A Billion Years: My Escape From a Life in the Highest Ranks of Scientology

Written by:
Mike Rinder
Narrated by:
Mike Rinder

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
September 2022
14 hours 22 minutes
One of the highest-ranking defectors from Scientology exposes the secret inner workings of the powerful organization in this remarkable memoir that is “not only a cautionary tale but also an inspiring story of resilience” (Leah Remini, New York Times bestselling author).

Mike Rinder’s parents began taking him to their local Scientology center when he was five years old. After high school, he signed a billion-year contract and was admitted into Scientology’s elite inner circle, the Sea Organization. Brought to founder L. Ron Hubbard’s yacht and promised training in Hubbard’s most advanced techniques, Rinder was instead put to work swabbing the decks.

Still, Rinder bought into the doctrine that his personal comfort was secondary to the higher purpose of Hubbard’s world-saving mission, swiftly rising through the ranks. In the 1980s, Rinder became Scientology’s international spokesperson and the head of its powerful Office of Special Affairs. He helped negotiate Scientology’s pivotal tax exemption from the IRS and engaged with the organization’s prominent celebrity members, including Tom Cruise, Lisa Marie Presley, and John Travolta.

Yet Rinder couldn’t shake a nagging feeling that something was amiss—Hubbard’s promises remained unfulfilled at his death, and his successor, David Miscavige, was a ruthless and vindictive man who did not hesitate to confine many top Scientologists, Mike among them, to a makeshift prison known as the Hole.

In 2007, at the age of fifty-two, Rinder finally escaped Scientology. Overnight, he became one of the organization’s biggest public enemies. He was followed, hacked, spied on, and tracked. But he refused to be intimidated and today helps people break free of Scientology.

“An intensely personal, cathartic memoir of blind allegiance, betrayal, and liberation” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), A Billion Years reveals the dark, dystopian truth about Scientology as never before.
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Admirable honesty and meaningfully life changing. Courageous

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Very interesting and frightening insight into the dark world of the Sea Org.

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Danielle L.

I eagerly purchased this book when it came out but was disappointed to hear a rather dry story when the subject matter is very interesting. I recommend Jenna and Ron Miscavige's memoirs which are both interesting and engaging. Rinder here doesn't really make an attempt to tell an involving story about his years as a Scientology higher up but instead drolly recounts his time there in a matter of fact way. Disappointing because there is so much potential for a unique, dramatic story here

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