The Church of Scientology is blaming Leah Remini and TV Network A&E for a murder that took place outside a church building. The crime occurred on January 3 in Chatswood, Australia. According to the church, the murder occured after a teenager visited a website that featured Remini’s show “Scientology and The Aftermath.”
According to a report on Yahoo7 Australia, a teenage boy stabbed to death a 24-year-old relative. The teen, man, and his mother were all from Taiwan. Reportedly the teen was angry that his mother was going through a “Purification Rundown,” course inside the facility.
Individuals interested in joining the Sea Organization, which consists of the most dedicated church members, go through the purification rundown before joining. When a person decides to join the Sea Org, they effectively cut-off contact with the outside world.
Fearful that he might lose his mother to Scientology, the teen went to the facility to retrieve his mother. Outside of the building the teen got into an altercation with the 24-year-old man. During the fight, the teen stabbed the man in the neck. As a result of the stabbing, the man died.
While the crime seems more like a desperate attempt of a son to save his mother, the Church of Scientology is blaming Remini and her co-host Mike Rinder for inciting the violence that led up to the murder.
Remini and Rinder co-host a show called “Scientology and The Aftermath,” on A&E. The hard-hitting docu-series interviews former members of the church and exposes the abuse and crimes committed by the church. After three seasons, the show has been critically acclaimed and even won Emmys.
Because of the show’s success, the Church of Scientology has been on a furious campaign to stop production of the show. On multiple occasions, the church has issued cease and desist letters to the Network A&E, Remini, and Rinder. Despite their attempts to silence Remini, she remained steadfast in continuing the show.
Following the death of the man in Australia, the Church sent off a scathing letter to A&E blaming them for inciting the violence and causing the murder. In the letter obtained by the Daily Mail, the church goes after Remini and Rinder.
An excerpt the letter says,
“The attacker was inspired by an Anti-Scientology website that featured your people and a link to Remini’s show.
Week after week, month after month, and now year after year this series has poisoned the airwaves in an avowed effort to create hatred against the Scientology religion”
The letter goes on to say that Remini’s show has elicited more than 600 threats against the church. Then the church accuses the network of allowing the hate and bigotry against Scientologist to spread by continuing to air the show. At the end of the letter, the church says,
“We urged you to stop the hate and repeatedly told you the harm it was cuasing, which was escalating with each paid-for, hate-filled episode. Now, somebody is dead. You paid for the hate that caused this murder.”
After sending the letter to A&E, Channel 7 in Australia requested an interview with the church. The church responded to the Channel 7 request with a letter outlining their allegations against Remini, Rinder, and A&E.
In the letter to Channel 7, Karin Pouw said,
“Leah Remini and Mike Rinder, have one agenda and one agenda alone: to spread hate and religious intolerance about Scientology for profit. There has been one result— violence toward our parishioners and Church.”
“We repeatedly warned A&E that since the launch of Leah Remini’s hate campaign and this series, there have been more than 600 threats directed against our Churches, including specific threats to assassinate the leader of our religion. The number of threats is unprecedented. Leah Remini has motivated vile threats and criminal assaults.”
When Channel 7 received the letter, they sat down with Mike Rinder to discuss the church’s accusations. Rinder told Channel 7, “Their statement that this is all caused by A&E and our show because someone apparently looked at a website, that mentioned our show, that’s absurd.”
Rinder insisted the church is shifting blame toward A&E and the show for their abuses against parishioners.
Despite the biting accusations and threats by the Church of Scientology, A&E said they would not cancel the show. Remini and Rinder will continue to expose the abuse, threats, and criminal behavior of the secretive church.
Kudos to Remini, Rinder, and A&E for refusing to bend to the threats of The Church of Scientology. The church has no one else to blame for the threats against them but themselves.
Season three of “Scientology and The Aftermath,” is currently airing on A&E. Check your local listings for dates and times.
*Katie Joy is a blogger and freelance writer. Her work is featured on Upworthy, Huffington Post, Yahoo Parents, Mamamia, Daily Beast, Cafe Stir, Newsweek, Jezebel, and The Daily Mail. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.
She co-hosts the YouTube show, “The Smoking Nun,” with Kyle Curtis. The show airs weekly and tackles pseudoscience, current events, and crime stories.
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