Published by Ballantine Books on November 3rd 2015
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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’ve always felt a bit of a kinship with Leah Remini. Likely because, like me, she’s a New York girl with a bad attitude and a big mouth. Yep. We are kind of kindred spirits. At least, in that respect.
When I heard she was writing a tell-all book about Scientology, I did a little jig. Number one, Scientology and all of its craziness fascinates me. Number two, I’ve always been a fan of Leah. Number three, who doesn’t like some juicy celeb gossip? Well, maybe not everyone does, but I do. What I didn’t expect was to be so pulled in by the religious aspect.
I’ve had a turbulent history with religion myself, albeit not Scientology, so I understand how hard it is to walk away from everything you’ve ever known. That’s essentially what Leah has done. She grew up in Scientology, but due to a crazy series of events, she had to let it go. And I do not say “crazy” lightly.
The entire focus is not just on the religion, though. She also talks about her childhood and family. She tells you all about how she grew up and how she came to be a star. She comes across as a very genuine person. She knows her faults and doesn’t make excuses for them. She’s my kind of gal. As her life story progresses, you can see her Scientology life slowly disintegrating.
While she does dish on Tom and some of the other big names in Scientology, I think it could’ve been more. Scratch that – I think there is more that she’s not saying. I mean, I get it. Just the fact that she’s going up against them in this very public way is brave enough. You can only push so far with that type of organization.
Now, was this a good read? Yes. Would I recommend it for everyone? No. If you’ve always been interested in Scientology and you’d like to know all the in-and-outs, this book is for you. She breaks it down and boy, is it cuckoo. It did get a bit tedious, though. Not really her fault, as Scientology is just way out there and there’s a lot to explain.
I also think it could have been funnier. Being that she was in a comedy show for so long, I thought it was going to be a riot. It wasn’t, but I will say this: when it was funny, it was very, very funny. I just would’ve liked it to have been funny more often to break up the monotony of the Scientology stuff.
All in all, this was an informative, interesting look into both Leah’s life and the loony (and dangerous) religion of Scientology. I imagine her story pissed them off big time. Score.