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3.00123685837972 out of 53.00123685837972 out of 53.00123685837972 out of 53.00123685837972 out of 53.00123685837972 out of 5 3.00 (1,617 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jenna Miscavige Hill Narrator: Sandy Rustin Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Scientology is frequently thought of as either a flourishing religion or a cult. There are whispers about thought control and exploitation of members. But no one knows for sure what truly happens inside the church except those who have been a member. Many people are curious about the self-proclaimed fastest growing religion, and are hungry for an inside look at Scientology.

Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape is the memoir of Jenna Miscavige Hill and depicts her life growing up in the Church of Scientology in great detail. Hill was raised as a Scientologist and eventually became a member of its highest ministry, Sea Org. In Beyond Belief, she offers a unique look at the group's beliefs, rituals, and hidden practices. The book also includes pictures of Hill's family at home and at church gatherings.

Hill's tales of her years inside the church are focused on the church's control over every aspect of her life. She documents the way the church works to instill fear in members, and vilifies everything and everyone outside of the group, including the internet, television and movies.

Hill describes the tactics used to disconnect her from family and friends outside of the church, including her parents after they left Scientology when she was 16. Their letters to her were intercepted, all contact was cut and she was even prevented from answering the telephone or making calls for a year.

One of the most harrowing parts of the book is Hill's description of the practice of writing down transgressions, and the church leaders ensuring the children are being honest with an electropsychometer. Beyond Belief also speaks to her escape from the church, her efforts to help other young members and expose the cult-like hold Scientology has on its followers.

Jenna Miscavige Hill, born in 1984, is the niece of Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige (referred to as the Chairman of the Board by members). She left Scientology in 2005 and quickly became a leading critic of the church. Hill co-founded the exScientologykids.com website with fellow former Scientologists Kendra Wiseman and Astra Woodcraft. Beyond Belief is Hill's first book. It was released in 2013.

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, risking everything she had ever known and loved to leave Scientology once and for all. Now she speaks out about her life, the church, and her dramatic escape, going deep inside a religion that, for decades, has been the subject of fierce debate and speculation worldwide.

Piercing the veil of secrecy that has long shrouded the world of Scientology, this insider reveals unprecedented firsthand knowledge of the religion, its obscure rituals, and its mysterious leader—David Miscavige. From her prolonged separation from her parents as a small child to being indoctrinated to serve the greater good of the church, from 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, detailing an environment rooted in control in which the most devoted followers often face the harshest punishments when they fall out of line. Addressing some of the church’s most notorious practices in startling detail, she also describes a childhood of isolation and neglect—a childhood that, painful as it was, prepared her for a tough life in the church’s most devoted order, the Sea Org.

Despite this hardship, it is only when her family approaches dissolution and her world begins to unravel that she is finally able to see the patterns of stifling conformity and psychological control that have ruled her life. Faced with a heartbreaking choice, she mounts 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Packs a powerful punch…Along the way, we get one of the most complete and compelling narratives of how someone grows up in, and falls under the spell of, this organization…One of the most devastating takedowns of Scientology ever published.”

    Huffington Post

  • “Unlike other books about the controversial sect, this one offers up personal daily details.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Candid…Some readers may have difficulty believing such insular Scientology communities can exist in this age of access, but memoirs like Hill’s cast light on their internal practices.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Readers with an interest in the psychology of religion, among other subjects, will find this rare insider’s account to be of value.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, February 2013
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • Finalist for the 2014 Audie Award for Best Narration in Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Melissa Peltier | 2/20/2014

    " Lisa Pulitzer's (credited) ghost written account of Jenna Miscavige's life in Scientology and escape is riveting, and heartbreaking. I don't think I've read a Scientology memoir yet that so captures what the cult does to tender hearts - it rips everything they love away from them until they are barely able to love at all. Fortunately, Jenna's inborn fiesty fierceness first got her in trouble - then got her out. It's fascinating to me how some kids like Jenna and others - who grew up knowing nothing at all of the world but Scientology - still had an instinctual nagging feeling that things were not right. It was that nagging inner voice that saved Jenna, her husband, and others she loved. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jolijt | 2/2/2014

    " Af en toe moeilijk voor te stellen en daardoor soms wat langdradig, maar zeer de moeite waard! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Jennie | 1/31/2014

    " A compelling expose of Scientology, but riddled with spelling and grammar errors. Good story, poor writing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Pam | 1/31/2014

    " Interesting, yet hard to understand due to the way Scientologists belief system works-I had no frame of reference as I read. "

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About the Author

Jenna Miscavige Hill, the niece of David Miscavige, the current ecclesiastical and business leader of the Church of Scientology, was raised as a Scientologist. Since leaving the organization in 2005, she has become one of its most prominent critics. She cofounded the website www.ExScientologyKids.com, which features the stories of current and former Scientologists and supports those who choose to leave the organization. She lives in Southern California.