Read Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini Online


#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 h#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  “Remini [offers] up some juicy tidbits from her decades in the church.”—NewsweekFrom the Hardcover edition....

Title : Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780451482440
Format Type : Audio
Number of Pages : 8 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology Reviews

  • Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
    2019-01-29 12:35

    I'm going to admit. When I heard the this book was coming out I was curious and then I why did she stay in that religion so long if it's so crazy? Is she nuts?I'm so damn nosey about stuff like this though. I want to know the secrets without having to enter into the realm of the crazy.Shut up, Xenu. My ass is broke so I can't fork over enough dough for you anyways. Plus, I'm a bit on the big mouth side like Leah Remini...but think the southern version of her. Upon starting this book, one thing stands out. I REALLY like Leah Remini. She comes across as telling the truth. At first it's about her growing up and entering into the church. Her mom is a flower child and gets interested in Scientology and eventually brings Leah and her sister into the group.The girls and their mom end up in Florida but Leah is pretty much a girl that is not going to keep her mouth shut. *fist bumps* So she ends up getting in trouble. The church wants she and her sister punished but mom steps in and they all end up being sent out to LA. The story goes into the tryouts and shows that Leah was on, including her time on "The King of Queens".Throughout Leah's story she is still invested in the church, even when she questions the Kool-Aid drinking she still sees the good that came from being in this religion.Then she gets to meet the big whhoooohaa himself. Tom Cruise. (after she donates a million to the church)She ends up being invited to "the Wedding of the Century" *gag* and finds out that Cruise and company want her to invite her friends Jennifer Lopez and her then husband Marc Anthony. I never did figure out what the whole deal with this was. I don't think Leah did either but it's seriously some frigged up stuff. (I'm not spoiling on the good stuff)Leah starts questioning the religion and they sure as shit don't like it. Writing reports on grown ups that act badly? Give me a frigging break. Having to do cleaning toilet duty and other a fucking adult.I would like to have a few things clarified. I wouldn't mind Jennifer Lopez backing up her friend if she wants her believed. I want to know where the hell the main guy's wife is. I want to know why any religion would pretty much bend over and kiss Tom Cruise's ass? Why does he have so much power? Because I'm telling you Scientology guys one thing...If you guys are wanting to impress people with how "clear" you guys are and how much better you are than all of us lower class people, you are choosing the wrong man for the job.I would also love to know more about this situation.But we aren't going to get that are we? Because I almost felt an underlying fear from Remini's words in this book. She didn't mind telling some but I don't think she can tell all.For my final verdict. I ended up believing most of what Leah Remini is saying. She admits to being loud, rude and whatever is thrown at her. She gives no shits.I wish her well. I hope she makes millions of dollars and rubs their faces in it that they ain't getting any of her money any more.Get your freak on girlie. Booksource: I had a copy gifted to me by a most awesomeness of friends. Thank you so much!My thoughts pre-reading:For the love of Tom Cruise! Give me this book!Sh3lly's review is completely awesome. I should have just copied and pasted her's because she does tell everything perfectly!

  • Sh3lly ☽ Guardian of Beautiful Squids and Lonely Moons ☽
    2019-02-08 08:32

    Yes, this is a book about Scientology. But it's not *just* about that. In a way, this book is a typical memoir. It talks about Leah's childhood in Brooklyn, her early career in Hollywood, and her struggles in relationships, etc. I first remember Leah from "Saved By the Bell."And of course, I loved King of Queens. I think her and Kevin James had great chemistry - and Jerry Stiller was brilliant. I enjoyed the anecdotes about her experiences with other big-name actors. (She has only good things to say about Tony Danza, Alyssa Milano, Jennifer Lopez, Chelsea Handler, Jennifer Aniston, and others.) She admits she is not the easiest person to get long with. She comes across as blunt and a little bitchy at times, but she also seems fiercely loyal and approachable at the same time. She's very funny, in my view. Okay, so now we get to the part everyone wants to know about. Leah's Mom joined Scientology and then her and her sister decided to follow her. They went to Clearwater, Florida to join the infamous Sea Org when she was a young teen. The Sea Org is an "elite" Scientology group made up of people who sign a contract pledging one BILLION years of their afterlife to serve Scientology and the Sea Org. So, when they reincarnate, they are expected to keep joining in each life until one billion years is up. Seriously. It's in the contract. But, they're saving the universe so it's all cool.Anyway, they show up expecting to wear cool Navy uniforms and work in a high-class, important job and end up scrubbing toilets, taking out the garbage, and earning $15 dollars a week. They sleep in dorms with bunks shoved in a small hotel room. Babies are kept lying in cribs in rooms where they are watched by kids sometimes, no one changing their diapers or playing with them. Adults and children are viewed as equals so it was perfectly acceptable for an untrained 13 year old to be watching a room full of screaming babies all alone.Leah and her family didn't last long in the Sea Org because, well, Leah's a Troublemaker and all. But, you do get to see an "insider's" view of what really happens in the Sea Org. It's basically slave labor in squalid conditions, but hey, you get to do free Scientology training while you're there! Basically, she confirms that yes, it's a cult. If you are "on track" and following the rules, it's great. If you question anything, your life can become miserable. People have disappeared, are put in rehabilitation where they are treated like animals. Scary stuff. People go bankrupt and lose their houses trying to pay for the classes.About Tom Cruise.He really comes off as a jerk and a spoiled brat in this. Leah asserts that Tom is almost in control of the religion. Whatever he wants, he gets. Leah was a guest at his wedding and Katie Holmes comes off negatively. I think she was overwhelmed by Tom and totally controlled by him and the religion until she divorced him. She probably did it for the money and publicity. Apparently, Tom's dates and girlfriends are vetted by the Scientology people.Leah goes into a lot of information that is already common knowledge about Scientology. I was actually hoping for more about this:I wanted more information about the upper levels of training. OT (Operating Thetan = thetan means spirit in Scientology) levels V and above. OT VIII being the highest. She doesn't go into any of this. No whistle blower seems to. Maybe it's because it's the really wacky stuff, but THAT is what I want to read about, dangit! She alludes to it, makes a joke here and there, but nothing specific. I think I found this the most disappointing.If you have no knowledge of Scientology, you'll find this informative. There was more about Sea Org and Tom Cruise, as mentioned above. I don't know if she will face fallout from this book. She's brave because she mentions Scientology people by name and goes into detail about their behavior (lots of infidelity, immature behavior like taking Leah's phone and taunting her, threats, etc.). Oh, one other crazy thing: you are supposed to tell your counselor about EVERYTHING "wrong" you do. Leah had an affair with a married man and the church made her PAY for their marriage counseling (church counseling of course) and contact the wife and apologize. It cost her $5,000. (She still ended up marrying the guy and they have been together for over a decade, maybe two.) This kind of thing happens all the time in Scientology.I read the entire thing in one day. Overall, this is a great memoir and expose on Scientology. I actually think *ideally* Scientology offers some positive ways to improve your life. However, it has been corrupted beyond measure and is totally cultish the way it treats its members now. Great read!

  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    2019-02-08 10:29

    Find all of my reviews at: Leah. Leah, Leah, Leah . . . While this book had my curiosity peaked (EDIT: like a peak higher than Mt. Everest, Ron) upon release (I mean who DOESN’T want to know about the Cult of Personality Scientology at this point, right?) I didn’t have plans on reading it. Why, you may ask? Mainly because I had almost convinced myself the story would be nothing but bullshit before even reading the blurb. Leah Remini’s run on a successful television program had come to an end and I thought she was looking for some more dollahs to make her hollah. I also spent the entire run of The King of Queens being told that my husband and myself “are EXACTLY like Carrie and Doug!” WTF? I never watched the show so I finally tuned in after hearing that for the umpteenth time. And guess what? Carrie’s kind of a bitch . . . STFU Ron 2.0 peanut gallery. Also, what kind of freaks spend their time talking to others about me and my husband???? Not only does that sound like a wicked snoozer of a conversation, but picture this . . . Only we’re both fat. Ew. And finally, I’m not like Carrie at all ------ but I am pretty much Molly . . . Anywho, now that THAT backstory is out of the way. I finally gave in to reading this after it was gifted to me. (I’ll give you three guesses to figure out from who.) Of course since both me AND my book fairy are computer illiterate I couldn’t get the damn thing to download and had to end up waiting for a library copy. It really is the thought that counts with me because I’m too stupid to even use gifts that people send me. So what did I find upon reading this book? Well, to begin with I’m a lot more like Leah Remini than I thought. Right out of the jump she owns that she can be an asshole and that she isn’t one to play the role of shrinking violet. Her whole life her mouth has earned her the label of “troublemaker” and she doesn’t shy away from it . . . “I hate when people say, ‘Enjoy it,’ when you’re complaining about something. I am enjoying it. But I also enjoy complaining about it. It’s one of my favorite pastimes.”Okay, maybe I’m EXACTLY like Leah Remini.I also learned she was pretty much born and bred into Scientology. She wasn’t someone (*cough Will Smith cough*) who joined because “all the cool kids were doing it.” Nope, she joined as a child because her mother signed them up and spent DECADES drinking the special Xenu-mix Kool-Aid flavor. This book really did tell the ins and outs of her experiences with Scientology. From Sea Org to “being on course” to “audits” to . . . . Because really at the end of the day NO ONE can “Go Clear” without spending a poopton of cash. Knowing that Tom Cruise has been sue happy in the past and assuming Remini and Cruise didn’t really run in the same circles, I figured Troublemaker would go into ZERO detail about the infamous couch jumper. Imagine my surprise when Leah totally dished about all of her encounters with the tiny weirdo. What kind of things?????If you’re a fan of celebrity bios this is one of the best I’ve read. Obviously the Scientology portions are the “hook” to get people to buy this one, but I was surprised by how much I liked all of the NON-Scientology bits. Remini sums Scientology up best . . . .“My problem with Scientology – despite its claims to the contrary, the practice doesn’t help you better the world or even yourself; it only helps you be a better Scientologist.”Obviously Shelby gave me this book, but Sandra and Jennifer really liked it/wrote great reviews too. Go check them out, spread the love, and maybe even make some new friends : )

  • Steph Sinclair
    2019-02-16 08:29

    I tend to listen to autobiographies on audio because I love hearing stories in the voice of the teller. And I've been a huge fan of Remini for years because she's hilarious such a badass in my eyes. So I purchased this without any second guesses and was not disappointed. This was absolutely excellent, horrifying, hilarious, disturbing and addictive. It reads like a mystery/thriller and then I'd remember it's real life and become super horrified on a loop. But I could not stop listening. Probably one of the best autobiographies I've listened to so far and a superb audio narration. Highly recommended.

  • Mariah
    2019-02-12 10:40

    Leah Remini is an actress that I have never heard of before and knew nothing about. However, I just recently read another book about Scientology: Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape by Jenna Miscavige Hill and Lisa Pulitzer, that was suggested to me by a Goodreads' friend. That book was fantastic and sparked my interest in learning more about Scientology. When I reviewed that book another friend suggested this one to me. I am so glad she did because this book was FANTASTIC!I listened to the audio version of this book and it was read by the author (Leah Remini). She was extremely good! Leah does not hold back. She starts off telling you everything that is wrong with her and her whole family, because she knew Scientology would try to "tare her apart" when this book came out. Leah is extremely blunt, honest and real. She has a willingness to speak her mind and stand her ground. She is a tough talking girl from Brooklyn that worked hard and from nothing to become a successful Hollywood star.Remini's family became involved in the church when she was 16-years-old and she stayed very involved in it for many years afterword. Scientology had a lot of good aspects to it. She made a lot of friends from it. The religion helped her get an acting coach and she became successful because of him. However, the church also had many downfalls that took Leah a lot time to discover. When she did start questioning the church she became a negative target. One the biggest eye-openers for Leah is when she realized "everyday" people were sinking hundreds of thousands of dollars into the religion to move up different levels. She learned that people that were only making $50,000 a year were $250,000 in dept. Leah explains how that can happen, or at least how it happened to her. Leah started realizing that Scientology wasn't as great as she thought when she attended Tom Cruise's wedding in 2006 (the "best" member of Scientology) and he and many other leaders were breaking all the rules and regulations. In 2013, Leah loudly and publicly broke with the Church of Scientology and this book is her way of opening up and sharing this painful split with the church and its controversial practices. 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, this includes members of her own family, were told to disconnect from her and never talk to her again.This book was FANTASTIC! I was never bored and listened to every word of it. I suggest this book to anyone that wants to learn more about Scientology or Leah!

  • Petra X
    2019-02-16 16:40

    What I got from this book is the usual stuff about Scientology. No one writes anything good about it. It's all what a terrible scam and wicked cult it is that absolutely controlled their lives. And how the author (any author of these exposé books) was deluded for many years as were there entire families and friends and suddenly they realised the truth. Do these authors realise how stupid they sound? All these conversions from are about as convincing at conversions to. I could never take Karen Armstrong seriously on her 'objective' books about religion when she'd been a nun and ended up a Muslim. And I think Leah Remini also lacks credibility. She makes out what a savvy person she is, how she was always one that knew what was going on and when she set her mind at something (like becoming a star, although I'd never heard of her before) she would achieve it. But then she subjects herself to all sorts of punishments of where she has to stay, what she has to do and how many hundreds of thousands of dollars she will have to pay for the privilege of all this punishment and abuse. What is this book about? Cognitive dissonance!In some ways it was the usual celebrity memoir portraying Remini as a bit of an airhead but quite entertaining and with lots of nasty gossip about Kirsty Alley and Tom Cruise (view spoiler)[whom I had lunch with and he was just ordinary, a nice guy, not egotistical, but very handsome (hide spoiler)] et al. I can't say I didn't enjoy that part. Do I believe her? Does it matter? She believes it, the book made money and she got even more column inches. I think she also feels her attempted revenge on those who had sidelined and mistreated her about her ideas and refused to persecute Tom Cruise as she wanted has succeeded through this book.But there is another side to Scientology and it would be interesting to read a book from a positive point of view by someone we know and who has credibility, rather than yet another demonisation of the church and everyone in it.Really, when you have a religion or cult started by a man who had been convicted of fraud (as had Hubbard and his wife), do you really expect a path that leads to nirvana-on-earth? (Or in the case of the LDS, in the next life as a god on your own planet).So what's kept people in Scientology? Happy, productive people who've done well. I'd like to know.__________Written when reading the book. (view spoiler)[I have never heard of Leah Remini. I wonder what the definition of 'star' is these days? The definition of celebrity has certainly changed. I've never seen any of those shows like 'Celebrity Big Brother' but I have read the press and it seems that a celebrity is someone who once came fourth in a reality talent show. Or, as is the case of Hilton and Kardashian arranged for the release of their sex tapes. So who is Remini?I have read about 7 chapters and it's pretty good. She's very entertaining and forthright and either she or her ghost writer Rebecca Paley. has a very distinctive voice.(hide spoiler)]

  • Chuck
    2019-02-09 12:22

    5-stars I may write an in-depth review after I’ve had time to think on this one some. Right now I don’t even know where to begin really. The stuff in this book, which I’m sure is the unvarnished truth, is off-the-charts crazy. It's very tempting to write a detailed review laying the whole thing out, but I’m going to try to refrain from doing that; people really need to get this right from Leah Remini. And it’s a very easy and entertaining read. Suffice it for now to say Scientology is absolutely a cult that's every bit as crazy as you've ever heard, Tom Cruise is absolutely an epic asshole--they totally deserve each other--and I have a new respect for Leah Remini. I’m so very glad to have read this and so very glad she was able to extricate herself from such madness. Teach your children critical thinking skills, people! I think that’s the real takeaway.

  • Erin
    2019-01-17 10:40

    Unlike most celebrity tell-all's Leah Remini doesn't try to paint herself as perfect or attempt to whitewash her past. She starts the book by telling you about all her faults & I think it makes her all the more believable. Troublemaker is a harrowing glimpse inside a cult that paints itself as a religion. A must read.

  • Jaidee
    2019-01-23 15:22

    3 stars. 2017 The Most Average of Average Award I will not be writing a review for this one.I guess in a way...that is my review.

  • Jennifer
    2019-01-26 10:27

    I love Leah Remini. I love her attitude, her candor, her directness...I think she's hilarious even when she's not trying to be. When I decided to read her memoir: Troublemaker, I expected a lot more comedy than I got. But I wasn't disappointed, I was actually pleasantly surprised. The audiobook experience was excellent in my opinion. Leah narrates it herself and it's like she is speaking directly to the reader. She discusses her childhood, her family, her entry into the church of Scientology, and her career as an actress. Yes, there was humor for sure, but mostly it was real, down-to-earth discussion about her life. Her past devotion to Scientology took center stage most of the time as she shared the positives and negatives of her experiences, but I didn't hear the bitter ramblings of a disgruntled member. I heard the passionate concern of someone who feels that her fellow Scientologists deserve better, more accountable and ethical leadership. I knew next to nothing about Scientology before reading Leah's book so I feel like I learned a lot. It wasn't all bad either so for that I have even more respect and admiration for Leah. She could have turned Troublemaker into a total bitchfest, and if I'm being honest, it did verge on that at times, but any issue brought up circled back to the fact that sometimes leadership should be questioned – a system of checks and balances put into place. If prompting her church to consider this made Leah a troublemaker, then it seems she is resolved to keep making trouble. After all, bitches get stuff done.My favorite quote:“We all have something to offer the world in some way, but by not being our authentic selves, we are robbing the world of something different, something special.”

  • Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
    2019-02-03 09:34

    While this isn't the most well written book around, the audio version is magnetic and you won't be able to turn away.I loved, loved, loved listening to Leah Remini tell her story. Her Brooklyn accent sounds like home to me (I have no accent, but most of my family is from Queens and pronounces words the same way- "whoo-are!"). She was a really engaging narrator and she made her story come alive. I've already read a ton and watched a ton about the cult of Scientology and the crooks that run it, so those aspects of the story weren't anything new to me. However, I felt so, so bad for Leah having to discover that everything that she had known was a lie. Also, the chapters dealing with how children are treated in Scientology were very hard to swallow. An excellent listen, and totally worth your time and money.

  • Ana
    2019-01-31 14:22

    I need this book now.

  • Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣
    2019-01-17 11:25

    “There is no shortage of people who would be willing to say “Leah can be an asshole”—my own mother can attest to that. And if I am all these things the church may claim, then isn’t it also accurate to say that in the end, thirty-plus years of dedication, millions of dollars spent, and countless hours of study and training didn’t really “fix” me? Perhaps Scientology doesn’t work.”Good question. And wow! Millions of dollars spent for a religion. Why would anybody do that? Why must people be fixed in the way scientology approves of? Reading this book, learning about what their training means... It's creepy, despicable and unnatural. Children are supposed to be children, not little adults. They should play most of the day, not wash toilets or be bullied by a teacher. Young adults should have fun, not drink coffee in order to make it through a hard day of manual labor.“You were either all in or all out. It is an extremist religion. There is no middle ground. And there within its structure lies the danger.” Really? What ever happened to human rights? And why on Earth would somebody willingly subject himself/herself to such things? Are people really that blind or desperate?“I was more than aware of the Fair Game policy, which stipulates that anyone against Scientology “may be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.” This policy essentially allows Scientologists to punish and harass “enemies” using any and all means necessary. The church has stated that this policy was canceled, but there is an exception: “If the person is an SP, this applies.”That's just crazy.P.S. I never really liked Tom Cruise (except for his role in Interview with the Vampire), but now my dislike for him reached a whole new level.

  • Yodamom
    2019-01-28 11:25

    4.5 eye opening stars !I wasn't a fan of her before I listened to this. I've never seen any of her shows. I'm not a TV watcher. When I ended her story I was her fan, not for her acting but for her mouth, her loud never cower attitude. She was beaten down emotionally, publicly, and she slightly bent but never broke. She witnessed the crazy, was aware that something was not as it was said to be. Double standards, backstabbing, preferential treatment, mental abuse, physical abuse, money gorging, and more. She tried, wanted to believe she was changing the world, wanted something she dedicated her life to, to be honest. She stood, faced the ugly giant Church of Scientology bullies, lost many "friends" and gained her true self, with true friends.I did not expect to enjoy this. I went into it expecting to drop it. I know negative thinking. Leah, is a fabulous story telling, so honest, and open about such important and personal years. Educational !Bravo Leah !

  • Mark
    2019-01-30 16:39

    I wanted to read this book to read about her poor treatment at the hands of Scientology and there is plenty of that in there but, to be honest, I got more from this book just about Leah herself.I have seen probably every King of Queens episode and I can take them or leave them. Not a show that would make me tune in, not a show I would complain about and turn off. But I get an overwhelming sense that there is a lot of Leah Remini in Carrie.I had a real indifference to Carrie and therefore Leah but she has made a fan of me through this read - not so much of Carrie as of Leah herself. We all know the premise that this book is written in. She spent decades in the Church of Scientology and left when she saw the disappointments it presented. Yes, by all means, she deserves the usual accolades - brave, caring, loving, determined. And yes she admits to the fear and heartbreak involved too. But there is so much more.By her own admission she can be a hard person to get along with, she is argumentative, she is a TROUBLEMAKER. These are the similarities I draw with Carrie, maybe a lot of the show's success goes to her being comfortable playing a version of herself? However, if it is possible, Remini has used her negative attributes in the most positive of ways - she always stood up for friends and family, she "called out" the wrongdoers regardless of who they were and she gave herself and her home to people in great need. Imagine being 'controlled' in your daily life but still being open to give your heart and time when needed - to me that is real STRENGTH.This book is probably 75% Leah Remini biography and 25% the wrongs of Scientology, by her own admission a lot of negative stuff about the church was carefully edited out to make Leah not look like a "poor loser". The Scientology stuff is not in depth, more a tell tale of what Leah saw and was subjected to. (Read Beyond Belief by Jenna Miscavage Hill for an in depth look at what Scientology really does). This book shows the true person that Leah is, how she faced up to the Church and how she survived without really changing her ways. I admire what she has accomplished with this book!

  • Char
    2019-02-03 11:51

    Having pretty much no idea of who Leah Remini is, I still enjoyed listening to this autobiography/scientology-bashing book, which she narrated herself.I am not a religious person, having soured on my Catholic upbringing during my teens. However, I still respect those that choose to believe in Catholicism because it brings them happiness and often provides them support in tough times. I do not have any respect whatsoever for Scientology; I cannot believe that any true religion that is interested in having you better yourself and better the world, would charge you money to do so. And I'm not talking handing around the collection plate and asking you for what you can afford. I'm talking about MAKING YOU PAY, even to the extent of coaching you on how to call Visa and ask them for a larger credit limit, so that you may donate it to the "church."A friend just asked me a few hours ago if I learned anything from this book and I responded that I did. Having watched the HBO doc. "Going Clear", most of this information was known to me. What I didn't know was that children as young as 7, like Leah, are brought into this organization and eventually made to work like dogs. Cleaning hotel rooms all day, every day for the princely sum of $15.00 per week. As a child? Aren't there laws against that? Having to steal food because you're practically starving? This is allowed? (And decades later, after Leah becomes a celebrity, during an "audit" where you have to discuss things you've done wrong in your life, when she admits that she stole food, they assess her a fine of $40,000.00 to make up for her "crimes"? Seriously? Are you fucking kidding me? A child is stealing food because she is hungry and the adult she becomes has to pay 40 grand? You do NOT want to know what my response to that would be. )I realize this information is subjective and not necessarily fact. But taken in conjunction with several in depth articles I've read and the few documentaries I've seen, most of Leah's story rang true to me. The reporting on your friends, the constant "sec checks" (security checks to be sure you are not doing anything against "church" tenets or "policy", ), the constant classes and levels and the endless donations, donations, donations. These are all things touched upon in various other media which leads me to believe most of it is, indeed, true. I recommend you read, (or listen) to the book, perhaps watch a documentary or two, and come to your own conclusion. If you want, look me up and I'll be happy to discuss it with you. Most especially the thing that irks me the most: Scientology's tax exempt status.

  • Ashley
    2019-01-22 13:29

    "Belief and faith are great, but very few people have been led astray by thinking for themselves."I finished this book at one AM on a work night, when I had to be up at 6 AM the next morning. I did this even though I knew I would feel like shit the next morning, because I just couldn't help myself. I was thinking, boy, I should go to bed! I'm going to regret this tomorrow (and probably the days after)! And then I just kept reading. That is the power of this book. In the morning, my eyes were so dry I thought they were going to go all sleep monster on me:I actually went into this book expecting to have a good time reading it, but not expecting to be very impressed. I will admit I have a snobby bias against books that are ghostwritten, especially ones "written" by celebrities. I just assume they're all money grabs. But once I got into this book, it took hold of me. Leah Remini is a pistol. She's brash and loudmouthed and admits that many people find her incredibly annoying. Right on the very first page, she admits to having done some terrible things. She says her family and her husband have done terrible things. But then you realize why she's telling you all this, and it's because she knows the Church of Scientology would have used all that information against in an effort to discredit her once the book came out. So she did it for them. It's a powerful way to start out her story.And her story ended up being fascinating. I know there are other published memoirs of people who grew up in the church, but I've never read one before. My knowledge has mostly come from books like Going Clear (and its subsequent HBO film), which focuses on the history of L. Ron Hubbard and his church, and the more organizational aspects of it. Reading it from the perspective of one of its parishioners (this is what Leah calls them, so I will too, even though I would prefer to call them cult members) was fascinating. She walks you through the whole thing, her way of thinking, how and why the religion meant so much to her, what her life was like because of it. And all the while you're horrified by what Scientology does to her and those around her, you also understand how she could remain so dedicated and loyal for so long. That's how cults work--they are designed to hook people and keep them.Leah Remini's book is a fascinating artifact of a person who survived a cult. You can see the way her thinking is shaped by her experiences, and you can see how she resists. Her story is a good one for this type of book because she saw and experienced so many different aspects of the religion, as an early (and failed) member of the SeaOrg, as a standard parishioner, and after she'd worked her way up in Hollywood, as one of the church's celebrity VIPs, for a while in the inner circle with Tom Cruise. And you can see that it's only after she's completely out of the church that the full scope of what Scientology has done occurs to her. These were actually the most fascinating parts for me, when she talked about the work she's had to do, the therapy, to essentially deprogram her brain. I wish there had been more of it, but then, she's only been out for two years, and still has a long road ahead of her.If you like Leah as an actress, and if you are interested in Scientology or cults, I would definitely recommend this. Her particular and very unique voice shines through, even though the book is ghostwritten by Rebecca Paley, who acquits herself very well in making her writing presence as invisible as possible.

  • Britany
    2019-01-19 16:30

    I was intrigued about Leah's story since she hit headlines when she left the "church" of Scientology. I finally got my hands on a copy- audio, and immediately fell in love with it. She is a very specific character and knows who she is to the point, that it was like she was sitting next to me telling me her very personal story. She tells it like it is, and I appreciated the no-nonsense writing and the stories. I don't know which to recommend more- the audio, which was incredible, or the book- as that displayed some good pictures throughout the book. Also, a few police document copies-- which doesn't translate as well via audio. Leah's mother marries George and that's when their family delves into Scientology. I learned that their biggest mission is to clear the planet (Whatever THAT means) and learned even more about the suppressive, cult-like nature of the church. She mostly confirmed what I thought was true and addresses all the elephants in the room- *cough Tom Cruise cough*. The Scientology sections flow together while Leah auditions for many roles, and finally lands her major break. I loved the juxtaposition between Hollywood & Scientology- the irony is not lost on me.The only pieces missing for me, was the ending- a little too rushed and left some major plot points unanswered, luckily for me, I will use Google to find out what happened with the church since she's become an SP and where in the world did Shelly Miscavige go? Highly recommend this one to those interested. There is some minor language- which perfectly comes out of Leah's mouth, however, not for those that can't handle the F***'s. :)

  • Sarah
    2019-01-24 14:42

    This was really good. It was equally about Leah and Scientology. If you're interested in Scientology, you should definitely read this. Sometimes reading biographies makes me like the person less but this book made me like Leah Remini a lot more.

  • Kathy W
    2019-02-02 12:37

    Scientology is going to be sooooo pissed! This book is good, dishy and fall down funny. Leah is loud, brash and very NY. LOVE IT!!update: So I just finished this book. OMG it DOES NOT disappoint! It's deliciously dishy and totally in your face like Leah herself.Boiled down it's the classic story of a person leaving an extremist religious group/cult. If you enjoyed Deborah Feldman's UnOrthadox, you'll love this book!

  • Jilly
    2019-02-10 14:33

    When I realized that I had to read a biography for my reading challenge with the Machalo chicks this year, I was like, "No, please God, No!! I hate biographies! Just strike me down instead! Take my first born child!"Okay, maybe that was a little crazy. But, you know what's crazier? Scientology!And, the weird thing is that she doesn't even talk about the alien part of the religion. Yet, it still comes off as bat-shit crazy - along with being an extremely dangerous cult.This book will make you so angry that you will want to kill Tom Cruise with a roll of cookie dough. (It makes sense if you read the book... not that you need to make sense. This shit is bat-shit crazy.... plus, remember the jumping on the couch thing? Yeah, cookie-dough related murder is less crazy than Tom Cruise.)The abusiveness of this "church" is scary. They are seriously dangerous to anyone who comes in contact with them and I hope that more and more ex-members get up the nerve to speak out against them. It seems like they are often afraid to do so, and even Leah was pretty soft in her language. I'm just really glad that she was able to get out of it and is helping others who are going through the same thing.On the other hand, there is a lot of money to be made in starting a "religion" like this. Your average Scientologist is in for a half a million dollars by the time they make it to the top of bullshit mountain. Cha-ching!

  • Jennifer Lynn Harrison
    2019-02-11 12:34

    I am fascinated by the subject of Scientology, and have watched Leah Remini's TV show on A&E about the topic, SO I didn't think I had any real need to ALSO read her book- but I was wrong. This is a fantastic, insider account of the 'church' and it is different (and more interesting, IMO) than other stories/books about Scientology since, AS a celebrity, Remini was granted access to people and events that ordinary Scientologists do not get to experience. Such as the use of the 'Celebrity Center' Scientology building in LA and its contents, for example. It also means that, YES - we DO get to hear about how nuts Tom Cruise *really* is, and how he is treated as a freaking god by the 'Church'- and this time we are told from someone who often ate dinner, had drinks and played charades at his house with his wife and kids. My one complaint would be that the first 1/2 of the book is more of a memoir about her struggling acting career than it is a text about Scientology itself. Otherwise, I loved the author's frank personality and storytelling abilities, which shine through in her no-holds-barred attitude and writing style. --Jen from Quebec :0) (PS) This book was written BEFORE the creation of her documentary style television show about the Church of Scientology - I am sure that if she had written this book NOW, she would have access to a hell of a lot more information due to her research for A&E. Maybe a 2nd book is due...?

  • Brianna (The Book Vixen)
    2019-01-21 11:52

    I've loved Leah Remini since watching her on The King of Queens. She's funny and raw. When I heard about her autobiography, I knew I had to read it. But when I found out there was an audiobook version and Leah Remini herself narrated it, I had to listen to it.“How the fuck did you get into some crazy shit like this?”Who better to narrate Leah's story than Leah herself? Just as the title suggests, this memoir is mainly about Hollywood and Scientology. Having watched Going Clear, the documentary on Scientology, I was familiar with craziness surrounding this “religion”, but Leah sheds a bright light on the wackiness that is Tom Cruise and the missing wife of David Miscavige (lead of the Church of Scientology). I learned more about the actress, like how she and Angelo meet and how their relationship started out. There's also a little tiny bit about her daughter Sofia.I don't read too many biographies/memoirs but this was a good one. If you are a fan of Leah Remini, you should read this book. Better yet, listen to the audiobook version to get a first hand experience.20/20 Interview with Leah Remini on Scientology

  • ☮Karen
    2019-02-13 14:33

    Combative, inquisitive, and argumentative is how Leah Remini describes herself. As such, it makes me wonder if she ever would have become a Scientologist of her own free will. Instead, her mother got herself and two daughters involved shortly after her divorce from Leah's father, a mean and verbally abusive person. So from a very young age, Leah was brainwashed or indoctrinated into the "church" of Scientology and Tom Cruise's odd ways. (The quotes are mine as I don't understand how this cult with all its hate and greed can be called a church, but then many might argue the same about most religions.)What you see with Leah is definitely what you get. She has such strength and gumption (all right, balls), the final straw was sure to come and not be ignored by the likes of her. Ms Remini narrated the audio in her famous New York accent, which added to the authenticity. My only criticism of the recording is that the inhaling of air between sentences by the reader should have been edited out; it seemed she had the sniffles when it came time to make the audio.

  • Mike (the Paladin)
    2019-01-17 12:36

    I have read several "tell-all" books from those who've left Scientology so a lot of what I saw here isn't really new. That said Ms. Remini does by relating her life endorse what's been said by others who have written about their lives and experiences within Scientology.Some of it is really (I'm sure) unbelievable to anyone who hasn't been in or at least known some one who has been in or involved with a cult.There is however a look at Scientology that we haven't gotten (or if we have I'm not aware of it) from the "celebrity" point of view. Much has been made of the Hollywood connections. I suppose many of you are aware that Tom Cruise's reaction to this book has been mentioned in the news.So, there is some interesting discussion of the "church" of Scientology. In this case it's done very much in an "earthy" way from our writer who tells things in her own way. Also while I was less interested in this part of the book you get an account of her career and the bumps and bruises that came with trying to "make it in show-business".So not a bad book, in fact pretty interesting.

  • Frau Nightingale
    2019-02-10 12:46

    Read this within a day. It is well written. Remini reflects also her earlier years with Scientology. Like expected pretty shocking and disturbing. Tom Cruise gets a lot of attention from her.So glad for Leah Remini that she is now free of these inhuman behaviour and can live her life with her family. I hope, she will find peace with herself.

  • Snotchocheez
    2019-01-19 14:27

    A binge watch of the Hulu Originals series "The Path" with Aaron Paul and Michelle Monaghan (really weirdly excellent, almost worth getting Hulu for this series alone) reminds me I enjoyed the sheer inanity of Leah Remini's Scientology tell-allTroublemaker. If you have even the slightest interest in Scientology's wackadoodle-ness (and I have, but only tangentially: SeveralCause Celebre mid-to-late-'90s years volunteering for the food bank for AIDS Project Los Angeles soliciting donations outside Gelson's/Hughes' Market, immediately across from the Scientology Celebrity Center, where epauletted be-uniformed robots with nicotine-sheened pallor came across the street on their smoke breaks, eyes glazed in Thetan purposefulness, with me wondering WTF is their deal?) then this is certainly a book not to miss. Sure, there have been a couple solid books about Scientology published in recent years (among others,Going Clear by Lawrence Wright and Inside Scientology by Janet Reitman), but both of those kinda tiptoe around the specter of Scientology's legal team. Ms. Remini's has no such qualms in giving her insider look at Scientology's empire, risking not just excommunication from the church, but from most all of her friends and family (nearly all of them Scientologists themselves) to put the truth out there. I didn't know just how deep her involvement in the church was until reading this, but she's about as old school as they come. Ok, she's not as OT (original Thetan?) as L Ron Hubbard, but fully 3/4ths of her 40-some years have been spent with the church. Few know that institution better than her, and she's gutsy/disgruntled enough to share her harrowing stories with us: from her teen years with the Sea-Org to her dealings with current church leader David Miscavige. And, of course, all of the Hollywood-y juicy bits (not ordinarily my cup of tea, but The Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes Wedding, among dozens of Remini's stories, was a huge eye-opener to the levels of church adherents' freakitude).Sorry my review is short on details (as I read this nearly five months ago), but it really packs a wallop, and deserves to be read.

  • Amy
    2019-01-27 16:36

    I thought I knew the insanity of Scientology until I watched the HBO documentary, Going Clear, several months ago. Since then I have been fascinated with the people who have renounced themselves from the cult and have been bold enough to speak the truth of their lives in and now out of the evil philosophy, brainwashing and warped teachings of L. Ron Hubbard. Furthermore, the documentary confirmed and exposed the epic crazy of L. Ron Hubbard, Tom Cruise and David Miscavige which I believed to be true long before the exposure of their cult. It is disgusting that the IRS considers Scientology a religion because there is no evidence of any belief in their teachings that constitutes religion or spirituality. I have a greater respect for Leah Remini and her willingness to be bold and honest in revealing the truth not only of her own shortcomings and mistakes but especially of the leaders of such a warped cult. Remini has balls and I commend her and her family for renouncing themselves from such madness.

  • Rachel the Book Harlot
    2019-01-26 09:40

    "But that was the policy of the church. You were either all in or all out. It is an extremist religion. There is no middle ground. And there within its structure lies the danger." - Leah ReminiIn Troublemaker, Leah Remini takes the reader on a candid tour of her life, from her childhood in Brooklyn, New York through her days as a well-known actor in Hollywood. What ties all of her experiences together was her time as a member of the Church of Scientology. Indoctrinated at the age of 10, Remini remained a devout member for more than thirty years.One of the things I loved most about her book, aside from the in-depth look we get into the inner workings of the Church of Scientology, is Remini’s honesty. She talks honestly about herself, in all her flawed glory. Of course, some of that honesty comes from Remini trying to pre-empt the Church from exposing certain aspects of her past to the public. The Church has been known to intimidate and try to discredit former members who expose their disturbing practices.The other part is her bravery in coming forward. It’s not easy to confront such a seemingly powerful cult as the CoS, as well as someone as powerful within the hierarchy of the Church, and entertainment industry, as Tom Cruise. But she did it, and I admire her for that.I also admire her honesty in acknowledging how hard turning away from the Church was for her. As she explains:“After thinking a certain way, and being told what to think based on strict policy for more than thirty years, learning to think for myself and make my own choices did not come easily, nor did it happen overnight. Now, more than two years after cutting ties with the church, I’m still trying to figure things out.”She speaks about going to therapy, which is frowned upon in the church, in order to deal with the guilt and other emotional aspects related to the split and having to face a new way of life.Told in a conversational style, Troublemaker makes for a fast-paced read and is never boring. If you’re interested in learning more about the Church of Scientology, then I highly recommend Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology.Final Rating: 4 stars

  • Sarah Robinson
    2019-01-21 11:27

    This book might be one of my top favorites of the year, without a doubt. An unbelievably captivating story, great writing, and shocking twists and turns. The fact that it's all real.... both shocking, horrifying, and amazing. I've always liked Leah Remini, but now, I love her.