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Book Review:Beyond Belief by Jenna Miscavige Hill

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

by Jenna Miscavige Hill, Lisa Pulitzer


I went into this with fairly strong preconceived notions of what I would find. Scientology may be mysterious, but everything I had heard of it previously was disconcerting. Beyond Belief only emphasized my impression of something I can only describe as a cult. The Church of Scientology seeks to control individuals from as early an age as possible, brainwashing, separating families and putting children to work when they should be in school. It's so bizarre that an organization like this is allowed to function as though it carries legitimacy.

As for Miscavige Hill, she goes into great detail about her experiences with the church, not shying away from events that must have ranged from embarrassing to traumatic. I do think it was a little long-winded and repetitive at times, and I found myself shaking my head in disbelief at her frequent naiveté, but then remembered, she was a part of this madness from the time she was a little child into early adulthood. All in all, a strange and intriguing story that leaves me with little doubt that Scientology is deeply problematic much like any fundamentalist ideology.