Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini
Published November 3, 2015 by Ballantine Books
Genres Nonfiction, Memoir, Religion
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.
A friend recommended this book to me and my library’s e-lending (if you don’t use your library, I recommend you check it out) program has the book available, so I decided to read it. I have been on a non-fiction reading kick for the last couple weeks. Going into this book I knew very little about Scientology and to be honest, I had to look the author Leah Remini up, as I don’t follow many celebrities/actors. The author starts the book around the time she was 6-7 and her mother joined Scientology and takes us through her early life and into her teenage and adult years. Although the book is based around her experience with Scientology, she also talks about how she got into acting, her career and her family.
I thought all of the information about Scientology was the most interesting aspect of the book, although somehow Remini manages to make the book funny, while speaking about a cult like religion. Like I stated, I knew very little about Scientology prior to reading this book and it was fairly shocking. I have read many books about other religious cults, if you will, and this fit right into that category. There was a lot of information that was fairly shocking about Scientology and it’s practices. But then to hear all the information about people like Tom Cruise, was extremely bizarre. Remini has a unique writing style and adds humor in throughout the book, so although it is a fairly serious topic, I also found myself laughing throughout the book.