While Miscavige is busy telling scientologists to watch his 1993 IRS Event (see earlier post today When the Going Gets Tough…) in order to combat the new tidal wave of negative publicity flooding his dinghy, he is also rolling out a new external PR line.
The cry from scientology has been that The Aftermath is just a means for Leah Remini to “make money” (they cleverly called it “Leah Remini; After Cash”) — but that line is kind of dead in the water as Leah is now filming Kevin Can Wait. Even Miscavige knows that a network sitcom is a far more lucrative gig than any form of “reality TV.” So the money line went in the shitter.
So, he has trotted out a new attack.
Dealing himself the bigly victim card (how strange, when scientology frowns on victims so heavily) he is now claiming to be on the receiving end of “more than 500 incidents of vandalism, harassment and threats of violence…”
This is the statement from spokesperson who never speaks, Karin Pouw (these days merely the nom de plume of Dear Leader Miscavige) that appeared in a story in the Hollywood Reporter this afternoon.
The church has a different take on Remini and her A&E series, citing a spike in anti-Scientology hate crimes, bomb threats and death threats since Aftermath began airing. That escalation has required “drastic increases in security in many of our churches,” says Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw, who adds that since the show first aired, “there have been more than 500 incidents of vandalism, harassment and threats of violence against the church, its parishioners, staff and leadership.” Pouw cites several recent incidents, including “a woman who gushed about Leah Remini on social media [then] drove her car through the front doors and lobby of our church in Austin, Texas, coming to rest just short of a nursery where earlier children [had been] playing,” and a man who “served five months in jail and is now on parole for a credible assassination threat against the leader of the church, which he said was inspired by the ‘King of Queens lady.’ “
Adds Pouw: “Leah Remini is just an actress whose current role is starring in a scam of a show whose singular goal is to incite religious hate and violence for ratings, money and Emmy nominations.”
Oh, that is rich. This is the organization that is headed by the “Thumping Pope” (as John Sweeney so aptly dubbed him) who has physically assaulted more people than Mike Tyson. The same organization that has POLICY that critics and enemies should be “destroyed” and “ruined utterly”. POLICY that scientologists are commanded to carry out. The organization that framed people from crimes they didn’t commit in order to get them put in prison.
But, things are changing in the press. Shortly after this story appeared, another article followed in Jezebel. Miscavige’s claims of victimhood are pretty efficiently dismantled:
It should be noted that both of the cited crimes occurred before Aftermathbegan airing—Andre Barkanov started making his threats in July 2015, and Erin McMurtry drove her car into her lobby of the Scientology building in December of 2015. However, Remini announced she left the church in 2013, and her memoir Troublemaker, in which she details her life in and after Scientology, was released November 2015. The only sources I could find positing Remini’s potential influence on Barkanov are on Scientologist-run sites, while McMurtry did indeed write about Remini a few times on her Facebook page. Still, if the church wants to argue that Remini’s show is doing damage to its members, they should probably update their examples. They apparently have 500 to choose from.
The tide is turning in the media. Scientology’s bs is being sniffed the minute it drops.
But despite this, scientology will keep pushing this line.
So, I am putting this response out here early in the piece so it can be referred back to every time they repeat their absurd claim.
And by the way: if you want to stop people being upset with you, STOP THE ABUSE. Don’t try to blame the messenger.