Scientology is commonly known as the religion of the stars. Its reach inside Hollywood is deep, and celebrity recruitment is a huge component of the group’s marketing strategy. It sounds strange to describe the proselytizing efforts of a religion as a marketing strategy, but Scientology is unlike any other American religion. It operates as a business at best and as a cult at worst.
In Los Angeles, Scientology’s most expensive outpost is the Celebrity Center. At a 1999 fundraiser for the Center, actress Leah Remini said, “Celebrity Center is my second home, and there is not a person here that I can’t go to when I am having a problem in my life, or I’m, you know, things are not going well. There is something here for everybody.” Remini is now arguably the group’s most famous defector. In the A&E docu-series Scientology and the Aftermath, she is shedding light on the abuses of the organization that calls itself a church.