The star-studded church of Scientology was recently rocked by the defection of Leah Remini, but she's far from their only critic; RadarOnline.com gives you a closer look at the scandals that have shrouded the church as of late.
Marty and Monique Rathburn
Monique Rathbun Sues Scientology: In the latest black eye for Scientology, the wife of the man who led audits on Tom Cruise when he was a top exec at the church has filed a lawsuit against the organization and its controversial leader, David Miscavige, claiming harassment. As RadarOnline just reported, Marty Rathbun’s wife, Monique (who has never been a member of the church) filed a multi-million dollar suit in Comal County, Texas, on August 16 calling Scientology a “notorious, multi-billion dollar cult,” and claiming members harassed her. Monique -- whose husband Marty left the church leadership and is now an independent Scientologist critical of the organization--was granted a temporary restraining order that called on the church to cease surveillance on her. Scientology responded with a statement, which includes: “The Church has not been served. Based on the media reports, the complaint filed in Texas is nothing more than a pathetic get-rich scheme cooked up by unemployed blogger Marty Rathbun, who is now [involving his wife in his plans].”
Brad Pitt and Juliette Lewis
Brad Pitt Rejected Scientology?: Jenna Miscavige Hill, the niece of the church’s leader David Miscavige, revealed exclusively to RadarOnline.com that budding superstar Brad Pitt studied Scientology in the early 1990s—but then concluded it wasn’t for him. According to Jenna, the actor was dating actress and devoted Scientologist Juliette Lewis when he went through the religion’s Purification Rundown program to detox from drugs (a battle Pitt has previously admitted to). Jenna, who broke free from the church and published a sensational memoir, Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape, told Radar, “There’s a celebrity strategy and they’re targeted for their influence, not their money.” But a Scientology rep denied her claims.
U2, Bono? Rocker Allegedly Targeted By Scientology: As part of Jenna Miscavigne Hill’s tell-all to RadarOnline.com, the former Scientologist claimed that Irish rocker Bono was heavily audited by the Church as the organization’s leader, her uncle David Miscavigne, made him a priority to recruit. Jenna said Bono was one of the celebrities targeted in the hopes he’d spread awareness of the religion. “They know people are obsessed with celebrities so will get more interested in Scientology” as a result, Jenna said. “Someone like Bono would fit the bill perfectly as so many people know him.’ A Scientology spokesperson, however, said Jenna, who left the religion, “is no position to comment” on it.
Shelly Miscavige/Leah Remini
Leah Remini Searches For Scientology Leader’s Wife: Actress Leah Remini, whose shocking defection roiled the church this summer, recently filed a missing person’s report with the Los Angeles Police Department regarding Shelly Miscavige, the long-unseen wife of Scientology leader David Miscavigne. But the LAPD had a face-to-face meeting with Shelly and swiftly concluded its investigation. Sources say, however, that the King of Queens star left the church partly because she couldn’t get answers about Shelly’s whereabouts. In response, the Church said the whole matter was "a publicity stunt cooked up by a small band of unemployed fanatics who live on the fringe of the Internet."
Leah Remini Offered Millions For Memoir: As RadarOnline.com has reported, the former Scientologist actress is being offered millions of dollars for a tell-all memoir. “Everybody wants the Remini book,” a top publishing executive told Radar. “If she’ll tell all about her years in Scientology, her interactions with other celebs in the religion, and what she went through in getting out — well, the sky’s the limit.”
Leah Remini’s Defection Is Ripping Scientology Apart: Longtime Scientology investigative reporter Tony Ortega told Fox News that Remini’s high-profile defection from the church has had a huge impact. “She is raising issues that are already tearing the membership apart – disconnection, interrogations, fundraising,” Ortega said. “Scientology is headed for a reckoning.”
Leah Remini and Nicole Remini-Wiskow
Leah Remini’s Sister Tells All: Nicole Remini-Wiskow put Scientology on the defensive again when she claimed in July that Tom Cruise’s wife, Katie Holmes, and Kirstie Alley wrote reports to the church about her sister Leah. Nicole, a former Scientologist, dropped a series of bombshells about why Leah decided to leave the church, as RadarOnline has reported--and in one of the biggest, she claimed that both Holmes and Alley wrote ‘knowledge reports’ to the church about Remini’s alleged negative behavior. According to Nicole, Leah’s questioning of why church leader David Miscavigne’s wife, Shelly, was not at Tom and Katie’s 2006 wedding caused trouble. A Scientology rep responded, “The statements by Ms. Remini-Wiskow are absurd.”
Leah Remini Leaves The Church: The King of Queens actress, who had belonged to Scientology for more than 30 years, stunned the organization by leaving this July. Although Remini was born and raised in the faith, sources say she packed it in after allegedly disagreeing with Church leader David Miscavige. The actress confirmed her Scientology departure to US Weekly, saying,"Yeah. It's a time of change. I think the fact that my family has taken a stance and we are on a united front says a lot."
Amy Scobee, John Travolta, Tom Cruise, and Kirstie Alley
Stars Urged To Quit Scientology: In the wake of Leah Remini’s controversial exit from the House of Hubbard, Scientology defectors told RadarOnline.com such famous believers as John Travolta, Tom Cruise, and Kirstie Alley should leave the religion as well. “Strip off the rose-colored glasses. Look beyond the surface of what you endorse,” said Amy Scobee, a former high-ranking Church executive who defected from the Church after 27 years. “Evil may be hard to confront, but the information is readily available if you care to know the truth.”
David Miscavige’s Sister Busted: This January, Scientology got more bad PR after it was reported by the Tampa Bay Times that Denise Gentile, the twin sister of leader David Miscavigne, was arrested on DUI and pot possession charges, claiming that she operated dilapidated Florida properties that were a haven for drugs dealers and users. Journalist Tony Ortega reported that Gentile pleaded guilty this July to the lesser charge of reckless driving and agreed to attend DUI school and pay several court costs and fines.
Jenna Miscavige Hill
Book Blasts Scientology: David Miscavige’s niece, Jenna Miscavige Hill, blew the lid off of Scientology back in February, when she published Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape. In the tome, Jenna, who left Scientology in 2005, revealed what it was like to be a young child in Sea Org, the most elite branch of the church. Jenna reveals that as a young child, she was required to sign a billion year contract to the organization and be on duty for at least 14 hours a day, seven days a week -- with just one hour a day left for family bonding. A Scientology rep has described Jenna as having “varied and ever-shifting ‘memories’ from her childhood” and being in no position to comment on the workings of the Church.
The Church of Fear
The Church Of Fear: Another explosive anti-Scientology book, The Church of Fear—Inside the Weird World of Scientology, by BBC reporter John Sweeney, published this January, revealed the organization has an “alien space cathedral” deep in the desert. Sweeney described his search for the Scientology campus that is hidden deep underground and is marked on the surface with what looks like crop circles in New Mexico. He also recounted how some church members will stop at nothing to silence detractors.
Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief
Book Reveals Tom Cruise’s Beliefs: Tom Cruise has signed a billion year contract with Scientology, and has the ultimate goal of protecting humanity from aliens living in our bodies who are determined to destroy us and the planet, according to the book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief. As RadarOnline.com has reported, the book, written by Lawrence Wright and published in January, told how Cruise believed that in the hierarchy of Scientology, he was No. 3, behind only the founder, the late L. Ron Hubbard, and No. 2, David Miscavige. Tom’s status as a top leader has earned him mega perks, the book says. Scientology officials have denied Wright’s claims.
After Earth Bombs Due To Scientology Taint?: Tom Cruise’s close pal Will Smith’s film After Earth, co-starring his son Jaden Smith, bombed badly at the box office this summer with reviewers speculating that its supposed Scientology themes put off potential viewers. But Will, who has donated money to Scientology groups in the past, has always denied being a member of the church.
LRH’s Great-Grandson Blasts The Religion: Earlier this year, Jamie DeWolf, whose great-grandfather was Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, revealed that celebrities are kept apart from the “nastier aspects” of the controversial religion and are able to move up its hierarchy much faster than other members. In the explosive Current TV interview, DeWolf dissed Scientology as a “cult” based on “devious systematic brainwashing systems.” DeWolf has also criticized the church in a one-man show!
Belgium Prosecutes Scientology
Belgium Prosecutes Scientology: In a huge blow to Scientology in 2012, officials in Belgium decided to prosecute it as a “criminal organization.” After years of investigation by authorities, federal prosecutors started legal proceedings against Scientology, which isn’t recognized as a religion in Belgium. Scientology and several of its members faced charges of extortion, fraud, illegal practice of medicine, and violations of privacy legislation in the European country.
Scientology Sued: As RadarOnline.com has reported, Lisa McPherson died in 1995 while in the care of Scientologists, and her parents later sued the organization, claiming it was responsible for their daughter’s death. The suit against the Church regarding McPherson was settled in 2004. Last year, the lawyer who represented the family, Ken Dandar, filed suit against Scientology, its attorneys and two judges for trying to ruin his career. And Dandar got Marty Rathbun, a former Scientology bigwig who now exposes church practices, to give a deposition in his case. In December, however, it was reported a federal judge declined to step in on Ken Dandar’s behalf.