Leah Remini claims Scientologist church asked her to recruit Hollywood actor Kevin James
To say that the Church of Scientology has a sketchy reputation would be an understatement. Founded on the science fiction of author L. Rob Hubbard, the church was famously lampooned in South Park, where it was revealed that members actually believe in a galactic conqueror called Xenu who intends to harvest the souls of al humankind in a volcano. None of it is a metaphor for anything - this is literally what they believe to be the history of creation and apocalypse.
Worse, they have shady and underhanded means of approaching followers and dealing with their current members. Any ideology that attracts tons of extremely rich and famous people, and collects paid dues, is suspect for operating like a business. Los Angeles residents know to avoid the church simply because its members are so persistent and are willing to blackmail individuals to get them to do what they want. Famously, Tom Cruise is a scientologist, and Will and Jada Smith have left the church in the past.
The church also has a massive compound called Gold Base, 100 miles out of LA, which covers both sides of a major highway and allegedly houses tons of unhappy and underpaid workers who attempt to escape and get recaptured by the church days later. They're a seriously strange organization.
King of Queens star Leah Remini left the church after 34 years of dues, and has become an outspoken opponent of scientology. However, she recently disclosed that the church had been pressuring her to recruit her co-star Kevin James to Scientology for years.
She told People magazine:
"They always tried to get me to. 'Why is he not in? Why have you not promoted it to him?' I was like, "Because he's Catholic. He doesn't want anything to do with it."
"They let it go after a while, but usually you'd be expected to recruit, especially with somebody you work with for nine years."
Kevin James! Paul Blart, Mall Cop, a Scientologist? Never. Of course, Kevin has starred in some pretty bad films lately, most notably with Adam Sandler, but that's no excuse to give his life to an ideology. He never wanted to. He was a Catholic.
It's chilling that the church constantly pressures members to recruit their wealthy friends and co-stars. It's like a crappy pyramid scheme turned into a religion. Scientology is, of course, a cult, and it definitely behaves like one. Members are no longer individuals - they are mouthpieces and revenue tools for the organization.
Why is Scientology so popular amongst Hollywood celebrities? The answer may be fairly simple - rich and famous people with spiritual yearning and an inability to think clearly can be pretty easily pulled into a cult. I mean, most people don't think that hard about religion. Rich and famous people have even less time to think. Why not join a rich and powerful organization?
It's still really strange though, and speaks to the void at the core of modern life. An adult trying to have a spiritual life is caught between the poles of New Age nonsense or fundamentalist madness. You're either 'spiritual but not religious' or you agree that a man was resurrected in the Middle East 2000 years ago, or something similar that requires an article of faith to accept.
Much respect to Kevin James for staying true to himself and ignoring stuff he doesn't want to believe!