Joe Rogan Experience #908 - Leah Remini

JRE Archive - Episodes #701 - 1000
30 Jan 2017137:10

TLDRIn this insightful discussion, Leah Remini opens up about her experiences within the Church of Scientology, shedding light on the organization's practices and her personal journey of questioning and ultimately leaving the Church. She discusses the indoctrination process, the importance of maintaining a positive public image, and the strict hierarchy and control exerted over members. Remini also touches on the financial aspect of Scientology, the pressure to conform and the repercussions of questioning the Church's practices. Her account provides a candid look into the world of Scientology, highlighting the challenges faced by those who seek to understand and reformulate their beliefs after being part of such a rigid and controlling organization.


  • 🎙️ Leah Remini discusses her experiences with Scientology on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, providing an in-depth look into the organization and its practices.
  • 👧 Leah joined Scientology at a young age, influenced by her mother and stepfather, and she recalls the organization's approach to handling children and their indoctrination process.
  • 🕰 Leah details the time-consuming and daily nature of involvement in Scientology, highlighting the expectation of dedicating significant hours to the organization's activities.
  • 📚 She talks about the study methods within Scientology, which include learning the policies of the church, being tested on them, and the self-induced brainwashing that occurs through constant study and application.
  • 💰 Leah addresses the financial aspect of Scientology, mentioning how it can cost members hundreds of thousands of dollars and the difficulty of getting refunds.
  • 🔍 Leah shares her process of questioning and investigating the church's practices, which eventually led to her departure and public criticism of the organization.
  • 🤝 She discusses the policy of disconnection within Scientology, which has led to family separations and the labeling of certain individuals as 'suppressive persons'.
  • 🚫 Leah talks about the control and manipulation within the organization, including the preferential treatment of celebrities and the church's response to her questioning.
  • 🤔 Leah reflects on her post-Scientology life, discussing her journey to rediscover her beliefs and identity after leaving the church.
  • 📉 Leah comments on the impact of her public stance against Scientology, including the reactions from other celebrities and the harassment she and the show's participants have faced.
  • 🌟 She emphasizes the importance of standing up against organizations that engage in harmful practices and the need for more public figures to speak out against Scientology.

Q & A

  • What is Leah Remini's experience with Scientology?

    -Leah Remini was deeply involved in Scientology from a young age, having been introduced to it by her mother and stepfather. She experienced the organization's practices, including its approach to confidentiality, handling of personal issues, and the daily commitment required from its members. Remini eventually became critical of the Church's practices and left, detailing her experiences and criticisms on her show and in interviews.

  • How did Leah Remini's views on Scientology change over time?

    -Initially, Leah Remini believed in the principles of Scientology and saw it as a path to self-improvement and helping others. However, as she learned more about the Church's practices, including its treatment of high-ranking members and the financial demands placed on believers, her views began to change. She started questioning the Church's actions, particularly after witnessing incidents that contradicted the ethical standards she thought the Church upheld.

  • What role does the Church of Scientology's policy on confidentiality play in the lives of its members?

    -The Church of Scientology places a strong emphasis on confidentiality, teaching its members not to disclose personal problems or issues, especially to non-Scientologists. This policy is intended to maintain a positive public image for the Church and to prevent the disclosure of information that could be perceived as weaknesses or transgressions.

  • How does the Church of Scientology handle members who are deemed to be acting against its interests?

    -The Church of Scientology has a system of ethics and justice, which includes writing reports on members who are perceived to be acting against the Church's interests. These reports can lead to interrogations and other punitive measures, which are intended to correct the member's behavior and reaffirm their commitment to the Church.

  • What is the significance of the 'bridge' in Scientology?

    -The 'bridge' in Scientology refers to a chart that outlines the progression of spiritual development within the Church. It is a precise path that all members are expected to follow, moving from bottom to top through various stages of learning and self-improvement. The bridge is a central concept in Scientology, representing the journey toward enlightenment and spiritual freedom.

  • How does Leah Remini describe the experience of leaving Scientology?

    -Leah Remini describes leaving Scientology as a long and difficult process. She experienced a gradual awakening to the issues within the Church and eventually took a hiatus from her daily activities within it. After requesting a refund for the money she had spent, which was denied, she began to distance herself further. Remini also discusses the emotional toll of leaving, including losing contact with friends and family who remained in the Church.

  • What is Leah Remini's current stance on Scientology?

    -Leah Remini is now a vocal critic of Scientology. She has dedicated herself to sharing her experiences and those of others who have left the Church, through her TV show and public discussions. Her goal is to shed light on the practices of the Church and to support those who have been affected by them.

  • How does the Church of Scientology's policy on disconnection affect families?

    -The policy of disconnection within the Church of Scientology can lead to the severing of family ties. When a member is declared a 'suppressive person', other members are expected to cut off all communication with them. This can result in parents losing contact with their children and vice versa, causing significant emotional distress.

  • What is the significance of the e-meter in Scientology?

    -The e-meter, or electropsychometer, is a device used in Scientology for the purpose of auditing. It is believed to measure the electrical skin resistance, which is thought to be related to a person's mental state and the presence of 'engrams' or negative experiences stored in the reactive mind. The e-meter is used as a tool to guide the auditing process and help individuals find and confront their past traumatic experiences.

  • What does Leah Remini suggest about the future of Scientology?

    -Leah Remini suggests that the internet and social media have made it more difficult for Scientology to maintain its influence, as information about the Church's practices and controversies is more readily available. She believes that the Church's practices are not sustainable in the face of increased public scrutiny and that it will struggle to attract new members.

  • How does Leah Remini describe the control exerted by the Church of Scientology over its members?

    -Leah Remini describes the control exerted by the Church of Scientology as pervasive and detailed, with members expected to adhere to strict rules and policies. The Church's control extends to personal beliefs, social interactions, and even the disclosure of personal problems. Members are also expected to contribute significant amounts of money, and there are repercussions for those who question or leave the Church.



😀 Reconnecting and Discussing Scientology

The first paragraph involves a reunion between two individuals who discuss their experiences with Scientology. They talk about the initial appeal of the organization, how it presented itself as a group of good people doing amazing things for the world. The conversation touches on the personal impact of Scientology, including the speaker's upbringing within it and the realization that there are other 'good' people outside the organization. It also hints at the control and manipulation exerted by the church, including the suppression of personal issues for the sake of the church's image.


🧐 The Cult-like Influence of Scientology

This section delves into the cult-like aspects of Scientology, describing the systematic indoctrination process that members undergo. It includes the daily routine of studying the church's policies, the use of tests to reinforce learning, and the creation of a tribal mentality among members. The speaker shares how the church's teachings made them feel like an elite, saving the world, and the shock of realizing the depth of manipulation after leaving the organization.


🚫 Leaving Scientology and Its Aftermath

The third paragraph discusses the challenges of leaving Scientology, including the financial burden and the church's policy against refunds. It highlights the control the church exerts over its members, using fear and manipulation to maintain loyalty. The speaker also talks about the public's perception of Scientology and the difficulty of finding new members in the age of the internet, where information is readily available.


🤔 The Realization and Reflection on Scientology's Impact

In this part, the speaker reflects on the benefits and drawbacks of their time in Scientology. They acknowledge the confidence and self-belief the organization instilled but also recognize the limitations it placed on their education and personal growth. The conversation touches on the church's stance on traditional education and the exploitation of its members, particularly children, for labor.


😓 The Dark Side of Scientology's Policies

The speaker shares their experiences with the darker aspects of Scientology, including the intense interrogations and the pressure to conform to the church's expectations. They discuss the church's policies on reporting members' actions, which create an environment of distrust and surveillance. The conversation also reveals the preferential treatment given to celebrities within the organization and the insulation they enjoy from scrutiny.


🤯 The Shocking OT3 Materials and Their Impact

This section describes the speaker's experience with the OT3 materials in Scientology, which they found shocking and nonsensical. The speaker details the secretive process of accessing this advanced level of teaching and their reaction upon discovering its content. The conversation also touches on the financial demands of progressing through the levels of Scientology and the emotional toll it takes on members.


😤 Breaking Free and Speaking Out

The speaker talks about their decision to leave Scientology and the process of reevaluating their beliefs afterward. They discuss the freedom they now have to form their own opinions and live their life without the constraints of the church. The conversation also addresses the public's reaction to the speaker's criticism of Scientology and the support they've received from others who have left the organization.


🤔 The Struggle for Personal Beliefs and Sovereignty

In this part, the speaker continues to explore their personal beliefs post-Scientology, emphasizing the importance of personal sovereignty and the freedom to make individual choices. They discuss their resistance to being told what to do or think, reflecting on their experiences with the rigid structures of Scientology. The speaker also talks about the challenges of reformulating one's worldview and the importance of making one's own mistakes.


😠 Confronting Scientology's Tax-Exempt Status and Abuses

The speaker expresses frustration over Scientology's tax-exempt status and the lack of governmental oversight into its practices. They argue that the church's harmful doctrines and practices should be scrutinized, especially when they involve the abuse of children or other harmful activities. The conversation also touches on the church's aggressive legal tactics and its efforts to silence critics and members who have left.


🤔 The Aftermath of Leaving Scientology

The speaker discusses the aftermath of leaving Scientology, including the social and personal consequences. They talk about the challenges of rebuilding relationships and the difficulty of communicating with former friends and family who are still members of the church. The conversation also addresses the public's perception of Scientology and the role of celebrities within the organization.


😢 The Emotional Toll of Exposing Scientology's Secrets

The speaker shares the emotional toll of working on a show that exposes the secrets and abuses of Scientology. They discuss the responsibility they feel to give a voice to those who have been hurt by the organization and their commitment to ensuring that these stories are told. The conversation also touches on the public's reaction to the show and the support it has received.


😤 The Fight Against Scientology's Control

In the final paragraph, the speaker discusses their ongoing fight against the control exerted by Scientology over its members. They talk about the need for more public figures to speak out against the organization's practices and for the public to take action by contacting their representatives. The speaker emphasizes their commitment to sharing the stories of those hurt by Scientology and to holding the organization accountable for its actions.




Scientology is a set of religious beliefs and practices that was created in the early 1950s by L. Ron Hubbard. It is the central topic of the video, as the guest, Leah Remini, discusses her experiences and eventual departure from the Church of Scientology. The term is mentioned repeatedly throughout the transcript, highlighting its significance.


An E-Meter is a device used in Scientology for the purpose of measuring the spiritual state of an individual during auditing sessions. It is mentioned in the context of the guest's training in Scientology and her experiences with the device during her time as a member.


Auditing is a process in Scientology where a practitioner uses a system of questions and answers to help a person locate and confront areas of spiritual distress or 'engrams'. It is a core practice of the religion and is discussed as part of the guest's involvement and eventual disillusionment with the Church.

💡Suppressive Person

In Scientology, a 'Suppressive Person' is someone who is considered to be an antagonist of the Church and its practices. The concept is mentioned when discussing how the Church labels and treats individuals who leave or criticize it, including the practice of 'disconnection'.


Disconnection is a policy in Scientology that requires members to cut off all communication with individuals who are deemed 'Suppressive Persons'. It is a significant aspect of the discussion, as the guest shares her experiences with this policy and its impact on her personal relationships.

💡OT Levels

OT Levels (Operating Thetan Levels) are advanced stages of spiritual development in Scientology. The guest discusses reaching higher OT Levels and the secretive and sometimes bizarre teachings associated with these advanced stages.

💡Sea Org

Sea Org, short for 'Sea Organization', is an elite group within the Church of Scientology that is characterized by its intense commitment and rigorous work schedule. It is mentioned in the context of the Church's labor practices and the conditions members agree to.


Clearwater is a city in Florida that is home to one of the Church of Scientology's largest facilities. The guest references it in relation to her experiences with the Church's interrogation and 'rehabilitation' processes.

💡Celebrity Center

The Celebrity Center is a Scientology organization focused on catering to the needs of celebrities who are part of the Church. It is mentioned as a place where the guest had interactions with other celebrities involved in Scientology.

💡Going Clear

Going Clear refers to a state of being in Scientology where a person has reached a high level of spiritual awareness and is free from the negative influences of past traumas or 'engrams'. The concept is discussed in relation to the guest's journey through the Church and her ultimate decision to leave.

💡Fair Game

Fair Game is a controversial policy in Scientology that allows for the Church to take aggressive actions against its critics or those it considers enemies. The term is not explicitly mentioned in the transcript, but the concept is alluded to in discussions about how defectors and critics are treated.


Leah Remini discusses her experiences with Scientology and the impact it had on her life.

Remini shares how she grew up in Scientology from the age of nine, influenced by her mother and stepfather.

She talks about the indoctrination process within Scientology, making her feel powerful and important from a young age.

Remini explains the daily routine and commitment required of Scientologists, including long hours of studying and training.

The interview covers the financial aspect of Scientology, with Remini revealing the high costs associated with progressing in the religion.

Remini discusses the strict hierarchy within Scientology, known as 'The Bridge,' and the goal of reaching the state of 'Clear.'

She shares her experiences of writing internal reports on other Scientologists, including celebrities like Tom Cruise, for their behavior.

Remini describes the process of being interrogated by the Church for three months and the mental and emotional toll it took on her.

The interview touches on the different treatment of celebrities within the Church of Scientology and the preferential access they receive.

Remini expresses her disappointment with the Church's handling of her and her family's involvement, leading to her eventual departure.

She talks about the lack of transparency within Scientology and the Church's tactics to discredit and silence critics.

Remini discusses the Church's policy of 'disconnection' and its devastating effects on families.

The interview covers her efforts to report the disappearance of Shelly Miscavige and the lack of action from the police.

Remini shares her newfound freedom after leaving Scientology and her journey to rediscover her beliefs and identity.

She calls for responsibility from other celebrities and the media to address the issues within the Church of Scientology.

Remini reflects on the importance of critical thinking and the freedom to form one's own opinions, which was suppressed during her time in Scientology.

The interview concludes with Remini's commitment to sharing the truth about her experiences and advocating for those who have been harmed by Scientology.