ByBrooke Geller, writer at
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Brooke Geller

Actor and ex-Scientologist Leah Remini has continued to speak out against her former religion, claiming Scientology superstar Tom Cruise has the power to potentially dismantle the entire church during a recent appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher.

Remini had been a Scientologist since childhood. She attended Tom Cruise's wedding in 2006, where she asked after the whereabouts of church leader (and Cruise's best man) David Miscavige's wife, Shelly. She was later reprimanded and eventually ostracized by the church, and officially left in 2013. Shelly Miscavage has not been seen by the public for almost a decade.

Remini has been incredibly outspoken in her plight to expose what she believes is an abusive cult ever since. She shared her concerns and hopes with media critic and renowned atheist Bill Maher— check out the interview for yourself:

See also:

Scientology Is "About To Fall"

Real Time with Bill Maher [Credit: HBO]
Real Time with Bill Maher [Credit: HBO]

Despite the opposition she's faced from the Church of Scientology, Remini is confident that the religion is nearing its end. She believes the church has difficulty recruiting new members, relying instead on the loyalty of those whose families have been members for generations.

Nevertheless, Remini is still deeply concerned for the wellbeing of those yet to escape, and created a documentary series to expose the abuse that goes on within the church. Check out the shocking trailer for Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath:

Remini told Maher that Scientologists are "self-brainwashing", engaging in a mandatory minimum of two and a half hours of Scientology policy study every day. They're also discouraged from engaging with outsiders.

Maher, who has also spoked out against Scientology, applauded Remini's efforts:

"I feel like what you are doing is putting a human face on the people who suffer from this awful cult."

But as admirable as Remini's efforts are, the one person with enough sway to liberate everyone still "under the spell" of Scientology is the church's most influential member: Tom Cruise.

Cruise Is Key

The Mummy [Credit: Universal Pictures]
The Mummy [Credit: Universal Pictures]

Tom Cruise's influence on his fellow Scientologists extends far beyond his celebrity status. According to Remini, Scientologists are taught that they're effectively "responsible for mankind". They believe it's their duty to spread the word of Scientology and recruit members; a task that Cruise has taken very, very seriously.

In the eyes of Scientologists, Cruise is basically one of the most respected and honorable people on the planet. He's dedicated his life to "saving" mankind, and has become an icon and idol for the church. In fact, Remini says Scientologists believe that Cruise's failed films are nothing more than a conspiracy against him and the church from critics of the religion.

This is exactly why Remini agreed with Maher's sentiment that Cruise could "single-handedly" put and end to Scientology. According to Remini, "Scientologists are not allowed to look or listen to people who are critics of Scientology"; however, Cruise's influence and status in the church is so big that his word against Scientology would have an unprecedented impact.

Will Tom Cruise Quit Scientology?

Edge of Tomorrow [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
Edge of Tomorrow [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]

As simple as this solution seems, it's not an easy feat to pull off. During the interview, Maher mentioned the constant interrogations, or "audits" that go on inside the Church of Scientology. Members are regularly and repetitively questioned about every detail of their life, and they're expected to be honest in their responses; after all, being dishonest to the church is grounds for being ostracized, and that can mean being completely cut off from your friends and family.

This means that not only do Scientologists avoid interacting with outside information in order to avoid the inevitable interrogation that follows, but the Church of Scientology is privy to all their members' private information. And yes, that includes Tom Cruise.

War of the Worlds [Credit: Paramount Pictures]
War of the Worlds [Credit: Paramount Pictures]

Cruise has a history of suing those who speak out against him. He doesn't take well to anyone's attempts to paint him in a bad light, and knows all too well the damaging effect a bad reputation can have on an acting career. It's entirely possibly that the reason Cruise hasn't left the Church of Scientology is the fear of having his darkest secrets exposed.

Of course, this is just speculation— it's equally as likely that Cruise finds a deep level of satisfaction and happiness in his faith, and his choice to stay is motivated by joy rather than fear. After all, this is a man who has literally jumped for joy during interviews— is that really the typical behavior of a terrified cult member?


Do you think Tom Cruise will leave Scientology?

[Image credit: Edge of Tomorrow/Warner Bros Pictures]


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