Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology - Rebecca Paley, Leah Remini

If I thought the HBO doc "Going Clear," was illuminating, Troublemaker was more so, only because Leah Remini became a member when she was 9-10 years old (I remember it being 10, but according to Wikipedia it was 9).  She subsequently remained a member for 30+ years.  I don't remember this in "Going Clear," but a part of Remini's book discusses how children were treated.  They don't go to school (it's not important, serving and learning about the church is).  They have no parental supervision; most get separated from their parents.  They work for the church, anywhere from babysitting the babies/toddlers to cleaning earning only 15 bucks a week.  Children aren't children, but are instead little adults.  

After getting in trouble (and it wasn't really anything), her mom intervenes and they move to LA and join the group there.  While it was interesting reading about auditioning, the Scientology stuff was (obviously) more interesting.  You can't trust anyone (they might write up a Knowledge Report on you).  The bit about Tom Cruise, David Miscavige, and his missing wife was interesting to read, but there also has been press about that too.  "Going Clear" covers that pretty well.  

It is amazing how much money and time the church expects of it's members.  Classes are $35 to hundreds, members are required to spend 2 1/2 hours/day studying Scientology, and on top of that, donate money.  The more then better.  All of it tax exempt because the Church of Scientology is considered a religious organization and therefore doesn't have to pay any tax under US tax law.  And that leads me to this:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y1xJAVZxXg

 

This is a clip of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.  They did segment on how easy it was to get tax exempt status for churches and how little oversight they have. To make his point, the show setup a church and got thousands in donations (which went to charity). (Which is now defunct).