Jenna Miscavige Hill, the niece of Scientology leader David Miscavige, has escaped from the “church” and written a book detailing the horrors of her life on the inside called Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape. I’ve just ordered the Kindle version but haven’t started reading it yet, but the Daily Beast has some of the more appalling details.
1. She signed a billion-year contract with Sea Org at age 7.
At age 6, she was sent to a place called the Ranch, a training academy for the Sea Organization (Sea Org), the highest order within the ranks of Scientology. She writes that she and other children there were expected to dedicate themselves fully to the church’s mission, and only saw their parents for a few hours each weekend. At age 7, she says she was forced to sign a contract pledging to serve Sea Org “for the next billion years.” Miscavige Hill says she was told by the recruiter at the Ranch, “We come back lifetime after lifetime”—Scientologists believe that after you die, you come back and begin a new life in another body—“You are signing a billion-year contract.” Even at 7 years old, Miscavige Hill says, she sensed something wrong. “Before I signed, images from The Little Mermaid flashed in my mind, particularly when Ariel signed the Sea Witch’s magic contract,” she writes. “Whatever my future held for me, one thing was now certain: my life was no longer my own.”…3. Children in Sea Org performed manual labor.
Life at the Ranch was military-like, Miscavige Hill says. Days were spent performing manual labor. Several buildings had holes in the walls and floors, and the kids were charged with renovations and construction. Part of each day was devoted to “decks,” which were labor-intensive assignments. Miscavige Hill estimates that roughly 25 hours a week were spent on these projects, ranging from cleaning the swimming pool to weeding for fire prevention and digging irrigation trenches. She describes temperatures that would often exceed 100 degrees. Though the children were given salt and potassium pills to keep from overheating, breaks were rare, according to Miscavige Hill. “The conditions we worked under would have been tough for a grown man, and yet any complaints, backflashing, any kind of questioning was instantly met with disciplinary action,” she writes…
6. As early as 13, she was required to detail her sexual history.
When she was 13, Miscavige Hill says she required to fill out a life history form. In addition to supplying her Social Security number, all her ID numbers, credit-card number, information about her bank account, and nonexistent criminal record, she was required to fill out a questionnaire asking who all of her relatives were and how they felt about Scientology. She was also told to “detail every single sexual experience, including masturbating, that I ever had.” The questionnaire asked for hospital records, too. “I knew I had to do it, but it was hard to understand why the church needed this information,” she writes. “Even though I had nothing to hide, I felt like the church was asking me for information just for the sake of having it, almost asking for material they might blackmail me with that served no Scientologic purpose.”
And of course they will try to discredit, intimidate and destroy her, using the information she gave them. Since they have her social security number and every other possible bit of information they need, they can spoof her identity and cause all sorts of trouble.