M. Winell, Leaving the Fold. Apocryphile Press, 2006.


Part I of the book, "Sorting it Out," is about understanding the issues of religious indoctrination. The chapters in this section include inventories and writing exercises to help readers assess there own experience. Chapter 1 gives an overview of the areas of impact and typical phases people go through in recovery. Chapter 2 is my story, offered as an extended example of one person''s journey who has reflected on these issues. Chapters 3 and 4 outline the attractions of religion and how those attractions are manipulated to ensure adherence to dogma. Chapter 5 discusses the major reasons people leave fundamentalism and what the leaving process can be like. Chapter 6 lists the many possible strengths that may also be gained from religious involvement. Chapter 7 explores the characteristics of a rigidly religious family and the alternative traits of healthy family functioning.

Part II covers the healing process. Chapters 8 through10 offer an approach to healing that involves the concept of an "inner child," a caretaking "adult," and the negative inner voice that undermines a person''s happiness, here called the "idea monster." Chapters 11 and 12 deal with the need to reclaim one''s feelings and work through phases of fear, anger, and grief. Guidelines are also provided for emergency self-care.

Part III concerns further areas of personal development. Chapter 13 concentrates on identity and self-love. Chapter 14 deals with learning to live in the present, instead of by and by. There are attitudes and skills involved for being at home in this world and finding pleasure now. In Chapter 15, readers are encouraged to think for themselves. In Chapter 16, the exciting but enormous human responsibility for choice is addressed. We can and must accept the challenge of co-creating our lives.

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