We have yet another tell-all book from an ex-Scientology member recounting many of the same abuses of forced labor, cruel conditions, and slavish service for scientology celebrities. This book however is written by the niece of church leader David Miscavige. Miscavige has previously been accused of physically beating followers and requiring virtual slavish service to the Church’s celebrities from Tom Cruise to John Travolta to Fox News’ Greta Van Susteran.
In “Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology And My Harrowing Escape,” Jenna Miscavige-Hill reaffirms earlier accounts of abuse, including child labor and forced separation from parents. The 29-year-old tells of hard labor for children at “the Ranch” 90 miles southeast of Los Angeles. She said that children were only allowed to see their parents for only a few hours per week and did not receive traditional education as opposed to church indoctrination. She writes that the children worked 14 hours a day, seven days a week for a weekly wage of $45.
She writes how celebrities accepted fawning treatment from these underpaid and overworked members without inquiring about their status, even after books appeared detailing how the celebrities were benefitting from this system. She says these members were paid 45 dollars a week while showering celebrities with every possible attention and luxury.
While various books and accounts have detailed the “disconnection” policy to separating children from their parents, the Church continues to deny that it ever existed. The Church has called Miscavige-Hill a liar and adds that “[e]very religion has its detractors; there is no faith that can satisfy everyone’s spiritual needs.”