Library Bookshelves

BOOKS

We have spent hours and hours researching resources that will aid you in your journey of reprogramming your mind and soul. 

PLEASE NOTE: We are only listing products and services and do not personally endorse any product or person.

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Spare the Child: The Religious Roots of Punishment and the Psychological Impact of Physical Abuse by Philip J. Greven 

"He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes." These words provided generations of American Christians with the justification for physically disciplining their children, in ways that range from spankings to brutal beatings. This learned and deeply disturbing work of history examines both the religious roots of corporal punishment in America and its consequences -- in the minds of children, in adults, and in our national tendencies toward authoritarian and apocalyptic thinking. Drawing on sources as old as Cotton Mather and as current as today's headlines, Spare the Child is one of those rare works of scholarship that have the power to change our lives.

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Girl at the End of the World: My Escape from Fundamentalism in Search of Faith with a Future by Elizabeth Esther 

A story of mind control, the Apocalypse, and modest attire.

Elizabeth Esther grew up in love with Jesus but in fear of daily spankings (to “break her will”). Trained in her family-run church to confess sins real and imagined, she knew her parents loved her and God probably hated her. Not until she was grown and married did she find the courage to attempt the unthinkable. To leave.

In her memoir, readers will recognize questions every believer faces: When is spiritual zeal a gift, and when is it a trap? What happens when a pastor holds unchecked sway over his followers? And how can we leave behind the harm inflicted in the name of God without losing God in the process?

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Combating Cult Mind Control: The Guide to Protection, Rescue and Recovery from Destructive Cults by Steven Hassan

his book can help you protect or regain your sanity, freedom, and health. It can also help you protect others from the use of mind control techniques. In this 30th anniversary volume you will find:

  • New stories of people who fell under the sway of cults and other forms of undue influence but who were able to break free.

  • New information on the many sophisticated ways that social media are now used for mind control.

  • Updates on the many types of organizations that use mind control.

  • Information on the neuroscience behind mind control.

  • A look at what legislators, courts, mental health professionals, and ordinary citizens can do to resist mind control and make our world a safer place.

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Growing Up IFB: Reflections on the Toxic Environment of the Independent Baptist Movement by Jonathan Grisham 

Here are some reflections on the nature of the Independent Fundamental Baptist Movement. This book will show how this movement sucks people in and brainwashes them. This is unbiblical, un-Christian and instills hate and hurt into our children.

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I Fired God: My Life Inside---and Escape from---the Secret World of the Independent Fundamental Baptist Cult by Jocelyn Zichterman 

In I Fired God, Jocelyn Zichterman systematically details the IFB's disturbing history, exposing a cult-like atmosphere of corruption, greed, and abuse. Having been initiated into its innermost circles, Zichterman knows that the gentle demeanor America sees in the form of the Duggar clan on 19 Kids and Counting disguises the truth about the darker side of the church.


With written documentation and sources so thorough that law enforcement has used her work as a foundation for criminal prosecutions, Zichterman exposes the IFB with revelations including:

  • The disturbing world of abuse within the IFB and doctors and teachers who cater exclusively to church members and fail to report physical and sexual abuse

  • The IFB-controlled Bob Jones University, which issues degrees of questionable value while making vast sums of money for its founders

  • The way the IFB influences politics on the local, state, and national level, and protects its abusive culture under the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion

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Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships by Janja Lalich & Madeleine Tobias

Cult victims and those who have experienced abusive relationships often suffer from anxiety, fear, confusion, low self-esteem, and post-traumatic stress.

Take Back Your Life explains:

  • The seductive draw that leads people into such situations

  • Provides insightful information for assessing what happened

  • Hands-on tools and tips for getting back on track

Stanford University Professor of Psychology Philip G. Zimbardo said, “This book is a must-read for everyone who wants to understand the powerful appeal that cults have for so many ordinary people, using so many disguises, with so many subtle tactics. This book’s wisdom is vital for us all.” 

Eugene Methvin, senior editor for Reader’s Digest said, “I wish every cult member, and every family of a cult member, struggling to free herself from the trauma of membership in a destructive relationship could read Take Back Your Life. It offers the powerful healing medicine of understanding.”

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Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment by Janet Heimlich

This revealing, disturbing, and thoroughly researched book exposes a dark side of faith that most Americans do not know exists or have ignored for a long time-religious child maltreatment. After speaking with dozens of victims, perpetrators, and experts, and reviewing a myriad of court cases and studies, the author explains how religious child maltreatment happens. She then takes an in-depth look at the many forms of child maltreatment found in religious contexts, including biblically-prescribed corporal punishment and beliefs about the necessity of "breaking the wills" of children; scaring kids into faith and other types of emotional maltreatment such as spurning, isolating, and withholding love; pedophilic abuse by religious authorities and the failure of religious organizations to support the victims and punish the perpetrators; and religiously-motivated medical neglect in cases of serious health problems. In a concluding chapter, Heimlich raises questions about children's rights and proposes changes in societal attitudes and improved legislation to protect children from harm.

 

While fully acknowledging that religion can be a source of great comfort, strength, and inspiration to many young people, Heimlich makes a compelling case that, regardless of one's religious or secular orientation, maltreatment of children under the cloak of religion can never be justified and should not be tolerated.

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Healing Spiritual Abuse: How to Break Free from Bad Church Experiences by Ken M. Blue

Are you a victim of Spiritual Abuse?

  • Are you discouraged from questioning the decisions or teachings church leaders make?

  • If you do little or no volunteer work for the church, do you feel like a second-class Christian?

  • Does your pastor insist on being addressed by a title such as "Dr." or "Pastor"?

  • Do you hear many broad, vague appeals to "surrender fully," "yield completely" or "lay it all on the altar"?

  • Are public reports about various ministry activities sometimes exaggerated?

  • Do church members feel safe talking only about past victories, not present struggles?

 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be a victim of spiritual abuse. Many of us have gone through bad church experiences that have left us feeling like failures. Blaming ourselves, we asked for God's forgiveness, but felt distant from the church and sometimes from God too. Often, however, the fault is not ours but that of Christian leaders who abuse spiritually. How can we recognize the signs of spiritual abuse? What can we do to gain healing from the wounds we have experienced? With clarity and refreshing honesty, Ken Blue answers these questions and offers hope and healing to the victims of spiritual abuse. In addition he shows Christian leaders how to avoid abusive patterns and instead offer Christ's gospel of grace to every casualty of bad church experiences.

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Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs by Steven Hassan 

People are more susceptible than ever to charismatic figures who offer simple, black v. white, us v. them, good v. evil, formulaic solutions. These factors—the rise of the Internet; increasingly sophisticated knowledge about how to influence and manipulate others; and the growing vulnerabilities of people across the planet—make for a dangerous, potentially devastating combination. Freedom of Mind Provides Help for Yourself, a Loved One, or a Friend Hassan’s new book, Freedom of Mind, aims to fill the gap. It identifies and explains how to identify and evaluate potentially dangerous groups and individuals. Hassan details his groundbreaking approach, the ‘Strategic Interactive Approach,’ which can be used to help a loved one leave such a situation. Step-by-step, Hassan shows you how to: evaluate the situation; interact with dual identities; develop communication strategies using phone calls, letter writing and visits; understand and utilize cult beliefs and tactics; use reality-testing and other techniques to promote freedom of mind. He emphasizes the value of meeting with trained consultants to be effectively guided and coached and also to plan and implement effective interventions. The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones is knowledge and awareness.

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In the House of Friends: Understanding and Healing from Spiritual Abuse in Christian Churches by Kenneth J. Garrett 

There is a place that promises acceptance, spiritual growth, and friendship, but instead delivers criticism, abuse, and exploitation. A place that declares marriages will be strengthened, treasured, and protected, but instead weakens, diminishes, and marginalizes them. A place that claims to obey the word of God, but in practice weaponizes the word against those who disagree or doubt. A place where the good news of a tenderhearted, loving Savior is blurred by leaders who are controlling, traumatizing, and self-serving. A place that calls loudly to the storm-tossed at sea, only to lure them to the rocks where they flounder and fall apart. A place that appeared to be a house of friendship but was a place of betrayal.

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Dating Jesus: A Story of Fundamentalism, Feminism, and the American Girl by Susan Campbell 

By the age of twelve, Susan Campbell had been flirting with Jesus for some time, and in her mind, Jesus had been flirting back. Why wouldn't he? She went to his house three times a week, listened to his stories, loudly and lustily sang songs to him. She even professed her love for him through being baptized.

In this lovingly told tale, Susan Campbell takes us into the world of Christian fundamentalism—a world where details really, really matter. And she shows us what happened when she finally came to admit that in her faith, women would never be allowed a seat near the throne.

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Leaving the Fold: A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving Their Religion by Marlene Winell

Have you been harmed by toxic religion? Learn how to recover and reclaim your life.

Psychologist Marlene Winell is uniquely qualified to address the subject of this book. In addition to her personal experience with leaving fundamentalist religion, she has worked with clients recovering from religion for 28 years. She is known for coining the term "Religious Trauma Syndrome".

Leaving the Fold is a self-help book that examines the effects of authoritarian religion (fundamentalist Christianity in particular) on individuals who leave the faith. The concrete steps for healing are useful for anyone in recovery from toxic religion.

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Leaving The Fold: Testimonies Of Former Fundamentalists by Edward T. Babinski

This riveting new collection offers testimonies of former fundamentalists who became disillusioned with their churches and left. Presenting more than two dozen personal journeys, this book gives a clear picture of what attracts a person to the fundamentalist faith and what can drive believers away from their religion. Photos throughout.

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Empty the Pews: Stories of Leaving the Church by Chrissy Stroop 

Twenty-one timely, affecting essays by those who survived hardline, authoritarian religious ideology and uprooted themselves from the reality-averse churches that ultimately failed to contain their spirits.

Winner of the 2019 Eos Award.

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Fleeing Fundamentalism: A Minister's Wife Examines Faith by Carlene Cross

In Fleeing Fundamentalism, Cross looks back at the life that led her to marry a charismatic young man who appeared destined for greatness as a minister within the fundamentalist church. Their marriage, which began with great hope and promise, started to crumble when she realized that her husband had fallen victim to the same demons that had plagued his youth. When efforts to hold their family together failed, she left the church and the marriage, despite the condemnation of the congregation and the anger of many she had considered friends. Once outside, she realized that the secular world was not the seething cauldron of corruption and sin she had believed, and found herself questioning the underpinnings of the fundamentalist faith.

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Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light by Valerie Tarico 

This award-winning second edition of Trusting Doubt is for those who suspect that some Christian beliefs are manmade and flawed. It is for those who know that “All Truth is God’s Truth,” and for those who are ready to let reason and conscience guide their spiritual journey. If you find some traditional beliefs morally troubling, if you have doubts about teachings you formerly embraced, if you question authorities who claim to have all the answers, or if you seek a fresh approach to the timeless wisdom in the Bible, then Trusting Doubt is for you!

Trusting that her own doubts were morally meaningful, Dr. Tarico committed to follow her spiritual questions wherever they might lead. Ultimately they led her away from Evangelicalism. She now speaks to churches and secular groups on topics such as moral development, the psychology of belief, and wisdom convergence.

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Christ in the Fog: Meditations of the Functional Hurting Paperback – June 1, 2021

by Matt Lewellyn (Author)

Billowing and blowing, cold and dark: I awake to the fog. Wherever I look, nothing appears. I can't even see my hand in front of my face.

Touch is my guide, as are my ears. Each step tentative - if I run, I will fall on unseen danger.

Where did the fog come from? It's like a dream...

 

We are the Functional Hurting. We do our jobs. We pay our bills. We attend church. We spend time with our families.

We also have that constant, low-level hum in our minds that tells us things are not as they should be:

  • Why do I always feel like a second-class Christian?

  • Why don't I hear God's voice?

  • Why do I keep walking away from Jesus?

  • Where's my abundant life in Christ?

  • How do I follow Jesus with my depression or anxiety?

 

You are not alone. Let's explore life's fog with fresh eyes.

Let's encounter Jesus in the Fog with uninhibited honesty.

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The Dark Side: How Evangelical Teachings Corrupt Love and Truth by Valerie Tarico 

Most Evangelical Christians earnestly strive to worship the God of Love and Truth. But a belief that the Bible is literally perfect puts them in the odd position of defending falsehood, bigotry and even violence. What do Evangelicals teach? How are these teachings distorted? How do they contradict humanity's shared moral core, including the highest values of Christianity itself? Psychologist Valerie Tarico is an ex-fundamentalist and a graduate of Wheaton College, bastion of Evangelical education. As a young adult, secure in the confidence that "all truth is God's truth," Dr. Tarico committed to follow her questions wherever they might lead. Ultimately they led her out of Evangelicalism. Tarico's book, The Dark Side, examines the moral and rational contradictions that caused her to abandon those beliefs that once structured her life. In their place it offers perspectives that are compatible with love, logic, and the quest for truth.

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My Fundamentalist Education: A Memoir of a Divine Girlhood by Christine Rosen 

My Fundamentalist Education is a brilliant, affectionate, child's-eye journey to Rosen's home, school and small town. Set in a time and place when the Living Bible outsold The Joy of Sex, during a girlhood lived as the Lord intended, among the tropical flora and fauna of Florida, its televangelists, irascible elderly, and itinerant preachers, Christine Rosen and her sister, Cathy, uncover the not always godly but surely divine secrets of a Hallelujah-ya sisterhood.

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Healthy Religion: A Psychological Guide to a Mature Faith by Walter Kania

Is "Healthy Religion" an oxymoron or is it achievable in one's life? This research-based document provides you with the means for identifying what is healthy and what is unhealthy in religion. You may be surprised to discover that what you believe and the manner in which you practice your religion may be more a function of your personality than of your religion in the way in which your personality attaches itself and expresses itself in your religion. Literal, dogmatic religious postures of fundamental and evangelical groups are manifestations of close-minded authoritarianism. They also reflect militant, and extremist dictates for one to follow. The manipulation and mind-control methods of fear, guilt, and shame, used with people to secure membership and provide group consensus in belief, violate the very essence of religion and the basic foundations of what is "Healthy Religion". Certain attributes of healthy personality produce healthy religion, and healthy religion promotes healthy personality. You will uncover the ingredients and characteristics of both in this book!