Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and ScientologyTroublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini, Rebecca Paley
Published by Ballantine Books on November 3rd 2015
Pages: 228

The outspoken actress, talk show host, and reality television star offers up a no-holds-barred memoir, including an eye-opening insider account of her tumultuous and heart-wrenching thirty-year-plus association with the Church of Scientology.
Leah Remini has never been the type to hold her tongue. That willingness to speak her mind, stand her ground, and rattle the occasional cage has enabled this tough-talking girl from Brooklyn to forge an enduring and successful career in Hollywood. But being a troublemaker has come at a cost.
That was never more evident than in 2013, when Remini loudly and publicly broke with the Church of Scientology. Now, in this frank, funny, poignant memoir, the former King of Queens star opens up about that experience for the first time, revealing the in-depth details of her painful split with the church and its controversial practices.
Indoctrinated into the church as a child while living with her mother and sister in New York, Remini eventually moved to Los Angeles, where her dreams of becoming an actress and advancing Scientology’s causes grew increasingly intertwined. As an adult, she found the success she’d worked so hard for, and with it a prominent place in the hierarchy of celebrity Scientologists alongside people such as Tom Cruise, Scientology’s most high-profile adherent. Remini spent time directly with Cruise and was included among the guests at his 2006 wedding to Katie Holmes.
But when she began to raise questions about some of the church’s actions, she found herself a target. In the end, she was declared by the church to be a threat to their organization and therefore a “Suppressive Person,” and as a result, all of her fellow parishioners—including members of her own family—were told to disconnect from her. Forever.
Bold, brash, and bravely confessional, Troublemaker chronicles Leah Remini’s remarkable journey toward emotional and spiritual freedom, both for herself and for her family. This is a memoir designed to reveal the hard-won truths of a life lived honestly—from an author unafraid of the consequences.

I never watched King of Queens and I never thought much about Leah Remini one way or another. Then I binged watched 5 episodes of the Scientology and the Aftermath‎ mini-series on A&E. Every time there was a commercial break I would just stare at my mother (who was watching it with me), and say, “Oh. My God.” I didn’t know much about Scientology. I knew that some people had said it was cult-like and bad things happened. But mostly I just thought it was a weird religion where those in it thought that people were brought to earth by aliens. I often thought of it like the cult in the show Parks and Recreation, “The Reasonabilists.” Zorp the Surveyor is the 28-foot-tall lizard-god savior of the cult known as the Reasonabilists that took over Pawnee, Indiana in the 1970’s. Zorp was predicted to come down to Earth and end all human existence by melting off everyone’s faces with his “volcano mouth”. And now I wonder if they got their idea from Scientology.

After watching the entire A&E mini-series I have come to the conclusion that Scientology is a cult and not a religion. And I wanted to know more about Leah Remini’s personal experience having grown up in Scientology. The two things complement each other and if you watched the mini-series, you should read her book and if you have read her book, you should watch the mini-series. I applaud Leah for her courage and determination in bringing Scientology down.

This book was very interesting and there was never a moment where I was bored or wanted to skip parts. It is very engaging and very informative. I learned much more about why she is the way she is and why she is fighting so hard. I cannot imagine the hardships she and her family faced for this “church.” Even though you are reading her words about what happened, it is still hard to believe. I didn’t want to believe it. That these people are treated this way and that this cult could be considered a religion in any way is unbelievable.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. I think everyone should be informed and understand how and why something like this could happen. I hope Leah Remini keeps fighting and I hope Scientology is taken down within my lifetime. Obviously hopefully sooner rather than later.


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