Narfna wrote her review of Leah Remini’s Troublemaker yesterday afternoon and mentioned it being hard to put down and she was right! I picked this one up after my nephew went to bed last night (we were babysitting) and only had about 50 pages left to read by the time my husband requested we also go to bed.
Scientology and their shady practices have garnered a lot of press over the last few years following the escape & testimonials of many high ranking people and celebrities including Katie Holmes & Carmen Llywelyn. While some celebrity memoirs can be fluffy Leah Remini does her best to use her fame as a platform to speak out against what Scientology is really about.
Remini was born and raised in Brooklyn; her parents divorced when she was young and her mother got involved with a man who was a practicing Scientologist. When her children questioned why their mother chose to spend all her time away from them and in church she responded by telling them they should also get involved. Scientology requires numerous classes and donations by their parishioners but Leah and her family were willing to do whatever it takes to build their bridge and become Clear.
Leah’s mom moved her daughters down to Florida to become part of the Sea Org, a billion year service organization where Remini primarily cleaned hotel rooms, and continue their Scientology education. Leah was released from her Sea Org contract and her family moved to California, still devoted Scientologists, where Leah dropped out of school in eighth grade and did menial jobs throughout her teenage years. Leah always wanted to be an actress and people within Scientology implied they could help her get into Hollywood; she says she received very little assistance from the church in her pursuits but she did eventually get her footing in Los Angeles.
Remini was always a bit combative with Scientology authority figures. Her personality can be abrasive and her sense of humor didn’t mesh well with many people in charge of Scientology procedure. However, her celebrity status made her an asset to the church so she could usually throw some money at the problem and take some additional classes but it began to drain her emotionally and financially.
In a way, Remini still believes a little in Scientology; if you really break down why she left it was because she felt Tom Cruise had too much undeserved power and no one would tell her where Shelly Miscavige was. She had a lot of horrible things happen to her throughout the thirty years she practiced Scientology but she whole-hardheartedly believed that what she was doing was helping the world. It’s all very sad. Luckily for Leah she had a network of non-Scientologist friends to lean on when she left the church and her family left with her (which is rare). She has a long road ahead of her but I’m sure getting her story out there is therapeutic.
If you’re interest in celebrities, cults or just unique experiences Troublemaker has a little bit of everything and is a good way to educate people on what David Miscavige and his cult are really about.