Two days since the church of Scientology aired a powerful if not divisive television commercial during the Super Bowl, on Tuesday evening "Piers Morgan Tonight" welcomed one of the organization's most-outspoken critics to share a unique blend of insight and perspective.
Prior to leaving the group in 2005, Jenna Miscavige Hill grew up amidst the life first founded by infamous author L. Ron Hubbard and even remained with the organization for five years after her parents left.
In her recently released book "Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape," Miscavige Hill details her experiences within a religious group often accused of being a cult that brainwashes its members, and forces children into long hours of unlawful labor.
Speaking live with Piers Morgan, the guest fielded questions about the church's current leader, her uncle David Miscavige:
"Is he an evil man?" Morgan asks.
"Yes," came her response, before adding further context. "As you'll read in my book, like, he has both sides, though. You know, like when I was younger growing up, you know, you sort of see a different side of him. But then you see how things gradually change. And I don't know if that was the evolution of his personality or if it was how he, you know, talked to me as a child and then as I became an adult."
Asked by Morgan to explain the worst parts of a life lived within the walls of the secretive religion, Miscavige spoke of feeling trapped, with no ability to make her own choices:
"I would say the worst part of Scientology is that, you know, it's their doctrine or the highway," she said. "Which is what is so ironic about that Super Bowl ad. It talks about how, you know, seekers of knowledge and think for yourself, but you can't think for yourself when you're there."
Tuesday's program, meanwhile, also saw the host turn his attention to the issue of education in America, as Morgan welcomed Michelle Rhee.
Married to former NBA basketball star Kevin Johnson, the 43-year-old with degrees from Cornell and Harvard condems the wage discrepencies between pro athletes, and pro educators:
"When you think bout it, it's really crazy that we live in a society where basketball players get paid 12 million dollars a year for dribbling a ball around the court," she told Morgan, using her husband, the current Mayor of Sacramento and a three-time All-Star as an example. "We should be paying the highest performing teachers in this country 12 million dollars because they are impacting the future."
Watch the clips, and listen to the interviews, as Miscavige Hill shares more insight from her Scientology experiences, while Rhee lays out a 3-tier plan for fixing the education issues in America.
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