Beyond Belief by Jenna Miscavige Hill
So, as I'm smackdab in the middle of a Scientology obsession, I of course had to pick up the book by the head of Scientology's niece. And it did not disappoint.
Just as with Leah Remini's book Troublemaker, I was astounded to learn of the abuses inherent in the organization of the church. However, Miscavige Hill's time in Scientology began at a very tender and young age, and that lent an entirely new insight into the treatment of all parishioners, but especially young children. Six year olds hauling and building rock walls in the middle of the desert heat with little access to food and water. Complete and utter neglect. The destruction of entire families. And this was being experienced firsthand by someone who was clearly receiving some special treatment due to her last name. I can't even imagine the ordeal a child with no ties to the scummy David Miscavige would have to endure. The church has time and time again tried to discredit Miscavige Hill by stating that she used her last name to her benefit during her time with Scientology. However, if that is the case... that just underscores the inhumane nature of their treatment of their parishioners. If Douchebag Miscavige's niece was experiencing these horrific situations... I can't even imagine what else was going on that she was shielded from due to family ties.
Beyond Belief is an absorbing book that shows the true nature of the organization's leaders and the brainwashing that occurs inside its walls. It was obvious how engrained that brainwashing was into the minds of it's members when you hear about some of the concerns the author had after she had already escaped the church. Still being concerned that reading some sentences about OTIII (Operating Thetan 3- when Scientologists learn about LRH's crazy ass stories about Xenu and a volcano) could actually kill them. Still questioning whether or not she was an evil person for disagreeing with LRH Policy. Not trusting her own opinions (as she had been taught from childhood that she is not a unique being and is to fall in line). The hold Scientology gets on the minds of it's members is amazing and utterly disgusting.
Definitely read this. It's fascinating but written in a way that allows the reader to empathize with people in the church and gives you the ability to relate to a situation that most people could not even fathom.
Jenna Miscavige Hill was raised to obey. As the niece of the Church of Scientology's leader David Miscavige, she grew up at the center of this highly controversial and powerful organization. But at twenty-one Jenna made a daring break from Scientology. Now she speaks out about her life, the Church, and her dramatic escape, piercing the veil of secrecy that has long shrouded this world.
Jenna reveals unprecedented insider knowledge of the religion, its obscure rituals, and its mysterious leader. From her prolonged separation from her parents as a child to her lack of personal freedoms to the organization's emphasis on celebrity recruitment, Jenna goes behind the scenes of Scientology's oppressive and alienating culture.
Yet it is only when her family approaches dissolution that she is finally able to see the psychological control that has ruled her life. Faced with a heartbreaking choice, she details how she made a courageous escape, but not before being put through the ultimate test of family, faith, and love. At once captivating and disturbing, Beyond Belief is an eye-opening exploration of the limits of religion and the lengths to which one woman went to break free.