In the summer of 2013, the world was abuzz with news that "King of Queens" actress Leah Remini was leaving the Church of Scientology. The more the public wanted to know about the mysterious, celebrity-patronized religion, the further Remini wanted to distance herself from the church, of which she was a member of for over 30 years.
In a candid interview with Buzzfeed, Remini, 43, reveals what growing up a Scientologist was like -- her mother joined the church before Remini's 10th birthday -- and what eventually drove her away.
"We were working from morning until night with barely any schooling," Remini said of her early days at the church. "There was no saying no. There was no being tired. There was no, ‘I’m a little girl who just lost her father and everything I've ever known.’ There was only, ‘Get it done.’"
"If the church needed a ballroom wall knocked down, you made it happen because there were heavy repercussions if you didn't. And although that was horrendous for a child to deal with, at the same time, it gave me my work ethic."
The "Dancing with the Stars" contestant admits that, although many factors contributed to her decision to exit the church, her nine-year-old daughter, Sofia, was the last straw.
"She was getting to the age where the acclimation into the church would have to start," Remini said, explaining that the process begins with auditing -- an intense questioning practice in which the children have to answer questions like "Have you ever pretended to be ill?" and "Have you ever been a coward?"
"In my house, it’s family first," Remini continued, "but I was spending most of my time at the church. So, I was saying ‘family first,’ but I wasn't showing that. I didn’t like the message that sent my daughter."
It's worth noting that when Katie Holmes left Tom Cruise, a known Scientologist and the father of her daughter, Suri, now 7, rumors swirled that she tried to protect her daughter from entering the church, as well.
For more with Remini, the friends she lost and how her best friend, Jennifer Lopez, helped her through, head over to Buzzfeed.
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