The Church of Scientology has been accused of child abuse in a book written by the leader's niece, Jean Miscavige-Hill. In a March 16 article on France 24, a spokesperson for the church denied the claims written in the book, "Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape."
But a spokesman for the Church said her claims were "false" and denounced "efforts to exploit Mr Miscavige's name."
Jenna Miscavige-Hill, the niece of the leader of the Scientology Church, David Miscavige, claims that her childhood was stolen from her by the church. Now 29, Miscavige-Hill escaped when she was 21. She recounts being brainwashed, cut off from her family, and subjected to excruciating manual labor from age 6-12 on a ranch in the desert.
Jenna Miscavige-Hill was part of a group of children of elite members called “Sea Org,” and they were taken to a place called “The Ranch” in the desert outside of Los Angeles. Their entire lives consisted of work and training in Scientology for 14 hours a day, seven days a week. Even as a small child, she was unable to see her parents but a few hours a week.
She describes her days at the Ranch as:
"like a military boot camp, with grueling drills, endless musters, exhaustive inspections, and arduous physical labor that no child should have to do."
Children from the Church of Scientology were interned there in conditions that would be classified as child abuse throughout the 1990s until 2000. While being trained as elite Scientologists, they moved large rocks for walls, and dug irrigation ditches.
The claims made by Miscavige-Hill have been denied adamantly by the Church of Scientology, but similar claims were made in a recent book by Lawrence Wright entitled “Going Clean.”