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Publisher's Summary

In this audiobook, Sands Hall chronicles her slow yet willing absorption into the Church of Scientology. Her time in the Church, the 1980s, includes the secretive illness and death of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, and the ascension of David Miscavige. Hall compellingly reveals what drew her into the religion - what she found intriguing and useful - and how she came to confront its darker sides. 

As a young woman from a literary family striving to forge her own way as an artist, Hall ricochets between the worlds of Shakespeare, avant-garde theater, and soap opera, until her brilliant elder brother, playwright Oakley Hall III, falls from a bridge and suffers permanent brain damage. In the secluded canyons of Hollywood, she finds herself increasingly drawn toward the certainty that Scientology appears to offer.

In this candid and nuanced memoir, Hall recounts her spiritual and artistic journey with a visceral affection for language, delighting in the way words can create a shared world. However, as Hall begins to grasp how purposefully Hubbard has created the unique language of Scientology - in the process isolating and indoctrinating its practitioners - she confronts how language can also be used as a tool of authoritarianism.

Hall is a captivating guide, and this audiobook explores how she has found meaning and purpose within that decade that for so long she thought of as lost; how she has faced the "flunk" represented by those years, and has embraced a way to "start" anew.

©2018 Sands Hall (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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An unusual Scientology memoir; beautifully written

More an intriguing personal search for meaning than an escape from Scientology saga; I loved every word.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-01-2019

Not really about Scientology

The title and description of the book are deceiving. This is more a full-life autobiography; Scientology pops up only every great once in a while. Hall speaks more about her early life, her familial dealings, her lovers, her ambitions, etc. than she actually does about her experience in the organization. She's even more interested in singing her folk songs than describing any courses she'd taken or auditing she'd completed. I had never heard of Hall (or her family members) and would not have bought this book if I'd known what it was really about.

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  • Battymouse
  • 02-11-2020

Misleading title for a dull story

I gave this book six hours before deciding it was too boring to finish. It's not even that much about Scientology; perhaps the title was chosen because of the interest today in the group. Hall writes well and reads well, but her life is not that interesting and I really disliked the opportunities she found to sing. Her parents were particularly annoying. I have read numerous moving stories of people searching for meaning and spiritual understanding. This isn't one of them. As the Scientologists would say: Flunk.

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  • Sara
  • 22-06-2018

Just not interesting

I kept thinking this book would be a great after Scientology memoir but it was really a long, boring journey to nowhere. I forced myself to finish hoping it would eventually become entertaining, but it didn’t.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Skeeter
  • 14-06-2018

An Amazing Audible Book Experience

Many books are entertaining, amusing, and informative. This book is that and so much more. When I finished listening, I had a gift in my hands, a greater understanding of my own journey. I am grateful to Sands Hall for her honest, horrendous wrestling with what she calls her wasted years in Scientology in order to bring her story into the world. Hall, who is also an actress, reads her own work, and her physical voice is the perfect vehicle for her written words. All told, an amazing audible book experience.

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  • George H. Cole
  • 11-04-2019

Insightful and well told

I was a Scientologist for over 30 years. I have been "out" but "under the radar " for 9 years. This book helped me to better understand how I came to be trapped in a cult. It also helped me to peel off a few more of the layers of Scientology control that still exist in my mind. Thank you, Sands.

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  • Roger G.
  • 23-10-2018

Courageous and insightful!

This brave memoir helps all of us to explore the many factors that affect our lives. With keen insight and emotional resonance Ms. Hall encourages us all to examine how we become who we are. Her beautiful narration adds immeasurably to the enjoyment. I highly recommend this!

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  • Lisa Martin
  • 24-05-2018

Thoughtful!

Excellent exploration of the author’s experiences, touching on deep themes such as the need to find meaning in one’s life. Enjoyed the narration and sprinkling of song. Well done!

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  • Jillian
  • 22-02-2021

excellent memoir

Author was authentic, honest, & captivating in the telling of her story. from her familial relationships to her friendships within the Church, she eloquently shares her experiences, emotions, & thoughts are she grappled with finding her own path in life. so well done.

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  • Cheri W.
  • 07-11-2020

Not Quite What Was Expected

It was...interesting, in its way. I found the constant shifting between backstories and characters to be confusing at times, and the subtle self-promotions inserted throughout began to illicit some eye-rolling on my part after the third or fourth one.
Still, it was important to hear another take on the ludicrousness of Scientology, albeit more lukewarm than I felt it should have been, but Sands did challenge my objectivity several many times.

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  • Erin
  • 09-02-2019

not just another expose on Scientology.

Sands book is an amazingly well- told story about a creative intelligent wonderful woman and how she got sucked into Scientology. Her inner battle between what she loved about the study and how she wanted to break away makes it real for those who have never been in but wonder how could you get sucked in. I highly recommend not just the book but the audible recording told in her own voice.

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  • ania
  • 16-05-2020

Dull

This book is dull and overcomplicated. The author has clearly the aspirations to write but in the process she leaves the reader uninvolved and even bored. Consequently, she doesnt do a very good job at either entertaining or enlightening the reader, even though her writing skills are above avarage. i have read many book about scientology, and although written in a simple language and with an easy structure, they were much more involving. This book jumps between past and present, which kills my interest. Additionally, from the very beginning of the book, she focuses for ages on the boring details of scientology rules, keeping the pace disappointingly stagnant.

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