Episode 21: Listener Questions Part 3

December 22 Episode 21: Listener Questions Part 3

Leah and Mike answer a wide variety of questions from listeners.

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View Documents (10)
Miscavige "Planetary Bullbait" briefing

Scientology leader offers his views on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic

Scientology Deaths and Suicides

An earlier blog post concerning scientology beliefs about illness and disease

Scientology Healing

Another blog post about scientology beliefs on healing

Sea Org members breaking COVID protocols
Scientology PR efforts on pandemic
Scientology Covid bailout money
Dianetics cures illnesses
The 7 year old girl
The Lynne Patton story

Lynne Patton, who worked in the White House, claimed Donald Trump was going to rescind scientology’s tax exempt status

Former Florida AG Pam Bondi - scientology shill


  • Jen Kurowsky says:

    Just listened to this week’s episode, thank you for answering listener questions and for considering adding them to future episodes. Is there a dedicated page to submit questions? Would love to contribute. Thanks for your dedication to this!

    • Mike Rinder says:

      You can submit your questions here

      • Laci Sholl says:

        Hi! I am a big fan of the show and the podcast. I look forward to your new podcast every week. I remember an episode of The Aftermath when you and Leah discussed the life of L. Ron Hubbard. In the episode, it was proven on paper that Hubbard lied about pretty much his entire life. My question is, how do current members of Scientology justify the lies? Do they really believe Hubbard when there’s actual proof he was bullsh*tting everyone? I just cant wrap my head around that. Thank you. Much love

      • Julian says:

        I was surprised that Scientology never evolved expanded or grew. Then after watching your shows I found out that LRH not only created his own stuff he actually stole from other modalities of the time to gain validity. Do you think that if Dave wasn’t able to take over that Scientology would have evolved by the people who were closer to LRH or was it guaranteed to spin it’s wheels because of LRH’s policy?

      • LL says:

        Hi Leah and Mike! I have a question. I lived in Los Angeles for over 20 years and I had a few brushes with Scientology. One of those situations was that, about 17 years ago, I briefly dated a guy who was a Scientologist. I did not know this when we met, and I actually made a few minor jokes about Scientology, since our first date was across the street from the Celebrity Center. Anyway… he seemed to like me and I liked him but he was weirdly distant and seemed sketchy about his background, explaining his past in vague ways that didn’t really make sense, but I liked him so I figured he had just had an interesting life. I know he had lived in Clearwater, Florida, for awhile. He dropped some Scientology lingo here and there, which in retrospect I recognize, but again, at the time, I thought he had some weird quirks. Like for example, he was very against psychiatric drugs and talked about a charity he worked with on that. Anyway, after a month or two of seeing each other, he just kind of stopped talking to me one day and I was honestly really hurt, because I liked him. Now that I’m listening to your podcast, I’m wondering if he broke up with me b/c I wasn’t a Scientologist and wasn’t open to becoming one? Is that a thing that happens? Anyway, it was a bummer at the time but your podcast is making me see that it probably wasn’t me. PS not including my real email b/c I worked in the entertainment industry for 18 years and my husband still does and I learned a long time ago not to openly talk shit about Scientology… I’m glad you guys are sticking your necks out because a lot of people in Hollywood (including me to be honest) are scared of Scientology.

      • Jill says:

        Really love your podcast!
        Thank you Mike & Leah for fighting the good fight & bringing awareness to the public about this cult.

        Are there specific numbers available on Scientology current members (including sea org) and new recruits?
        I’m surmising the Scientology population has taken a big hit lately thanks to y’all.

      • Laura says:

        My question is whether the contributions made by celebrities and other big donors are considered tax deductible for the donor? Thank you. Love the podcast

      • Cindy J Carey says:

        You have mentioned several times that Scientology sends you a bill for services after you leave. Is this a legit charge? Do you have to pay it? Is payment enforceable? Thank you both for all you do.

        • Mike Rinder says:

          We have answered this one on our Q & A episodes. The bill is not legally enforceable. They hold the bill over your head in order to get back into “good standing” and be able to communicate with scientologist family and friends and continue “up the Bridge to Total Freedom.”

      • JP Kino says:

        SUBMISSION FOR LISTENER Q&A (trim or skip at will):

        During the 2nd week of BATTLEFIELD EARTH’s theatrical run, my friend & I snuck into a late night screening. (We were bad movie aficionados who didn’t want to financially endorse the COS through ticket sales.)

        We arrived in the theater’s tiniest auditorium, practically empty except for a middle-aged couple seated comfortably with their concession snacks & beverages.

        Sometime between the final preview & the film’s opening credits, after a theater employee popped in and out (presumably to count seats), this couple SUDDENLY grabbed their popcorn/soda and exited the auditorium! They could’ve changed movies. They could’ve vacated the premises. But only in retrospect did this strange memory coalesce into THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:

        Is it likely that these were Scientology parishioners who bought tickets and stayed long enough to be counted, in an effort to boost ticket sales? I know it was common practice for members to buy multiple copies of the original novel to artificially inflate the sales numbers and get LRH’s book on the bestseller charts. Were they doing a similar – albeit much less successful – tactic with ticket sales?


      • Angie says:

        You guy spoke about Autistic kids in a past episode and how they treated them. Is this the same for all special needs? I have a daughter with Down Syndrome and she is truly a blessing for us. How are people with all disabilities look upon, treated…. with in scientology?

      • Ann M Moyle says:

        Love you and Leah, so glad the story of Aftermath continues on the podcast. My question:

        Scientologists seem generally to be very articulate and have a rich vocabulary. Leah often speaks about the pitiful education Scientology Sea Org children receive, yet all the ex-Scientologists who have been on the Aftermath and Fair Game are exceptionally well spoken and express their ideas with clarity. Do you agree and what is it about Scientology that fosters these powers of expression?

      • Vito M says:

        If Scientology (sometimes) forces abortions, how do they know if the baby they’re forcing to abort is not L.Ron Hubbard trying to return?

      • Judy says:

        Here is my question which I ask with heavy sarcasm: If Scientology “uses scientific approaches to help people self actualize their full potential”, why are they not embarrassed to have produced such “terrible” people like Mike Rinder, Leah Remini, and all the people that you have highlighted on “The Aftermath”. Afterall, these people have given most of their life to Scientology and yet according to the “church” they are wife abusers, child sex trafficers, and all around terrible people. You would think Scientology would have produced better people – lol! Just a funny observation.

      • Asma Fayaz says:

        My name is Asma Fayaz. When I first heard of scientology I thought it sounded weird and something out of an sci fi book. My family has a long history with mental health issues so when I saw scientology’s stance on psychiatry I thought hopefully they will just go away. I watched the aftermath and I was heart-broken to learn of the abuses and the fair game treatment. Is there a way to get the police to check on someone who is not a relative? Do you know the best way to get someone out of any cult?

      • Kat says:

        What would happen if I showed up at a Scientology center and said that I was the next life of someone in the Sea Org who died and was showing up to report back for duty? Do they have any process to try and verify this or would they not care?

  • Beth Anne says:

    Why isn’t John Travolta as ‘crazy’ as Tom Cruise? Or maybe not talked about as much?
    Thank you-love this podcast

    • Ammo Alamo says:

      story – Yesterday my cat walked across the keyboard of my laptop while I was napping. I woke up with the screen displaying OT VIII – the Wikileaks website compilation version. Anyone wanting to see how strange the cult really is should go to Wikileaks and read OT VIII. It will amaze you.

  • Sascha Simmons says:

    Hopefully, this question..statement will get read and discussed.
    Am I the only person who prays and wishes Marty Rathbun is undercover and will secretly bring down Scientology from within?
    I have seen Aftermath, The Vow, Seduced, and listen weekly..I am obsessed with cults and the mind fuckery that happens with people. I have been this way since I was a kid and saw a commercial for Dyanitics and my mom said Oh that’s a crazy cult. WHAT?? A What?? Lol!!
    Thank you both for all you do!! Love you both!!
    PS. I’m going to Clearwater for Christmas…just to get a picture of the Scientology building!!

  • Tammi Z says:

    I have a question. You say something like scientologist are not aloud to watch TV, go on the internet, etc… so who in the cult is listening and reading on what you SPs? I just found it funny that their are people in the cult go looking for this stuff and nothing happens to them 🙂 keep up the great work and karma will get them.

  • Kathy Mildenhall says:

    Hi, finding your podcast very interesting, despite never having dipped my toes in this cult. A few episodes ago you had someone from Australia mention how it is almost impossible to recruit anymore because of the Murdoch Press’s attacks. I would have agreed – the general perception of them is pretty low. However, in the past fortnight I have had two unsolicited flyers from them. One was in a letterbox advertising their TV station and the other was put under my windscreen at a popular beach in Sydney – many suburbs away from my home and just a black and white leaflet mentioning Dianetics.
    Curious that they’re starting to promote themselves again.

  • Jen says:

    Long ago I was researching Scientology and wanted to interact with Scientologists, so I took a few courses. I’ve been able to deconstruct most of what they do via their policies, but I never understood why they swear so much and do so gleefully? It seemed like they were intentionally slipping it in to push my buttons and manipulate me. Is it a tone scale thing?

  • Lorenzo says:

    Hey Mike
    Love the podcast and the work you’re doing
    One question, because I’m Italian … did you ever meet Maria Pia Gardini, if yes can you talk a little about her. She’s unfortunately gone but she did help many people to get out.

    all the best.

  • Karen says:

    Love the podcast! I have a question:
    I hear on your show how the Sea Org members work non-stop. What exactly are they busy doing all that time?
    Thank you!

  • Johnna Douthit says:

    I’m currently listening to your Q&A podcast where you’re talking about doctors etc for members. Because Kelly Preston was sick, is that looked at as her having “sinned” against Scientology? The hospital John travolta referred to, is that a Scientology based hospital?

  • Joan Looper says:

    I appreciated your response as to why the Nexium group was successfully prosecuted and believe your answer was spot on. I wanted to expand a bit on this topic. I believe the lynchpin in the Nexium case began with Catherine Oxenberg making contact with the US Attorney’s office in Albany, New York coupled with the package the team put together with the federal violations and the evidence they had for each, basically handing the lawyers a ready made case. They did all this before Catherine’s daughter left the cult and the discovery that she had the incriminating audio. I believe this approach would have the best chance of success to prosecute Scientology. Apologies if you have already tried this approach and it failed. Loved the TV show and love the podcast.

  • Liz Schufman says:

    Hi Mike & Leah! I love the show and the podcast, you are both incredible human beings, and I am in awe of what you are doing. Keep up the great work! My question is: have you guys had any communication with Jenna Miscavige Hill? I’m currently reading her book, and I don’t remember seeing her on the aftermath and haven’t heard her mentioned on the podcast, so I was just wondering if either of you have connected with her. Thanks-much love and light, Liz

  • Jen says:


    1. Has anyone ever tried to send someone into Scientology undercover to retrieve information to out the organisation? I realise that would be difficult since there are eyes everywhere. Could this one day be an option? Either as a public parishioner or a Sea Org member?

  • Britany B. says:

    I was curious at your thoughts on the issues surrounding Danny Masterson and the rape allegations against him from previous members of COS. I saw many statements from the church on his behalf that they have affidavits that this never happened. I was wondering your thoughts and if this type of abuse (rape) is common practice in the church? Was he protected more because of celebrity status?

  • TR says:

    Always informative and entertaining. Mike & Leah, please explain to me why musicians who were successful PRIOR to joining Scientology are drawn to it.

  • Josh says:

    I’ve watched every episode of the Aftermath and have listened to every podcast episode as well. But I have one question that I’m surprised hasn’t been address yet:

    What the heck happened with Marty Rathbun???

    You guys talk about him a lot, but I’ve never heard you discuss on the show what caused him to go back to Scientology? I did a quick search to try to find out, but I’d love to hear Mike and Leah’s opinion on this. I can’t fathom how someone could leave the “church” and become aware and critical of all the abuses, and then go back to it later. For almost everyone else, once they are out, there’s no going back. Please shed some light on this. Thank you for everything you guys do!

  • Stig says:

    Dear Leah and Mike,
    first I would like to pay you huge respects for doing this and stepping up for all the people that now see that they can actually speak out and must not be threatened by a cult. Thank you and know this: You both have support all over the world!

    My question would be:
    If what you and others do and say in the media, especially about the lunatic at the helm of this cult, is being read by and responded to by followers of the cult, how are they able to read these kind of things, see the evidence, sometimes witness the madness themselves and not at some point all try to make a break? How is it possible for them not to be “corrupted” by what they have to read? Are they supervised when browsing the internet?

    Another note: How come your A&E documentary series is not available on Netflix in Europe? I’m sure it would raise media awareness and put more pressure the cult.

    A happy and safe New Year to all!

  • Kristina says:

    Thank you for all you do! I would like to submit a question: Does Scientology have any beliefs or teachings about animals? Any specific things about having pets or using animal products?

  • Amanda says:

    I was recently listening to a podcast on The Process Church and found out that it was a cult created by former members of Scientology. I was wondering if it is a concern that if Scientology was taken down there will be another cult that grows from the downfall. Also, do you think that people who leave Scientology are more apt to end up in another cult. Thank you for your continued fight!

  • Sigrid Weingold says:

    Love the podcast. My question is, ” How can there be so much ” work” for all the Sea Org members to do day after day for YEARS?

  • Susan says:

    Were Jet Travolta’s and Kelly Preston’s deaths in any way a result of Scientology beliefs and not seeking medical treatment?

    Love the podcast!

  • Traci Tolbert says:

    Hi Mike and Leah! I love your podcast and the work you’re doing. I’ve never been a scientologist, but I’ve been following this mess since I first read about Lisa McPherson.

    My question for you is: Can you file a class action lawsuit on behalf of former scientologists against the IRS for aiding the “church” in defrauding members by directly going against the original SCOTUS ruling labeling them a business? If you sue the IRS based on a Supreme Court ruling, wouldn’t that immediately bring attention from the Supreme Court? Who on earth would try to fair game SCOTUS? Just a thought.

    Also, I’m in Denver and would LOVE to help out any way! Please let me know how I can volunteer.

    Happy New Year & Blessed Be!

  • Tony says:

    Thanks for this awesome Podcast Mike and Leah.

    I not a scientologist and never have been but have followed the cult very closely since John Sweeney’s first documentary. I have become something of a Scientology-nerd: reading the texts, following all the commentary etc.

    Fortuitously, my office is right next door to the London Org on Queen Victoria Street in London, UK. I have watched that place from a distance for years. Few people go in and yet it seems pretty huge and lavish. I’ve never braved entering the building!

    My question is this: given the incredible abuses in the church and the awful destructive influence on members and their families, what benefit does membership bring to an individual that allows them to reconcile the enormous cost and impact on their lives? (both financial and non-financial)

    I do hope you keep going with the podcasts and that there is some breakthrough soon.

  • Ron says:

    Question for Mike: If David Miscavige had not taken the reins after the death of LRH — if one of your friends had become CEO — would you still be in Scientology today? Would you still be running the OSA if you could? Is your problem with Scientology or with David Miscavige specifically?

  • Jacquie says:

    I was going to ask the question about religion, given that Nicole and Katie both returned to the RC church (devil’s advocate – that indoctrination got there first? 😉) but someone beat me to it.

    Another question I would like to ask is whether Scientologists know anything about and, if so, what they think of L Ron’s involvement in Aleister Crowley’s OTO and his working of the Babalon ritual with Jack Parsons? It’s a rather fascinating part of his pre-Scientology life, especially given that Crowley relished his reputation as the wickedest man in the world and The Great Beast 666.

  • Jessica Hylton says:

    This is one of my favorite podcasts. It is my go to podcast when I see a new episode is out. I hope you, Leah and Mike, have enjoyed your Christmas and New Years. I can’t wait for another episode to drop

  • Arlene says:

    I would love you to discuss sometime the actual work Sea Org members do. You often talk about their long hours and little sleep. But I am confused about what they are doing seeing as Scientology doesn’t really run charities or businesses in all their empty properties.

  • Dorde Lolic says:

    Hi Mike! Hi Leah!
    First of all, I wanna thank you for a great podcast, as well for 3 seasons of an incredible powerful tv-show. And I wanna congratulate you on your well deserved Emmy (which I called on Twitter, I just knew you would win). Anyhow, I have a question for you guys, I hope you will answer it in a future episode of listeners questions. Here it goes:
    Once I saw some YouTube video with Mike where he explains that he said to John Travolta not to accept the role of Vincent Vega, because “he would play a downstat,a junkie, nothing a good scientologist should identify with”. And now I’m thinking of an episode of “King of Queens”, where the whole family ends in psycho-therapy. Therapist was played by William Hurt, if I’m right. Knowing your former “church” standing on everything psychology, have they tried to make Leah to change the script? I know it’s a stupid question, but I’m curious. Thanks in advance, guys, I love you and everything you do to help others. Love & respect from Copenhagen

  • Jane says:

    OH. MY. GOD. LEAH!

    This has to be the best start to an episode ever. 😀

    “Here’s my measurement of success to our producers: are we doing better than Kirtie Alley?…Then we’re doin’ just fuckin’ fine Scientology.”

    NO YOU F*&^%$G DIDN’T!! LMAO!

  • Carrie says:

    I have nothing but positive things to say about this podcast, blog, social media… etc. y’all are AMAZING and doing good work! Thank you for devoting yourselves to this cause. 💜💜

  • Kristy says:

    Hi, posting a question for a future Q&A episode. Leah: When did you last have a face-to-face conversation with David Miscavige, and what was discussed?

  • Erin says:

    This episode made me wonder several things:

    1) If Scientology does not support medicine and believes that if a person gets sick, it’s somehow related to “crimes” they’ve committed, what does that say about the late Kelly Person? Would she have (or, to make it less personal, someone in her position) been seeking treatment for cancer? Would her status in the cult make it okay for her to seek treatment? If Tom Cruise got sick, would he be allowed/encouraged to see a real doctor?

    2) Did Leah have a “silent birth?” I remember she and Angelo did a wedding reality series and a subsequent one for when they had Sophia. Did Scientology have to approve all of that? What was their stance?

  • Miranda says:

    I love these question shows. While listening to this one, I came up with a question I had not heard anything about. I am in the death industry and I’m curious to know if there are any “beliefs” in Scientology for the actual body after it is shed? Do we know where LRH’s body is? I know he is late coming back but curious to know if we know what happened to him when he died.

  • Emily says:

    Is the freeloader bill something that people HAVE to payback, as in, they can have their credit affected? Or is it something Scientology pushes in order to remain in good standing but they can’t legally enforce?

  • Celeste Cline says:

    I have been a fan of the show since the beginning. Was excited to see it on netflix and finished it up on there. Then found the podcast!! So happy it’s still continuing.

    Question regarding actors… If Scientology is homophobic or teach that it’s wrong… how do people like Laura Prepon justify playing a lesbian on Orange is the New Black? It’s ok because she’s “Playing a part”? So many hypocritcal things in Scientology.

    We have a Church of Scientology here in Buffalo and I’ve walked by/driven by many times. In the show when Leah mentioned the empty buildings to keep up enough properties for tax exemption I began to take more notice and there is never anyone in there. Just desks etc. An ex said he was approached once outside but I’ve never seen anyone. I truly wonder if there are/how many Scientologists there may be in this area.

  • Nate Gwinn says:

    Hey Leah and Mike, a couple of times you guys have brought up South Park and the “Trapped in the Closet” episode that ultimately led to Issac Hayes leaving the show. I saw an interview a couple years ago with Hayes’ son, Parker, and Stone where he states that Scientology quit the show for him and that Hayes didn’t want to quit but that he was partially incapacitated due to a stroke. I wanted to ask how they could have done this to him and by what means? That is would his professional representation put up a fight or would they capitulate ? Thanks love the podcast!

  • Nancy says:

    Scientologists seem to work many, many hours a week. What exactly do they do? What work? They dedicate their life and the lives of their Ioved ones for what?
    I don’t understand the “work” that they do all day and night.

  • Jen K says:

    Love the podcast ! As an ICU nurse I am obsessed with this anti medical approach to life . Travolta thanks MD Anderson Hospital in addressing Kellys Death. MD Anderson is a world renowned cancer hospital , can we assume they broke the rules and sought treatment for Kellys cancer ? He doesn’t follow Scientology on IG nor do they follow him.

  • Tess says:

    I’m curious how LRH lead Scientology compared to David Miscaviage? Was he as abusive to SeaOrg members or lived as privileged lifestyle.
    Also what do you think LRH would think about how David Miscaviage has taken over his organization if he came back?
    Love the show and how much help you’ve given these survivors

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