I have more than a passing familiarity with the work of L. Ron Hubbard and the methods of Scientology so I was intrigued to read Jenna Miscavige Hill's book. After a tumultuous two days of listening, I'm amazed she made it out alive.
If you want to understand how false confessions are coerced, or how someone can become completely wrapped up in an improbable belief system I have never read a more explicit description of these processes or a better step-by-step analysis of an experience starting in early childhood than Ms. Hill's.
The amazing thing is she was able to think her way out of it really putting the old adage, "Think for yourself and question authority" to the task. The authorities in her case were impressive: her parents, grandparents, siblings, aunt, and Uncle David Miscavige the undisputed heir to L. Ron Hubbard's legacy.
Removed from her biological family at the age of seven and trained to work at manual labor, medical assistant, animal trainer, and Sea Org auditor while maintaining her Scientology OT levels, foregoing all but the most rudimentary conventional education, Jenna Miscavige was fully indoctrinated into the Church of Scientology by adolescents. Adolescents, though, is where the adventure begins.
The Church enumerates the first four "dynamics:" Self, family, group, and species. Within the Church, however, members are expected to forgo the second family dynamic for "the greater good." Husbands and wives are frequently quite young and even more frequently separated. When they have sexual relations outside of their committed relationships, however, they are considered "Out 2D" and severely punished. For all of Hubbard's wisdom about human nature, his organization has gotten completely lost regarding human biology. The stories Jenna Miscavige Hill tells here would be very funny if they were not deeply tragic. She describes an organization out of touch with reality and hanging on to its focus by a thread. These "leaders" should be encouraged to read Dianetics 55. CONTROL = the ability to start, change and stop. This goes for your thoughts as well as your selves.
Congratulations on your escape, Jenna, but don't you believe for an instant that they are no longer watching you. They contacted me for a $3,000.00 donation after 35 years. I had to change my phone number to stop the calls and the mail keeps right on coming. Stay strong!
Ms. Rustin, by the way, offers an excellent reading. I give her high marks as well.
Say something about yourself!
It's hard to believe that this still goes on, and we as a nation turn the other cheek.
This audiobook was a very easy listen. The story of Jenna Miscavige is hardly a boring one. The book takes you deep into the secret world of Scientology as preached by its head nutter David Miscavige (Jenna's uncle).
The moment when you learn about what the highest people in Scientology truly believe. Truly shocking .... Sorry no spoilers here.
She has a soft voice, easy to listen to. She makes you convinced that Jenna is telling you the story herself.
Not quite, its very long. Its about 16 hour or so. But I probably listened to it about 2hours at a time.
Worth the price, or use a credit. You wont be disappointed.
I finished this book just after having read Inside Scientology. Both books are in-depth looks at scientology, though Beyond Belief has a personal touch that is less prevalent in the well-researched Inside Scientology.
Jenna does not sugar-coat her experiences, nor puts a halo on her head to describe her actions and reactions as angelic. As another reviewer has stated, it is stylistically clunky in spots, but I read the book in a very short period of time.
This personal account of horrors in the name of a godless religion is riveting and compelling... and important to realize the duplicity of this group who claims to want to save the world by controlling it.
Jenna Miscavige has given us a deceptively simple glimpse into the terrifying interior world of Scientology. Her child's-eye viewpoint is in some ways more disturbing than the bizarre big-picture investigations we've gotten from such recent writers as Lawrence Wright and Janet Reitman.
Who knows what goes on? I sure don't. But it was an interesting listen if you've ever wondered about Scientology. Of course, this is just one person's perspective.
Probably no. It was good - real good. But I don't need to hear about the disturbed, sad and abused people of the Church.
It was good. She sounded as if it was Jenna talking, easy to make a connection.
A big reaction. I did not know much about he church before the book. Since the book I have done quite about of surfing regarding Scientology and the members who have left and people who are into the religion..
It has served as a good teaching tool when talking with my children and explaining to them the dangers of some people and there ideas and how easy it is to become stuck.and controlled.
This is the second book I have read about Scientology recently, and hearing the perspective of someone who was inside for most of her young life is quite riveting. The fact that she is the niece of the leader of the church and had a lot of interaction with him makes the account even more interesting. Highly recommended!
I've never read the print version.
Obviously, the main character Jenna.
No i haven't.
Regardless of this book being about Scientology or anything else, it's very interesting and sad to see how different other peoples lives can be. Especially when they are children and their parents do not know about their childrens daily lives.
Avid general reader with a fondness for British and Irish Writers and world history.
As with some of the insider descriptions of Scientology, this gives a perspective from a child's and young adult's view. It is quite revealing and, if the routines are still the same, reveals an organization which should be removed from tax relief granted 'religious' exemption and charged with child abuse (good luck with that). I continue to be amazed that people are still 'gulled' into paying many thousands of dollars to be misled and abused - the money going into into the coffers of what has the appearance of being more of a criminal investment and real estate scheme with the inducement of some kind of immortality.
The narration was a bit disappointing. It would have been much more interesting from a 'mature' voice with a less 'cheerful' tone. I can understand the decision to use a young voice in this but think it was the wrong one.