Leah Remini and Leaving the Church

"Souls Back" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Souls Back” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

Leah Remini wrote a book about her experiences with the Church of Scientology.

Bad girl! She’s not supposed to do that.

Here’s some of the things she’s revealed so far.

You should see what the Church of Scientology is saying about her now. It reminds me of something I read earlier today:

“When a narcissist has lost control over you, they try to control how others see you.”

I did another cartoon earlier this year about a woman being warned not to share her wounds. Check it out!

I worked for an international ministry in 2002-2003. When I left I was told to sign a gag order before I could get my last paycheck and my severance package. I didn’t sign.

When I pastored local churches it was always hard to see people go. Even now, as I facilitate an online community The Lasting Supper, it is hard to see people go. But I learned a long time ago that people want to be just as free as I want to be. I also know people have the right to be just as free as I have the right to be.

Why do churches do this? For many reasons. Essentially, they want to possess something that’s yours.

Your soul maybe?

I like what Anne Lammott says:

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

So Leah is telling her story. I tell mine. You tell yours!

Take everything with you that’s yours.

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10 Responses

  1. Caryn LeMur says:

    If you cannot leave freely, they may be an achievement cult.

    If they insist on apologies, and even tell you how to word an apology, they may be a power personality cult.

    If they insist you sign a gag order when you leave, they may be a reputation cult.

    If they cannot dialog and simply give insults, they may be a controlling cult or a persecution/prosecution cult.

    If they insist on male-leadership over gifted leadership, they may be a misogyny cult.

    This is why in TLS, we hug and love those that wish to leave; and open doors wide when they come back. If they can join in conversations with mutual respect for complex people, then… why not? We are just part of their journey.

    And, it makes no difference if it is a Vineyard, Calvary Chapel (Costa Mesa style), Scientology, Baptist, non-Denom, Solomon’s Porch, a Christian Blog, Lion’s Roar, a FaceBook page, or whatever the name…. anything can become a cult.

    You know it is a cult, at least to you, when you feel the choke-chain tightening around your throat.

    Time to leave before you wonder why you feel restrained, controlled, and unable to breath freely.

  2. I’ve felt that constraint many times in many different and various contexts.

  3. Gary says:

    I like your attitude.

    People should be free to choose the individuals and groups with whom they wish to associate or stop associating with without fear of reprisals. I would bet that most people in the world believe that to be fair and just.

    So why do Christians believe in a God who invokes the most horrific of reprisals if we choose not to reciprocate his love?

  4. gary says:

    Hi Pastor,

    I’m not trying to be a smart-ass. I’m really curious. If it is wrong for humans to punish people who have rejected them, why is it ok in your spiritual belief system for your loving, perfect God to do just that on a mass, horrific scale?

    Doesn’t that set up a cognitive dissonance for you? It does for me.

    If you believe that your loving, perfect God can exact terrible retribution on those who reject him simply because he is the person/being with the greater power why shouldn’t that same morality be used in interpersonal interactions between humans: might makes right.

    And if you allow for your God’s retaliatory behavior simply because he is our “Creator”, shouldn’t parents who “create” children have the same right and therefore be allowed to inflict horrific, never-ending punishment on their children just because “we made them”?

    Either “might makes right” or your God is not as “good” as he alleges he is.

  5. Adam Julians says:

    “why is it ok in your spiritual belief system for your loving, perfect God [to punish people who have rejected him]”… “why do Christians believe in a God who invokes the most horrific of reprisals if we choose not to reciprocate his love”

    This would not be about personal “spiritual belief system” but about fact or fiction. If true is true for everyone, if false is false for everyone, not about different for one person or for Christians to anyone else.

    What if the fact is that God is present, loving perfectly and the source of much good and to “punish” and invoke “the most horrific of reprisals” is to weep about people who have not returned his love but rejected him and say “OK have it your way?”

    On the other hand if there is no God why worry about it – it’s just a figment of people’s imagination that do have that belief. Better not to concern oneself over it and enjoy life without fear of anything that might happen eternally.

    What would be silly would be to be angry and upset about any god that dies not exist.

  6. Gary says:

    You make some very good points, Adam. It would be silly to spend a lot of time debating a god who does not exist, but PASTOR believes HIS God exists, and billions of other people believe he exists, therefore I am interested in discussing Pastor’s beliefs about his God.

    If it is true that the Christian God exists, it is irrelevant what I think about him or his “morality”. I am a bug that he can squash at his whim. But I do have a brain (until he squashes me) and my brain says that it is unfair to punish someone because they have rejected you. Just as we all agree that it is unfair that the Church of Scientology is punishing Leah Remini for rejecting Scientology I believe that it is wrong for the Christian God to punish humans who reject him. And even more, I believe it is wrong and immoral for him to TORTURE people forever, just because they refuse to reciprocate his love and refuse to obey his rules.

    Would any human father threaten his child with eternal torture for disobeying him or for rejecting him as their father? Would any human father toss their rebellious child into a cauldron of fire to watch them writhe and scream in torment…forever??

    No. Not unless they are mentally deranged.

    We would not tolerate for one second a human father who behaves in such a sick, sadistic manner, so I don’t understand how Pastor and other Christians are able to overcome the cognitive dissonance of excusing this same behavior in their God?

    Either torturing people for rejecting you is moral and good in ALL cases, or the Christian god is immoral and evil. You can’t have it both ways, my Christian friends.

  7. gary says:

    I was once a born-again evangelical Christian who for years prayed for God to speak to me in my heart, as I had been promised he would. He never did. God never spoke to me in a still, small voice. God never “moved” me or “led” me. I finally blamed myself for God’s refusal to speak to me and left the Church. Now that I am older, I have had time to look at the evidence, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the problem wasn’t me…it was God.

    Here is the evidence I found:

    Disease and Illness: Christians have the same rates of disease and illness as non-Christians. Jesus doesn’t seem to answer prayers for healing. The percentage of non-Christians, including atheists, who recover from illness is the same as that of Christians. Christians who claim that they were healed due to prayer cannot prove that their healing was not due to some other factor, such as the medication that their doctor was giving them or pure coincidence. If Jesus really heals people due to prayer, Christians should have a much higher healing rate. They don’t.

    Death rates: The average life span of Christians is no better than that of non-Christians, including atheists.

    Accident rates: Christians have just as many accidents as non-Christians. There is no evidence that Jesus provides any better protection for Christians behind the wheel than non-Christians, including atheists. So asking Jesus to keep you and your family safe on your road trip doesn’t seem to be of any benefit.

    Job promotion: Is there any evidence that Christians are promoted in their jobs more often than non-Christians? I doubt it. Praying to Jesus to give you that promotion or that raise that your family really and truly needs doesn’t seem to work.

    Food poisoning: Most Christians pray before every meal for God to bless their food. However, no study I am aware of indicates that Christians have fewer incidences of food poisoning or that Christians are healthier than non-Christians. Jesus doesn’t seem to respond to prayers for “blessing” food.

    Child Safety: This is a big one for most Christian parents. We pray to Jesus to keep our children safe. Studies, however, demonstrate that the rate of accidents, injuries, disease, and death among the children of Christians is no different than the rates for the children of non-Christians. Praying to Jesus to keep your children safe is not effective.

    Now, maybe it isn’t God’s will for Christians to have lower disease rates, lower death rates, lower accident rates, lower food poisoning rates, lower child injury rates, and higher job promotion rates. But get this: Christians, and even evangelical Christians, have the same divorce rate as non-Christians! So either evangelical Christians are not praying to Jesus regarding their selection of a life partner (which I don’t believe for a second) or Jesus isn’t listening.

    Or just maybe…Jesus isn’t there.

  8. Molly says:

    My husband and I left our calvary chapel church and pulled our kids out of the school. We saw and experienced way too many abuses. I felt like a “bad girl” for it for a long time. I struggled with guilt and shame but felt freedom at the same time. I was so afraid that my relationship with God would weaken for leaving. Believing what the pastor said about needing to be “plugged in” with the church, home groups, awanas, bible studies, school pta, childrens ministries, ect. if you wanted to be walking with Jesus. If you werent,plugged in, you werent close to the Lord. All other churches were watered down and not in the word according to him. They were all lukewarm and wordly. We spent four years of our lives, six days a week, exhausted serving there. Trying to be a part of the “inner sanctum” there. Knowing lots of people but never really having any true relationships. If our kids memorized so many verses, obeyed, complied, and remaned silent they could win the most prizes. Christs love seemed to be missing. No one even called us after we left. Heard from one person that we were called spiritually weak and backslidden into the world. Not true. Now we are loving our freedom and personal relationship with Christ. We actually have real christian friends now too lol. Not to mention a life as well. No more judgement or control. No longer feeling guilty for questioning things or hiding my degree in womens studies and “pop” psychology. Thank you for your blog! It has brought me so much more freedom. I will speak my truth if asked about why we left our calvary chapel.

  9. Awesome Molly. Thanks for sharing!!!! Peace on your path!

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