The first season of Leah Remini's A&E series, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, explored the controversial religion in impressive detail. Remini was a member of the church for 35 years — and she hasn't been shy about speaking out against the organization since defecting from it. And if Remini's Merchants of Fear special on Monday is any indication, the show's second season will be just as wild as the first.
As Entertainment Weekly notes, the show's first season ended with Remini and former Scientology official Mike Rinder threatening legal action against the church. (Remini has also welcomed the church to sue her.) The first season includes claims about forced abortions, sex abuse, and brainwashing, EW explains, so there are plenty of legal issues Remini and Rinder might have discussed with lawyers.
During the Merchants of Fear special, the conversation included several nuggets about the A&E show's second season. One major detail is the appearance of another former celebrity Scientologist, director Paul Haggis. Haggis says in the interview special that he "was the first person of real note to speak out" against the organization.
It looks like the series will continue to explore the possibility of taking legal action, too. "Engaging in litigation with Scientology is not something that anyone but a fool does lightly," Rinder says in season 2 footage, according to EW. The footage also includes Remini confirming that they need "to do something about it."
The second season will also dive into an unnamed woman's reported sexual assault by a Scientology church member, according to EW. "The church covered it up," Remini says of the abuse in the Merchants of Fear special. There apparently will be discussion of alleged child abuse in the second season, too. And the show will address the church's treatment of journalists who've attempted to report on Scientology.
EW notes that the Merchants of Fear special also included a May 18 statement from the Church of Scientology:
"What distinguishes your 'reality' show from others is its singular goal of seeking profit from spreading hate and bigotry. You carry on spreading sweeping falsehoods with wild abandon… It is Leah Remini and Mike Rinder who are trying to break up families with their deprogramming attempts and calls to disrespect family members’ religious beliefs. Scientology promotes strong family values," the statement reads. "Leah Remini has nothing better to do with her life and her career than to spread bigotry and hatred and to foment violent prejudice with your anti-religious 'reality' TV show."