A New York Times Bestseller
A USA Today Bestseller
An Amazon Best Book of the Month, February 2013
Finalist for the 2014 Audie Award for Best Narration in Nonfiction
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.
“Packs a powerful punch…Along the way, we get one of the most complete and compelling narratives of how someone grows up in, and falls under the spell of, this organization…One of the most devastating takedowns of Scientology ever published.”
“Unlike other books about the controversial sect, this one offers up personal daily details.”
Amazon.com, editorial review
“Candid…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.”
“Readers with an interest in the psychology of religion, among other subjects, will find this rare insider’s account to be of value.”
2 out of 2 (100%) recommend this productWrite a review
Wow-great insider's view!March 20, 2014Hill's delivery of such a horrific adolescence was beautiful. The shocking details were given without making you hate the church or the religion during the story. Hearing the insiders view of this cult life helps explain why there is so much controversy over the religion and why stars are so drawn to it. I couldn't stop listening!
Great!July 3, 2013Very interesting and revealing. I couldn't stop listening!
Sandy Rustin is an actress and playwright. Her sketch comedy musical about parenthood, Rated P (For Parenthood), opened to critical acclaim off Broadway at the Westside Theatre in 2012; her one-act comedy, Fireworks, recently won the seventh annual Nor’Eastern Playwriting competition; and her newest full length play, The Cottage, was selected as part of Midtown Direct Rep’s 2013 Theatre in the Loft Reading Series. A graduate of Northwestern University, she currently lives in New York City.
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- Publisher: HarperCollins
- Genre: Nonfiction/Biography & Autobiography
- ISBN-13: 9780062262479