Get Up, Stand Up: Stand Up For Your Rights! ~Bob Marley
I enjoy reading nonfiction and find it to be a great way to learn something new. These next two books have something very important in common; both authors, Leah Remini and Leon Wildes fight for rights of others with the hopes of making a difference. In the 1970s Wildes fought for justice, freedom and the pursuit of family and happiness for John Lennon and Yoko Ono against the powers that be in government and the courts. Today Remini is fighting to expose Scientology and all the dirty little secrets while standing up for all the people who have been stripped of their human rights and continue to be abused and separated from their families.
I devoured these books and have been talking about them ever since.
Troublemaker, Surviving Hollywood and Scientology is by The King of Queens tv star and well known Hollywood actress Leah Remini. The book is written in her brash, likable, tell it like it is voice and I was prepared to enjoy this one regardless of topic but was shocked and appalled when she revealed the details of her childhood and young adulthood as she was brought up as a Scientologist. According to Remini, Scientologists are taught to believe their work and study of the religion can and will save the world. The leader, David Miscavage exerts his power to control open minded people who are looking for answers. Once you are in you are committed to at least 2 hours a day of study as you work toward your goal to move up the ladder of success within the religion. If a Scientologist chooses to leave the church and/or say anything derogatory or even question the movement you can/will be harassed, slandered, followed, abused, questioned, shunned and forbidden to have contact with family and friends. The control the leaders have over the parishoners seems unethical and illegal. I have been watching the A & E tv series Leah Remini has created with other ex-scientologists and am hoping the national exposure will be a precursor to dismantling this controlling and damaging movement. Troublemaker was an informative and compelling read.
John Lennon vs. The U.S.A., The Inside Story of the Most Bitterly Contested and Influential Deportation Case in United States History was written by Leon Wildes, the New York attorney who represented John Lennon and Yoko Ono in court. In the early 1970s the legal voting age was lowered to 18 and at this time young people were becoming politically aware and active. The Beatles and John Lennon were in the media spotlight and Lennon’s public disapproval of the Vietnam War caused a swell of peaceful protesting by these activists. This outspoken group of young America was a thorn in president Nixon’s side so when John Lennon’s visa was about to expire, Nixon used his power and influence on the court system to discourage renewal and have him deported. This first hand stories of this dedicated lawyer’s harrowing legal challenges, his cherished relationships with Yoko Ono and John Lennon and his brush with fame were informative, enjoyable and eye opening.
The power a president can exert is extraordinary and if he is surrounded by his own henchmen, they can and will carry out his wishes if they believe it is in their best interest. Leaders can entice, convince and even brainwash those around them and if they have bad intentions there can be devastation. Both Troublemaker and John Lennon vs The U.S.A. shed light on how heads of organizations, both religious and governmental can exert their power to take away the rights of humans. Nothing is more true in today’s world therefore individuals need to work together to fight against unethical, destructive leadership and stand up for the rights and the freedoms of all people.
Thank you to friend and fellow book lover Melissa Kane for her photo from the Women’s March in DC.