Perfectly Clear: Escaping Scientology and Fighting for the Woman I Love

Perfectly Clear: Escaping Scientology and Fighting for the Woman I Love

The revelatory memoir by former "poster girl for Scientology" Michelle LeClair about her defection from the Church, her newly accepted sexual identity, and the lengths to which Scientology went to silence it.For years, Michelle LeClair, former President of Scientology's international humanitarian organization, tried to reconcile her sexual orientation with the anti-gay ide...

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Title:Perfectly Clear: Escaping Scientology and Fighting for the Woman I Love
Author:Michelle LeClair
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Perfectly Clear: Escaping Scientology and Fighting for the Woman I Love Reviews

  • A Silent Bookworm (Jessica Parker)

    What can I say, really? I read the majority of this book in one sitting. After seeing the HBO documentary Going Clear and Leah Remini's show, I try to pick up and read other accounts of people who have left Scientology when I can. I am still amazed at the lengths the "church" (I use the term church loosely) goes to extort money from it's parishioners and keep them in Scientology. Particularly keeping people against their will. I am also amazed at how many celebrities (still) buy into this cult.

    I

    What can I say, really? I read the majority of this book in one sitting. After seeing the HBO documentary Going Clear and Leah Remini's show, I try to pick up and read other accounts of people who have left Scientology when I can. I am still amazed at the lengths the "church" (I use the term church loosely) goes to extort money from it's parishioners and keep them in Scientology. Particularly keeping people against their will. I am also amazed at how many celebrities (still) buy into this cult.

    I read this book as part of the PopSugar Reading Challenge 2018 - A book with an LGBTQ+ protaganist.

  • Terri Headley

    Michelle’s story of the tragedy of believing in the Scientology cult just breaks your heart. However, she is a woman of strength, courage and pure grit. I only wish those people that believe this cult can help you, read her book and know the truth. She fought and found true love and happiness. Great read. Hard to put down.

  • Paul

    Another great take-down of the evil cult of Scientology, and how absolutely nasty it is to former adherents. The degree of actions taken against the author by the cult should tell you how crazy Scientology is as well as its meanness and vindictiveness. The author's many decades as an idealist in the cult shatter after she falls in love with a woman and is declared a Suppressive Person. The cult does an incredible and complex disinformation smear on her that causes her to lose all her business (w

    Another great take-down of the evil cult of Scientology, and how absolutely nasty it is to former adherents. The degree of actions taken against the author by the cult should tell you how crazy Scientology is as well as its meanness and vindictiveness. The author's many decades as an idealist in the cult shatter after she falls in love with a woman and is declared a Suppressive Person. The cult does an incredible and complex disinformation smear on her that causes her to lose all her business (which was making huge sums of money) and brings out the federal government with the accusation of her running a ponzi scheme--all of it based on nasty lies by Scientologists. She loses her business and her fortune, but becomes lifetime partners with her true love, and finds happiness with her simple life with her wife, her mother (whom she also rescues from Scientology), and her four kids. A very inspiring book. Also a very scary book, if you've never read anything about Scientology. My advice: stay clear of Clearwater, Florida.

  • Libbye

    I wouldn't say much about the writing, but I don't read many memoirs so it didn't seem that unusual to me- I suppose it's her voice, after all. The first chapter was a rough start for me but after that it was smooth sailing, and I thought her story was engaging and important. It's easy to write stories like this off as someone being weak, or somehow blaming it on them. But it's fascinating/terrifying how deeply people can be manipulated and how little widespread caring or knowledge there is abou

    I wouldn't say much about the writing, but I don't read many memoirs so it didn't seem that unusual to me- I suppose it's her voice, after all. The first chapter was a rough start for me but after that it was smooth sailing, and I thought her story was engaging and important. It's easy to write stories like this off as someone being weak, or somehow blaming it on them. But it's fascinating/terrifying how deeply people can be manipulated and how little widespread caring or knowledge there is about it.

  • Lisa Kleinert

    I read through this one very quickly, as I am super interested in the subject of Scientology, from both pro- and anti- viewpoints.

    It was easy and interesting, however the author wrote herself as a Mary Sue in many ways, which came across as though we were only getting a slice of the full story. It would have been much better and would have felt more truthful had it been warts and all.

    I look forward to the next account of Scientology life book, as each viewpoint (Jenna Hill, Ron Miscavige, Leah,

    I read through this one very quickly, as I am super interested in the subject of Scientology, from both pro- and anti- viewpoints.

    It was easy and interesting, however the author wrote herself as a Mary Sue in many ways, which came across as though we were only getting a slice of the full story. It would have been much better and would have felt more truthful had it been warts and all.

    I look forward to the next account of Scientology life book, as each viewpoint (Jenna Hill, Ron Miscavige, Leah, etc.) have a different and fascinating story to share.

  • Katie Marsh

    The tone of the writing of this book often rubbed me the wrong way, but I still thought it was really interesting. I knew scientology was anti-gay, so it was amazing to read an actual account of the church condemning a member for being their authentic self. I am glad that she was able to make it through this and find peace. I don't understand how the government seems this manipulative money hungry cult as a religion and gives it tax breaks. It's truly stranger than fiction.

  • Emily

    I have very little doubt that the Church of Scientology tried to ruin Michelle's life after she came out as gay and left the church. I do not question that her failed marriage left her physically and emotionally drained and that the church played a big role in her continuing to attempt to conform to heteronormative standards. But the book is written in a way that makes me feel like it's not 100% accurate. I didn't need much convincing that the bad things that happened actually happened. Still, t

    I have very little doubt that the Church of Scientology tried to ruin Michelle's life after she came out as gay and left the church. I do not question that her failed marriage left her physically and emotionally drained and that the church played a big role in her continuing to attempt to conform to heteronormative standards. But the book is written in a way that makes me feel like it's not 100% accurate. I didn't need much convincing that the bad things that happened actually happened. Still, the author seemed to beg for my sympathy. It reminded me of people I know who, in order to gain support, paint themselves in a light Pollyanna could only dream of, while possibly exaggerating the struggles and difficulties they've faced. Again, I don't doubt that she faced these difficulties so I didn't need her to be the perfect wife, exceptional businesswoman and doting mother that she claimed to be. I didn't need letters from her previous clients and recitation of court rulings in order to be on her side. I didn't really need her to cast suspicion on Scientologists in order to understand their possibly involvement in her demise.

    Her perfection in character and intent, her naivety...it all came across as heavy handed when faced with previous accounts of Scientology. An important story that could be edited down to a 15 minute YouTube video.

  • Koen

    Okay read about a successful businesswoman and how and why she left the church of Scientology.

    While interesting to read her story it's quite a familiar tale by now and it didn't add too much for me to what I've read before and what I've seen in documentaries. For me i'd like to have read more about the inner workings of the church.

    I also thought this biography to be a little bit too smooth. I didn't really feel the pain and drama, and some aspects of the author's life seem a bit too perfect.

    Al

    Okay read about a successful businesswoman and how and why she left the church of Scientology.

    While interesting to read her story it's quite a familiar tale by now and it didn't add too much for me to what I've read before and what I've seen in documentaries. For me i'd like to have read more about the inner workings of the church.

    I also thought this biography to be a little bit too smooth. I didn't really feel the pain and drama, and some aspects of the author's life seem a bit too perfect.

    All in all a easy, quick and engaging read. It was okay.

  • Jan Priddy

    One star because I am not going to finish it. If you know nothing about Scientology, this will give you some of the dirt. There are briefer, more enlightening reveals, but this will distress any reader. It is a bizarre and nasty story. Maybe the nastiness will appeal to others more than it does to me.

    It is not a good memoir of coming out, and that is a pity, because there's a good story about sexuality buried here. The bias of Scientology is well documented and appalling. Unfortunately, the aut

    One star because I am not going to finish it. If you know nothing about Scientology, this will give you some of the dirt. There are briefer, more enlightening reveals, but this will distress any reader. It is a bizarre and nasty story. Maybe the nastiness will appeal to others more than it does to me.

    It is not a good memoir of coming out, and that is a pity, because there's a good story about sexuality buried here. The bias of Scientology is well documented and appalling. Unfortunately, the author is not particularly candid about her own feelings, motivations, nor is she particularly likable. What does she care about other than making money? Why is she attracted to people and how does she relate to men and women other than as "fun" or sexual? I should say LeClair is not particularly candid or likable. I am guessing that the author hired to write the story did what she could with it. Or perhaps that ghost can be blamed for failing to make LeClair more sympathetic.

    I believe the story here about falling for a wackadoodle cult, as well as the rest of the story that is not fully told here. She makes excuses for herself and is eager to lay blame. I have no doubt there is plenty of blame, but I just did not care. I am glad she is living happily with her wife, but I still don't like or trust her.

    LeClair is justified in claiming herself a victim when she first joined this cult at age 18, but she stayed with it for decades and only left when—surprise!—the church condemned her lesbian relationship. She was, after all, making so much money for them.

    Is Scientology secretive and controlling to an absurd degree? Pretty much. Is it bigoted and self-righteous? You bet. Does this memoir do better than we might find in well-written investigative journalism? Maybe not. Anyway, I found her whining and blaming and naiveté more than a little annoying. Again and again she uses her connection to Scientology to support, confuse, and defend her own failure to be true either to herself or the cult.

    I did not finish, but read 60-some pages and skipped to the end. I hoped I would find a mature objectivity in the

    , but I did not. She is the same hard-working, money-obsessed, lonely woman desperate for family that she was at 18. She escaped Scientology, but she doesn't seem to have grown all that much.

    Thank you to Penguin/Random House and The Berkley Marketing Team for this free copy. I will pass it along to someone who will surely like it better than I did.

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