Author Sands Hall to discuss Scientology at Midtown Scholar

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Hear from Franklin and Marshall Professor Sands Hall on Tuesday, April 10 as she discusses her new memoir at Midtown Scholar in Harrisburg.

Flunk. Start.: Reclaiming My Decade Lost in Scientology is a candid account of Hall’s 10 years as a member of the Church of Scientology in California.

Prior to joining the Church, Hall’s brother suffered a traumatic brain injury and her world slipped into disorder. This made her response surprisingly relatable when I asked why she was drawn to Scientology.

“When you’re in your late twenties, you have an ‘OMG’ moment where life suddenly looks different and you start to question everything around you,” Hall said. “You want to find something more. I was in a period of my life that was filled chaos, and Scientology offered structure and order. It gave me meaning.”

She also mentions the power of language and how words can be used to seduce people into a certain way of thinking.

“People outside of cults can’t believe smart people from good families would fall into this trap,” Hall said. “But they don’t realize your thoughts are no longer your own when you join the Church.”

While the subject of Scientology may be heavy, Flunk. Start. is not. It’s not an exposé revealing the secrets of Scientology nor is it a story where Scientology is the villain. It’s a personal narrative of hope, about learning from the mistakes you may make and the trauma you may experience.

“While at first, you may see mistakes as waste, you then learn from them,” Hall said. “If you look for the gift in the darkness, you will find it.”

It’s this belief in reclaiming those dark times that courses throughout the book and that has resonated with readers.

Hall said she’s been overwhelmed with readers of all backgrounds reaching out to share their experiences on coping and healing from dark periods in their lives, and she’s humbled it’s striking such a resounding note. She also applauded her peers who have also spoken out after leaving The Church, such as actress Leah Remini and those featured in her show, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.

You can hear more from Hall tomorrow when she stops at Midtown Scholar to promote Flunk. Start. on Tuesday, April 10 at 7 p.m.

Be sure to check out the rest of the month’s guests, too!

Author: Hope

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