Trouble Maker, Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini – Review

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • 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.

Praise for Troublemaker
“An aggressively honest memoir . . . Troublemaker is the most raw and revealing Scientology memoir to date.”Entertainment Weekly
“Leah’s story is a juicy, inside-Hollywood read, but it’s more than that. It’s a moving story about the value of questioning authority and how one woman survived a profound crisis of faith.”People

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Leah Remini is an actor, producer, and writer. A fixture on television since the age of eighteen, Remini is best known for her beloved role of Carrie on the nine-season hit The King of Queens. Remini went on to produce and star in one of the earliest and most successful comedic web series, In the Motherhood, and appeared in the movie Old School alongside Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn. In 2010, Remini helped launch and co-hosted the first season of the CBS daytime hit show The Talk, and in 2013 she was seen on the dance floor in Dancing with the Stars. She currently co-stars in the TV Land comedy The Exes and TLC’s reality show Leah Remini: It’s All Relative, which she also created and executive produces. Remini finds great joy in her philanthropic work with numerous and diverse military, women’s, and children’s charities. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.

My Review –

I was an avid watcher of The King of Queens and was anxious to read Leah Remini‘s book. The title alone, “Troublemaker”, is enough to grab anyone’s attention and it certainly grabbed mine! Her openness in revealing her life and journey into and out of Scientology is uncanny. Her words also show the courage and honesty with which she lives her life.

Leah’s journey began in Brooklyn, New York where she grew up. Her mother’s friend introduced her to Scientology, and Leah and her sister were indoctrinated into the organization as children.

After having lived the Scientology way for most of her life, things began to happen that make Leah question the practices of the organization. It is at this point she was labeled a “suppressive person” and she decided it was time to leave  the church. She was lucky, her family followed her, although some extended members cut off ties. There are many who have left the organization only to have their family and friends stay behind and stop all contact.

Leah Remini’s book is like sitting down and having a conversation with her. She is witty. She is funny. And, she holds nothing back. I was curious about her reality show and downloaded an episode from Amazon to watch. It was the episode where the family has chosen to do a group counseling session on the residual effects on the family after leaving Scientology. You can have no contact with any family members or friends inside the organization and this can leave a huge void. The family explored some of the guilt that Leah felt because they followed her out of the organization, leaving other family members behind.

After reading Leah Remini’s book, I researched other books on Scientology. The Unbreakable Miss Lovely is a book that tells the length that the Scientology organization will go to, to keep their secrets, which bears asking the question – If they think they are such a fantastic organization (I refuse to call them a church, they truly aren’t – it’s a cult, plain and simple) why do they go to such lengths to stay secret? One would think they would welcome the publicity in order to gain members. That in itself should raise a field of red flags for anyone contemplating the Scientology way of life.

I am giving the book five stars. It is a great book and contains a wealth of information; more than a book review can possibly provide. I can only hope that I have peaked your interest enough to find out more for yourself. The book is like sitting down and talking to Leah. She is exactly what you see – vivacious and full of life.

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After reading The Unbreakable Miss Lovey, I dug a little deeper and found her book online. I downloaded and read it to find out for myself what the controversy was all about. Paulette Cooper’s book will scare the bejeebers out of you. Scientology is so far out there that it resembles a scientific movie.

In 1971, Paulette Cooper wrote a scathing book about the Church of Scientology. Desperate to shut the book down, Scientology unleashed on her one of the most sinister personal campaigns the free world has ever known. The onslaught, which lasted years, ruined her life, and drove her to the brink of suicide. The story of Paulette’s terrifying ordeal is told in full for the first time in The Unbreakable Miss Lovely, published by Silvertail Books. It reveals the shocking details of the darkest chapter in Scientology’s checkered history, which ended with senior members in prison, and the organization’s reputation permanently damaged. ‘A thrilling account of a reporter’s duel with a controversial church’ – Kirkus Reviews ‘A brilliant exposition of how a child who escaped the Nazis grew up to be hunted by the Church of Scientology’ – John Sweeney ‘A page-turner packed with barely believable facts. The details are worthy of John le Carre’ – Jon Atack

If you are interested in additional information on Paula Cooper, you can google her name.

Discussion –

Have you read Leah Remini’s book? What did you think?

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