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Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape Audio CD – Audiobook, CD

4.5 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks; Unabridged edition (8 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1483005291
  • ISBN-13: 978-1483005294
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 16.5 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

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.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Jenna Miscavige Hill was raised as a Scientologist. Since leaving the organization in 2005, 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.



Lisa Pulitzer is a former correspondent for the New York Times andcoauthor of more than a dozen nonfiction titles, including the New York Times bestsellers Stolen Innocence, Imperfect Justice, and Mob Daughter.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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I must state up front that I came to this book because I am critical of the scientology organisation.

At least I have a choice of books to read, entirely unlike the way that the author had no choice about belonging to the elite group of the scientology organisation, the "Sea Organisation." Before signing a contract for a duration of one billion years at the age of seven, she had been in the care of the organisation full time since she was five (seeing one or both of her parents for half a day most weekends, no more), in a "Ranch" for "Cadets" - a residentil facility off in the rugged countryside in California.

To me, the most important part of the book is the first part where the author describes what it was like to be treated as an adult and kept under a strict regime (from the age of five). Apart from half a day per week set aside for being with their parents, every one of the hours in their day was defined for the children (with hard physical labour accounting for the mornings). While the hard labour was bad enough, to me the worst part was the thought reform. The kids were policing themselves, denouncing bad actions / attitudes to the adults, with offenders accumulating demerits which had to worked off until normal status could be attained. Failure to comply could cause humiliation in front of the entire group. In this way, no rebellious child stayed rebellious for long. To an outsider this regime seems little different from re-education camps, but what makes the book chilling is that it all happened to a five year old and is told from that viewpoint.
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Terrific book bravely written. Any kind of spiritual, or other abuse follows the same patterns, and it is very interesting reading, whether you are trapped by your 'church' elders, or any kind of heirarchical system, where the power and ego gets a hold, this can bless you and give you the courage you need to take an honest look at the organisation you belong to, and assess your situation, and whether it is true. A great read. I was sorry when it came to the end. Thank you Jenna Miscavage Hill. You are an inspiration, and will help many.
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I was engrossed from start to finish. Unbelievable at times yet written with such clarity that you believe every word. Very informative and interesting, a must read if you have an interest of learning what Scientology is all about, and a must read if you have a loved one who is toying with the idea of joining!

I feel much more informed about Scientology and I have a huge admiration for Jenna and the strength she has shown through such a hard life, and for her strength to see the light and get herself and family out of it!
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This has been a very interesting read giving an insight in to a child and young adult who grew up in the Church of Scientology. Jenna life seems a mix of being blessed by being related to the leader of the church of scientology while at the same time cursed by it too. On the one hand she gets to experience life in the highest echelons of the church of scientology while on the other she's made to do hard labour for long hours. Recommended reading for anyone curious about the church of scientology.
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A fantastic book by a brave woman. I'm blown away by Jenna Miscavige and her strength. The book also provided a deeper understanding about how this dangerous cult can take over people's lives in such a disturbing way, and why a string of celebrities once flocked to it and sadly some continue to do so. Travelling throughout Jenna's childhood in the book made it clear that the same dedication to absurd 'religious' practices could happen to any of us if we were young or vulnerable enough, or both. The church is well practiced at brainwashing in quite (I hate to say it) impressive ways. It was frustrating as, when I was nearing the end of the book, I was sure that if everyone in the church was forced to read Jenna's account, they may at least have been left with some doubt about their disgraceful leader and had a hope at escaping too if they fought as hard as this author. Well done to Jenna Miscavige for managing her own determined journey into the world and away from scientology.
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My curiosity and disbelief as to how Scientology worked was answered with this shocking story. I wish I could understand how any sane person could believe that this cult was any kind of good force. A fantastic read!
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I found it a bit repetitive up to half way but realised it had to be from Jenna, to show how the Scientology beliefs /way was drummed into you. In Jenna's case from an early age working on the Ranch as an adult would without her family and missed out on a big part of her childhood. From halfway through the book I enjoyed the book more but was horrified at the same time what happened to Jenna and many others under the rule of this Church and the inhuman way followers were treated. And still are??
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By Cathy on 19 Nov. 2015
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I...what can I say? I just want to scoop Jenna up and hug her so hard. She is one of the bravest people I have had the privilege to read about. I finished this book within a day of starting to read it. I just couldn't put it down. It's like a car crash that you can't help but stare at as you pass by. It seems unreal that this could be happening to children as young as 4 (the age Jenna was when her parents entered Sea Org). How can this be right? How can this be legal? How can it still be happening? If we heard about the things happening to Jenna, happening in a family situation next door, you would rightly call Social Services. So how can this so called 'religion' get away with doing this, every day, to so many? And people like Tom Cruise stand there with a smug grin on their face and say it's all good. No. It is NOT all good. It is a brainwashing cult that is after money and control.
Jenna's story is heartbreaking and it's real. It's not fiction. It's not invented. And it's not original. She is one voice of thousands. She is so incredibly brave to have endured all she did and still come out the other side, fighting and helping others.
Anyone even considering looking into joining Scientology should read this. And the other true accounts of ex Scientologists, to see exactly what it is all about. Jenna's words had me in tears frequently, angry on her behalf and ready to go and rescue her myself if she hadn't got out when she did.
This book is just so sad, but ends so positively.
Thank you for sharing with us Jenna.
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