My book, the Truth is a Lie, is finally ready to be born into this world. At first, when the idea was presented to me, I didn't want to write it. I fought it. I told myself that no one wanted to read about me growing up in a cult and how I got out. After a series of events– a lot of them- that showed me I needed to write this book (that story is for another post), I caved. I decided it was time. But then came the part about how I wanted to tell it and who my audience would be to make the most impact. After all, I didn't want to write this and have it fall flat. I wanted to make sure I was the voice of who I needed to hear when I was 14, 15, and 16.
In a brief nutshell, that is how I decided to tell my story of growing up in a doomsday cult and an abusive home. My story isn't unique, I found out when I began to write and research, but it is primarily unheard and silenced. This only fueled me to write.
Then there was the road to publishing - a twisted journey filled with excitement, anticipation and rejection, dejection and depression. I'll write about that too.
Whenever I tell someone what the book is about, they have a whole slew of questions. What is the cult? How did you get out? Where's your family now?
I'll answer one. What is the doomsday cult? The cult is the Jehovah's Witnesses. The Jehovah's Witnesses are a high-control cult. Some assume this group is harmless because of their outward appearance and dedication to God (Jehovah). This is not the case. They believe that the end of the world is coming any day. Jehovah will destroy everything, leaving only his true followers behind to live in a Paradise on Earth. You won't make it if you are not a Jehovah's Witness. Even the true followers are never sure if they will make it to paradise.
This is a depiction of Paradise on Earth after Armageddon from the JW literature. Notice everyone on business casual?
Here is a SMALL list of the rules every Jehovah's Witness must follow – it's not optional:
Brothers are not allowed to have beards.
Sisters cannot pray aloud if a Brother is in the room.
Attending weekly Meetings is mandatory, and so is preparing by studying the material beforehand. When I was a child, there were three Meetings a week.
Field Service (going door to door, street corner preaching) is mandatory. It must be recorded on a timesheet and turned in weekly.
Jehovah's Witnesses dress to glorify Jehovah. Sisters are not allowed to wear slacks or pants; their clothing must be modest. Brothers must wear suits or slacks, a sports coat, and a tie.
Brothers cannot wear tight-fitting pants. And they are told it is because it attracts unwanted sexual attention from homosexuals.
Dating is prohibited. If a Brother or Sister are interested in each other, they can court with a chaperone.
No movies above PG.
Absolutely no blood transfusions.
Organ transplants were once forbidden, then allowed, then forbidden – and now allowed.
No saluting of the flag or saying the Pledge of Allegiance.
Sisters may not teach Brothers. Sisters cannot lead a congregation in prayer or song.
There is no divorce unless one member commits adultery.
Homosexuality, gender-neutral, etc., are wrongdoing and not allowed.
Holidays and National Observances are not to be celebrated (Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthdays, etc.)
Do not say "God Bless You" after someone sneezes.
No sex before marriage.
No oral sex – even in marriage.
I could go on for days about how women are treated and not valued, and how there is a system in place to protect pedophiles. How there is no help for someone who has an addiction, mental illness, or depression. The elderly are neglected since they have nothing left to offer Jehovah. Everyone lives with the threat of the world ending at any moment.
My book goes into what it's like to live the life of a Jehovah's Witness and what happens when you want to break free. There is no breaking free. You lose family, and friends, and your thought process has been so manipulated you don't think clearly. Anyone who gets out, to me, is a miracle. It's a fictionalized story based upon real-life events.
The Truth is a Lie is Available on Amazon
For more information about Jehovah's Witnesses– I've got a great YouTube Channel, "How I Got There From Cult Survivor to Writer," where I dive into some of the most asked questions.
Do you have a story but don't know where to start? Let's talk.