Jenna Miscavige Hill

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Jenna Miscavige Hill
Born (1984-02-01) February 1, 1984 (age 33)
Concord, New Hampshire, United States
Nationality American
Spouse Dallas Hill
Children 2
Relatives

David Miscavige (uncle),

Ron Miscavige Jr. (father),

Ron Miscavige Sr. (grandfather)
Website
exscientologykids.com

Jenna Miscavige Hill (born February 1, 1984) is an American former Scientologist. After leaving the Church of Scientology in 2005, she has become an outspoken critic of the organization. She was a third generation Scientologist, the granddaughter of Ron Miscavige Sr. (who also left the church in 2012), the daughter of Elizabeth and Ron Miscavige, Jr.[1] (who left in 2000) and the niece of current Scientology leader David Miscavige.[2][3] She now runs a website which she co-founded with other ex-Scientologists which provides support and discussion for people either in the church or who have left.[4]

Early life[edit]

Jenna's parents, Elizabeth and Ron Jr., joined the Sea Org, Scientology's most devout religious order[5] when she was aged two. From then on she spent most of her childhood apart from her parents and says she was only allowed to see them once a week.[6] At age eight she signed her own billion-year contract with Sea Org, effectively agreeing to follow their rules for life.[7][8] One requirement of Sea Org was that families be separated and that "children over the age of six would be raised communally at locations close to Sea Org bases";[9] at age six she was moved to a Cadet Org (Sea Org for children)[10] school called "The Ranch". At the Ranch, Hill states that in addition to rote learning of the works of L. Ron Hubbard[8] she was expected to do heavy manual labor for 25 hours a week.[11][12][13] She described her experience from ages five to twelve thus: "We were also required to write down all transgressions... similar to a sin in the Catholic religion. After writing them all down, we would receive a meter check on the electropsychometer to make sure we weren't hiding anything, and you would have to keep writing until you came up clean."[1][14]

The Church of Scientology responded to the allegations in an official statement:

The church will not discuss private matters involving Miss Hill nor any of the efforts to exploit Mr. Miscavige’s name. We note that recollections in Miss Hill's book are dramatically at odds with 30 of her classmates.

— Church of Scientology[15]

She has been interviewed about her experiences within Scientology by a number of media outlets, including ABC's Nightline in April 2008,[16][17] and Piers Morgan Tonight in February 2013 discussing details of the church. After leaving the Ranch in 1997 she began training in the CMO, where Hill claims she was given repeated "security checks", investigations looking for confessions of misdemeanors (known as withholds) from past and present lives.[8] After several months she was told that her parents had left Sea Org and requested she be allowed to leave too. Hill claims she was considered a potential risk to Scientology's public profile as David Miscavige's niece, and the confessions were taken to use against her later if she spoke out publicly.[8][18]

Hill was 16 when her father and mother left Scientology in 2000. Hill states that due to the Scientology-ordered practice of disconnection with relatives and friends who don't support Scientology or are hostile to it, letters from her parents were intercepted and she was not allowed to answer a telephone for a year.[19][20]

Leaving the church[edit]

Hill met her husband, Dallas, also a Scientologist, in 2001. They married soon afterwards, and later had two children together.[21] In 2004 they were sent to Australia on a church mission where they were first able to access TV and internet and became aware of criticisms of Scientology.[11][22] One website was hosting Operation Clambake, dedicated to publishing critical articles and exposes of the Church of Scientology.[23] Shortly afterwards they decided to leave the church. Jenna claims this was made difficult by the Scientology organization, which threatened Dallas with disconnection from his own family still within the church.[8][22][24] She further claims they were pressured to sign agreements which would entitle the church to claim $10,000 each time she spoke out publicly against the church, which she refused.[6] In 2005 they finally left the church.

Hill first spoke publicly against the Church of Scientology's practice of disconnection in an open letter to Karin Pouw, the official Scientology spokesperson, in which she details how ex-members are prevented from communicating with family still in the church, in response to a prior statement from Pouw refuting allegations made in Andrew Morton's book Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography.[25] In the letter she said:

This is a widespread practice and if you dare deny it I have a list of all of there [sic] names together — these people's families are crying every day because they can't speak to their children who did nothing but leave the Church of their own free will.

If I am in fact wrong and you want to prove me as such, then allow me and my family to be in contact with our family members that are still part of the Church such as my Grandpa, Ron Miscavige, and his wife, Becky. Allow the same of my friends.[26]

In 2013 she published her book Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape under the William Morrow imprint of HarperCollins.[27] Jointly written with Lisa Pulitzer, a former correspondent for The New York Times, the book recounts her experience of Scientology in detail. The Church of Scientology has denied the accuracy of her account.[28]

On February 8, 2013, while appearing on radio's Opie & Anthony Show, she stated that she first learned about the story of Xenu from watching the South Park episode "Trapped in the Closet".[29]

Hill, along with Kendra Wiseman and Astra Woodcraft (both also raised in Scientology), founded the website exscientologykids.com,[30] a website designed to provide a forum and information for people who have either left the church or those still within Scientology who are looking for information.[31]

Hill's grandparents Becky and Ron Miscavige Sr. also left the church in 2012, and in 2016 Ron senior wrote his own memoir, Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me. Prior to its publication, lawyers acting on behalf of David Miscavige threatened to sue the publishers for defamation.[32] The Church has since responded publicly to its publication with the statement, "Ronald Miscavige is seeking to make money on the name of his famous son." [33]

Away from Scientology, Jenna blogs about her day to day family life and sells handcrafted items.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Recchia, Philip (2008-02-06). "Family feud in Tom's church". New York Post. Retrieved 2008-03-10. 
  2. ^ Braiker, Brian (2008-02-08). "The Passion of 'Anonymous'". Newsweek. Retrieved 2008-03-08. 
  3. ^ Sarno, David (2008-03-03). "Scientology taking hits online". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2008-03-12. Retrieved 2008-03-08. 
  4. ^ "Who we are". Ex-Scientology Kids. Retrieved 12 October 2016. 
  5. ^ "Church Management". scientology.org. Church of Scientology International. Retrieved 12 October 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Allemang, John. "Is Jenna Miscavige Hill Scientology’s most powerful opponent?". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  7. ^ Wakefield, Margery. "Understanding Scientology". Religio.de. Retrieved 12 October 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Grossman, Wendy (May 2013). "Clear and Fear: Scientology Under Review". Skeptical Inquirer. 37.3 (May/June 2013). Retrieved 12 October 2016. 
  9. ^ "Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2013". Kirkus. Kirkus Media LLC. Retrieved 12 October 2016. 
  10. ^ Paris, Melissa. "Scientology's Grip on the Mind". Village Voice. Retrieved 12 October 2016. 
  11. ^ a b Stewart, Sara. "Scientology's worst enemy". New York Post. NYP Holdings. Retrieved 12 October 2016. 
  12. ^ "Jenna Miscavige on Scientology Inc". 10News:WTSP. Retrieved 12 October 2016. 
  13. ^ Tremonti, Anna Maria. "The Current". CBC Radio. CBC/Radio-Canada. Retrieved 12 October 2016. 
  14. ^ "Family feud in Scientology's upper ranks exposes more oddities". Monsters and Critics. 2008-02-06. Archived from the original on 2008-03-13. Retrieved 2008-03-08. 
  15. ^ "Church of Scientology International Statement". Scientology newsroom. Retrieved 12 October 2016. 
  16. ^ Fletcher, Lisa (2008-04-24). "Niece of Scientology Leader Shares Her Story: Watch the Interview With Jenna Miscavige Hill Tonight on 'Nightline'". Nightline. ABC News. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  17. ^ Fletcher, Lisa; Ethan Nelson, Maggie Burbank (2008-04-24). "Ex-Scientology Kids Share Their Stories: Former Scientologists, Including Church Leader's Niece, Share Stories With 'Nightline'". Nightline. ABC News. Retrieved 2008-04-25. 
  18. ^ Childs, Joe; Tobin, Thomas C. "Niece of Scientology leader describes rocky youth in church". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  19. ^ Jacobsen, Jonny (2008-01-28). "Niece of Scientology's leader backs Cruise biography". AFP. Google News. Archived from the original on 2008-03-07. Retrieved 2008-03-08. 
  20. ^ Krone, David (2008-04-15). "Anti-Scientology Protests Continue in Dupont". The Hoya. Georgetown University. Archived from the original on 2008-05-14. Retrieved 2008-04-25. 
  21. ^ "'I feel brainwashed – a robot of Scientology'". The Independent. 2013-02-02. Retrieved 2015-08-06. 
  22. ^ a b Weaver, Clair (3 December 2015). "Jenna Miscavige Hill: "How I escaped Scientology"". Women's Weekly. Bauer Media. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  23. ^ Ortega, Tony. "Jenna Miscavige Hill on her Uncle, Scientology’s Leader: A Bully Too Afraid to Show His Face". The Underground Bunker. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  24. ^ McCarthy, Spencer. "I feel brainwashed". The Independent (04/01/2013). Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  25. ^ Jacobseb, Jonny. "Niece of Scientology's leader backs Cruise biography". Agence France-Presse. 
  26. ^ Bunker, Mark. "My message to anonymous". Xenu TV. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  27. ^ "HarperCollins to publish controversial memoir on Scientology". Voxy.co.nz. 2012-09-26. Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  28. ^ "Ex-scientologist: I was brainwashed." BBC.co.uk. 8 March 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013
  29. ^ "What's the Most Secretive Aspect of Scientology?". 
  30. ^ Olsen, Dawn (2008-03-01). "Jenna Miscavige Hill Helps Out Children Trapped By Scientology With New Site ExScientologyKids.com". Technorati. Archived from the original on 30 December 2010. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  31. ^ Miller, Daniel (2013). "Suri Cruise had a lucky escape". Daily Mail (16/02/2013). DMG Media. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  32. ^ Flood, Alison (27 April 2006). "Scientology leader David Miscavige threatens to sue UK publisher over father's memoir". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 November 2016. 
  33. ^ Bates, Daniel. "How Scientology leader David Miscavige dressed down his father Ron". Daily Mail (3rd May 2016). DMG. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 

External links[edit]

Wikinews has related news: Niece of Scientology's leader goes public with criticism