Escaping Scientology

The Church of Scientology is notoriously controlling and secretive, and little is known about its inner workings. Mike Rinder was a high-ranking exec in the church until one day he’d finally had enough—and left. In A Billion Years, he recounts his unusual life story, offering a peek into a world that most of us will never see.

On the Run

Rinder knew he had to leave when David Miscavige, the leader of the Church of Scientology, held him and 40 other people captive for six weeks in a room called “the Hole.” One of Rinder’s friends inside the church scaled a gate to escape. But Rinder waited until his work took him to London, where he could use the tube system to break away. Rinder removed his phone battery, checked into a cheap hotel, and eventually fled to Washington, D.C.

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