Already plagued by scandal, the church is getting punched in the gut with another harrowing exposé — this time, by the niece of its leader, David Miscavige
At the age of 6, most kids are learning their numbers and playing with blocks. According to Jenna Miscavige Hill, she was hauling rocks on a chain gang in the desert.
“We would get the rocks out of a running creek,” says the slight, 29-year-old blonde. “And it was freezing cold. A lot of times our uniforms didn’t fit us, because we were growing kids, so we’d be wearing shorts in the winter. We’d have to go into the creek bed and pick up the rocks. We’d either have a chain where we would pass them to another kid, or we’d just carry them all the way up, and we would make rock walls.”
Hill is the niece of David Miscavige, the current leader of the Church of Scientology. Her parents, Ron and Blythe Miscavige, were officials in the prestigious Sea Organization, which required its members to work 14-hour days, and Hill and her brother largely grew up in the care of church members at a desert school for high-ranking Scientologists’ kids in San Jacinto, Calif., known as the Ranch.
A Scientologist until her early 20s, Hill is now releasing a memoir, “Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape,” which chronicles her “education” inside the L. Ron Hubbard-founded organization many have described as a cult. The Post spoke with Hill about the book and her memories of the bizarre experiences she had being raised as a Scientologist — starting with signing a billion-year contract with the Sea Org at the age of 7 — and her eventual decision to leave and help others do the same.
“At the age of 10, I was the medical liaison,” Hill says. “Every morning, I would have to go around to all the kids at the Ranch and say, ‘Do you have any sickness?’ And I’d make a list of yeses and nos. I would make vitamin packages for everyone for every meal, and make this Cal-Mag [calcium and magnesium] drink that Hubbard invented.
“It doesn’t taste good,” she adds. “It tastes like feet.”
If a child flunked daily room inspection, he or she would receive a “chit.” On the third chit, she says, “you can’t go to sleep until you pass a white-glove inspection. On the fifth, you get assigned to ‘Pigs Berthing,’ a run-down room with a mattress on the floor. There weren’t any lights, so you had to use a flashlight. And there were bats in there. My friend got sent — she was about thirteen.”
One of the steps of Scientology, Hill says, was purifying the body from supposed toxins. As Hubbard had taught that drugs clouded the mind and prevented it from attaining clarity, even children had to be detoxed. Because Hill had taken Tylenol while in the hospital when she was little, and had Novocaine at the dentist, she was sent to Purification.
Pope Benedict XVI, 85, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger who took office in 2005, said on Monday that he will retire Feb. 28, the first pope to do so in six centuries, citing deteriorating health.
Alternate headline: World’s leading molester underground railroad advocate steps down.
[W]hat galvanized the Christian community was not abortion, school prayer, or the ERA [Equal Rights Amendment]. I am living witness to that because I was trying to get those people interested in those issues and I utterly failed.
What changed their minds was Jimmy Carter’s intervention against the Christian schools, trying to deny them tax-exempt status on the basis of so-called de facto segregation. In other words, as Randall Balmer has succinctly put it: “the religious right of the late twentieth century organized to perpetuate racial discrimination.”
Salon shows the history of how the political arm of Evangelical Christianity, as you might have suspected, is nothing but a veil for racists to try to push segregation and keep minorities oppressed.
We know that we’ve done and said things that hurt people. Inflicting pain on others wasn’t the goal, but it was one of the outcomes. We wish it weren’t so, and regret that hurt.
We know that we can’t undo our whole lives. We can’t even say we’d want to if we could; we are who we are because of all the experiences that brought us to this point. What we can do is try to find a better way to live from here on. That’s our focus.
If you’re looking for atheists talking about philosophy and other ideas concerning atheism on tumblr, search the tag “atheism” or “atheist.”
If you’re looking for some dumb assholes going on about what horrible, militant or hate-filled people we must be and how atheists should be forced out of America, search the tumblr tag “athiest” or “athieism”
For years, Greer, 53, seemed to be a model pastor. He landed a prime job with one of north Alabama’s largest United Methodist congregations. Colleagues praised him as a preacher. Congregants called his marriage to wife Lisa loving.
But health problems forced him from the pulpit, and he was haunted by what his lawyer calls personal, psychological and professional struggles.
Now, friends and colleagues are struggling to understand how Greer ended up charged with killing his wife and wounding their daughter during a shooting in their church-owned home Jan. 10.