Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape

Jenna Miscavige Hill, with Lisa Pulitzer. Morrow, $27.99 (408p) ISBN 978-0-06-224847-3
Hill’s candid memories of growing up inside the Church of Scientology are notable not just for their detail but for the light they shed on an environment that fosters isolation, powerlessness, and privacy loss. The Church takes precedence over family to the extent that Hill—whose parents were Church executives—spent just one hour a day with them, decreasing as they moved up in the Church hierarchy. Although most of Hill’s extended family has left Scientology, her uncle, David Miscavige, is currently head of the Church. Hill recalls she "didn’t know what normal looked like," and that her life was "owned by the Church." In fact, after her engagement to a fellow Scientologist—one that Church officials tried mightily to prevent—her desire to have children motivated her to leave the Church. (As "thetans," many members "can’t really be the parent" of another thetan). Those looking for a glimpse into the celebrity side of Scientology will be disappointed; Hill primarily relates how celebrities are treated differently from the rest. 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. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/2013
Release date: 02/01/2013
Library Binding - 576 pages - 978-1-61173-807-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-4830-0530-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-4830-0529-4
Ebook - 416 pages - 978-0-06-224849-7
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-226247-9
Paperback - 404 pages - 978-0-06-224848-0
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