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Publisher's Summary

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 same-sex attraction 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.

©2018 Michelle LeClair and Robin Gaby Fisher (P)2018 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

"LeClair’s straight-forward, compulsively readable account of all this is fascinating, as it takes readers into the oft-shrouded world of Scientology, its controlling techniques, its obsession with money, and more." (Booklist)

What listeners say about Perfectly Clear

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Couldn’t hit pause!

Michelle’s story is inspirational and so interesting. I couldnt stop listening. Loved hearing the emotions come through in hef narrative.

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  • Amanda
  • 2018-09-13

The view from the top

I really enjoyed this point of view. I've listened to a lot of books on Scientology, but this one was interesting because it was from the point of view from someone in the Celebrity center. As detailed as Leah Remini's was (and her book was sooo good), it didn't give as many details as to what it was like being in Celebrity status as Michelle did. This was a very interesting listen. I finished it in a day.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-10-19

The Damage a Cult Does

I was very interested to listen to this book. I want to thank Michelle for telling her story, not only exposing this awful cult, but also the story of her life which I found fascinating. A lot of people can't understand how anyone can get sucked into what appears on the surface to be a mind controlling and manipulative cult. But the realities of the stories the "survivors" tell are as different as the people that tell them.

I don't know why this cult is so interesting to me. I think it's because I'm political and I cannot stand that they are classified as a religion and are tax exempt. That infuriates me!! I guess I hope the more horror stories that come out about this cult the more political backbone government officials will have to revoke their status as a religion. However it seems clear that this cult has people at all levels of government and they have leverage on the right people to keep their money streams and power in place.

Michelle, I loved listening to your calm clear voice as you told your story. I was rooting for you the entire time I listened to this book. But man I wanted you to STOP giving them more and more money!! Ugh! I'm so happy for you that you and your mother got away. I"m happy that you are living your life on your terms. Again, thank you for sharing your story. It is important for many reasons.

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  • Nurture Learners and Able Observers
  • 2018-09-19

Welcome To Southern California

"I hate the smell of men and the smell of testosterone". But she has three sons, two of them twins she says are a product of rape by a husband she loathed. I wondered how the kids were supposed to overcome that and still be welcomed in the home. But the oldest one checked out early and went to live with his Dad. Probably because he did not want to offend with a manly smell? The writer herself had a mother that was a drifter and she was abandoned for a bit as a toddler. The family dynamic is not a loving one and the writer finds herself in a loveless marriage and states her children are none of them, even the one she adopted, a product of love. There seems to be some sadistic disregard for the burdens these truths might place on the children but they aren't mentioned much after chapter two. The stories about the Church of Scientology begging and abuse of their staff are well told in many places, so they are believable. Except for the part where she says the Church sets her up for major media and legal scandal. Actually, the Church of Scientology is famous for covering up and scandals and if you are a member and you cause one, you are usually expelled. So, impossible for me to believe she lost her professional license and was offered immunity by the D.A. to testify on a partner because the Church and State conspired against her because she was gay. 21 million $ of investor money vanished. Largely I do believe, because of a con man who presented himself as a director. Both partners blame the other of being a criminal by now so who knows? Was the writer taken advantage of? Yes. And anyone that comes into large sums of money rather suddenly, goes through this cycle. You become a target. The L.A. culture is rich here, right up to adopting a child based on race. Hippies exploring the occult, Hollywood film stars and Directors, Bystanders and Sponges. A very interesting story, well written and great narration. I can tell you because I lived there, this is all actually pretty normal for L.A.. Yes, you should buy the book and read it. You will learn something about human nature.

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  • TheMatdoc
  • 2018-09-17

Shocking truth about a Religion and violent acts

This story is not the first time I have heard of Scientology not only brainwashing their members with ridiculous superiority teachings, but also acts of violence and corruption in order to control their members. This was not only criminal by the church of Scientology, but also by our own State of California legal system. It's frightening to know that a cult such as Scientology has the power to ruin someone's life and financial future based on lies and manipulation, all for the sake of their races fanatical teachings. Where is justice here? I believe the Author to be one brave and courageous soul to share this journey with us.
My hope is that the right legal action gets taken against the church of Scientology and that a billion dollar settlement has them rethink their vicious practices. I hope the Author, her family and beloved regain their strength and faith in the goodness of humanity again.

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  • Matthew S.
  • 2021-04-18

The book clarifies so much of Michelle’s story & is an eye opening view of what it’s like to be gay in Scientology.

I’ve seen short interviews of Michelle on talk shows but a 10-20 minute interview isn’t nearly long enough to show you just how innocent she is (legally) & what all Scientology put her through. I love reading/watching stuff about people who’ve left cults (particularly Scientology) so I know a lot about the “Church”. But I never fully understood what a gay Scientologist has to endure. As a gay man who grew up in a hardcore version of Evangelicalism I was touched by Michelle’s struggles. She talks briefly about her childhood & then goes into her teen years when her mom joined Scientology. In the book you’ll hear all about her introduction to the cult, the brainwashing, her abusive marriage to a man & how she had to live a lie (as a straight woman). She talks about her successful career in insurance, moving upward in the church as she gave more & more money, how Scientology forced her to repress her sexuality from her teen years & up. She fully explains how she was set up by a shady Scientology man & how the church did everything it could to destroy her life. She talks about motherhood, falling in love with her now wife, waking up & leaving the church and more. I highly recommend this book!

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  • tammy
  • 2020-07-20

Another example of the evil of some religions

I have read many books on Scientology and find the topic fascinating. It never ceases to amaze me how bright, talented people who are so successful in life get sucked into these cults. If you can't see through a religion that expects large payments for status in the church and come into your home at all hours begging for money, then maybe you deserve the loss of money and pride.
Also, I was confused as to why she refers to her girlfriend as Charlie when her real name is Tena Clark and like many readers, I am not convinced she was innocent of the Ponzi scheme but, she was blind to the misdeeds of Scientology so maybe she is just had her head in the sand.
All that said, the book is worth a read or a listen.

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  • Holly Fenn
  • 2019-10-19

Eye-Opening!

This is a well-written, thoughtfully composed description of a woman’s experience and incredible fortitude to find a new life’s path.

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  • Craig H Casey
  • 2019-09-17

Great clear story-telling!

Congratulations on your escape. For some reason I am facinated by stories of those that escape CULTS like SCIENTOLOGY. My remaining questions is why a mainstream religion often replaces the cult. Neither make sense to me. Scientology seems to be like a bad marriage x 1000. Its poison.

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  • J.Mac
  • 2019-05-17

Provocative Look at a Cult Disguised as a Church

A touching true story which shared the truth about the distructive cult, Scientology. While at the same time teaching the reader the truth about how true love in a lesbian relationship can be so beautifully lived even during life's most dangerous and frightening periods. Many good lessons are taught in this book.

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  • Jeri
  • 2019-02-18

Courage to be true to herself

I enjoyed listen to Michelle story. I like how she stood for herself and the ones she loves. Courage to stand against a cult that doesn't understand LOVE or FAMILY. Family comes in all forms and ways. Like this view from one that didn't actually work or live in the Scientology campus but try to live the "religion" I listen to Jenna Miscavige Hill, Beyond Belief which is another great story of escaping and living to be true to yourself. I proud of Michelle and Jenna for getting away from a Cult. Like Michelle said she learn from the improvement of personal self from the Scientology practice but then Scientology have to take it to far and think they own you . I hate that Michelle had to lose so much but also love that she stood to cover her responsibilities. Michelle you have learn and live thru a lot but you are living your true self go be great and happy.