Books I read when I deprogrammed
The Wrong Way Home, uncovering the patterns of Cult Behavior in American society, by Arthur Deikman.
After jwfacts.com and Crisis of Conscience:
Shepard the Flock of God (2010 Edition)
The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins
Captives of a Concept (Anatomy of an Illusion), by Don Cameron
Leaving the Fold, by Marlene Winell
Books that later helped me to understand cult mind control:
Combatting Cult Mind Control: The #1 Best-Selling Guide to Protection Rescue and Recovery from Destructive Cults (2010 Edition), by Steven Hassan
Releasing the Bonds, Empowering People to Think for Themselves, by Steven Hassan
Freedom of Mind, Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults and Beliefs, by Steven Hassan
Even later in my personal recovery:
Take Back Your Life, Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships, by Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias
I believe that the progressive education I received at my junior high school started me on the path. Books included Burgess' A Clockwork Orange and Orwell's Animal Farm and 1984, as well as Lord of the Flies. Literature had a big influence on me, as books were my friends, growing up. Dickens, especially, and some poets and philosophers helped to shape my belief system to one of logic rather than the religious fervor of my maternal unit.
In the early 90s, I had to take off from working 70 hours a week, and spent a lot of recovery time in the library. Dr. Penton's earlier book had the greatest influence on me. The fact that he was brought up in a family similar to mine, and had achieved his education (I was on that path, though in my 30s), helped to make his writings more credible to me. He was both an exJW (I knew NONE!) and an intellectual with much credit in academia. And yes, he is a kind and I consider, great man.
Other books on cults, anthologies by cult researchers, all listed Jehovah's Witnesses. That was encouraging as well, and I learned a lot about cults in general, and how the academic world of cult researchers saw the JWS.
talesin: Dr. Penton's earlier book had the greatest influence on me.
Me too, Talesin.
I had first read his book "Jehovah's Witnesses in Canada: Champions of Freedom of Speech and Worship" that was published in 1976. It was in the public library on the shelf right beside Bottings' book about 1984, and I checked it out at the same time. When Penton wrote that book, he was an active JW and I was a bit disappointed in his proJW stance in it, but it was useful background.
Then, when I heard that Penton had written another book in response to being allowed "inside" of the Watchtower (actually hired by the WT to write a book about the history of the org) and finding out stuff that caused him to question the WTS and get disfellowshipped, his book became a must read for me.
James Penton is a Canadian and I was so excited one day, back in '87, when he was the guest on the local radio talk show. I got up my nerve and phoned in to the talk line...and got to talk to him! I was so stoked...he was very nice and I asked him on air if there were any support groups for exJWs. He said there was little support that he knew of, only a few Christian exJWs, and I was resistant to that notion. I replied that I wanted "just a group of people who didn't care about all the God stuff"...I was interested in just getting better. He replied that maybe...someday, maybe, that would be possible. And he sent me a letter. By the time I received it, I had already ordered his book from the local book store.
Yep, Penton was, and still is, one of my heroes.
Oh yes, OC, the first book! I think I got disinterested and skimmed, because I already had the second one to read. And of course, was itching to read the 'truth', after he discovered it.
Very cool that you got to talk to him and received a letter! There are some youtube interviews of him, and he's on facebook as well. He doesn't post much, but the occasional information about his work, or a comment on current matters.
He was on the path to the "Inner Circle", I think,and as you said, could not believe after he learned TTATT. A courageous person, one who has both a healthy ego and humility. Someone to look up to. Indeed. : )
Thanks orpahan crow,
I just looked up Apocalypse Delayed and the revised copy is $40 there are original copies for over $100 this is too much to spend on a book when there is also free downloads available. Penton does not sell an electronic version.
I have identified that this is a common problem with some apostate JW literature. I will not buy this book myself or illegally obtain a free PDF.
If the CRH and the Authors want to expose the WT the best way possible they will find a way. If they are more concerned about money then they won't be focussing on exposing WT.
Good idea though Orpahn Crow.
Penton is published by Toronto university press. He doesn't set the price, or likely get an awful lot of money.
You can get a copy of the second edition of Apocalypse Delayed for £8 or £10 paperback or hardcover plus postage at the moment.
The latest edition is £18 plus postage new from the cheapest seller.
i quit the cult in 1971. i never even thought of reading any books about it--i didnt even know any.
i trusted my instinct: i know i hated everything about my involvement with the cult--pioneering--being a servant--even getting married in a kingdumb hall. i felt a huge weight lifted off when i quit--and that was 45 years ago.
in recent years i stumbled on to this whole internet ex jw / apostacy thing. up till then i had no idea there were so many others who had gone--or were going--through similar phases as i had.
i even bought one book--C of C--and read half of it--from the middle to the end. i had no interest in looking at the watchtower " cut and paste" bits in it. i then gave it away to another xj who was keen to read it.
in fact--i wonder if C of C had been available in free public libraries whether all this copyright fuss could have been avoided.
Kate, keep looking for the book. It is a very good resource for "ripping the veil" from the WTS.
Are you able to access a public library or a university library? It would definitely be available there.
I don't have the money to buy books, either, but I use the public lending systems a lot. Even if some books haven't been available through the libraries, I have had them order the books I want.
The issue is not just about money, though, Kate. It is also about authenticity.
And besides, I totally support Penton's retirement fund. He worked hard for it...really hard and he, and his family, deserve every single penny that is made from the sale of his work. The money gives his work, and him, credibility and value.
kate: Penton does not sell an electronic version.
An electronic version is available here for $31.16 Canadian*:
*which means that it is pretty inexpensive right now...our dollar is in the toilet