This is a book I chose to read as I am absolutely fascinated by Scientology. I don't want to join or anything I just find the whole concept of this 'religion' and the way it is run interesting. The novel is written by the leader of Scientology's father.
Ron Miscavige documents in this book from when his son, David Miscavige, was born to him taking over Scientology after the founder, L. Ron Hubbard, died and how he ran it afterwards.
Ron tells of incidents involving his son yelling and screaming at him at various times, and how Scientology seems to be all about money now. He explains why he joined the organisation in the early 1970's and the reasons he did so.
From Ron's account, Scientology was a different thing back then, it was all about helping yourself and others lead better lives. He explains how when his son came into power it went to his head, and it all went wrong.
I found the parts where he explains about being 'disconnected' from his son and daughters quite upsetting. Disconnection is basically a practice where if a person is thought to be against Scientology and undermining their work, they are cut off from their family who are still members of Scientology. This means no contact at all. I have heard many stories of disconnection and to hear someone's account of it especially coming from the family of the man in charge of Scientology makes it more believable for some reason.
I do have to say at times I found that Ron seemed to play down some of his own actions. Seeming to instead focus entirely on his son's short comings. For instance the violence between Ron and David's mother got barely mentioned apart from a few lines here or there. It was played down slightly and basically saying because it happened so long ago it didn't factor in to anything.
Having said that I do believe that from reading this book and no matter what he says about his son, Ron does in fact love his children and would want some kind of relationship with them. As with all books of this type you are only getting one side of the story.
To me the way David Miscavige is described by his own father, does in fact tally up with what other people say about him. He definitely seems to have anger issues and a huge ego, and the way people are treated as members of Scientology is disturbing.
The way Ron talks about Scientology when he first joined, to me shows he did believe at that time it was a good thing for him and his family initially. Until everything started going wrong after the founder died.
All in all I enjoyed this book and found myself not wanting to put it down. I would recommend anyone who has even a passing interest in this kind of thing to give it a try.
If you have any thoughts about this book please let me know in the comments. Keep an eye out for my upcoming review of Leah Remini's Book - Troublemaker about her time in Scientology.