In the December 11 episode of A&E’s hit documentary series “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath,” former Scientologists Remini and co-host Mike Rinder discuss the unusual relationship between the Church of Scientology and the Nation of Islam (NoI).
At the beginning of the episode, a statement from the Church of Scientology is displayed on screen, which accuses Remini of “spreading bigotry that instigates violence,” and compares the show’s “lies” and “discrimination” to 1930s Germany.
This isn’t unusual. The Church of Scientology is notoriously litigious, and during most episodes, Remini’s show features disclaimers from the organization.
Remini responded in a video, which was tweeted out by A&E:
After detailing the origin of the Nation of Islam, the episode charts the political and religious organization’s recent affiliation with the Church of Scientology, which Remini allegedly helped to facilitate prior to defecting in 2013.
Speaking about her involvement, Remini states:
I was approached by Scientology to bridge the gap between [the organization] and the black community. And I wanted to do that. I had no idea what the Nation of Islam was. Again, I don’t want to excuse myself because I should have done my due diligence, but I honestly was a Scientologist, and we were not questioning what our church was asking us to do.
The rest of the episode focuses on several former NoI members, who detail their experiences with Scientology.
At the end of the episode, Remini plays a clip from a recent speech in which Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan says the following:
I know that this is the time that they’re making an all-out move to destroy Scientology. But what I’d ask Mrs. Remi [sic], or whatever her name is, she’s going in hard. She’s hurt by something. I know a lot of Muslims that’s hurt, hurt because they came in looking for something, but didn’t necessarily find what they were looking for, and walked away. And when you walked away, where did you go? What did you do? How did you gain? What did you lose?
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is perhaps best known for his bigoted remarks about the Jewish people. He has frequently called Jews “satanic,” and claimed they played a key role in the September 11 attacks.
Mr. Farrakhan, you’ve mentioned me in one of your speeches, and I would like to take this opportunity to address some of the questions that you have asked. No one’s trying to take Scientology down for reasons that are unwarranted, and once you are in Scientology for a good 35, 45 years, maybe then ask these kinds of questions.
And you should ask these types of questions to the families who have been destroyed, who don’t see their sons and daughters because Scientology has brainwashed them into believing that they should not talk to their own mother and father, or that a mother or a father should disown their own children because of their beliefs in Scientology.
So, when you go to sleep at night crying because you don’t have your daughter or your son or your mom, or your children have never met their grandparents because they believe in Scientology more than family, that’s when you can start questioning people, and why and how they have been hurt, because they have been hurt deeply.
Remini then corrects Farrakhan, who badly mispronounced her name, saying: “And also, Mr. Farrakhan, the name is Leah Re-mi-ni. Remini.” She flashes a wry smile at the camera before the screen fades to black.