Leah Remini, star and producer of the A&E docuseries Scientology and the Aftermath, agreed with a startling conclusion from Bill Maher on HBO’s Real Time Friday night: Tom Cruise could single-handedly end the cult of Scientology.
As she explained, members of the church (a word she uses loosely when talking about this dogma) are “self-brainwashing” through hours of daily study. “I didn’t realize that because we are required to study two-and-a-half hours daily, like minimum. We are looking up the words, we are being checked out on the policies of Scientology,” Remini, a former member, said.
“You’re telling me Tom Cruise does this?” Maher asked.
“Yes,” she said. “Not only does Tom Cruise do exactly that… Now, I don’t want you to get the idea that he’s not, that certain policies are not being bent for him because they are and that is the truth, and that is part of the hypocrisy.” She then agreed with Maher’s assertion that Cruise “could single-handedly end this,” given his celebrity within the church.
Remini added that the church is pushing the idea that Cruise is single-handedly “clearing the planet, is changing the planet,” with his success reinforcing that idea. “Changing the planet? He couldn’t even make Jack Reacher a hit,” Maher joked.
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath explores the stories of ex-Scientologists and how the church has harmed them. “I’m in a tough position,” Remini told Maher, “because on one hand I’m attacking this cult and at the same time I know that the people who are still in are under this spell of doing good for the world because that’s what the organization is disseminating. ”
Watch Remini in the clip above.