Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece of Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige, was raised as a Scientologist but left the controversial religion in 2005. In Beyond Belief, she shares her true story of life inside the upper ranks of the sect, details her experiences as a member Sea Org—the church’s highest ministry, speaks of her “disconnection” from family outside of the organization, and tells the story of her ultimate escape.
In this tell-all memoir, complete with family photographs from her time in the Church, Jenna Miscavige Hill, a prominent critic of Scientology who now helps others leave the organization, offers an insider’s profile of the beliefs, rituals, and secrets of the religion that has captured the fascination of millions, including some of Hollywood’s brightest stars such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta.
Wow! This book is detailed into the life of Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece to David Miscaige (CBO). Jenna is so brave as she delves into the darkest and most corrupt system that claims to be a church. It is harrowing to read that at the age of 2 she was raised at a camp of sorts for children, whose parents had dedicated their lives to the Sea Org. With Jenna’s parents away, somewhere within the organization, Jenna is indoctrinated into the beliefs and different levels within Scientology. There are so many moments that Jenna truly wants to embrace the lifestyle and sacrifice she has made as a Sea Org member (signing the billion year contract), however she soon can’t ignore or excuse the red flags that keep popping up. Over time, Jenna loses family members who are classified as “SP’s”, and she is alone with only the guidance of her Aunt Shelley and a few other higher-ups. However, there comes a point where Jenna truly wants her life, her independence, and sees the organization’s corruptions, abuse of power, and leaves the organization.
There were many times I was just shocked by the depravity and isolation Jenna and others like her, experienced. Scientology isn’t a religion, it’s a way to gain higher power based on the money you give and who you are (star power). The sheer torture of working non-stop for little to no pay, the separation from family and friends, the cut-offs from those who dont’ support Scientology, and the paranoia surrounded by those in higher ups who fear that the organization’s image will be tarnished, motivates those in upper positions to abuse their power, demote people from their level, and really becomes more man based than God based. While Scientology doesn’t believe in God, they really look to LRH as the man with the plan. With some basic psychology 101 and e-meter readings, individuals are coerced through fear, removal of benefits ( like making a phone call), and falling behind a level (even if you already reached a level, you can possibly be stripped of it to start all over). Education is primarily centered around the teachings and not formal education (traditional schooling). So, there is a catch. If a person moves through all the levels, which costs thousands of dollars, by the time the highest level is reached to Clear-the person may feel rather stupid learning about the aliens and Xenu that they stick with it b/c of all the money invested. Likewise, with education-if a child is raised in Scientology, he/she will be behind educationally and may not feel useful in the outside world. So, in many ways this religion does cause a sense of learned helplessness and a person becomes dependent on someone in higher position to be validated. With so many secrets and trying to keep people in control, those in the Sea Org don’t want tv, interact too much with the outside world, and become truly dependent on the organization.
Reading all the Jenna endured, I am amazed and inspired by her courage, tenacity, and willingness to ask questions-even when others didn’t want her to. Jenna brought great points to the forefront and one can only hope that people will look more deeper into the secrets and abuse that Scientology has done to its members.
Overall, this was an incredible read and Jenna wrote this book in terms that non-Scientologists could understand, but that Scientologists would also understand and know that her experience is true. I hope that her book opens eyes and creates changes within the organization and the individuals that make up the “religion”.
- Print Length: 258 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1476707626
- Publisher: Gallery Books (February 12, 2013)
- Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
She’s the brutally honest breath of fresh air on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, known for her dramatic divorce, her barely-there clothing, and her inability to keep her mouth shut. So why should she change now? Brandi Glanville tells all in this hilarious, no-holds-barred memoir.Fans have been waiting for Brandi’s scoop on one of the biggest divorces of the decade, since her husband of eight years abandoned her and their two sons to marry country singer LeAnn Rimes. Not only does Brandi spill the beans about her side of the split, the lovable housewife shares the incredible wild ride that took her from a life in the ghetto to Hollywood’s most elite circles. For the first time, Brandi talks about how she escaped a rough neighborhood on the outskirts of Sacramento and stumbled into a successful modeling career that swept her into a world of Paris Fashion Weeks, private jets, and uncircumcised penises. Before she knew it, Brandi was the perfect Hollywood trophy wife—at least until her marriage exploded.Today, the refreshingly filter-free housewife and unapologetic mom is the newest full-time cast member of Bravo’s juggernaut franchise, where she often elicits raised eyebrows and gossip from her costars for her refusal to be the scorned ex-wife, to be bullied, to change her sarcastic sense of humor, or—on most occasions—to wear a bra. Sassy, raunchy, and compulsively readable, Drinking and Tweeting perfectly captures Brandi’s open-book attitude, as she dishes about everything from her DUI, her cheating ex, her one-night stands, and the secret plastic surgery that made her “seventeen” again. You’re sure to enjoy every page of this funny, upbeat, honest tale. Clear your schedule for an afternoon and grab your favorite cocktail, a comfy seat . . . and maybe a Xanax. But that’s for later.
I love Brandi’s crude sense of humor and she is so smart. So, put together beauty, talent, smart, and wit, and mix it with an ugly divorce, and you’ve got this great book. Brandi is quite honest and very brutal at times. There were moments I cringed, but just as quickly, her wit shines through. If anyone reads this book, they will forever remember these two words: Vaginal Rejuvenation. Her ex lost some jobs, got a woman that is trying to morph into his Brandi, and Brandi got a new vjayjay and a book! Love that. While she is quite honest about the heartache, postpartum depression, anxiety attacks, and life rebuilding, I would have loved more detail on how she overcame PPD and about her post divorce. She has admitted that this book was written shortly after her divorce, so her emotions were raw and she was filled with anger, however it would be better had she added some chapters on her “happily ever after”. It would have also been so much more personal had she included some photos of her early modeling years, her married life, and her life post divorce. All in all, this is a great book and one that many will enjoy, especially if you love RHOBH like me!