Deadline shilling for A&E, Leah Remini and Mike Rinder
Here is the Church of Scientology’s response to yet another slanted, false and defamatory tale appearing on DEADLINE, as it was broached by Mike Fleming. Mr. Fleming has a clear and demonstrable bias against the Scientology religion, as evidenced by his and DEADLINE’S track record in this area.
April 16, 2018
Mike Fleming Jr.
Dear Mr. Fleming:
Here we go again. On Sunday, with no fact-check and no vetting, you published an article based on a cream puff “interview” with Leah Remini and, even more unbelievably, Mike Rinder. It contained false and defamatory claims about the Church. Topping the piece was an inflammatory headline asserting “Abusive Practices of the Religion.” You accept whatever anyone says about the Church as gospel and slap it into a headline. That’s not journalism, it’s propaganda.
In fact, you never come to the Church for comment or give us an opportunity to respond to baseless and ridiculous statements Deadline publishes. On top of that, you continue to ignore all my letters and emails sent previously regarding false, bigoted claims Deadline has published, all of them sourced to the same handful of unreliable, biased sources—namely Remini, Rinder and alleged rapist Paul Haggis. This makes Deadline no better than a shallow propagandist shilling for A&E while smugly taking its ad dollars.
This latest episode shows Deadline is again assuming the role of de facto publicist for Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. Just look at the dishonesty of Deadline’s latest story.
It is especially irresponsible that you interviewed Mike Rinder ignoring the savage abuse he inflicted on his former wife during a domestic violence incident. You know about this because his former wife, Cathy Bernardini, and his daughter, Taryn Teutsch—who witnessed the vicious assault—wrote you a letter about it after your last Contenders interview. Instead, you put Rinder on a stage and pedestal like he’s in the industry when he’s really a coward who physically attacked a woman so savagely that she will never regain full use of her arm. A fact check on the internet finds statements from Ms. Bernardini’s doctor discussing the severity of damage Rinder inflicted that has resulted in her being permanently disabled. He’s a highly respected orthopedic surgeon, and unlike the fabricated claims spun by your sources, it’s all documented with photographs, EMT reports and medical records. (See www.leahreminiaftermath.com/videos/mike-rinder.html.)
You also let Rinder make the absurd statement that he “offered” the Church an opportunity to be “interviewed.” How ridiculous. Rinder is an expelled ex-member, kicked out for malfeasance which included suborning perjury in a legal case he was “supervising.” The same Rinder who admits—on video in a deposition—that he lost count of the number of times he lied to the leader of the religion before he was removed in disgrace. The only interview Rinder is qualified for is on the receiving end of ecclesiastical justice and he knows it. Anything else is a joke. This show isn’t journalism, its sleazy reality TV and you give them a platform as a way of forwarding your bigotry.
Deadline fails to disclose the show’s dismal ratings that have severely eroded since its initial debut, as well as that advertisers have fled the program. Some have told us it is due to the violence incited by the program—including felony vandalism, hate crimes like ripping a cross off one of our churches, bomb threats and even death threats at the leader of our Church. (All of that is documented here www.leahreminiaftermath.com/articles/the-hate-leah-remini-inspires.html.)
Yet Deadline acts as if this is a ratings smash and cultural phenomenon when the evidence is clear that viewers are weary of the made-up stories spun by the desperate malcontents Remini features each week whose only goal is to get attention and make a buck spreading ever-changing versions of their lies about us.
For the record, there is absolutely no policy in the Church “when you’re not allowed to go to the police and turning over to the authorities would do more damage.” What you printed was false and defamatory. Church policy and practice is to act according to the law and there are voluminous documented examples of the Church assisting law enforcement agencies. Claims by Remini and Rinder to the contrary are invented. They know that we have zero tolerance toward malfeasance and illegal activity, a policy enforced by the leader of our Church. You could have asked us to comment on this but, of course, you never reached out. I’ve already told you this previously, yet you continue to print provably false, malicious statements.
The last time I wrote to you was when you promoted Paul Haggis’ bigoted and absurd theory that the Church was behind the horrific sexual assault allegations made against him by four women. You published numerous gratuitous pieces spreading his bigotry, without so much as a statement from the Church, in which you maligned women who have stated they were victims of sexual assault. Once again you were proved wrong, with one of the women going on record in a first-person article in The Hollywood Reporter as not only debunking the Haggis claim but calling out Remini by name for trying to shame the victims.
You would never have written about any other person accused of sexual assault and invoked Judaism, Catholicism or any other religion as an excuse for their misconduct. But apparently your religious intolerance knows no bounds when it comes to Scientology.
The truth is your reporting on Scientology is bigoted. You know Remini is doing this for money—she’s admitted it on national TV—and has stated publicly to the Hollywood Reporter that she does not vet her sources.
That’s because the admittedly unvetted “sources” Remini parades on her show include a wife beater (who admitted on national television that he beat his late wife 120 times). Others include felons, a sexual pervert who admitted to spying on women and, notably, the chief shill for Backpage.com. That individual, Tony Ortega, has played a pivotal role in Remini’s show, serving not only as its chief mouthpiece but providing the blueprints for each episode. He previously served as Backpage’s chief defender, using the news pages in Village Voice to attack journalists at CNN and The New York Times who exposed Backpage. This is someone who once stated: “the people I work for were smart enough to start Backpage.com.” As your publication and numerous others reported, Backpage is an admitted criminal enterprise that laundered money as it enabled the sex trafficking of teenage girls by pimps. Remini clearly has an ugly agenda given that she sweeps Ortega’s criminal past under the rug, inviting him as a guest on her show.
If you were to vet the credibility of those who Remini claims are so-called “experts” about Scientology, there would be no controversy. The so-called “abuses” you would find are committed by the program’s sources, covered up by Remini, Rinder and A&E. We know about these individuals firsthand, because we expelled them years, if not decades, ago. We have and can provide substantial information detailing any of the above. You can see some of it here:
You need to wipe your bias aside and take an honest and thorough look at Leah Remini, Mike Rinder and the scam they have going with A&E. Rather than put Rinder on a pedestal, you need to hold him accountable for his domestic violence. Rather than gush over Leah Remini’s program, you need to look at the credibility of her sources and the avalanche of lies aired that are too numerous to count and which would never see the light of day with a credible, honest news organization. Deadline has no business expressing religious bias, which it would never do with another faith. It’s time for some objectivity, and to make it a regular practice to reach out to the Church so we have an opportunity to respond.
The real story on Scientology is contained in the 24/7 content available at scientology.org and at www.scientology.tv.