Leah Remini is on a mission to let her truth be told.
The 46-year-old actress is the host of the new A&E eight-episode docuseries entitled Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. In each episode, Remini — who announced her exit from the controversial New Age religion in the summer of 2013 — speaks with other former members in order to learn about the experiences that ultimately led to their departure.
“Fight for your family,” she states in the show’s preview, which is referred to as its mission statement. “Fight for your daughters, your sons. Let’s get to the abuses, let’s get to the abortions. Wake up!”
In a press release from the network, The King of Queens alum admits that she was shocked to learn about the “heartbreak” and “harassment” her fellow defectors shared during the filming of this series.
“For too long, this multibillion-dollar organization bullied victims and journalists to prevent the truth from being told,” she says. “It is my hope that we shed light on information that makes the world aware on what is really going on and encourages others to speak up so the abuses can be ended forever.”
Last November, the Brooklyn native released her memoir, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, which details the 30-plus years she and her family devoted to the church, as well as her decision to seek therapy after severing ties from the religion. And luckily for Remini, hosting this new series can prove beneficial in terms of her treatment.
“This will help her recovery process — 100 percent!” Stacy Kaiser, a licensed psychotherapist and author of How to Be a Grown Up: The Ten Secret Skills Everyone Needs to Know, tells Yahoo Beauty.
Universally speaking, she states that anyone who has dealt with a traumatic experience benefits from talking about and sharing the story.
“Meeting with other people and helping other people who have been through what you have been through — that level of bonding and support makes a person feel less alone,” continues Kaiser. “In this particular situation, it helps someone understand why they may have been brought into a religion or a group like this one.”
She adds that releasing feelings can also help Remini — as well as the other adults featured in this series — gain more emotional control.
“When a person gets wrapped up in a religion like Scientology, they seem to hand over the control of their emotions and their behaviors to that religion’s entities,” explains Kaiser. “Therefore, talking about your emotions is part of earning it back and feeling empowered again over your own life.”
And then there are the mental health perks that come from exposing confidential information. “Secrets are toxic, so being able to share those secrets removes the toxicity from your life and makes a person feel free again.”
Lastly, Remini may find solace commiserating with former members for the mere fact that she no longer needs to fear others “disconnecting” from her.
(According to Remini and other ex-Scientologists, the religious organization enforces a disconnection policy, where followers must cut off ties and communication with someone who is declared a “suppressive person” by the church. While the Church of Scientology denies this claim, it states on its website that if a member cannot “handle” someone who is “antagonistic” regarding the “data” about Scientology, “as a last resort … one ‘disconnects’ from or stops communicating with the person.”)
“This process is allowing her to connect with whoever she wants to,” states Kaiser. “Instead of disconnecting, she is reconnecting. And this freedom of choice can help her gain her power back — because going against the practices that hurt her will make her feel stronger.”
The Church of Scientology has released an official statement about Remini.
“A program about our religion and hosted by Ms. Remini is doomed to be a cheap reality TV show by a has-been actress now a decade removed from the peak of her career,” the actress reads in a clip posted on People.com. “Ms. Remini, this bitter ex-Scientologist, she needs to move on with her life instead of pathetically exploiting her former religion, her former friends, and other celebrities for money.”
Her response: “When you stop f***ing with people’s lives and families, I’ll stop too. How does it feel?”
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath premieres on Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 10 p.m. EST/PST on A&E.