and TriumphSometimes it is difficult to read criticism about one's own faith. You may have invested years of your life, your time and your money, making it difficult to look objectively. More likely a technique of spiritual abuse, isolation, has been used to influence your opinion of outsiders. Leaders may have taught you that outsiders or former members are unfair critics (at best) or under the influence of the devil (at worst). This is where reading memoirs can come in handy.
You do not have to read memoirs about your group to benefit. Start by reading memoirs from those who have left other groups that you would consider to be controlling, false, or harmful. As you read their stories you may find yourself relating to their experiences. If what happened to them is wrong, and it is happening to you, is it still wrong? Of course it is!
Reading memoirs of others helps break through the isolation. You are not alone. Others have asked the same questions, gone through similar experiences, and have come out, healed, and gone onto success outside of the group they once belonged to. Memoirs also provide concrete examples of how people made their break, their reasons for doing so, and the ways they rebuilt their lives following their exit.
Drain, Lauren and Pulitzer, Lisa. Banished: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church Evans, Lloyd, The Reluctant Apostate Franz, Raymond. Crisis of Conscience Jessop, Carolyn. Escape and Triumph Jessop, Flora. Church of Lies Juel, Bo. The Least of God’s Priorities Jeffs, Brent W. Lost Boy Miscavage-Hill, Jenna. Beyond Belief: My Secret Life inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape Remini, Leah. Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood & Scientology Sentilles, Sarah. Breaking Up with God: A Love Story