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Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape | [Jenna Miscavige Hill]

Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape

Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece of Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige, was raised as a Scientologist but left the controversial religion in 2005. In Beyond Belief, she shares her true story of life inside the upper ranks of the sect, details her experiences as a member Sea Org - the church's highest ministry - speaks of her "disconnection" from family outside of the organization, and tells the story of her ultimate escape.
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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Finalist, Non-Fiction, 2014

Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece of Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige, was raised as a Scientologist but left the controversial religion in 2005. In Beyond Belief, she shares her true story of life inside the upper ranks of the sect, details her experiences as a member Sea Org - the church's highest ministry - speaks of her "disconnection" from family outside of the organization, and tells the story of her ultimate escape.

In this tell-all memoir, Jenna Miscavige Hill, a prominent critic of Scientology who now helps others leave the organization, offers an insider's profile of the beliefs, rituals, and secrets of the religion that has captured the fascination of millions, including some of Hollywood's brightest stars such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

©2013 Jenna Miscavige Hill (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (865 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Dianne New Bern, NC, United States 02-14-13
    Dianne New Bern, NC, United States 02-14-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beyond belief"
    What would have made Beyond Belief better?

    Fine as is as far as I can understand the experiences detailed


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Mystery


    What didn’t you like about Sandy Rustin’s performance?

    Sandy was ok but wasn't into the content


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    unbelief that people can be so controlled mentally.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is geared to a certain audience. People that have been under the influence of mind control organizations need to read this.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roberta Salzburg, Austria 06-06-13
    Roberta Salzburg, Austria 06-06-13 Member Since 2010

    ...occasionally broadens her horizons, but generally just wants to be entertained...

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Work Camp Childhood"

    I heard this book while reading "Escape from Camp 14" by a North Korean Labour Camp escapee. I was shocked again and again at the number of comparisons - the forced labour, the requirement to tattle, the regimented daily procedures.

    The level of brainwashing is horrifying - according to Ms. Miscavige Hill there is constant fear of being unworthy and even more constant fear to be better and to be successful and to rise in an organization where this seems impossible. She was actually in a relatively "high" position/organization within Scientology, but even for her there were so many secrets that it seems impossible that anyone could ever rise all the way or even want to.

    The narration was okay, the text was occasionally very simple. The story itself was more interesting for the shock effect than for the literary quality and I listened out of fascination that something so abhorrent could be so captivating to the brainwashed.



    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teri A. Walter Houston, TX USA 05-31-13
    Teri A. Walter Houston, TX USA 05-31-13 Member Since 2007
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    "If you've ever wondered about Scientology"
    What made the experience of listening to Beyond Belief the most enjoyable?

    The first person narrative of someone growing up in the church was captivating. I wanted to see how and why she decided to leave what she was raised to believe in.


    Any additional comments?

    This completely answers the question about whether it's a cult. All the signs are there. Of course, that also makes it difficult to distinguish from any other religion! Enlightening description of her experiences and what makes someone begin to question the things they've been told all their lives.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie 05-23-13
    Stephanie 05-23-13
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    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    The book was interesting but the readers voice DROVE ME UP THE WALL!!!!!!!!!!!


    What didn’t you like about Sandy Rustin’s performance?

    Readers Voice!


    Was Beyond Belief worth the listening time?

    The story was interesting.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason G. Taylor Flowery Branch, GA USA 05-05-13
    Jason G. Taylor Flowery Branch, GA USA 05-05-13 Member Since 2012

    photogeek

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    "Good story about the mafia.. I mean "church.""

    Astonishing story about Jenna's experience and escape from Scientology. I've always been told Scientology was a cult, but I never imagined how off the scale it is. I can't imagine the experiences Jenna had were true -- they all seem so outlandish. Based on some of Jenna's experiences, I could have mistaken this as account of being in the mafia. This is must read and highly recommend it.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Howdyholly Youngsville, NC, United States 04-13-13
    Howdyholly Youngsville, NC, United States 04-13-13 Member Since 2011

    A book lover with a romantic soul, but willing to take a leap of faith. I LOVE to get sucked into a story and live there for a bit.

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    "Truth is stranger than fiction in Scientology"

    I was really interested in this book and I found it very informative and entertaining. It explained a lot about the life in the Scientology cult and being raised as a child amongst it.

    L R Hubbard wrote science fiction and founded a "religion". When he died, his chief officer, David Miscavige, became the new church leader. Jenna Miscavige is his Niece and grew up in the midst of Scientology. This is her story....

    This was a very VERY informative book and I liked hearing about the "church" from an insider (and honestly you cannot get more inside than that). Many of the ex-members either cannot or will not speak about their experiences, whether it is due to fear or embarrassment. Jenna takes the leap and braves telling her story. It may open your eyes to the nature of the manipulation that they use to control their members.

    Some of the examples of their logic will flip you out! For instance, they make Jenna the "Chief medical officer" at the age of 8. I was flabbergasted! Seriously, at 8, I was familiar with band-aids and that was about it. Her "personal scores" are based off of how many sick kids their are in the compound, something which she has absolutely no control over.

    I admit that there is a morbid curiosity in learning about how Scientologist think. It gives good background and information on L R Hubbard and the thinking behind the "religion". It starts with the Billion year contract that they all have to sign and goes into details about the auditing sessions and the soup cans that they hold to measure their responses as well as what happens when their responses are not within the expected levels.

    It talk about "Misunderstood words" and how they are the root of all the pain in the world, and if you have pain, it may be a misunderstood word from a PAST life that is messing you up *Yes I am being serious* How do you fight logic like that? LOL!

    To me, the only down-sides were the narrator, who sounded like she was 13 and perpetually whiney, and it does tend to have an" I am a poor victim" mindset throughout the book, which I find to be frustrating. As a child, she certainly was a victim, but as an adult, she kept on CHOOSING to be in the cult. I understand that this is the nature of brain-washing but how much can a person take before they buy a vowel!

    I don't think I would have ever read this book, as it is not in my normal genre, but I am very glad that I listened to it and I highly suggest it for anyone who is remotely curious about Tom Cruise and his crazy religion. I think it would also allow you to spot the signs of a cult and better understand the effects of brain-washing and manipulation (sleep and food deprivation, separation from loved ones, threats and pushing physical limits).

    ********* Some fun topic points to look forward to are :

    *Auditing
    *Pain and the causes of it and why they do not believe in pain pills even in the event of broken bones
    *Their billion year contract and the life of eternal servitude
    *How they are the only one's who can save the world *LOL! Seriously they believe THAT!
    *The "Flagship"
    *What is up with the "uniforms"
    *Child slave labor
    *Paying income tax on their allowance
    *Secrets and lies
    *The "Pledge of Allegiance" to L Ron Hubbard
    *Celebrities
    *Their money making schemes and how they fear loosing their "Non-profit" status
    *Lots of Acronyms! and MORE!!!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie Gallatin TN, United States 03-25-13
    Leslie Gallatin TN, United States 03-25-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Wow. Scientology has gone too far."
    Would you listen to Beyond Belief again? Why?

    No. It was plenty to read once. I do not need to listen again.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Beyond Belief?

    There were many. The part where they described the huge size of church they had to get in Australia for less than 100 members.


    What about Sandy Rustin’s performance did you like?

    She was consistent.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Her initial relationship with her uncle. Her first love who she lost.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a great insight into Scientology. A "religion" that should be run out of America. Mainly for what they do to children. This book reveals that treatment. It gives you a look into what is happening in that cult.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Foobin 03-16-13
    Foobin 03-16-13
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    "Really enjoyed this"

    What A Great story, Captivating. I was a little sad it had to end but happy for Jenna to get out of that mind controlling cult!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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