The Season 2 premiere of “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” told the story of two women who were raised as Scientologists and the alleged sexual abuse they say the church covered up.
Remini was a member for 30 years and her co-host Mike Rinder was a member for approimately 25 years and served as the Executive Director of the Office of Special Affairs before they both cut ties from the church.
The episode chronicled former members and childhood friends Saina Kamula and Mirriam Francis. The two were “born” into the church but departed more than 25 years later. Kamula left in 2013 and Francis in 2010.
Francis divulged on the episode that her father sexually abused her for years in their native Australia and in Los Angeles when they moved. Her father was part of the church’s Sea Org.
The Sea Org is described as “a religious order for the Scientology religion and is composed of the singularly most dedicated Scientologists – individuals who have committed their lives to the volunteer service of their religion,” according to Scientology’s website.
Kamula said her mother was also a member of the Sea Org and served in the early 90’s. She claims an older, highly-ranked member of the church sexually abused her for years. Due to the abuse, Kamula said she had trouble socializing with her classmates. Kamula said she confided in a teacher and told her of the abuse she endured but she was disciplined for being “counter intention” or “acting against the interests of Scientology’s message.”
Remini and Rinder explained that the Church of Scientology believes in “child-rearing” an idea that “children are just old souls in young bodies,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Kamula and Francis were transported to Southern California Sea Org facility in 1994 named Canyon Oaks Ranch (PAC Ranch). Kamula called the ranch “military-esque” and similar to “Lord of the Flies.” The facility was shuttered in 2007.
Kamula said she and Francis endured dangerous and abhorrent living conditions while living there and were forced to work 60 hours a week despite being underage. She also said she was put on suicide watch a few times.
Francis said her father confessed to the church for abusing her. She was audited by the church and labeled a “potential troublemaker.” Francis said the church told her that her father was dismissed in 2002 from the Sea Org due to the abuse allegations. However, when Francis left the church she was forced to sign a waiver stating that she would not sue her father or the church regarding the sexual abuse.
Kamula said her abuser is still “an active and respected member of the church.”
After they left, they filed a police report with the Los Angeles Police Department. The church has officially recognized them as “enemies of the church.”
The Church of Scientology has sent A&E multiple letters arguing the claims made on previous episodes of the show.