Books

The Reluctant Apostate: Leaving Jehovah’s Witnesses Comes At a Price

Jehovah’s Witnesses, well known for their enthusiastic evangelism, are a global religious movement boasting over 8 million members.

Despite being a familiar sight on doorsteps and street corners, little is known about their doctrines and practices. What are their expectations regarding Armageddon, and who do they believe will survive? How do they justify their ban on blood transfusions? What happens to members who decide to lea

In this remarkably candid part-memoir, part-history guide, former Witness Lloyd Evans comprehensively explores the religion of his upbringing, charting the organization’s metamorphosis from unassuming 19th Century brethren to global brand in the modern age.

The Witness rules on sex are dissected, as are their far-reaching ramifications on the private lives of millions of devotees. Evans also delves into the controversies surrounding child abuse and the prohibition on blood transfusions with the aid of first hand accounts from those who have been personally impacted.

Intertwined with the historical narrative and commentary is the story of the author’s journey from devout Witness youth to outspoken ex-Witness activist and atheist. Evans lays bare the circumstances leading to his “awakening” with startling honesty and reveals how the heartbreaking loss of his mother played a profound role in keeping long-held doubts suppressed.

In the final chapters, the author discusses the various means by which Witnesses are controlled by their leadership. Evans analyzes the role of shunning (disfellowshipping) and the stigmatization of “apostates” in enforcing loyalty among Witnesses, and reflects on the indifference of society in general to human rights violations by high-control groups. The phenomenon of fundamentalist brainwashing, or “undue influence,” is also scrutinized, and those in search of a new life free from its pervasive effects are given reasons for hope.

Rather than being a sensationalist rant by an embittered ex-member, The Reluctant Apostate offers a relaxed, good-humored tour of Witness history and teachings supported by extensive references (to be found in the “Notes” section).

Though written predominantly with the non-Witness reader in mind, special boxes are also provided that have been tailored for Jehovah’s Witness readers.

Available in the following formats:

 

How to Escape From Jehovah’s Witnesses

Jehovah’s Witnesses number into the millions globally and are well known for their public evangelism about God’s kingdom. But beneath the facade of brotherly love and organizational unity lies a captive organization in which doubts are stifled and dissent is ruthlessly crushed.

Once a Witness stops believing, they face being ostracized as a loathed “mentally diseased” apostate. They must navigate a labyrinth of obstacles and dilemmas due to the organization’s cruel policy of shunning former members.

In his second book, Lloyd Evans draws on his firsthand, insider knowledge as a former elder to guide would-be escapees through the minefield that awaits them.

How should elders be dealt with? What resources are available for objective research? What should someone do if they are threatened with judicial action? What about coming clean to family members? How does someone go about rebuilding their social circle? What precautions should be taken to maintain privacy when browsing apostate material online? All these questions and more are answered in How to Escape From Jehovah’s Witnesses, described by Paul Grundy of JWfacts.com as “an invaluable tool in helping [former Witnesses] move on as efficiently and painlessly as possible.”

Available in the following formats: