Yes, I found this book to be very interesting. The bizarreness that is Scientology can almost be read as a non fiction drama. Which you may assume it was if you had never heard of Scientology. Narration was great and the book kind of played out like a girls diary. The things she saw and her feelings towards those things. Some may think it is a way to poorly write a novel, but I found it to be the most effective way.
Jenna. She got her self into all the trouble that in turn showed us what a dysfunctional group this is.
The whole thing. From the Ranch to the Sea ORG. Fascinating read.
Yes. It was fascinating, if you have never read anything about Scientology this is a great book to start on. I'm always interested in things I don't either know about or do not understand. This exposes a lot of those questions.
This book is a childlike, innocent retelling of what happened to JMH as a child growing up within the confines of Scientology. The treatment of her was harsh, and simply wrong. I cannot conceive of how parents and adults in general could allow it. She has my utmost sympathy, and I'm happy for her that she now has a better life.
However, in the interests of giving an honest book review, I cannot rate this book highly. I understand that she was unable to gain much of an education, and one cannot blame her for that. But as a reader, I would've gained far more from the book if instead of merely recounting separate episodes and isolated events, there had been some analysis of these events, with hindsight, and insight into the basic tenets of Scientology. What was or is her view of these? How does she interpret the events of her life as a reflection of these beliefs?
Why, in her opinion, were things as they were? How do her parents feel now, about having subjected her to this?
I understand that she was brainwashed, but is that the only reason she did not
leave sooner when she had both the opportunity and her parents' support? Since her life to that point had been so bad, surely the painful reality of the past years would have overcome the brainwashing? I don't know.
I find the sequence of events, unsupported by any insightful discussion, too simplistic, childish and incohesive. After all, the book is entitled "Beyond Belief". What is the belief-structure of Scientology, and what caused these events to stretch the beliefs beyond their limits? A fuller account would have made a far better book, in my opinion. Or is the "Belief" being referred to as the reader's unwillingness or incapacity to understand?
I'm sorry, but for the above reasons I regret having wasted a credit on this book. I think that being "nice" needs to take a back seat when evaluating a book purely on its merits.
From the moment I started listening I was hooked. A great look into a world I never knew existed.
Well told story that takes you on a journey through the perspective of someone who never knew better, to a realization that something wasn't right.
The audio performance, while good, was a little "cutesy" voiced for the tone of the book, but only slightly takes away from the overall experience.
The book itself was an interesting perspective less often heard from ex-scientologists. The author focused on detailing what it was like growing up as a child in Scientology as a Sea Org member. She even touches on how in some cases, the abuse she suffered was either lesser than or worse than other children who practice Scientology, partly due to her relation to David Miscavige. Yet another insightful look into an absolutely unbelievable "religion" .
Jenna shares her story growing up as a Scientologist. From childhood living on a communal ranch without her parents, to life as a teenager with a full time job working for the church to her fight to leave the cult she'd known her entire life. Jenna's story is intriguing, insightful and inspiring!
I couldn't stop listening to this book, I was so impressed by Jenna's bravery in sharing her story despite the threats she received by the church. I feel like I have gained new insight on Scientology.
I also recommend the recent documentary "Going Clear".
First- I hate this narrator. Every book she narrates I usually return because it's like bad acting. I much prefer when authors narrate their own books. However the story was good. My only complaint was that the writing was mediocre, and I rarely knew at what age she was experiencing things because she only mentioned her age a few times during the book. However she does have an excuse, being that she didn't go to real school in her life. I don't regret reading it though and would do so again.
M. A. d. l. M. Rodriguez
This story read like many books on cults. It demonstrated that all cults have the same patterns: cults separate you from your family, cults control your money and your movements, cults control your words, thoughts and actions.
Brave story but it pisses me off that people have literally wasted their lives devoted to this Cult of Scientology. It's quite mindblowing