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
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.
this is one of the better books regarding those who have escaped Scientology that I have read. my only suggestion would be the narrator speak just a little slower.
I was captivated from the start. This courageously outspoken survivors story was interesting from the beginning to the end. Very easy to follow and the narration was beautifully done. I am fascinated by this true reveal of the "church " of Scientology. It's clear that the people raised in the "church " have extremely different and drastic experiences from those who are celebrities. In this story, we are painted the picture of the physical exhaustion and abuse that certain followers are subjected to. The amount of brainwashing they are subjected to at such an early age. The celebrities are shown beautiful hotels and nice rooms while others are given the very basic of accommodations, "allowed " to earn a very scant amount of money only to have to spend it on basic living needs like shampoo and canteen purchases. They have no idea what the public hears about the practice and they are mostly not allowed information from outside sources. Families are kept apart at great lengths. IT IS A MUST READ!!!
She lived it and was very pragmatic about leaving vs. staying.
No, never heard of her.
When the Aunt turned on her...
Very educational about behavior people have when grouped with like individuals.
Repetitive, boring, and poorly written. It was just one story after another and they were all the same. Also the way the reader read, was so corny it was almost impossible to listen to. Don't waste your time
Jenna Miscavige Hill provided a very well written account of her life growing up in Scientology. Her honesty about her experience definitely made this book five stars. I couldn't stop listening! Her strength, perseverance, constant reassessment of her life within the organization (I can't call Scientology a church) and her love for her family (and all families affected by Scientology) is powerful and genuine. Thank you Jenna for sharing your experience! May you always enjoy life and may you find peace in every day of your amazing life.
Great information. I've read several items regarding Scientology & am loving the education about this subject. Well written & engaging to list to.
Jenna - first person knowledge is always best
Would have loved to if I had enough time to listen consecutively :)
it was interesting for the first 15 chapters or so. I felt it was a bit exaggerated at times and not written that well. It went on and on and I found myself not caring what happened towards the end. Using close proximity made me cringe.
if you are interested in the crazies of scientology you will find at least some of it interesting.
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