Leah Remini Basically Has Scientology PR Working Overtime to Quell the Crazy
Sources close to the hyper-secretive religion are whispering that the Church of Scientology, which has long refuted claims of being a glorified cult, is going on a full public relations assault, scrambling to salvage the reputation that the 'King of Queens' starlet may have severely damaged.
Longtime Scientology investigative reporter Tony Ortega told Fox News, "This has a huge impact on the church. Not only because such a high profile member is leaving and getting so much publicity for it, but also because she is raising issues that are already tearing the membership apart -- disconnection, interrogations, fundraising, and the whereabouts of Shelly Miscavige."
Ortega added, "Scientology is headed for a reckoning, and the celebrities are going to be forced at some point to account for all the abuse done in Scientology's name."
Of course, Scientology denies the claims, even sending links to "WhoIsTonyOrtega.com" with alleged proof of the writer's unreliability.
A former Scientology official, Mark 'Marty' Rathbun, explained that this is normal protocol after a disaster for the church, and that they'll likely employ some other predictable tactics to save face as well. "(The church) will step up their 'human rights' public relations campaign," Rathbun said. "When I exposed the prison camp operated by their chairman, David Miscavige, they spent millions on events, releases and videos attempting to position themselves as 'human rights' advocates. Since Leah raised the issue of the imprisonment of Miscavige's own wife, it is likely you will see more Scientology PR on being 'human rights' advocates.'"
Mike Rinder, a former Scientology rep, said in his blog that the public isn't even the biggest problem.
"Where the real panic is occurring is in trying to keep the faithful on board," he revealed. "The Ethics Officers are working overtime, but Miscavige's personal troops, the 'OT Ambassadors,' are also being sent forth to do battle with the forces of evil."
As for Remini, Rinder had only kind words for the Brooklyn-bred actress. "I have known Leah Remini for many years. She is one of the most down-to-earth, honest and truly caring celebrities I came across in Scientology. Funny, endearing and abrasive all at once, she does not sit quietly when she knows injustices are being perpetrated on those who have no voice to speak for themselves."
Scientology has repeatedly shot down any and all of Rinder's revelations, going so far as to make a WhoIsMikeRinder.com. Fox News reports that WhoIsLeahRemini.com was registered as a domain name just after the star's exit from the Church, but to whom the domain was registered remains private.
The Church of Scientology didn't respond to Fox News' requests for comment on the story, which goes along with a tactic that crisis communications rep Glenn Selig predicted they'd use. "The media is covering the Remini story as though the church were a cult -- which is something the Church of Scientology vehemently denies," Selig said. "For the public, Leah Remini's story will likely reinforce that there is something very secretive, something sinister going on inside. The Church of Scientology is accustomed to spikes of bad news coverage. Accusations like this are nothing new. I suspect the church will wait for the wave of negative publicity to run its course and then simply keep doing what it has been doing."