From run-ins with members to court cases against nationsWhile Scientology.org
says being labeled an SP is rare, a good way to achieve that status is to speak out against the church after leaving.
Marc Headley, who wrote a book about his experiences and spoke to 9NEWS’ Jeremy Jojola, was labeled a Suppressive Person. Scientology created a detailed website to discredit him.
Leah Remini, best known for her starring role as Carrie Heffernan on the sitcom King of Queens, also has a website dedicated to her created by the church.
Local members of the Church of Scientology hold a demonstration in front of the German Embassy to protest the German government's decision to place German Churches of Scientology under state surveillance. (Photo CHRIS KLEPONIS/AFP/Getty Images)
She helped create and hosts a reality show called Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. The show focuses on allegations of abuse and harassment members experienced while in the church and after leaving it.
A group inside Scientology called “Scientologists Taking Against Against Discrimination” has been trying to get advertisers to pull out of Leah Remini's show on A&E. The church says her show is full of “slanderous fabrications.”
Remini is the biggest name to speak out against the church.
Hollywood US star Tom Cruise inaugurates 18 September 2004 in Madrid a new centre for the controversial Church of Scientology, of which he is a member. (Photo PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/GettyImages)
Other celebrities like John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Laura Prepon and Tom Cruise are still a part of the church.
In 2015, HBO released Going Clear, a documentary film by former church member Alex Gibney. It sums up the history of the church and documents allegations of abuse and harassment against members of the church.
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 02: (L-R) Mike Rinder, Lawrence Wright, Logan Hill, Paul Haggis and Alex Gibney attend TimesTalks Presents An Evening With "Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief." (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)
In turn, Scientologists have criticized film’s content, going so far as to criticize movie critics who liked the film. Church members also took out full-page ads in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times denouncing it and comparing it other journalistic mistakes.
The church has also had run-ins with several foreign governments.
In 2012, France officially labeled Scientology a fraud and not a church, according to Public Radio International.
While it is formally recognized as a religion in the U.S. since 1993, it’s been only very recently that other countries have given it that distinction.
It wasn’t classified as a religion in Switzerland until 2000, 2004 in Brazil and 2013 in the U.K.
Berlin, GERMANY: A demonstrator holds a poster reading &quot;Brainwash? No, Thanks!&quot; in front of the new center of the US-based Church of Scientology in Berlin on the day of its official inauguration. (Photo CLEMENS BILAN/AFP/Getty Images)
It’s also had its status challenged in Belgium back in 2016 when state prosecutors tried unsuccessfully to label Scientology as a criminal organization. The case was thrown out in court, according to Flanders Today.
In Germany, Scientology’s status is murkier. While the religion has been in the country since 1970, members face restrictions, according to Tablet.
In 2007, a poll showed that 74 percent of German citizens would like the religion banned in the country, Reuters reports.
The U.S. has formally criticized the treatment of Scientologists in Germany, the New York Times reported.
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