Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece of Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige, was raised as a Scientologist but left the controversial religion in 2005. In Beyond Belief, she shares her true story of life inside the upper ranks of the sect, details her experiences as a member Sea Org—the church's highest ministry, speaks of her "disconnection" from family outside of the organization, and tells the story of her ultimate escape. In this tell-all memoir, complete with family photographs from her time in the Church, Jenna Miscavige Hill, a prominent critic of Scientology who now helps others leave the organization, offers an insider's profile of the beliefs, rituals, and secrets of the religion that has captured the fascination of millions, including some of Hollywood's brightest stars such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta.
Author: Jenna Miscavige Hill
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Release Date: 2013-09-17
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 from Scientology. Now she speaks out about her life, the Church, and her dramatic escape, piercing the veil of secrecy that has long shrouded this world. Jenna reveals unprecedented insider knowledge of the religion, its obscure rituals, and its mysterious leader. From her prolonged separation from her parents as a child to 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. Yet it is only when her family approaches dissolution that she is finally able to see the psychological control that has ruled her life. Faced with a heartbreaking choice, she details how she made 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.
National Book Award Finalist A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower, the now-classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack. Based on more than two hundred personal interviews with current and former Scientologists—both famous and less well known—and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative ability to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology. At the book’s center, two men whom Wright brings vividly to life, showing how they have made Scientology what it is today: The darkly brilliant science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, whose restless, expansive mind invented a new religion. And his successor, David Miscavige—tough and driven, with the unenviable task of preserving the church after the death of Hubbard. We learn about Scientology’s complicated cosmology and special language. We see the ways in which the church pursues celebrities, such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, and how such stars are used to advance the church’s goals. And we meet the young idealists who have joined the Sea Org, the church’s clergy, signing up with a billion-year contract. In Going Clear, Wright examines what fundamentally makes a religion a religion, and whether Scientology is, in fact, deserving of this constitutional protection. Employing all his exceptional journalistic skills of observation, understanding, and shaping a story into a compelling narrative, Lawrence Wright has given us an evenhanded yet keenly incisive book that reveals the very essence of what makes Scientology the institution it is. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Lauren Drain
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: 2013-03-05
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
NOW A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER You've likely heard of the Westboro Baptist Church. Perhaps you've seen their pickets on the news, the members holding signs with messages that are too offensive to copy here, protesting at events such as the funerals of soldiers, the 9-year old victim of the recent Tucson shooting, and Elizabeth Edwards, all in front of their grieving families. The WBC is fervently anti-gay, anti-Semitic, and anti- practically everything and everyone. And they aren't going anywhere: in March, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the WBC's right to picket funerals. Since no organized religion will claim affiliation with the WBC, it's perhaps more accurate to think of them as a cult. Lauren Drain was thrust into that cult at the age of 15, and then spat back out again seven years later. BANISHED is the first look inside the organization, as well as a fascinating story of adaptation and perseverance. Lauren spent her early years enjoying a normal life with her family in Florida. But when her formerly liberal and secular father set out to produce a documentary about the WBC, his detached interest gradually evolved into fascination, and he moved the entire family to Kansas to join the church and live on their compound. Over the next seven years, Lauren fully assimilated their extreme beliefs, and became a member of the church and an active and vocal picketer. But as she matured and began to challenge some of the church's tenets, she was unceremoniously cast out from the church and permanently cut off from her family and from everyone else she knew and loved. BANISHED is the story of Lauren's fight to find herself amidst dramatic changes in a world of extremists and a life in exile.
Author: Ron Miscavige
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 2016-05-03
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
*Now a #1 New York Times bestseller* The only book to examine the origins of Scientology's current leader, RUTHLESS tells the revealing story of David Miscavige's childhood and his path to the head seat of the Church of Scientology told through the eyes of his father. Ron Miscavige's personal, heartfelt story is a riveting insider's look at life within the world of Scientology. Not for sale outside the U.S.
“A masterful piece of reporting . . . Reitman tells a spellbinding story of a larger-than-life personality whose quirks, ticks and charisma shaped America’s newest homegrown religious movement.” — Washington Post Scientology is known for its celebrity believers and its team of “volunteer ministers” at disaster sites such as the World Trade Center; its notably aggressive response to criticism or its attacks on psychiatry; its requirement that believers pay as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars to reach the highest levels of salvation. But for all its notoriety, Scientology has remained America’s least understood new religion, even as it has been one of its most successful. Now Janet Reitman tells its riveting full story in the first objective modern history of Scientology, at last revealing the astonishing truth about life within the controversial religion for its members and ex-members. Based on five years of research, confidential documents, and extensive interviews with current and former Scientologists, this is an utterly compelling work of nonfiction and the defining work on an elusive faith. “A meticulously researched history and revealing exposé, a frightening portrait of a religion that many find not just controversial, but dangerous.” — Boston Globe “This book is fearless.” — Wall Street Journal A New York Times Notable Book Amazon.com Best Books of 2011, Nonfiction San Francisco Chronicle Top Ten of 2011
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An eye-opening, no-holds-barred memoir about life in the Church of Scientology, now with a new afterword by the author—the outspoken actress and star of the A&E docuseries Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath Leah Remini has never been the type to hold her tongue. That willingness to speak her mind, stand her ground, and rattle the occasional cage has enabled this tough-talking girl from Brooklyn to forge an enduring and successful career in Hollywood. But being a troublemaker has come at a cost. That was never more evident than in 2013, when Remini loudly and publicly broke with the Church of Scientology. Now, in this frank, funny, poignant memoir, the former King of Queens star opens up about that experience for the first time, revealing the in-depth details of her painful split with the church and its controversial practices. Indoctrinated into the church as a child while living with her mother and sister in New York, Remini eventually moved to Los Angeles, where her dreams of becoming an actress and advancing Scientology’s causes grew increasingly intertwined. As an adult, she found the success she’d worked so hard for, and with it a prominent place in the hierarchy of celebrity Scientologists alongside people such as Tom Cruise, Scientology’s most high-profile adherent. Remini spent time directly with Cruise and was included among the guests at his 2006 wedding to Katie Holmes. But when she began to raise questions about some of the church’s actions, she found herself a target. In the end, she was declared by the church to be a threat to their organization and therefore a “Suppressive Person,” and as a result, all of her fellow parishioners—including members of her own family—were told to disconnect from her. Forever. Bold, brash, and bravely confessional, Troublemaker chronicles Leah Remini’s remarkable journey toward emotional and spiritual freedom, both for herself and for her family. This is a memoir designed to reveal the hard-won truths of a life lived honestly—from an author unafraid of the consequences. Praise for Troublemaker “An aggressively honest memoir . . . Troublemaker is the most raw and revealing Scientology memoir to date.”—Entertainment Weekly “Leah’s story is a juicy, inside-Hollywood read, but it’s more than that. It’s a moving story about the value of questioning authority and how one woman survived a profound crisis of faith.”—People “Remini [offers] up some juicy tidbits from her decades in the church.”—Newsweek
In this searing memoir of survival in the spirit of Stolen Innocence, the daughter of Warren Jeffs, the self-proclaimed Prophet of the FLDS Church, takes you deep inside the secretive polygamist Mormon fundamentalist cult run by her family and how she escaped it. Born into the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Rachel Jeffs was raised in a strict patriarchal culture defined by subordinate sister wives and men they must obey. No one in this radical splinter sect of the Mormon Church was more powerful or terrifying than its leader Warren Jeffs—Rachel’s father. Living outside mainstream Mormonism and federal law, Jeffs arranged marriages between under-age girls and middle-aged and elderly members of his congregation. In 2006, he gained international notoriety when the FBI placed him on its Ten Most Wanted List. Though he is serving a life sentence for child sexual assault, Jeffs’ iron grip on the church remains firm, and his edicts to his followers increasingly restrictive and bizarre. In Breaking Free, Rachel blows the lid off this taciturn community made famous by Jon Krakauer’s bestselling Under the Banner of Heaven to offer a harrowing look at her life with Warren Jeffs, and the years of physical and emotional abuse she suffered. Sexually assaulted, compelled into an arranged polygamous marriage, locked away in "houses of hiding" as punishment for perceived transgressions, and physically separated from her children, Rachel, Jeffs’ first plural daughter by his second of more than fifty wives, eventually found the courage to leave the church in 2015. But Breaking Free is not only her story—Rachel’s experiences illuminate those of her family and the countless others who remain trapped in the strange world she left behind. A shocking and mesmerizing memoir of faith, abuse, courage, and freedom, Breaking Free is an expose of religious extremism and a beacon of hope for anyone trying to overcome personal obstacles.
Jefferson Hawkins spent thirty years selling Scientology as one of their top marketing executives. The the Orwellian dark side of the Church threatened to destroy everything he had. A rare look at what goes on behind the glittering facade of today's most controversial cult.
Author: Andrew Morton
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 2008-01-15
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Andrew Morton uncovers the true story of the biggest celebrity of our age. Everyone knows Tom Cruise—or at least what he wants us to know. We know that the man behind the smile overcame a tough childhood to star in astonishing array of blockbusters: Top Gun, Rain Man, Born on the Fourth of July, A Few Good Men, Jerry Maguire, several Mission: Impossible movies, and more. We know he has taken artistic chances, too, earning him three Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations. But beyond that, the picture becomes a bit less clear... We know that Tom is a devoted follower of the Church of Scientology. We know that, despite persistent rumors about his sexuality, he has been married to Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman, and Katie Holmes. But it was not until he jumped on Oprah's couch to proclaim his love for Katie and denounced Brooke Shields for turning to the "Nazi science" of psychiatry that we began to realize how much we did not know about the charming, hardworking star. For all the headlines and the rumors, the real Tom Cruise has remained surprisingly hidden—until now.
“Both creepy…and quite moving.” —New York Times Book Review “Wall’s story couldn’t be more timely.” —People Stolen Innocence is the gripping New York Times bestselling memoir of Elissa Wall, the courageous former member of Utah’s infamous FLDS polygamist sect whose powerful courtroom testimony helped convict controversial sect leader Warren Jeffs in September 2007. At once shocking, heartbreaking, and inspiring, Wall’s story of subjugation and survival exposes the darkness at the root of this rebel offshoot of the Mormon faith.
To a young, teenage girl, Scientology seemed to be just what the author was looking for; a way to improve herself and attain spiritual enlightenment. But it was only after she joined Scientology’s elite inner circle, the Sea Organization, and signed a Billion Year contract that she discovered the dark world of fanaticism and abuse at the center of Scientology’s vast empire. For more than two decades she worked at all levels of the organization, from serving as a personal aide to the founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, who placed her in charge of the religion’s worldwide expansion to becoming the head of Celebrity Center, the organization that caters to it’s celebrity members. Early in her Scientology career, she spent five years as a covert agent engaged in espionage activities for the Church’s shadowy Guardian’s Office. After leaving the Sea Org she spent an additional two years as an undercover operative for the “reformed” Guardian’s Office, the Office of Special Affairs, which continued the same pattern of covert intelligence and dirty tricks against the Church’s perceived enemies while using intense legal attacks and bolstered by hire private investigators. She personally experienced the Sea Organization’s Rehabilitation Project Force; a labor camp where erring members are “re-educated”. When her loyalty came into question she was subjected to weeks of grueling interrogation, ending up in restraints after being rushed to a hospital by ambulance, unable to even recognize her husband. It is a shocking story of abuse, imprisonment, espionage, lies, mental torture and suicide- vital reading for anyone who wants to know what goes on behind Scientology’s curtain.
In the closed world of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints, Carolyn Jessop was forced to obey her controlling husband's every demand. She had no money, no power and existed as one of six wives battling for her husband's attention. For seventeen years Carolyn suffered for the sake of her children. She tried to protect them as the cult's new leader, Warren Jeffs, started marrying girls off younger and younger. But when Carolyn discovered that her twelve-year-old daughter had spent three days at Jeffs' home, she knew she had to do everything in her power to take her children and flee. At 35 Carolyn escaped. This is her harrowing - and ultimately triumphant - story