Atlanta Woman Writes About Her Escape From Scientology

By Nedra Rhone
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) After more than two decades as a high-donor member of the church, Michelle LeClair, 45, said the organization sought to destroy her and her livelihood when she came out as a gay woman. She details her journey in a new memoir, “Perfectly Clear,” (Berkley, $27).

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Michelle LeClair was just a teenager when she was first introduced to the Church of Scientology. She had moved from Norman, Okla., to Los Angeles where she felt adrift and alone, the perfect conditions, she said, for being recruited into what she now identifies as a cult with diminished power.

“Nobody cares what the Church of Scientology has to say anymore. They are like the little man behind the curtain who doesn’t have the strength and power he thought he had. Everyone is aware this is a cult that is built on lies,” LeClair said.

After more than two decades as a high-donor member of the church, LeClair, 45, said the organization sought to destroy her and her livelihood when she came out as a gay woman.

The realization that she would not be accepted as her authentic self led to her defection in 2010.

LeClair, who has lived in Atlanta since 2015 with her music-producer partner, Tena Clark and LeClair’s children from a previous marriage, details her journey in a new memoir, “Perfectly Clear,” (Berkley, $27).

The Church of Scientology has rebutted LeClair’s account noting in a statement to People Magazine that she has not been involved with the church in a decade and that any financial undoing was of her own making.

The church also denied that it has any official position on homosexuality. “Instead of accepting responsibility for her actions, Ms. LeClair appears to be peddling fiction,” said the statement. “We hope Ms. LeClair can someday find solace.”

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