LOS ANGELES—The adult entertainment industry may engage in ritual cannibalism of its own, but at least it doesn’t have to deal with Scientology. Good thing, too. The cult has had its talons into a lot of Hollywood actors for a long time, and when things go wrong, which they invariably do, the fallout is ugly and messy.
Case in point: actress Leah Remini, who has just quit the cult after several decades as a dyed-in-the-wool believer. Now, as Tony Ortega reports, Kirstie Alley is up in arms, pushing officials at the Hollywood Celebrity Centre to swing into action.
“Our sources tell us that Alley worked the phones [on Wednesday], raising a stink with the personnel at the Hollywood Celebrity Centre—what were church officials going to do about Remini’s defection?
“A meeting was called for Alley and other celebrities to get a briefing from church executives about what was going on and what they planned to do about it.
“The meeting was held at the home of Melinda Brownstone—a longtime Scientologist.”
The repercussions for anyone who defects from Scientology are immediate and dire, but for high-profile celebrities they are escalated publicly in order to inflict as much damage as possible as quickly as possible. Alley made several Tweets last week toward that effort, including “a well-aimed arrow at Remini” stating that she was at Brownstone’s “gorgeous house” and loved “hanging there.” As Ortega reports, “Brownstone is the godmother to Remini’s daughter, Sofia. Remini’s sister Shannon is married to Brownstone’s brother, who Melinda cut off ties with earlier.”
The intent is to hurt Remini for her decision as much as possible by isolating her from friends and family. “[Remini has] also heard from friends in Scientology who tell her that they’ve been ordered to ‘disconnect’ from her immediately. That campaign is being orchestrated by a church ‘ethics’ employee at the Advanced Organization of Los Angeles (AOLA) on behalf of the church’s Office of Special Affairs, Scientology’s intelligence division. The employee, Julian Swartz, is ordering people to cut off all ties with Remini.”
Such juvenile behavior is not unknown in adult, to be sure, but at least it’s generally undertaken by individuals who couldn’t organize a pick-up basketball game if their lives depended on it. With Scientology, the individual efforts by nuts like Alley are backed up by an international cabal with vast funds that will do whatever is necessary to destroy the reputation of a former member. At least porn doesn’t have to deal with that... yet.