There certainly has been no shortage of emotional stories on Scientology and the Aftermath, and the Tuesday, December 27, episode was no exception. This installment of the A&E docuseries followed Leah Remini, along with cohost and former Scientology member Mike Rinder, as they traveled to Denver to meet with former Sea Organization members Marc and Claire Henley.
Scientology Exaggerates Its Statistics, According to Marc
Rinder immediately introduced Marc as someone who was “intimately involved and oversaw all aspects of Scientology’s propaganda machine.” Marc described his role, saying, "It was my job …to make it look like Scientology was expanding." Remini then said that at the quarterly events, Scientology would display statistics to its followers about its charitable ventures.
Remini told the camera, “I recently just found out that these statistics are not true.” Of the figures given at these events, Marc claimed, “it morphs into something more than what it is.… The events are not a documentary. They are a commercial."
Taking a Closer Look
Rinder said, “Literally nobody has ever talked about this before.… If Scientologists … saw this, this would have a greater impact on them than anything else they would see.” After showing clips from these events centered on Scientology’s impact in curing drug addiction, helping education and other charitable ventures, Marc said that if these events were fact-checked, they would be “obliterated.”
Marc Claims Scientology Is Expanding the Property It Owns, Not Its Membership
Marc, Remini and Rinder then found themselves on the topic of Scientology’s boast on the church's website that it is the “fastest-growing religion.” Marc quickly explained that the statement is actually referring to their square footage. He said, “There’s no more people.… Their buildings have expanded into more plots of land.” He then claimed that most of these buildings, which Scientology allegedly builds to help maintain its nonprofit status, are “ghost towns.… They were not even being used.”
Leah Was Allegedly Being Followed While Filming This Episode
While at her hotel, Remini quickly discovered two men carrying identical folders were filming her on their phones. After the hotel escorted them off the property, Remini snapped a photo of their license plate as Rinder cornered one of them to ask if he was a private investigator. Remini later said to the camera, “One man, turns out he owns his own private-investigator company.”
After arriving at Marc and Claire’s home, Claire described her Scientology journey. She said she joined the religion at the age of 16 and was soon transferred to work for Sea Org at their base in Hemet, California. Of the facility, Claire explained, “It’s a heavily guarded property, and a lot of secrecy and a lot of control.… You’re not allowed to make phone calls without permission or someone listening.… People would escape frequently.”
Claire Claims She Was Forced to Get an Abortion
Claire recounted how she met Marc, and that they married when she was 17 and he was 19. She then said, “If a woman got pregnant, she would instantly be scheduled to get an abortion.” Claire explained that this was because being pregnant while a member of the Sea Organization meant you wanted to leave. Claire revealed she knew people who had “up to six” abortions. Watch Claire tell her story in the video clip above.
When Claire recounted missing her period and allegedly being forced into an abortion, she began to cry. She told her story by saying, “Inside, I’m dying. It’s like, worst fear come true.” Through her tears, she said, “I have three beautiful children who are my life, but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with it.” Claire’s children with Marc were all born after the couple left the church in 2005.
Marc Says He Was Physically Assaulted by David Miscavige
Marc then opened up about an alleged breaking point that he said eventually led to him leaving the church. Marc explained about an alleged moment between himself and church leader David Miscavige, "I made a snide comment.… He went off. He just started punching me and slugging me and pushed me up to a desk unit.… The pope of Scientology just beat the s‑‑t out of me.”
Marc and Claire Lost Their Lawsuits Against Scientology
Marc discussed the couple's 2005 exit from the church and revealed, “We have three children now, all boys.” When Remini asked if the couple told the authorities about the alleged abuses, Claire responded with a nod, saying, “In depth.” Claire and Marc have lost the individual lawsuits they filed against the church, but say that they continue to spread the word about what they refer to as "forced abortions."
The Church of Scientology has issued the following statement about the show: "Leah Remini is doing this show for the money, just as she profited from her book. In addition, she attempted to extort the Church by first demanding $500,000, followed by an additional $1 million, because the Church invoked its First Amendment right to respond to her false claims with the truth. This shows the extent Leah Remini is willing to go to in order to distort the truth about Scientology. For the Church’s perspective and the truth about the bullies she now supports, go to www.leahreminiaftermath.com."
Tell Us: What do you think of Claire and Marc’s heartbreaking love story?
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath airs on A&E Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET.
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