Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Scientology Leader’s Niece: “L. Ron Hubbard Was the Ultimate Con Man”


Jenna Miscavige Hill writes in her must-read book: “It remains a mystery to me how, in our current society, this [Scientology] can go on unchecked. It is particularly insidious because of its celebrity advocates and affiliated groups, such as Narconon, Applied Scholastics, and the Citizens Commission on Human Rights. I feel that people should be warned about what the Church truly is, who its founder really was, what really goes on there, the lengths it is willing to go to, and what they are willing to sacrifice in the name of achieving their ends. The ends themselves are shrouded in secrecy and conflicting information. Scientology always has been a game of power and control. L. Ron Hubbard was the ultimate con man, and it’s hard to figure out how much of Scientology was an experiment in brainwashing and controlling people, and how much of it was truly intended to help people.”

The book is “Beyond Belief: My Secret Life in Scientology and My Harrowing Escape.” This young woman was raised in Scientology but has indeed escaped with many members of her own family and her inlaws, to tell the story. Her uncle is David Miscavige, the mysterious leader of the cult who has been accused of mental and physical brutality by former members. He’s also Tom Cruise’s BFF, Cruise’s idol, and the man who probably drove the biggest wedge into Nicole Kidman’s life with Cruise.

Hill’s book is as fascinating as Lawrence Wright’s new “Going Clear.” It should leave no question about the extreme dangers of Scientology as a cult. Hill pulls no punches either. I was very happy to see she calls Tommy Davis, son of actress Anne Archer, and the group’s number 1 hatchet man, “cowardly.”  I know all about this: I was attacked verbally by Davis and Kelly Preston in August 2008 in the lobby bar of the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee the night before Isaac Hayes’s funeral. This pair eventually came to New York in an effort to get me fired from Fox News that fall.

Hill does not have a lot of gossip about the Scientology celebrities like Cruise, Travolta and Kirstie Alley. Her boyfriend, now her husband, “audited” Cruise personally. This means that Dallas Hill knows all the secrets any tabloid would pay millions for about Cruise’s personal life. Jenna observes that Nicole Kidman was basically not a believer, and was someone Scientology wanted get rid of. Mission: accomplished.

Jenna writes: “[because he was married to] Nicole Kidman, who was not as committed to the Church, Tom had been labeled a “Potential Trouble Source,” which had interfered with his progress in Scientology. Because Nicole’s father was in the psychology field, this made perfect sense. We were taught that those in the mental health field were bad and evil.”

Once Cruise divorced Kidman in a brutal and public way– by trying to pretend their marriage hadn’t last ten years and by making cryptic remarks about her– he became re-committed to Scientology and started jumping on couches, fighting with Matt Lauer, etc.

Jenna: Aunt Shelly [David Miscavige’s wife, unseen in public since 2007] … proceeded to go on about how similar Tom Cruise and Uncle Dave were, in that they were both very intense. Apparently, people called them by the same nickname, which had something to do with the word “laser.” I told Aunt Shelly how it seemed to me that Nicole wasn’t really into Scientology, and she seemed surprised that I had figured that out, saying I was exactly right and it was a problem they were trying to solve.”

One can only feel sympathy for Kidman, who was pared away from her children. It was extremely painful, but she’s remained mum to keep her connection with them.

Order Jenna’s book. Read Wright’s book. And Jenna is correct: it’s amazing this is still going on.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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