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
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
I think they should be shut down! How many children have been severely abused and damaged for life. I have heard the same story from so many people who were brainwashed into this cult and yet the police/FBI do nothing! I am a Christian and I will say the first time my pastor or anyone else in my CHURCH (real church) tried to tell me what to do, it would be the one and only time he/they did! God is love and anyone who tells you otherwise is a CULT!!! I listened to this over and over and am a pretty intelligent person and I still don't even understand what their religion or spiritual path means other than abuse and control. Taking peoples money and children are slaves. It makes me so angry! Children should be cherished, not abused and I say this to her mom and dad as well.
When Jenna wanted her mom and she wouldn't come
Great narrator maybe because I don't know Jenna' voice like some bio's I listen too, but she had so much emotion and I would have never known she didn't live this nightmare herself. Great job! , John Travlota?
VERY, EXTREME ANGER, SADNESS AND wanting to ABUSE some of them!!! I am a very docile person but you don't do this to children
I this was my one and only encounter with Scientology and was plenty for me, how could any intelligent person believe in this crap? Tom Cruise, John Travolta!?!?! I usually say live and let live but not this time! My feelings have changed about these people!
This is a fascinating story of a girl who was raised not by a family but by a cult. Her whole story is interesting from when she is a very small child to a young woman who fought to get free on her own terms. It has the most in depth look at daily life in the Sea Org that I have found. It ranges at times from outrageous to chilling to infuriating. If you, like me, enjoy insider looks on the inner workings of a cult this is a must read.
I thought the story was compelling, lots of revealing info. a little too repetitive at times. The way the kids worked and we're treated at the ranch and sea org was horrible and continuing to give example after example was not necessary, though it was her story to tell . thanks to her for sharing it.
Kept me interested throughout. Gives you insight into how intelligent people can be brainwashed It's a little unsettling to realize that this kind of cult is able to operate successfully in this country using the very freedoms we enjoy.
I loved this book, it was so very interesting. I am really curious about other religions and cults. it gave a great look inside the world of Scientology from someone who has lived it. especially since she had grown up in the "church". I think if your curious at all about it this is the book for you. it gives a good over site of what the practices are and how the church conducts it self and it members.
I don't usually read biographies, but I'm so happy that I made the exception here. Talk about eye opening and informative. I will be recommending this book to all my friends and family. I'm so happy she escaped, and that she and her husband managed to make it out together. kudos to them and every other person working to save others from the cruelty of the Scientology "faith."
An engaging insight as to how someone, born into a belief system, struggled with what was dissonant between the faith and the realities she observed.
"Enjoyable insight into the closest ranks"
There's a lot of info to take in initially but it was a fascinating story
Get to see behind the curtain of the highest ranks and family of the leadership of the 'church' and how twisted and manipulative it is.
Impossible to listen to in 1 go ... too much to take in ... but i found it easy to pickup and put down again
I enjoyed the book at first, fascinating subject but I found it a bit too long.
Jenna had a horrible childhood and
so do many other children of scientology shockingly so.
There was a lot of repetition about sessions ect.. had to skip a few of the last chapters because they were the same things over and over!
The narration was superb though and it got me through the ironing nicely.
"The most riveting book I've listened to in ages!"
An absolutely riveting book, and mind boggled that this actually happened to someone. The idea that no one stepped in to help is as shocking as what the "church" actually did.
"Worth the listen"
The narrator does a fair job narrating the book, but can at times come of sounding a bit childish.
The story is mostly compelling, but still left me a bit disappointed, i dont know what i expected (probably more of an exposé) but the story is perhaps so centret around the "me" that the bigger picture gets neglected.
Despite this complaint, its worth a listen for everyone interested, perplexed, intrigued by the harrowing scientology.
"Interesting but annoying"
Jenna Miscavige is uniquely placed to give an insight into the controversial and poorly understood world of Scientology and from reading this book my understanding increased hugely. I listened to the whole thing and did enjoy it overall.
However, I am not sure how much was related to the narration and how much was from the underlying writing but the tone could become quite annoying. I felt like parts of it were her saying 'well I was just too pretty and too kind and everyone was so mean to me.' Of course this is an exaggeration and no doubt what she went through was far from a normal childhood but I do think the book could have benefitted from a bit of a wider perspective and less of a focus on little incidents that happened to her that are read in a tone of shock at how anyone could treat her like that. I think it actually detracts from the unusualness of what happens as she often comes across as any child would taking about the 'terrible' things their teachers or brothers and sisters did to them.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Scientology but just be aware that it is, as I'm sure it was intended to be, very much a personal tale of what she went through rather than a well researched and written work on Scientology.
"The Emperors new clothes"
All of it!
It is a worry that the US government gives such an organisation religious status.
Surely they are perpetuating the myth and causing more suffering. Religion is simply a way to numb the brain for the pain which follows.
You can apply pretty much all of the principles of what happened to this young girl/lady to all religions, but obviously at different levels.
Religion is abuse. This is just one lens into one of the most abusive.
"Incredible insight into life as a young scientolog"
No. I never listen to books a second time.
None and feel no need to explain myself
Ridiculous question - did you listen to the book ?
Yes, as I was saying this book provides an excellent insight into the life of a young child growing up in the Church of Scientology. I was with the author all the way as the story is told in the first person right up to the last couple of chapters when her own credibility in her own words began to wane. Things like "I had to tell him the truth otherwise I would be deceiving him". This was given as the rationale for lying to someone else in the next breath. It all added up to the tagline "...and my harrowing escape.." being a large stretch when in actuality it would appear she stayed of her own volition (by her own words) because she was comfortable, everything was provided for her and the world out there was scary (even if her own parents were out there waiting for her). Several statements after that did not add up to a cohesive picture. "Had to sign a statement saying I would not publish" despite being out of the church with no apparent pressure on her, then published. Clearly she did not have to sign that statement as she stated at the time she had no intention of abiding by it. A few things like that went to the core of the author's credibility. Despite these this is a fascinating and interesting insight into the appalling practices of the so-called Church, the wrath that they visit on their own people, the sheer fairy stories they tell, the intimidation and car following and overall an excellent listen from Audible.
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