There is one question that everyone who wants to leave a religion, marriage, institution, country or even place of employment must answer for themselves. Am I going to be better off? We all have to face these decisions in one moment or another. Ending a marriage can be very nerve-racking. Immigrating to another country is definitely a life-changing decision. Quitting a job, not knowing when we will find a new one, can be extremely stressful.
How about leaving a religion? Millions of people leave their churches with very little or no consequences to themselves. Others face major criticism, ostracism, shunning, broken families or in some extreme cases even death. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to recognize a high-control organization mainly because people do not know what to look for. One of the biggest signs of a high-control religion is what happens to a person who wishes to quit.
Unfortunately, many people have to deal with a very cruel reality when they realize that leaving religion means losing everyone they ever loved. They are facing a very unfair dilemma: stay in the organization with all family and friends, pretending they are still believers, or walk away, knowing everyone who remains in the institution will never acknowledge their existence. Many who left or got removed end up losing everything and everyone they ever cared for, and as a result they became very angry and bitter.
To make things worse, a majority of people leaving such institutions have enormous amounts of fear of the outside world that was programmed into their minds. Remaining inside the organization meant being safe with God’s blessing and hope for everlasting life. Yes, it meant life without death. Leaving meant joining Satan and becoming part of the wicked world ruled by demons that will eventually lead to destruction.
Can life be better without the religion? How can someone overcome the enormous obstacles of being afraid of everything and everyone? Can they be happy? Successful? Can they have a meaningful life with purpose and happiness? These stories answer these questions. This book includes stories of ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses, ex-Mormons and one Muslim. They are not super-humans, but rather normal people who experienced lots of fear but found a way to break free from it. As a result, they live a life on their terms. Does that mean they are completely fearless now? Not at all. These stories are not about people without fear, but rather each one describes how they felt fear but did what was right regardless of the fear. That’s what courage is all about.
This book includes the story of Eric Wilson from Canada, who was serving in Columbia as a Jehovah’s Witness elder for many years. Despite old age, he decided to walk away from the organization, not knowing if he would ever be able to rebuild any type of social network. Dealing with his wife’s death and shunning from religion were not easy tasks, but if you ask Eric today, he will tell you that he is happier today than ever before. Why? Read his story to find out the answer.
The story of Terina Maldonado will help you understand how simple things in life can be terrifying for others. As an ex-Mormon, she was shaking at the idea of drinking tea, coffee or alcohol. Showing her shoulders uncovered in a public place would create huge anxiety as she would have to face some very uncomfortable questions if another Mormon would see her. How did she go from being so afraid to a woman teaching others how to thrive after leaving the Church of Latter Day Saints? She will explain in her chapter.
Nesly Brule puts our problems in a totally different perspective. Growing up in Turkey she witnessed stories of refugees who due to war lost their families, homes and everything they knew as normal life. She shares stories of a woman who due to wrong belief accidently killed her 5 children trying to save them. Another woman after losing her children and husband due to bombing she delivered a dead baby that she had to bury herself. Her chapter will put our problems into a different category.
All the stories, although different, have one thing in common. Every single person who paid the price for their freedom will say this: It was worth it!
What was worth it? What can be more precious than living with your family in unity and having hope of everlasting life in paradise and soon be welcoming dead loved ones during a resurrection?
I hope this book will provide you with the answers you are looking for.