• Mocking Religion, Promoting Lies and Spreading Hate:

    What Leah Remini and Guest Talking Head Lawrence Wright
    Have in Common

    Both arrogantly disparage and mock religious faith

    An avowed atheist, Lawrence Wright has a long history of disparaging in his books and magazine articles those who practice religion. He even refers to religious faith as a “prison of belief.” It’s not just Scientologists who incur his arrogant condescending wrath, but also Muslims, Christians and others.

    In fact, Wright bashes religion at every opportunity. He once stated in an interview that “religion is always an irrational exercise.” In a 2012 article in The New Yorker, he went after the Mormon religion, stating that “Mormons now are overrepresented in Congress, with six senators (including Harry Reid, the majority leader) and ten House members.”

    His attack on the Scientology religion reached a new low in religious bigotry. Even one of his primary sources later published a scathing review saying Wright had squandered an opportunity to take an honest look at the Church, instead “…regurgitating what several before him had already done…”

    Wright bashes religion at every opportunity.

    Since hitching her wagon to a religious hate movement, Leah Remini has repeatedly mocked and tried to shame others for their beliefs. Her reality TV show inspires unhinged individuals to threaten others for their beliefs.

    Both promote fake news

    Wright declined the Church’s repeated offers to assist him in making his book accurate. Instead of seeking information from the Church, he gravitated toward a small group of bitter individuals who have spent years spreading discredited, uncorroborated claims about the Church as revenge for being kicked out for malfeasance and dishonesty.

    These are the same people who form Leah Remini’s small clique. The result: Larry’s story, like Leah’s, was utterly FAKE NEWS.

    Wright’s initial batch of statements, assertions and questions submitted to the Church to fact check totaled 971; of these, 569 were entirely false. Even after a four-month rewrite period, Wright still got it wrong because of the 1,150 “fact-check” inquiries the Church addressed, 542 were so inaccurate, they were nowhere to be found in the final article.

    Even after a four-month rewrite period, Wright still got it wrong because of the 1,150 “fact-check” inquiries the Church addressed, 542 were so inaccurate, they were nowhere to be found in the final article.

    Wright’s laundry list of lies he promoted included a blatantly untrue accusation about the Church’s stance on gay rights. Wright ignored the fact that the Church never engages in any kind of political activities and cannot do so. Further, as a matter of policy, it rarely takes positions on legislation. Nor is it remotely a matter of faith, given that the Creed of the Church expresses that the religion is open to all. Wright ignored the facts even when they were in front of him in black and white.

    Garry Scarff (center), one of the sources used by Wright for his book

    One of the most outrageous claims from Wright was the false story that a Scientologist who was a bank teller was told to carry out a robbery to pay off his debt to the Church. Per his endnotes, Mr. Wright attributes this story to a thoroughly discredited individual named Garry Scarff, who as it turns out was never a Scientologist and is better known according to published accounts as the person who claimed to have survived the Jonestown tragedy of the Rev. Jim Jones’ Peoples Temple. Wright’s source, who claimed to have lost his father, his fiancée and his eight-month-old son, later admitted it was a hoax. As for the supposed bank robbery and money going to the Church, overwhelming evidence points to the fact that it was made up from whole cloth: there are no public records, no news accounts, no bank teller and no one in law enforcement who has ever heard of this incident.

    Yet another outrageous falsehood was an apostate-corroborated fairy tale account of a pair of failed lawsuits instigated by a husband-and-wife apostate team. When a federal district court judge looked at the undisputed facts, including that both voluntarily joined the Scientology religious order knowing the commitment of dedicated ministerial work, in none-too-blunt terms the judge dismissed both cases. The Church was awarded over $40,000 in costs.

    Wright claims that L. Ron Hubbard wrote his parents out of Mr. Hubbard’s biography. A review of the 16-volume biographical encyclopedia (with which Mr. Wright is familiar and claims to have read in part) shows photographs of Mr. Hubbard’s parents and Mr. Hubbard’s own words about them.

    Then there was Wright’s reliance on a source who has had no contact with Scientology since 1959 and who publicly retracted his claims under oath in May and July 1987, including admitting that his allegations were flights of fantasy and the product of his own imagination. These statements concerned the years in which Dianetics and Scientology were under development and were critical underpinnings to Wright’s narrative about Mr. Hubbard. Wright claimed that the source recanted the recantations “five years later.” One small problem: the source passed away on September 16, 1991, and was obviously not issuing statements from the grave “five years later.” His 1987 recantations remain his final word on the matter.

    Then there was Wright’s reliance on a source who has had no contact with Scientology since 1959 and who publicly retracted his claims under oath in May and July 1987.

    Lawrence Wright’s publisher was forced to correct nearly a dozen inaccuracies in the paperback version.

    In the final analysis, the outcome of the fact checking of Lawrence Wright's initial "journalistic" work tells a story of Wright’s negligence and tabloid approach. He is fake news.

    As for Leah Remini, she continues her obnoxious efforts to harass the Church with made-up stories. This culminated in a scandalous report filed in 2013 with the LAPD that her book shows was a fraud from the outset. It was solely intended to get publicity and harass the leader of the religion and his wife, who had refused contact with Ms. Remini because of her disgraceful behavior that was both abusive and unethical. Ms. Remini also outrageously touts that the LAPD failed to do its job when it investigated her phony report and within hours unambiguously declared it “unfounded,” causing her stunt to blow up in her face. Anyone knowingly making a false report to law enforcement is a bald-faced liar who should be held accountable for diverting police from protecting the public.

    Leah Remini conveniently rewrites her revisionist history. The real story is that she desperately tried to remain a Scientologist in 2013, knowing full well she was on the verge of being expelled for refusing to abide by the high level of ethics and decency Scientologists are expected to maintain. Her repeated ethical lapses and callous treatment of others led to an ecclesiastical review which resulted in her being expelled.

    She now regurgitates the tired myths the Church has repeatedly debunked, circulated by the same tiny clique of expelled former staffers bitter at having lost the positions they enjoyed before their malfeasance and unethical conduct were uncovered. Ms. Remini is now joined at the hip with this collection of deadbeats, admitted liars, self-admitted perjurers, wife beaters and worse.

    Amy Scobee, one of Leah Remini’s sources on her show

    She is using her reality TV show to give a platform to these miscreants who continue to spread fake news that for years has been discredited, including in courts. In just one example, Remini didn’t seem to care that source Amy Scobee couldn’t keep her facts straight about an incident she alleged occurred three decades ago.

    Both view Scientology a cottage industry where they can make a buck

    With her career waning, Leah Remini has become a full-time professional anti-Scientologist, spreading hate for money. She disingenuously pretends with a phony self-righteousness that she is fighting for a cause, when it’s all just about making a buck. Seeking to salvage her career, she published a book about her “leaving” the Church of Scientology, to make money, then sold her anti-Scientology series to A&E. If that were not enough, Remini then attempted to extort the Church by first demanding $500,000, followed by an additional $1 million, because the Church invoked its First Amendment right to respond to her false claims with the truth. Remini’s indignant reply, when ABC’s Dan Harris asked about her being paid by A&E: “I don’t work for free.”

    He even lied to the Associated Press by claiming he was “thinking about” writing a book when he already had arrangements to do so.

    Wright wrote his first anti-Scientology piece as a magazine article. When asked by the Daily Beast about his magazine contract, Lawrence Wright replied, “I get paid by the word, like most writers. That’s one reason why the Scientology article was 25,000 words long.”

    Both are publicity seekers who promote hate to gain attention

    Mug shot of Erin McMurtry

    Leah Remini now makes a career of disparaging her former religion. Her sensationalized anti-Scientology statements have inflamed acts of religious hate, such as in the case of Erin McMurtry, who on December 14, 2015, drove her car through the front of the Church of Scientology of Austin, Texas. McMurtry plowed across the lobby before coming to a stop in front of the nursery, which only hours before had been filled with children. Before McMurtry committed her crime, she had posted on her Facebook page praises for Remini and Remini’s anti-Scientology rhetoric. Since the series began, hundreds of hate posts and tweets parroting hate speech from Remini’s show have been directed against members of the Church.

    Her sensationalized anti-Scientology statements have inflamed acts of religious hate.

    Floundering in her career when she made her highly-publicized “exit” from the Church of Scientology in 2013, Leah Remini was desperate for a new show. She had been fired after a brief stint on “The Talk.” A sitcom in early 2013, “Family Tools,” was scorched by critics, with just two of the 10 shows shot actually airing before it was canceled for the season. Her last reality series, “It’s All Relative,” was described by one Variety critic as “just another celebrity-sitcom-on-the-cheap.” Her A&E anti-Scientology series was described by the Los Angeles Times as having “the look and feel of a Real Housewives confessional.” Her most recent work unrelated to spreading religious hate involved acting in a web-streamed movie.

    Wright’s ambition to make it in Hollywood goes back years. His 2006 one-man play made into a documentary film in 2010 was described by one film critic as “A Little too Much of Lawrence Wright, A Little too Little of His Subjects.” New York Times reviewer Dexter Filkins wrote of his 2006 book which the play was based on: “Wright has drawn up verbatim reconstructions of entire conversations, some of which took place more than a decade ago. Many of these conversations are riveting. Still, in some cases, it’s hard to believe that memories are that good.

    “Wright has drawn up verbatim reconstructions of entire conversations, some of which took place more than a decade ago. Many of these conversations are riveting. Still, in some cases, it’s hard to believe that memories are that good.”

    It is no surprise that the only people Leah Remini could find as sources for her scripted, rehearsed and acted “reality” show are the exact same handful of crazed, embittered zealots Wright relied upon. All are disreputable characters who have long-established histories of corroborating each other’s lies. Moreoever, they have changed their stories numerous times, told increasingly outrageous tales, and covered up their own sordid history of domestic abuse, violence, financial malfeasance and theft. That describes Leah Remini and Lawrence Wright’s sources and how they manufacture fake news.