david miscavige

Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape – Jenna Miscavige Hill

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“Later on after the criminal charges against the Church were dropped, it was explained to Scientologists by my Uncle Dave that a conviction in this case would have endangered the Church’s tax exempt status, and thus its hold on the copyrights themselves, which would have been catastrophic to the Church.”

“In addition to calling out people publicly for mistakes, they often also made mention of highly personal things that were unethical, like that person’s masturbation habits or some other personal thing that would embarrass him or her. Usually these announcements were gruesome exaggerations of the truth, but what made them worse was that they were always sent out to the entire base of 500 people, so everyone knew your business.”

“LRH said that trying to study past a misunderstood word was the prime factor in stupidity, and was at the root of all wrongdoing and misbehavior that might lead to criminality.”

“Either way, I did what any good Scientologist was supposed to do: I didn’t question it.”

 

I’m going to be honest, other than Tom Cruise’s ramblings and couch jumping episodes, I didn’t know much about Scientology before reading this book. I knew that it had several celebrity endorsers, and that it was a relatively new “religion” as it had only been invented in the late sixties by a science fiction author, L. Ron Hubbard.

Yes, that’s right, I said invented.

It was only after LRH (since everything in Scientology is referred to by acronyms) failed at selling the idea for the basis of Scientology as a MOVIE SCRIPT, that he began to push it as a religion. He has even been quoted as saying, “You don’t get rich writing Science Fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion.”

Jenna Miscavige Hill is the niece of David Miscavige, the leader of the Church of Scientology. Beyond Belief is her story about being brought up as a Scientologist, and how she eventually escaped what can really only be classified as a cult. Sorry, not sorry.

While I found the content of this book to be fascinating, initially the prose was flat, boring, and difficult to get through, especially for the first half. I feel this is because of the way children of Scientology are raised to learn, speak, and accept authority. The second half of the book however was much more interesting, and it seems her writing comes alive when she does. Once she really starts to accept the simple fact that she has endured years of brain washing, child abuse, and intentional isolation from family and friends, the writing felt passionate, inspired, and strong, and I began to really enjoy it.

Her story is one of courage and strength, and I find it extremely admirable she has cofounded the website http://www.exscientologykids.com, to help and support those who wish to leave the organization. Regardless of if you know a lot about Scientology already, or you don’t know anything at all, I do recommend this book. I found it eye opening, and it inspired me to do a great deal more research into Scientology. By the way, if you haven’t checked out the South Park episode on what Scientologists really believe in? Please do. It’s a brief but precise explanation of Scientology at its finest.

The whole concept of Scientology would almost be humorous if you didn’t know about the horrible living conditions, child abuse, and exploitation of the people currently stuck within the confines of the organization. Read this one and be prepared to have your world rocked.

Until next time,

OMPP