Review by Roger Weller
I had the good fortune of reading Janis Gillham Grady's story while I was taking a cruise on a ship with her and other friends. While our ship was rocking back and forth being slapped by waves in the Gulf of Mexico, I was reading about Janis's unbelievable but true life as a child adrift on Scientology's ship Apollo. As I read her first and the second draft, I turned the pages saying "OMG" because here was a little girl with no parents facing perilous conditions at sea, fending for herself since age 11. Having been in Scientology for 19 years, I had always wondered what it would have been like being with L. Ron Hubbard on his mysterious ships in the Mediterranean. Janis' story reveals the best and the worst of life at sea with him, while she and other children worked as slaves and while he raked in millions from Scientology organizations around the world. I loved reading about so many people who were the foundations of Scientology whom she describes in this story. While I was never in the Sea Org, her story gives me great insight into the challenging conditions of Sea Org life that I would never have survived as she did. I don't know of any other historical book on Scientology that tells the story from the perspective of a Commodore's Messenger, who represented Hubbard through communications around the ship and then into the highest levels of Scientology as she and her sister Terri did, plus shares never-before-seen photos that enable us to see what life on the ship really looked like. This is a thrill ride of a book. Just wading through the unbelievable details, I could barely believe this child endured, I'm amazed that Janis nevertheless became the kind and compassionate woman, mother, and friend that she has become.