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Scientology is a system of beliefs that many find controversial because of the incidences that happen within the system. Scientology was created in 1954 by an American author named L. Ron Hubbard. Within the church, the common belief is that the human is immortal because there is a spiritual being within them that lives multiple life cycles, unlike most religions. The religion is not nearly as popular as others like Christianity and Islam because it only brings in about 25,000 out of 300,000,000 of Americans. Scientology seems like a not too terrible religion right? It’s beliefs aren’t too far fetched and it is truly something to think about. However, so much is kept secret by the head of the church David Miscaviage by disproving everything that is said positively about the church.

Leah Remini, a long time Scientologist, has recently left the church after 43 years of being a part of it because she was skeptical of David Miscaviage after his wife, Shelly, disappeared. Her skepticism of David Miscaviage led to numerous occasions where fellow Scientologists, ordered by David, would show up at her house and verbally torture her and attempt to pressure her into doing something she didn’t want to. Leah is not the only one to experience events like this in Scientology. Remini has created a docuseries on A&E called “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” that interviews ex-members of Scientology and they reveal heart-wrenching stories about their time in the church before leaving. One story includes members of Scientology pressuring a husband and wife to aborting their child because the child would cause distractions and steer the two away from their true beliefs.

Scientology has even spread into the celebrity world, consuming some pretty large names; even Tom Cruise. The church has an assigned house to recruiting celebrities called the Celebrity Centre where the best are trained to obtain celebrities. Some celebrities you may know that are a part of the church include of course Tom Cruise, Greta Van Susteran, John Travolta, Jerry Seinfeld, Will Smith and his wife Jada, and the late Patrick Swayze. With the recruitment of large name celebrities, David Miscaviage hopes to spread the word of Scientology and gain more constituents within his church.

Being a celebrity, being a part of the church is easier than regular members because they are highly valued. However, if you want to be a normal member, it will cost you an arm and a leg. Leah Remini states in her docuseries that there is “no other religion that I know of that requires two and a half hours of your day, a quarter of a million dollars minimum, and at least 40 years of your life.” Scientologists are required to purchase every book that L. Ron Hubbard has ever written and just the twelve basic books of it costs $4,000 alone. The reason why so much is spent is because each time the book is rewritten, even if it be a single word change, each person within the church is required to purchase the book, costing them another $4,000 at least. The costs don’t stop there. Remini also makes it clear that each member must buy audio CD’s, Hubbard’s lectures, pay for fundraising in the church, and pay a membership fee. Those straying from these buys or from core beliefs must attend auditing, a common term for therapy in Scientology. These therapy sessions can cost up to $800 for an hour alone. There is also a course list called “The Total Bridge of Freedom” and it does not live up to it’s name according to multiple reports by ex-members. To get to the top, a member is required to take every course leading to it and each course costs $650 minimum.

Clearly, Scientology is no longer a belief system that seems appealing because of what it costs and what people learn from ex-members and Leah Remini is doing her absolute best to steer people away from it to avoid physical and emotional trauma.

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