The Emmy-nominated A&E docuseries, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath continues to share heartbreaking stories from former Scientologists. During the season two premiere of the series, the story of two women who were raised as Scientologists and faced sexual abuse was brought to the attention of people across the country.
The episode focused on former members and childhood friends Saina Kamula and Mirriam Francis. The two were “born” into the church and left more than 25 years later. Kamula left in 2013 and Francis in 2010.
The duo shared their experiences of sexual abuse when they were children that lasted for years. During the episode Francis talked about how her father, who was a part of the church’s Sea Org abused her for years.
As a member of the Church of Scientology’s Sea Org, Francis’ father was a part of a “religious order” that “is composed of the singularly most dedicated Scientologists,” according to the church’s website.
Kamula had also explained that her mother was a member of this same faction of the Church, and was also sexually abused by an older, highly-ranked member of the church. When Kamula tried to talk to a teacher about the abuse, instead of being helped, she was disciplined for being “counter intention” or going against the interests of the church.
Eventually the two managed to leave the Church after being transferred to a Sea Org facility in Southern California. Francis said that her father eventually confessed his crimes to the church was and was dismissed from the Sea Org, but she was forced to sign a waiver stating that she would not sue her father or the church for sexual abuse.
On the other hand, Kamula said that her abuser was still “an active and respected member of the church.”
The episode’s main focus was to not only tell the horrific experiences these women had to endure, but also how the Church of Scientology manages to cover up these allegations. As with previous installments of the series, Remini manages to present the victims’ stories as accurately as possible with little sensationalism.
Remini herself was also a member of the church for 25 years before cutting ties. As a part of her crusade to expose the corruption within the church and religion, Remini will continue to share the stories of former members of the church as the season progresses.