Times certainly have changed when an ex-Scientologist slamming the organization isn’t the most controversial TV moment of the night, or even of the hour. Leah Remini’s appearance last night on HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher was overshadowed by another guest, but her ongoing defiance of the church clearly impressed Maher.
Take a look at the video above.
“When the history of Scientology is finally written,” Maher said, “it will show that fate chose you to come on in Act Five. You’re like Reagan and ‘tear down that wall.'”
The actress, whose A&E series, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, documents the experiences of people who have left the organization, often at great personal cost, credited Maher’s 2008 anti-religion documentary Religulous with planting some doubt, though she didn’t realize it at the time.
“I watched it because I was a troublemaker, apparently, always, but I wasn’t even at the level of what you were revealing in your documentary,” Remini said. “So you seemed a little crazy to me.”
As for Scientology’s most famous advocate, both Maher and Remini agreed that Tom Cruise wields unrivaled influence in the organization’s success.
“He could end this single-handedly,” Maher suggested, with Remini adding, “Yes, because he is single-handedly clearing the planet, most Scientologists believe…'”
“Clearing the planet?,” Maher interjected. “He couldn’t even make Jack Reacher a hit.”