Original Run: November 29th, 2016 – current
Created by: Leah Remini, Eli Holzman, Aaron Saidman, Alex Weresow
Music by: various
Cast: Leah Remini, Mike Rinder
No Seriously Productions, The Intellectual Property Corporation, A&E, 36 Episodes (so far), 43 Minutes (per episode)
I never really had any intention of watching this but I had a few friends always bring it up to me, so I checked it out. To be frank, I don’t give a shit about religion, regardless of what the belief system is.
Anyway, I also know that just about every documentary has an agenda and that the truth is usually somewhere outside of the idea being pushed.
However, this is pretty compelling and it lets people tell their own stories in their own words. Sure, Leah Remini has an ax to grind and she sometimes steers the conversation but her ax seems like it is genuine and the more I learn about Scientology, the more I can understand why she feels that getting all of this out in the open is so important. And honestly, I support her in that.
When you start watching this show, it is hard to turn away. And as more is revealed through the testimonials of former Scientologists, the more interesting the show gets because there are so many layers to the bizarre beliefs and culture of Scientology. And really, it definitely comes across as a legitimate cult in how it tries to control and police its members.
The show can get repetitive after awhile but each episode features a new person with a new story. The thing is, everyone’s account of the way this church is run all lines up from episode to episode and if this was just a bunch of people trying to attack the church in ways that weren’t honest, I think it’d become pretty apparent. But everyone seems to consistently hit the same points.
I think this show is compelling in how it gives you an real insider’s view into the Church of Scientology but it also grabs you and holds on because so much of this seems so unbelievable. That is, until you start hearing similar stories from so many former Scientologists.
In the end, I believe Leah Remini and the people featured on the show. There’s just too much consistency from story to story for this to be a dishonest, bitter condemnation of Scientology.
Pairs well with: other documentaries on Scientology.