Beyond the usual producers and editors, it clearly required a legion of lawyers to get “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” on the air. That explains the disclaimer that runs during each act break of this A&E series, in which the former “King of Queens” star details abusive practices with help from other former church members.
Through the years, the bizarre excesses of Scientology — the sort-of religion, kind-of cult created by author L. Ron Hubbard, and populated by several Hollywood luminaries — have been well documented. That includes Alex Gibney’s 2015 documentary “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief,” which, like most criticisms of the church, yielded fierce and orchestrated blowback.
Nevertheless, Remini comes to this process with a good deal of standing, having been an outspoken proponent of Scientology (there’s video in the show of her singing its praises) before a public falling out in 2013.
Since then, she has expressed regret and a commitment to discredit, as she puts it, “A church that I promoted, defended and believed in most of my life.”
In the premiere, Remini and her fellow producers feature strong indictments from other past Scientologists, Mike Rinder and Amy Scobee. They also detail how the church has consciously leveraged celebrities — most prominent among them Tom Cruise, but also John Travolta and others — to “sell” its product, in the same way corporations use high-profile endorsements as a marketing tool.