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When Leah Remini left the Church of Scientology in June 2013, many wondered why the actress had renounced the religion after more than 30 years of practice. Now we know that one of the driving forces behind her departure was her 9-year-old daughter, Sofia.
"She was getting to the age where the acclimation into the Church would have to start,” "The Exes" star, 43, told BuzzFeed of the process, which starts with auditing, a procedure that begins with a series of probing questions.
Remini began to reflect on her own childhood, which saw her uprooted from her middle-class life in Brooklyn to a "roach-infested motel with six other girls off a freeway in Clearwater, [Florida]," as her mother, Vicki, became involved with Scientology. "I grew up resenting my mother because she was never home," Remini explained. "My mom thought she was doing something good; she thought she was helping the planet. That's what the Church tells you."
The former "King of Queens" star said she wasn't even practicing her personal beliefs. "I was saying 'family first,' but I wasn't showing that. I didn't like the message that sent my daughter."
Remini left the Church after she expressed her concerns to her friends and her pleas for change fell on deaf ears. "We had a chance to make a change from within, but they didn't want to," Remini said. "That showed me they didn't actually care, which went against everything I thought we stood for. They only cared that their lives would be disrupted if they stood with me. They didn't care about doing the right thing. That showed me everything the Church taught me was a lie."
This isn't the first time Remini has slammed the controversial church for their "lies" and methodologies. In July 2013, one month after cutting ties, she told People, "I believe that people should be able to question things. I believe that people should value family, and value friendships, and hold those things sacrosanct. That for me, that's what I'm about. It wouldn't matter what it was, simply because no one is going to tell me how I need to think, no one is going to tell me who I can, and cannot, talk to."
Her harsh words didn't stop there, either. In July 2013, Remini filed a missing person report in search of Shelly (Michele) Miscavige, the wife of Scientology leader David Miscavige. The case was later dropped, as lawyers for Miscavige said she was "not missing" but was working for the Church.
During her stint on "Dancing With the Stars" in October, Remini said the Church was looking for her to fail on the show so they could use her as an example of what happens when you leave.
Her latest barrage of words against Scientology will surely anger many of her former friends, like Kirstie Alley, who turned against her, calling her a "bigot" and "repulsive," once she left the religion.
And naturally, the Church of Scientology also had something to say about Remini's remarks.
"It comes as no surprise that someone as self-absorbed as Leah Remini with an insatiable craving for attention would exploit her former faith as a publicity stunt by rewriting her history with it, including omitting that she was participating in a program to remain a Scientologist by her own choice, as she was on the verge of being expelled for her ethical lapses," a rep for the Church told Us Weekly.