Saturday, April 12, 2014

Better run for your life if you can, little girl

Book: Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape
Author(s): Jenna Miscavige Hill and Lisa Pulitzer
Published: 2013 (HarperCollins)

Scientology, y'all. I'm going in.

No! Wait, not like that. I just read a memoir about a lifelong member of Sea Org who got increasingly restless and agitated with the whole shebang and so finally managed to leave with her husband before she was twenty.

And you know, I'm not looking for any scandal that's not there, and I'm not looking to prove that scientology is more evil than any other religion/corporation out there -although the fact that they are sort of a combination is worrisome, for reasons that the author(s) goes into a little bit.

 But, again, I wish this felt more personal. The descriptions about the work required and the convoluted education system and the enforced isolation from family are interesting in a facts-based kind of way, but her thoughts on her beliefs and what kept her there and why she believed and her increasing agitation feel one step removed from the raw humaness of it all. Once she started protesting and fighting her way out, the narrative became repetitive lists of going away and coming back and worrying over the same things without touching on the evolution of her emotional complexity. She literally just "got more and more scared" and stuff like that.

 Maybe I am incruably greedy, but I need more. There's another scientology memoir on my list of to-checkout, so maybe that'll delve deeper into the why and not just the what. Back to the library!

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