Few shows have packed more tension into eight episodes than the first season of A&E’s Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, which last year saw the King of Queens star (and ex-Scientology member and advocate) transition from the world TV comedy to publicly examining the controversial church. The 46-year-old partnered with one of Scientology’s former senior executives, Mike Rinder, for a deep dive into the religion, using riveting expository interviews with past parishioners and high-ranking church officials to highlight allegations of coerced abortions, brainwashing, sex abuse cover-ups, and the destruction of its followers’ families.
Season 1 ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, however, as Remini and Rinder met with lawyers to explore serious options to take legal action against the multi-billion-dollar organization; as season 2’s summer premiere date looms, Remini and Rinder bridged the gap between episodes on Monday night when they co-hosted the two-hour Merchants of Fear interview special, during which they spoke with several journalists who’ve investigated the church in the past and offered an extended sneak peek at what season 2 has to offer.
Read on for key takeaways from Merchants of Fear that are sure to prime viewers for season 2.
Remini interviews Crash director Paul Haggis for season 2
During the closing moments of the special, Remini teased the appearance of a Hollywood heavyweight in an upcoming episode.
“I publicly broke with the Church of Scientology. I was declared a suppressive person, an enemy of the church, eight years ago. I guess I was the first person of real note to speak out against the church,” Haggis says in the clip, referencing his resignation from the church, which he announced in a letter after discovering what he suggests was troubling information about church operations. “They weren’t happy with that.”
He goes on to criticize the church’s actions, which he claims included sending lookouts…