Niece of Scientology Leader David Miscavige Talks About Her Life Inside The Church
Despite the big names attached to Scientology, there are still mysteries surrounding the church. But now INSIDE EDITION is getting a peek inside from the niece of the controversial head of Scientology, David Miscavige. Jenna Miscavige-Hill says she escaped the group seven years ago and in her new book she has come forward with claims that she was intimidated while behind church walls. She spoke with INSIDE EDITION's Paul Boyd.
It was the Super Bowl commercial that took millions of viewers by surprise.
The ad wasn't for the usual Super Bowl fare of cars, beer, or snacks. The sponsor was the Church of Scientology.
INSIDE EDITION's Paul Boyd watched the ad with Jenna Miscavige-Hill, and she was once Scientology royalty. Her uncle is church leader David Miscavige—Tom Cruise's best friend.
Jenna is author of Beyond Belief My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape," a just-released memoir.
Boyd asked, "Do you believe that this Scientology commercial accurately reflects what goes on inside the Church of Scientology?"
"Absolutely not. Saying things like 'free thinkers.' I mean, that's ridiculous," said Jenna.
When Jenna was two, she says her parents, who were then devoted Scientologists, allowed her to be raised by the church.
"Separating children from their parents helps children to behave more like adults, and be more compliant when they have no one to run to," said Jenna.
When she was just seven years old, she said she was asked to sign a contract binding her to Scientology for one billion years.
Jenna said, "They're a controlling, manipulative organization that lures people in by making them feel good about themselves, and love-bombing them. And, eventually, things turn once you're in there."
She was sent to live on a ranch. In photos given to INSIDE EDITION by the Church of Scientology, it appears to be an idyllic boarding school. But Jenna says in her book, the students, some as young as six, were required to help build the school.
Jenna said, "I just can't believe the audacity of the church that they would bring up those pictures. I mean, everything you see there is work that we did on our own.
A Scientology spokesperson says in a statement:
"We note that recollections in Ms. Hill's book about her schooling are dramatically at odds with the recollections of 30 of her classmates. Their personal memories describe the exact same school at the exact same time as an idyllic summer camp and boarding school-like envirnoment. The Church has long respected the family unit while accommodating and helping those raising children. The Church does not engage in any activities that mistreat, neglect or force children to engage in manual labor. The Church follows all laws with respect to children. Claims to the contrary are false."
Jenna said, "One of the things that I learned when I was leaving is that, they only have as much power over me as I allow them to have. And I am no longer afraid of them."
Scientology also says revisionist histories are typical of former members and should be taken with an enormous grain of salt.