
In the Sea Org, the relationship between a parent and their children is virtually nonexistent.
Our job as parents is to protect our children the best that we can, and when, God forbid, something happens to them, that we take a stand against those actions and those people that hurt our children.
Your mother stopped being a parent - She stopped being a parent.
- When she became a - Scientologist.
- True.
Absolutely.
That has not changed.
That will not change.
My mother thought she put us in the safest place on the planet because that's what they told her, but really it was pretty awful.
The second time in Clearwater when she was disqualified, she was completely devastated.
We were old enough though to be considered a resource, and we were not allowed to leave with her.
So we missed her.
We weren't doing well.
We ended up telling someone that we that we wanted to leave, that we were unhappy, and we were then punished and in serious trouble for upsetting others around us by saying something negative, that we weren't happy.
You're not allowed to say that you want to leave the Sea Org.
- Right.
- To another Sea Org member because there's a policy that says that is a suppressive act.
So now we were doing full-time hard labor.
I was pretty miserable.
The next threat, if we didn't improve at this point, was the RPF.
And we ended up there.
And that was worse.
The work got harder.
Mostly it was the verbal abuse.
I think that was harder that we were degraded beings and worthless.
And that my mother would be better off without us.
Being told that we were failures by everyone, I considered that it might be better if we didn't exist.
She was very disappointed in us.
So we were doing lower conditions at home.
So wait, your mother was punishing you now.
Absolutely, because we were - Kicked out of the Sea Org.
- Not in good standing, we had failed, basically.
Horrible things you don't want to be - As a Scientologist.
- As a Scientologist or a kid.
And then, amnesty came out.
Uh, so So here we were again.
My mother announced that we would all be going back into the Sea Org again.
L.
Ron Hubbard developed this idea that there could be forgiveness for all former sins.
The idea was, it signified some major accomplishment and therefore to celebrate that accomplishment, we are going to be very magnanimous and forgive everybody for everything.
I was 15 by now.
We both filled out the amnesty paperwork, and it came back that we had to route in through the RPF this time.
So I went on to the RPF, and it was It was all those things that I remember.
We just did hard labor.
So at that point, something in me snapped.
I felt that it had all been a lie all along and that I couldn't trust them, and I didn't want to be there anymore.
And I realized that I would rather I would rather be homeless and on my own than living this, this life with these people that I realized, didn't care about me and never had.
I didn't have an education.
Where was I gonna go and what was I gonna do? And, miraculously, a friend who had moved to LA that used to come to flag often saved me.
She came and got me and flew me to LA.
And I lived with her for a little while and discovered that there was a whole community of kids like me there.
I was now moving away from Scientology, and I was meeting nicer people in the world that were better, that cared more about me.
You know, if I was struggling, they wanted to help me.
And before too long, my mother sent me a formal disconnection letter.
And I don't know why that bothers me because we were never close, but I think seeing it in writing that she would formally choose Scientology over me, all of us, my whole family was pretty hard.
Scientologist believe in more than one lifetime.
So what is this one lifetime mean? What does this one kid mean for eternity? That's why it's so easy for a Scientologist, Sea Org member or not, to let go of this kind of minor relationship.
That's like shit in comparison to what Scientology is doing.
This is an example.
This is a Scientologist, mind you, to their daughter: "Maybe we can pick you up in the future".
Is that fucking crazy? But that is what Scientologists believe.
Like Stop.
Take back your families.
Take back your mind.
Think for yourself.
Don't do this for something that is going to cause you such pain.
At this point, I was out for a few years, and I was working at the Gap.
And My salesperson said that there was a woman that wanted to see me up front, and so I walked up front.
And I didn't recognize her, but it was my mother.
And she'd been living on the streets.
It looked like it had been a really long time since she bathed, and I left work and took her home, and I'd never seen her this way so I just tried to talk to her and feed her and She hadn't eaten for days, she couldn't remember.
And she just kept going on rants about - L.
Ron Hubbard.
- Saying what? She we need to go help him.
We need to go find him.
It's 1989 now.
- He's dead.
- Right.
So she wants to go join him, go find him, and help him with his mission.
There was clearly something wrong with her, and I didn't know what.
So I called my family.
We tried to get her to the hospital when we realized she wasn't gonna come out of it on her own, and she jumped out of the van while we were driving and into traffic.
We realized then we couldn't handle this on our own.
And we knew that if she got psychiatric care she'd never be able to go back to Scientology, and that was really a hard choice to make.
But At least my aunt and my grandmother were there with me.
- Yeah.
- And we did.
She wouldn't speak to us for a long time.
We just, to her kicked her when she was down, handed her over to the enemy.
How is it when you go see her? Um It used to be better.
Now she's There's not much reality anymore.
She's not present.
There's not a moment that goes by where I don't think about what Scientology robbed us of.
And it doesn't go away.
It's every single day.
If people could just see behind the curtain and see that Scientology did nothing but create complete destruction of my childhood of my entire family.
This is what they're doing, and there's none of it that was an accident.
Their policies cause this.
They caused my mother to treat me the way that she did, to stop being my parent.
The treatment in the Sea Org and the RPF, it's what they're doing to everyone, destroying families and robbing them of everything.
There's nothing that they don't want from you.
I'm hopeful that others that experience any of these things will be willing to step up and feel safe and share what happened to them so we can show the world the authorities, everyone that these are not isolated incidents.
These are not exceptions.
This is a pattern of behavior, and they're getting away with it.
Scientology will say that they don't allow children to be in the Sea Org, to be born into the Sea Org today, but they do allow children into the Sea Org with a parent's consent.
So they do allow children into the Sea Org today.
So children work the same hours as adults.
Children are doing hard labor.
That is a truth.
It was a truth then, and it's a truth now.
And it will continue to be a truth.
There was a concentrated group of children who were abandoned, all of us connected.
We all grew up in the Sea Org together.
We looked out for each other.
We would not have survived without each other.
When you're in Scientology, you have to be careful about what you say and what you do.
And then one day, she left the Sea Org, and I walked away from my friend.
We didn't speak for ten years.
I failed everything that I supposedly represent.
The healing could take a lifetime.
They took so much from our past and from our future, and they're not gonna take my voice.