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

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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 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 ideology of the church. Michelle finally ends her horrific marriage, finds the love of her life, a woman, and ultimately leaves the Church. But the split comes at a terrible price. Her once pristine reputation is publicly dragged through the mud, the police raid her home, her ex-husband tries to gain full custody of their children, and the multi-million dollar business she built from scratch is utterly destroyed. In this tell-all memoir, Michelle offers an insider's perspective on Scientology's pervasive influence, secret rituals, and ruthless practices for keeping members in line. It's a story of self-acceptance, of finding the strength and courage to stand up for your emotional freedom, and of love prevailing.


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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 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 ideology of the church. Michelle finally ends her horrific marriage, finds the love of her life, a woman, and ultimately leaves the Church. But the split comes at a terrible price. Her once pristine reputation is publicly dragged through the mud, the police raid her home, her ex-husband tries to gain full custody of their children, and the multi-million dollar business she built from scratch is utterly destroyed. In this tell-all memoir, Michelle offers an insider's perspective on Scientology's pervasive influence, secret rituals, and ruthless practices for keeping members in line. It's a story of self-acceptance, of finding the strength and courage to stand up for your emotional freedom, and of love prevailing.

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

  1. 5 out of 5

    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.

  2. 4 out of 5

    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.

  3. 5 out of 5

    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.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Terri Headley

    Amazing story 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.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    Scientology is fascinating and this book did not disappoint --- but it could have been better written.

  6. 5 out of 5

    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.

  7. 4 out of 5

    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 after, 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.

  8. 4 out of 5

    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.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Claire Neubert

    Michelle Leclair does an incredible job of walking through the series of unfortunate events that led to her distrust of the cult of Scientology, and her ultimate coming out, and seeing the organization for what it is. It is truly incredible the strength it must have took her to walk away from everyone/everything she new and choose to recreate herself apart from the organization that didn't have her back in any way. Although this story was definitely probably a painful one to write, her courage a Michelle Leclair does an incredible job of walking through the series of unfortunate events that led to her distrust of the cult of Scientology, and her ultimate coming out, and seeing the organization for what it is. It is truly incredible the strength it must have took her to walk away from everyone/everything she new and choose to recreate herself apart from the organization that didn't have her back in any way. Although this story was definitely probably a painful one to write, her courage and amazing strength to persist gives hope to so many still brainwashed, or those who don't know there is a world outside of Scientology, a world ready to accept them and love them for who they are. WELL DONE MICHELLE. Let's try to get the Church of Scientology investigated. They should NOT be tax exempt. They are NOT a religion. They are a CULT. THANK YOU for your story.

  10. 4 out of 5

    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.

  11. 5 out of 5

    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.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Butcher

    This story really got under my skin and drew me in. I read most of this at one sitting - I honestly could not put it down and I'm not entirely sure why. The writing isn't extraordinary, she seems to leave out a lot of crucial details, and things often seem too good to be true...but still, I found this a compelling read that helps shed more light on this terrible cult.

  13. 4 out of 5

    eva

    Sorry but Scientologists are crazy....it was very very interesting to read her journey and all the things that are "behind the curtain" of Scientology.....honestly the main thing that bugged me was that she used another name for her partner in her book than her real name...which I found after I google'd her...but otherwise a good read!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mike McAdam

    This book was RIVETING! I really enjoyed this harrowing story. What a crazy thrill ride! I don't do spoilers so I won't mention what happens but let's just say it is a fascinating story of trouble, resolve, family and helping each other. There is plenty to learn from this book. I recommend it!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gail Rosen

    What a powerful and interesting book. Honest and engaging account of what truly happens in the world of Scientology. Very well told. Highly recommend this book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Another first person testimony to the evils of Scientology.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anna Welch

    This is a concise yet deep telling of this woman and her escape from Scientology. Great read. Also a great illustration of how self acceptance is key to personal happiness and safety.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Harrison

    This book was ok. I’ve read others on the subject I’ve liked more. Her journey was interesting and scary, like many others that have been a part of Scientology.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Jonsson

    Interesting book on a woman's intake, descent and discharge from the Scientology religion.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michele Thiessen

    Read it!!! Loved it. Couldn’t put the book down. Eye opening and informative. I will read again and highly recommend this book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Donna Francisco

    Very interesting

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bronsont

    Great read, chilling story of the lengths some will go to in order to protect a cult.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brianne Byrnes

  24. 5 out of 5

    Linda Zimmerman

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sherrie Bendele

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kim Fairchild

  27. 4 out of 5

    Acadfandom

  28. 4 out of 5

    Liz

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mary Beth

  30. 5 out of 5

    Erin Brienesse

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