A former Scientologist and estranged niece of the powerful church leader David Miscavige, says actress Katie Holmes has good reason to fear for the health and welfare of her 6-year-old daughter Suri.

“My experience in growing up in Scientology is that it is both mentally and at times physically abusive,” said Jenna Miscavige Hill on her personal website.

Miscavige Hill, who left the controversial cult in 2005, said she recalls children “suffering mental anguish under the pressure of trying to process conflicting information forced upon them.”

Miscavige Hill (pictured at right) is sympathetic to the plight of Holmes, who hired new bodyguards to protect her against the threatening tactics of the cult.

“As a mother myself, I offer my support to Katie and wish for her all of the strength she will need to do what is best for her and her daughter,” the 28-year-old said on ExScientologyKids.com.

According to the NY Daily News, Miscavige Hill “said that as a minor she endured forced labor at her Scientology boarding school, forced confessions, detention in rooms against her will and long periods of isolation from her excommunicated parents.”

Holmes, who filed for divorce from her controlling husband, Tom Cruise, cited the Scientology religion as the reason for the divorce.

But Cruise, who is the highest paid actor in Hollywood, has launched into damage control. His reps tell gossip website TMZ.com that Scientology had nothing to do with Holmes’s divorce action.

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