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

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

When I got to the 50% mark, it dawned on me that I was definitely reading this book due to the story unfolding and not for the writing quality. Much like Leah Remini's Troublemaker, the writing can come off as juvenile or amateurish due to Hill's sketchy educational background (best guess is she has an 8th grad education). Just something to keep in mind if you want to read this book.

 

Mrs. Hill is the niece of David Miscavige, the leader of the Church of Scientology after the death of L. Ron Hubbard. She was raised deep into the religion, as her parents decided to re-join the Sea Org when she was 2 and her brother(s) was 9. As the niece of the most powerful person in the religion, you would think she had it easy, but she was treated with such abuse and mind-fucking. By the end of the book, most of the Miscaviges had left the church, leaving David and his estranged wife/missing person Shelly the only ones left in the religion. Mrs. Hill was a third generation Scientologist on both sides of her family, so that is a lot of people leaving a sinking ship.

 

Speaking of Shelly Miscavige - in Remini's book Shelly was portrayed in a much more favorable light than she is here. Seems Aunt Shelly is/was a grade A manipulative bitch who made Hill's life unbearable until her disappearance.

 

The celebrity name-dropping was kept to a minimum, mostly people that everyone knows or is public with Scientology is mentioned in passing except for Tom Cruise. Fuck Tom Cruise.

 

A decent coming of age story in such a cult was worth my time.