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
Her story was shocking and almost unbelievable.
I feel her voice matched Jenna
I want to know more about this group of bullies and why they were so mesmerized with LRH
How on earth Scientology can be a religion is literally Beyond Belief. This is basically a prison for children. I'm so glad Jenna was able to escape this cult and live a normal life!
I listened to this after listening to Leah Remini's troublemaker. This is an even more in depth story of the cult culture of Scientology. The story of what Jenna Hill endured as a child is sad but her courage and insight is inspirational. I really enjoyed listening to this book. The reader is also good & makes listening easy & enjoyable. I would definitely recommend.
This book was so eye opening. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the authors account of her life in Scientology. The reading was amazing and it really drew me in!
I liked that the story wasn't written through the lens of emotional outbursts (although the author has every reason to feel emotionally unhinged after her life's experiences). It was so believable because it was so evenly laid out. Both the good, and the bad were discussed and explained.
Great work! Great read! Great listen! I listened to all 36 hours in two days time!
Liked everything about this book but the occasional vulgar language. Scientology is a scary organization.
As a previous reviewer mentioned, Jenna's experience is somewhat unique given her position in the church. However, her account of the abuses she endured--from the time she was a little child--is incredibly valuable. She exposes the corruption of the church and it's constant search for money and control at the expense of individuals and families. The narration is excellent. I highly recommend this to anyone looking to understand the draw of scientology and how the church works, including the famed celebrity centre. Jenna seems like an incredibly brave person who had her childhood and adolescence stolen from her.
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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