With all the time on airplanes and in airports over the weekend, I had a chance to get about halfway through Jenna Miscavage Hill’s book Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape. She’s the niece of David Miscavage, who now runs Scientology. This book convinces me all the more that Scientology needs to be shut down.
What the book reveals is that Scientology is little more than a fraudulent business run on slave labor. She describes working 12-15 hour days at 6 or 7 years old, with much of it spent doing hard physical labor. It’s bad enough that when they brought in outside contractors to do work at The Ranch, where she lived as a small child, they kept them from seeing the kids so they wouldn’t turn them in for using child labor.
Beyond that, what she describes is a cult by any definition. They are made to rat on each other, to turn each other in for expressing even the slightest doubt about the program they’re subjected to. They’re made to constantly doubt themselves and their worth. And they’re forced to cut off communication with anyone who is not a part of Scientology, a sure sign of a cult. Here’s the deal: If you belong to any group that tells you that you must eliminate from your life anyone who doesn’t believe what you believe, run like hell away from it.