One of the things that most surprised me when I read this book was that Leah Remini was a scientologist from childhood. For some reason, I thought she became one after she became an actress. Remini starts of the book with an interesting backstory and although I relate to some of her childhood tales of not having the nicest toys or the luxury of some of her neighbors, I just couldn’t buy the conclusion that her mom brought them into scientology as the only escape from Brooklyn life. Although not a luxurious neighborhood, Bensonhurst is a pretty nice diverse family area. I thought it was pretty clear from the beginning her mom garnered an interest in scientology after the man she was dating introduced her to it. It is easy to see why, since she thought he was a well spoken man who communicated well. I could see how a religion that promoted that much communication in a relationship would be appealing to a woman. Does she mean that her mom was hoping scientology would offer a chance at social climbing? I feel like people should just be clear about these things instead of dramatisizing their backgrounds. And if her mom was so concerned about them living the Brooklyn life why would she be leaving them home along the whole time before they expressed interest in Scientology.
So it seemed plausible to me that her mom would be interested in bringing her daughters to a religion that would focus on strengthening relationships. Even Leah’s descriptions at first made Scientology sound appealing. Then of course she got to the nitty gritty and you start to see scientology as a pyramid scheme. She did a good job of introducing it as a newcomer and slowly progressing into the mess someone would find themselves in.
Some of the things she uses to reference Tom’s craziness doesn’t seem that crazy to me. For example, she criticizes his wanting to play hide and seek because he is an adult. I don’t think that’s so strange, unless it is followed up by something strange. Why is it normal for adults to play beer pong or some other party game but not hide n seek? Then she called up the church annoyed when Tom jumped on the couch on the Oprah show. I didn’t think that was so strange! Sorry but he is an artist. They are loud and spontaneous and not at all as self conscious as the rest of us about the space around them. That is what makes a good performer, especially in comedy. I have many performer friends who do random things. That’s what makes them the life of the party. Of course she did get to some weird parts about him like when he insulted his assistant but I felt the other incidents were nitpicking on someone she just didn’t like overall. I thought her description of Sharon Osborne sounded realistic and impartial enough. She seemed hurt by her attitude but let it go and moved on from it.
When she finally left scientology, her therapist sounded great and I loved the advice she got to just keep the good things of Scientology with her. It is a shame that there is so much corruption and that some people use religion to manipulate others.
I do recommend the book if you are looking for a tell all and behind the curtain look at scientology. I did enjoy it, I just had an opinion about some of her descriptions.