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
Practicing Idealist, Dabbling Realist ;)
It's like watching a train wreck in slow mo. Appalling, galling, truly unbelievable how once some human beings get a little power how they choose to exert it over another human. Or how some people will report on others for their own benefit. It's like some huge mind control experiment is going on - figuring out ways to control a large group of people. I had a hard time shutting off this audio book when I had to do something else.
Surely there are Laws against child labor, against slavery, against keeping a person in a place against their will . . . why are these laws not enforced?
I am not certain if there are laws against brainwashing people into giving their consent to be treated like this once they are adults. But, there must be laws to make sure everyone gets at least a standard education so they can make better decisions. At the very least people should know they can't be treated like this. There is so much abuse and damage to egos that I am reminded of women who can't leave an abusive relationship . . . they no longer feel capable of independence.
The book is written in a very easy to follow fashion - with one amazing and head-shaking event following after another. The author's childhood was stolen . . . how she managed to figure out what was going on and get out to tell this tale is miraculous.
The writing and narration are professional and smooth and this book is an excellent read. I finished it a few days ago and am still mulling over this . . . there is seriously something wrong with our modern society if this is being allowed to continue. Isn't this a version of human trafficking? At the very least it's just another example of how power corrupts.
This is the incredible true story of Jenna, the niece of David Miscavige (the dictator of Scientology). It is a straight forward, no-nonsense, blow by blow account of her growing up years in a horrible, abusive, mind-control-cult. A MUST READ! I listened to the audio version which was excellent!
This isn't a book I loved. Most like an accident that you have to look even though you don't want to see it.
Jenna, I guess. Hard to have favorites.
She made everything real. I think if I had read the book my mind might wonder but that didn't happen while listening to it.
I was mostly incredulous that this goes so deep into the lives of it's practitioners.
Jenna Miscavige Hill gives us an in-depth look into the inner workings of Scientology that goes a step beyond anything else I have read. Not that I am well versed on the subject. I also read Leah Remini's book, which was very revealing, but I read this book first, so everything that Leah revealed, I already was aware of... and more! If you want to know about Scientology, both good and bad, give this a read. I loved it and applaud her.
Excellent. Riveting. Infuriating. Both I and wife grew up in another cult religion from which we broke free. It has both empowered us and embittered us to all cults and sadly to say all or most religions who also share mind control techniques. Scientology is obviously a group of psychopathic individuals who function much like Adolf Hitler in their ability to control and dominate. I applaud Ms. Hill for her tenacity and bravery in sharing her disturbing story. An excellent read.
A somewhat tediously written but undeniably interesting and troublesome inside account of a madman's exploitation of humanity. I have this image of LRH staying up late, drinking with a friend and wondering laughingly if they could convince people if a science fiction plot was real, and just how could they do it? Terrifying to think of the many lives destroyed in the name of his game. I hope that justice will eventually prevail and these poor souls will be freed from their psychological imprisonment. Kudos to the brave survivors and dissenters.
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.
"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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