I used to be one of those people who had to finish every book I started. Even if it was horrible, I forced my way to the end. A couple years ago, I decided that this was a rubbish idea. Why was I punishing myself and rewarding the author? This is a ridiculous system. Why am I reading this? Really.
I gave myself permission to decide something wasn’t worth my time and stop reading if I wasn’t engaged after the first third of the book (this marker got shorter as books got shittier).
Today, I was reviewing my Goodreads list and realized that I have a lot of these books. It’s kind of my public duty to ensure other people are made aware before they subject their eyes/brains/time to these books.
These reviews will be super short – cause remember – not worth my time.
Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape by Jenna Miscave
I took a course in university on the Sociology of Religion: Sects and Cults. It was amazing. My prof was something of an expert on Scientology and the material was fascinating. Not in the ‘holy shit, I have to run out and join this thing’ kind of fascinating (although, I somehow know where my local scientology recruitment centre is located), but in a what about this actually makes people want to join in kind of way. The whole thing seems pretty wackadoo to me. I’m an atheist. This means that in my experience all religious writing is fictional. It is someone’s belief system, but it isn’t mine. There’s more than just the back story that makes Scientology a greater curiosity; it’s all the requirements on everyday life.
So, when I saw this book at the library, I really wanted to read it. An inside look at a so called religion (whose classification as a religion seems to fluctuate from year to year) that’s gotten so much media and appears to have some seriously crazy rules about everything? Yes, please. Obviously, I know the book is going to be skewed. It’s being written by someone who refers to leaving as a harrowing escape. But it’s going to have some juicy tidbits. I was expecting cheesy movie levels of enjoyment. Whether or not it was all true, it’s going to be super entertaining. Right? Wrong! Oh so very wrong.
Yes, there was a lot of information in the book. The work style camps for the kids. The complete separation from their parents. The disassociation from anything outside the religion. Good stuff. But the writing is hands down one of the most atrocious things I have ever read. So bad. The editing and storytelling is so bad that I was constantly pulled out of the book to work my way through what they were trying to say – and that pisses me off.
I would rather drown in Thetans than be forced to finish this book. Why searching for images, I did find a super interesting blog called Leaving Scientology that looks much more like what I expected to get out of this book. I’ll probably be giving that a read at some point.