Charging $150 To Tell Your Stories

by Bangalore 178 Replies latest jw friends

  • Israel Ricky Gonzales
    Israel Ricky Gonzales

    How to Escape Jehovah’s Witnesses. Target audience? Former Jehovah’s Witnesses who have already escaped the cult, just in case we forget how we escaped. Brilliant.

    This guy guy has become the modern day Charles Taze Russell snake oil salesman.

  • OnTheWayOut
    This guy guy has become the modern day Charles Taze Russell snake oil salesman.

    Barbara Anderson will post your story for free on Watchtowerdocuments . org. Reading is free.

    Information from JWFacts is free. So many people have helped others for free. Some make a modest amount of money from their efforts, but what i see is people from Ray Franz on down to Kyria Abrahams who wrote their books and then hoped people will pay for it. I don't know of any of them that got rich, but even if they did somehow, they didn't put the P.T. Barnum act out there.

    Lloyd, nobody has a big problem with you writing a book and selling it. Those of us that remember the debacle you stirred up on FB with that group will simply avoid the book. Those that like your videos and don't know what a con you are will buy the book. But I think it has crossed a line to get funded for such a book.

    If anyone needs genuine emotional and psychological help getting out, EXITING THE JW CULT by Bonnie Zieman is a great book. Books by Steven Hassan on cults are excellent. They are priced reasonable. You can tell your story here on this forum or at Barbara Anderson's site or on FB without paying a slimy snake oil salesman to do it. If you tell it here, we are kind and don't need to edit it and change it and you can post all the pics you want with it.

  • Simon
    It's telling that Evan's book title focuses on "escaping" from the religion and not recovering from it.

    That's a great point. It really isn't hard to escape, it takes more effort to keep going after all. But it sounds so much more "dramatic" doesn't it and it makes someone claiming they are helping you "escape" sound so much more heroic.

    But recovery is really the issue. Less drama. No quick fixes. More of a process and I don't think a book can really give you the time and life lessons / experience to get over things, it's just what happens when you stop going and get on with your life.

    When it comes to sharing your own experience and life story or lessons and advice for others, we have all been doing it for years, for free. No need to pay some money-grabber to do it.

  • hothabanero

    Wow this is greedy. John Cedars strikes me as a greedy drama lady-of-the-night who would turn around and defend the WT if he thought he could make a few bucks (or get a few clicks) from it

    For some reason he is worshipped at the exjw forum on reddit (think he knows the owners or something) but I am happy that bullshit wont fly here.

  • jwundubbed

    300 words isn't even barely a paragraph. When I wrote articles for a college newspaper our articles could be no more than 450 words. So, 300 is hardly anything... and then a small quote from one of those? You don't even get your full story in... just a quote from a synopsis, and a byline! That is not worth paying $150. You know websites that seem free are actually making bank because people give them content. So... this guy is getting not just content but is getting people to pay for the privilege of giving him that content. What snake oil salesman!

    If you can't write your own book because you don't have enough content.... put in the work and interview people. Give them the (required, by the way) credit they deserve, and then write your damn book. What fake.

    I don't have anything against John Cedars. I like his youtube videos. He puts in a decent amount of work to discredit the JWs and to bring some of their inconsistencies into the open. He does some good work. But dude! Don't think that gives you the right to shit on people and call it rosewater.

    But most don't do the hard work to eliminate the cult-indoctrinated negative personality traits which they acquired as a part of their association with the cult. - jp

    This is so true. I see a lot of people who have horrible traits and yet assume that they were magically transformed just by leaving the cult. It doesn't work that way. We learned to be abusers. You don't stop being an abuser until you put in the time and effort to stop being an abuser. And pointing out other abusers doesn't make you less of one. You still have to do the time and work of changing your behaviors.

  • jp1692

    jwundubbed: We learned to be abusers. You don't stop being an abuser until you put in the time and effort to stop being an abuser.

    I really appreciate your response and comments. The other side of the abusing coin is the victim mentality. Those are two of many cult cultivated (did you see what I did there?) traits and behaviors which take much work to identify and overcome.

    Your next comment is also insightful:

    And pointing out other abusers doesn't make you less of one. You still have to do the time and work of changing your behaviors.

    I'm always amazed at how easy it is to see negative, dysfunctional behaviors in other people and hard it is to see it in ourselves.

    We all need mirrors ... that and the desire and courage to see the truth about ourselves. In my experience, most people don't want to know.

  • jp1692

    jwundubbed, your comments reminded me of something I'd previously written on this point:

    Many people that leave a cult are emotionally stunted cases of arrested development, particularly those that are born into it. Lawrence Wright, journalist and author of Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (2013) wrote, “a lot of former cult members are ‘living in the shadows’,” that is they have never really learned to have a full and complete life outside of the cult. No longer in the cult and not either in the larger world, they have a “shadowed” existence midway between the two worlds. We need to find a way to put an end to the pain that these people are suffering and enable them to live to their fullest potential.

    Expounding on this idea, Mike Rinder, a former senior executive of the Church of Scientology, commented:

    It's a lot of work to recover from leaving a cult, so much so that some people never fully recover. They spend their whole life "living in the shadows," never really having the life they could and should have.

    These people need help to come out of the shadows. We can do that by shining a light, a bright light, on the dysfunctional beliefs which keep them confined to living on the fringes of life.

    [Word Count: 206 words ... LOL]

  • jwundubbed


    I agree with a lot of what you say on this topic of how people don't fully leave the cult and live in the in-between. I worked my ass off to alter myself and change my behaviors and I still feel like I can't function in the mainstream world. Okay, I have odd ideas and I'm not normal by a long shot. But ignoring that part... I have a hard time making friends. I can't get a decent job, mostly because I don't feel I am capable of it. There is just so much to overcome that it often feels like I never will overcome it and live the life everyone else takes for granted. That bar that mainstream people take for granted and is even low for them is set so high above what seems like an impossible accomplishment. It's just out of reach.

    If only those people could see how far I've already come. And if only people coming out could see how much more they need to do than just to leave. But the leaving part is so hard and it weighs you down. You lose your family, every friend you ever had. Even if those people don't shun you, you lose them. At a certain point you just have to distance yourself from the people that were part of that. Sometimes it's because they are unhealthy, or you are. Sometimes it is because the memories you share are just too painful. Sometimes it is because they know you so well that you can't get away from your JW persona. There are lots of reasons, but I lost everyone I knew even though many of them have left.

    I don't agree that shining a light on the dysfunctional beliefs is the way to get people out of the shadows. That is how help people at the initial stages of leaving the cult. I think we have to shine a light on the dysfunctional behaviors that we learned. I think we need to make a place where people feel safe to consider the possibility that they aren't as good as they want to be. We were taught that we were the special chosen few and our works and deeds were righteous and true. We lose so much when we leave... how the hell are we supposed to accept that we aren't even the good people we thought we were?

    I didn't even shun people, or bring in anyone who got baptized, or indoctrinate my children. I don't have any guilt over the way that I treated people in the common JW belief system. It was an awful realization when I realized that the ways that I thought I was being a loving and kind individual were actually abusive and unkind. I can't imagine how hard that must be on top of the guilt others face for acting according to their beliefs.

    And in the same way that people can only be helped to come out of the cult when they want to come out of the cult, we can only help people come 'out of the shadows' when they want to face the facts of what all is holding them back in the shadows. They aren't facing the cult then, but their own selves. Mirrors are most people's Achilles heel.

  • Bw5000

    Look, I'm not a big fan of Cedar/Lloyd Evens' videos, I find him a bit full of himself. But before everyone jumps on the anti-Cedars bandwagon you might actually want to take a look at the website. It's just a fundraising website. It's extremely common in this economic climate for authors of all stripes to have fundraising campaigns like Kickstarter or Indiegogo for their books. As for the $150 thing, it's just one of the higher level tiers and having your story included is the reward. The book is not just these stories. The website makes clear that it's just a section at the end. I've seen other authors include things like the right to name a character as a reward for donating. It's really no big deal.

  • _Morpheus

    Did you actually read peoples view points? Many have explained in detail that yes they understand the concept. They see and acknowledge what amounts to simple preorders.

    Did you see the remarks regarding the problems with the $150 contribution? Do you have any counter points to that?

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