Backstreet Boys member AJ McLean recalled an odd encounter with the Church of where he believes they tried to brainwash him. 

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The singer appeared on Leah Remini and Cheryl Burke’s “Pretty Messed Up” podcast and explained that he decided to visit the Church of Scientology’s Celebrity Centre in 2002 when he lived in the area. 

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“They brought us to this media room and they sat us down and they said ‘Would you mind watching this short film?’ And we watched this short film, it was about 15 minutes long, and then I said ‘OK, well, that was interesting,’ and we went to leave and the door was locked. They wouldn’t let us out and they replayed the same film again … they played it three times until someone heard me knocking.”

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was left “freaked out” after the experience because it seemed “like a ” and it did not “seem normal to [him].”

While McLean did not join Scientology he admitted that he “got close, but I never would have.” and he was raised spiritually and still is a spiritual person but is “more about spirituality than organized religion.”

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Cohost Remini has had more of her fair share of encounters with the Church of Scientology when she opened up about leaving

“I felt judged and not right. I wasn’t part of the right crowd, and I still feel like that today,” Remini said.

“When I was accepting an Emmy and on the Emmy stage, I thought one day I will feel like I’m a part of this business…”

Remini previously recalled being chastised at Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes‘ 2006 wedding when she asked where Scientology leader David Miscavige‘s wife, Shelly Miscavige, was which was the beginning of her questioning her place in the church. 

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“She needs to move on with her life instead of pathetically exploiting her former religion, her former friends and other celebrities for money and attention to appear relevant again,” the Church of Scientology wrote about Remini.

Remini starred in the documentary Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath after she was raised in the church when her mother joined when she was nine and left in 2013. 

While the Church of Scientology did not respond to McLean’s podcast appearance they have denied similar allegations from Remini and ex-members. 

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