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Publisher's Summary

At age 12, Janis was thrust into a role that no one, not even L. Ron Hubbard, could have predicted. 

Commodore's Messenger begins by taking the listener into the life of the first family of Scientology in Australia: Yvonne and Peter Gillham and their three children, Peter Jr., Terri, and Janis. Life for the Gillhams is not without its challenges in Australia, but nothing compares to what happens when the family moves to England after dealing with the banning of Scientology in Victoria. Things spiral out of control, as Hubbard leaves England and takes to the sea to continue his spiritual research for mankind, as he puts it, or to escape the long arm of the law, as many critics contend.

Yvonne and her children soon find themselves enmeshed in Hubbard's inner circle: Yvonne, as one of his trusted aides, and the children, with Hubbard's own family. When Yvonne joins the newly established Sea Organization to support Hubbard in his seafaring adventures, her children find themselves aboard what would become the flagship of Hubbard's burgeoning navy.

Having children underfoot does not fit well with the serious nature of Hubbard's plans to expand Scientology's worldwide. Determined to make these children useful, he begins using them to send messages to various parts of the Apollo, hence the name Commodore's Messenger.

With this as a background, Janis' story comes from the earliest days and the epicenter of Scientology's Sea Organization. As a messenger, Janis was with Hubbard a minimum of six hours a day and often times, much longer. She was privy to all his moods, from sunny to thundering and was intimately familiar with everything happening on board the ship and the Scientology network.

Janis lived a life that few of her peers could ever hope to have lived. Hubbard's cavalier regard for the lives of others was astonishing. The Sea Org. vessels were piloted by those with so little seamanship training, it's a wonder no one was killed.

©2017 Janis Gillham Grady (P)2018 ListenUp Audiobooks

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Beyond boring

I'm really surprised and disappointed that, after all the years this author spent with LRH, THIS is the best she can do when recounting her experience with Scientology. She rambles on and on about the most tedious "events" over the years that there's really no story to tell. Bouncing back and forth in the timeline sure doesn't help, either. I'm more than halfway through and I just can't go any further.

There are so many other books out there that give the reader a much more interesting, in-depth insight into the authors' experience with Scientology (Jenna Miscavige, Leah Remini, Janet Reitman...). Don't waste your time or money on this one.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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You Can't Make This Stuff Up.

This story is hilarious, disturbing, fascinating and engrossing. It was the 1960's and people cut loose. The enforcement of scraping for food and shelter eased and people were free, for a brief moment, to rise above economic enforcement and become curious about the spiritual and supernatural. Some laid around Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, smoking weed, some took to the high seas with L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Dianetics and Scientology. Many, took their children along, or had children and then disposed of them to the care and control of others. The child neglect was obscene. They were wholly denied identities as "children", which is a valid identity. The "child" identity was discounted and given zero value. Tales of these children's oppression (alive or dead) abound on the Internet and this is not the first book I read about it. They always seem to blame Scientologists across the planet instead of the parents. But what can you do when the leader has your parents in servitude because they are fanatics? And they are the people dominating all of the rest? You can only try to rise above it all. And she did. Children are a trust from God. Whatever else these " Scientology Management" people who were lording over Scientologists, were trusted with, children were not and is one of them. The party line was, "there is no such thing as a "child" identity. Wholly invalidating them. Some did not survive. Others were traumatized as they were donated to Scientology as human trafficking victims by their parents. This is the poster child. Must read. Valuable information.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful