A few years ago I watched a BBC documentary about Scientology and found the whole thing fascinating and a little jarring at the same time. So last year we discovered on Sky that Leah Remini had done a documentary series on Scientology after her leaving the church. I had only ever known her from “The King of Queens”, so thought it would be interesting from a comedy actresses point of view. We watched the first series and are nearly finished with the second. Whilst watching I found that the story she was telling was quite familiar with what I had heard from not only the BBC documentary, but other people who had also left.
A quick search and there it was, “Leah Remini – Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology”, a press of a button and I had bought it.
I knew of L. Ron Hubbards writings of science fiction novels, and when I was in my late teens (late 80’s) I attended a “fair” in Liverpool that had many things from occult societies to religious nuts, D&G, and a whole host of things, but, little did I know that one of the things there was the Church of Scientology. The girl I was with persuaded me to do a “dianetics test” with her to see what kind of personality we had. We did it and that was that, and I never thought about it again. But people were really into the “findings” and wanted to take things further. I was a student who had no money so I was out. Lucky me!
I’m also a very sceptical person and find the whole cult/religion thing outlandish. I am agnostic, and cannot commit to the belief that there is or isn’t a god or higher being. I mean, if he/she were introduced to me and could prove it, then I would change my mind, so until then…
Anyway, Leah tells of her being brought into Scientology at the age of 13 and how her life went through her 30 years in the “church”. She talks of neglect of children as the “church” believes that all people are responsible for their own lives including children, which I find outrageous. The physical and mental abuse that goes on is quite startling, but I suppose this is true of near all religions and is not something that is unique to Scientology. One of the eyeopeners is the cost to all of this and that people get themselves in so much debt in order to cross “The Bridge To Total Freedom” by completing courses, auditing, and being forced/managed into donating massive amounts of money, Leah donating millions. Signing a billion-year contract to join the Sea Org was something that made me laugh as if something like that could be upheld. Leaving the “church” Leah lost most of her Scientology friends as they were forced under the rules of LRH to disconnect from her as she would be labelled a suppressive person. One positive thing that came from here “church” activities was her husband who was not a Scientologist when she met him, and was, as she put it “more fucked up” than she was. She does name drop quite a lot, so keep a dustpan a brush at the ready to sweep up the names.
Her book is quite raw and revealing and if you don’t mind lots of bad language/cursing then give it a go. My view of Scientology has never changed, but my eyes have been opened up a little more to her candid writings.
One final thought, LRH was a science fiction writer, which should tell us all we need to know about his billion-dollar religion.
6 thoughts on “Book 2 – Troublemaker”
The incredibly messed up nature of Scientology is the reason I have vowed to never pay to see a Tom Cruise movie. I know there are a lot of high profile celebrities involved, but he has managed to get himself into the upper echelons of the organization and the fact that he’s basically an ambassador for Scientology and the damage it’s caused leaves an especially unpleasant taste in my mouth. I watched the first season of “Scientology and the Aftermath” (Lea Remini’s show) and it was eye-opening. If you get a chance, watch the documentary “Going Clear”.
The one downside of this is that when Trey Parker and Matt Stone decided to poke fun at Scientology on “South Park”, it resulted in Isaac Hayes (the voice of Chef) leaving the show, and then Hayes passed away. I find it hilarious, though, in the scenes where they’re depicting the Scientology “origin story”, there is a big old graphic at the bottom that says, “This is what Scientologists actually believe”.
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I remember watching Going Clear a long time ago, but we have it on our recorder so will watch it again to catch up. I have not watched South Park, I will have to find the one you are on about. It is such a screwed up “religion”, and reading Leah’s book she points out that Tom Cruise is an SP as many of the actions he takes are agains the writings of LRH, i.e. jumping on Oprah’s sofa was a big no no as it bring down the name/advocacy of the “church”. I felt it necessary to use inverted commas throughout as these words are used purely as a tax dodge and nothing else.
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The name of the episode is “Trapped in the Closet”. Part of the plot involves Tom Cruise locking himself in Stan’s closet after Stan (“believed” at this point by some Scientologists to be a “reincarnation” of L. Ron Hubbard, even though he only took a “personality test” and paid them money) criticizes Cruise’s acting. There is also a parody of the R. Kelly song “Trapped in the Closet” (of which Part 1 of the saga was a surprise chart hit at the time of the episode’s original airing) as well as a parody of R. Kelly himself present in the episode.
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Ill defo have to watch it. I have it on my DVR box for later.
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I hopped on over to recommend watching Remini’s docuseries as well as Going Clear, but now I am here just to second the motion 🙂 ALSO, if you YouTube Joe Rogan’s podcast, he has some interesting interviews with Leah Remini and Ron Miscavige. I can’t seem to get enough info. re: Scientology simply because I’m mind blown by it all, especially the people who think even an ounce of this is a good concept. You may also enjoy Beyond Belief by Jenna Miscavige Hill.
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I love Joe Rogan, not only funny, but really does not take idiots lightly. I will have a look at Joe too for the Scientology episodes. I am now reading Bare-Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard by Russell Miller. Early days, but interesting too. Yes I am the same as I cannot get enough of this insanity.