This is the third book on the Church of Scientology that I’ve read this year. Unlike the previous books, Going Clear and Church of Fear, Beyond Belief is an insider’s account of life growing up in the church built by L. Ron Hubbard.
Jenna Miscavige Hill is the niece, David Miscavige, the current head of the Church of Scientology. You would think that this would offer her a position of privilege in the organization. Instead, Miscavige-Hill begins her narrative at the point where her parents made the decision to commit themselves the Sea Org, Scientology’s bizarre “monastic” order. From the age of six, Jenna is sent to The Ranch, where she and numerous other children, separated from their families, are put to work doing manual labor to rebuild an old ranch into a working facility. She gets no real education in what would be considered normal for kids her age. Instead, she is thrust into Hubbard’s argyle-bargle newspeak that makes of the weird philosophy behind Scientology.
And that’s just beginning. Her life training for the Sea Org is little more than being exploited under near slave conditions as every aspect of her life is rigidly controlled, including who she is permitted to date.
You can’t read this book without realizing that there is something seriously wrong with Scientology. If half of what Jenna has described had occurred in any other organization, they’d be under investigation for running a slavery ring. Reading this book will forever alter your perception of celebrities like Tom Curse, Kirstie Alley, and John Travola. You can’t read Jenna Miscavige Hill’s life story without wondering if these stars are complicit in this abuse or are they just willfully blind?