There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry – Emily Dickinson
Wow! I think Scientology has to be one of the most messed up, horrible organizations I've ever heard of. I won't call it a religion; that would be a sham. The book was fascinating in that it opened my eyes to the reality and the inner workings of Scientology. At the same time, it was pretty boring in its details and the reality which seemed to go on and on. I've heard some bad things about Scientology, BUT now my eyes have been opened to the extent of the rottenness.
As I was reading about the constant "auditing" (questioning sessions with an e-meter designed to elicit a certain result from the person being audited) and "sec-checks"(confessional given on an e-meter) , it made me think of North Korea in Orphan Master's Son! Seriously, that is how BAD it was. Well, they didn't hook the person up to a pain machine, BUT they did use constant belittling, questioning, humiliating, separation, isolation, and on and on to elicit the response they wanted. I also feel like this girl's parents were partly to blame for allowing her to be taken from them and to be separated from them and sucked into this horror. Of course, she was/is from a 3rd generation Scientology family, so they were ALL brainwashed, I guess.
The book talks about how the celebrity Scientologists are treated differently, and the world never sees that horrible stuff that goes on in the background. The hypocrisy of Scientology is stunning in its breadth and depth.
I've got to give this girl credit for getting out and exposing all this to the world.
This story sucks you in and doesn't let you go. The horrors that happened to this child/young adult are mind boggling, all in the name of religion. The readers voice is soft and you can picture the little girl, the teen, the young adult as she's reading. The story is clear and getting this in depth look into Scientology is extremely interesting.
I gave this book 4 stars because on the most part, it was a really interesting listen. I always had a feeling there was something wrong with Scientology but I never knew all the disturbing details, and this book was a real eye-opener.
I can't say the book is incredibly well-written - there are some grammar issues and some parts are a bit tedious to get through. What really bothered me, though, was the narrator. She reads as if she is telling the story to an audience of 6-year-olds, and tends to pronounce sentences that are not questions as questions. That gets really irritating really fast.
Still, if you are interested in the topic of cults and you enjoy reading first-hand accounts, this is definitely worth a listen.
Possibly, if this was a subject they were interested in and wanted to read widely. If it was for a one-off read of a "tell-all" Scientology book then there are others I would pick (My Billion Year contract for example)
There were no characters as such, but Sandy did a good job with the narration.
Not to become a scientologist :) (Not that I needed inspiration for that)
Perfect narrator for this story-- her voice gives life to the author's experiences
I'm not even done listening yet and am completely riveted by this young woman's life and experiences. I'm impressed with her gumption to write this book.
Yes, it is an intriguing story. It's hard to grasp it happens today, that this cult exists among us and so few understand how it operates.
I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books.
Jenna Miscavige grew up from a very young age, living in a compound of the Church of Scientology - "religion." She believed all that was being taught to her. However, she was not learning like other children going to public schools. She was taught the Scientology way.
The very young worked hard and long hours on the restructure of a building that was in a deplorable state. The children were told what to do by a "teacher" who stood in the foreground and instructed them. This lesson could be described as teaching children the skills of carpentry, landscaping and the true meaning of exhaustion. Their punishment for not obeying their leader was severe. This was Jenna's first " lesson" when she left the children's compound.
As a member of Scientology, you were not given choices but learned instead, to do as you were told. To me, Scientology is not a religion but more of what I think of as a commune. Leaving Scientology was mightily discouraged. Those that tried had to escape and try not to get caught because severe punishment would be their penance.
The book, Beyond Belief, is very informative and a true learning experience of just what Scientology is all about. This book is well written and easy to understand. The story revolves around the Miscavige's. Jenna is the niece of the leader of the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige.
The book is not written in a dialogue format. The reader learns about the struggles, fears and punishments that make Scientology work like a well oiled machine. However, Scientologist's do not want the world at large to know what their "religion" actually is. This is why Jenna Miscavige Hill wrote this true story. She needed to tell her story. However, she and her husband to be had to formulate their own plan of escape in order to leave the Church of Scientology.
The narrator made the book an easy listen. The descriptions of how the Church of Scientology functions were scary. If any reader has ever wondered what Scientology is all about, read this book. You will not have to wonder anymore.
I would recommend the book to those who would be interested in it for the same reason that I was: to be a voyeur into the world of Scientology. I figured that if I wanted a peek inside, who better to show me than this woman with such close ties to the top ranks? However after finishing it, strangely, I wasn't particularly surprised by it all. I do admire Ms. Miscavige-Hill for telling it, though. She must be one tough cookie.
I'm a high school English teacher, partner, mom, daughter, sister, and adventurer.
A lot of reviewers have criticized the reader, but the reader's voice actually isn't too far off from the author's voice. So, it may have been a choice for authenticity.
Nothing. She portrayed the author as accurately as I can imagine.
No. Besides the story having some interesting revelations about this "religion", I didn't feel invested in the protagonist.
This was a fascinating book about a mainstream cult that nobody seems to be investigating. I can hardly believe this takes place in our own backyard. As soon as I finished reading this book, I couldn't help but seek out Mike Rinder's blog and look at You Tube videos of crazy scientologists. Opened my eyes about the seedy underbelly of Scientology. By the end of the book, you're really rooting for Jenna and her husband to turn on the church and get out of there. Really good listen.