I'm an indie author and a scribbler of inane babble. I talk about books I've read/liked. Or at least, that's the plan.
Most of the reviews will be considered "mini-reviews." Usually, it's mostly my reaction to what I've been reading. There are people who are far better at doing full and helpful reviews. But I still have fun doing them, and hope you enjoy them!
I always thought Scientology was silly...but I also thought it was harmless. My way of thinking is you can believe whatever the hell you want so long as it makes you happy or a better person, and that you don't use those beliefs to harm others in any way.
Then I saw the documentary, Going Clear, and all of that changed. I realized how ugly and horrid it is. It is far from silly...
Beyond Belief by Jenna Miscavige Hill (niece of the current leader of the church, David Miscavige), is an engaging and disturbing read. She takes you on a journey that shows how ugly everything is, from the poor conditions people are forced to live in, to physical and mental abuse. Threats of never seeing your family ever again is something the church is big on, and they constantly use family separation as a weapon.
I was intrigued as all hell, and I was also disgusted. To see people get taken advantage of like this is downright sickening. Especially seeing that people who join the movement really believe it's a way to help better themselves. I can see how some people would be drawn to it in the beginning. And then it gets to a point where you feel trapped.
This was a very entertaining read. A bit slow at the start, but once it gets going you can't stop. I applaud this woman for telling her story. The church doesn't look too kindly to detractors, and they've made it a point to go after naysayers and defectors.
The audiobook is read by Sandy Rustin, and she does a wonderful job. She becomes Jenna through her reading.
4 and a half stars