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Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology Paperback – September 20, 2016
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“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
“Remini [offers] up some juicy tidbits from her decades in the church.”—Newsweek
About the Author
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.
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This is a very quick read and it starts off right away by jumping into the issue of Scientology, so, if that is the reason why you are picking up the book, I recommend it for that aspect. I think that it is also useful to get the perspective of someone who is brought into Scientology through their family and it discusses how the appeal of the organization somewhat lured her mother into the organization and kept her persisting in it as an adult. It’s actually a really good insight/manual into understanding psychological aspect of cults, even if it is unintentional, it provides a personal aspect to one’s reflection on the process.
It actually kind of highlights an abusive relationship with the organization, one in which a person stays even when it’s clear it might not be the healthiest relationship. Think riding a boat to the middle of nowhere and getting dumped in the water. However, these things are told in personal narratives, which Leah at no point is trying to label or, but just tell a story. At the same time, there are a lot of rewards that are highlighted for being a member of Scientology, especially in terms of networking within the Hollywood circles.
It is also interesting to see how the fall-out and consequences for breaking with the church comes to light, in particular, Leah outlines her own humanity, pointing out areas in her life where she has messed up at the very start of the book, essentially expected to get sued by Scientology. In reading about the processes of other people and herself, there seems to be a strong leaning towards lawsuits by Scientology (which, many are aware of). Leah mostly keeps the story within the framework of her time directly in Scientology, with the final 10% (Kindle version) highlighting her time outside of the church and just how emotionally and socially devastating it was to her initially.
Great read. Especially for those who are interested in Scientology. I think that the detail and first person account does a good job of at least tying it down to one person and their personal experiences.
I could not wait for this book to come out because I'm fascinated by the attraction to the cult of Scientology. I'm not anti-religion - except for religion that undermines individualism and self-empowerment.
Leah really holds nothing back in this book, she writes like she talks, funny and brash but not an obnoxious way.
I read a-lot of books (via NetGalley!) and it's rare that there is a book I LOOK FORWARD to its release. I can't remember a night I awoke at 1am and gleefully checked my Kindle to see if her book was there. I've been speedreading and though I'm not done yet, if you're wondering: should I buy this? YES. It really does live up to the hype.
Totally engaging, entertaining, fascinating -not just about Scientology, but about life in Hollywood.
Leah doesn't come across as playing a Victim (which is so rare these days!) - instead, she's more of a warrior; seeking to warn and protect and educate.
PS - I just realized the co-author is Rebecca Paley. She also co-authored one of my other favorite books "I'll Drink To That" with Betty Halbreich. Ms. Halbreich came from a very wealthy family, married into wealth, got divorced, and got a job on the sales floor at Bergdorfs. For me, it was an inspiring story of realizing that life is what you make of it not what titles or money makes of you. Just wanted to give "props" to Ms. Paley for this book too!