Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Another Child Victim of Scientology Grows Up, Gets Out, and Gets Even

If you don't have time to read Jenna Miscavige Hill's Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape, at least check out the "10 Juiciest Bits" from the book as added up by Kevin Fallon in this Daily Beast article.

Hill is the niece of Scientology leader David Miscavige and her book (a scathing expose' that has Scientologist leaders fuming, flailing and fabricating even more than normal) is an important step in enlightening the public to the dreary and dangerous sides to this wacky religion.

Among the ten bits that Fallon lists are:

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.”...

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.”...

10. Officials tried to break apart her marriage.

While on a mission trip in Australia, the newlyweds discovered anti-Scientology websites that gossiped about her uncle, David Miscavige, and how he was said to have strong-armed his way into power. She called her parents, who all but confirmed it. Fed up with the coercive nature of the organization, she decided to leave—and was heartbroken to hear that her husband was going to stay. Miscavige Hill was about to board a plane to her parents, when she had a change of heart and told her husband she wanted to stay with him. He called church officials, who told him that she would not be allowed back, contradicting what she says they had said previously when she was considering leaving. Being lied to caused him to snap, she writes, and he confessed to Miscavige Hill that he had been blackmailed by the organization to either convince her to stay or to let her go without him, otherwise he would not be allowed to see his family again. Upon learning that she wouldn’t be welcomed back, he ran away with her to his parents’ house. They both left the church.

If you'd like to look at a couple of previous Vital Signs Blog posts dealing with Scientology, imply hit these links:

What's Behind Tom Cruise's Religion? A Hard Look at Scientology

Troubled Thetans, Indeed: Scientology Can't Stand Scrutiny

The Greed, Coercion and Injustice of Scientology

Former Scientology Child Slave Tells All (Valeska Paris)

Scientology and Forced Abortion: Laura DeCrescenzo's Three-Year Legal Odyssey

Scientology Mounts a European Offensive