Mental Illness Happy Hour

Last week, I had the interesting experience of attending a recording of the podcast, Mental Illness Happy Hour (Yes, that’s what it’s called) with Paul Gilmartin.  This is a podcast hosted by a comedian but addressing serious issues of mental illness like depression and anxiety, particularly among people in the arts.  The episode I attended in Oakland was with the guest Jamie DeWolf, great grandson of Scientology’s L. Ron Hubbard.  Jamie is a writer, filmmaker, and entertainer.  … Continue Reading

Hats Off to the Courageous

Reclaimers1, you are the pioneers. Reclaimers discard their confining religions and free their minds from the cages made in churches. I support you, I help you, but most of all, I salute you. Because it is clear to me after many years of bearing witness to the soul-wrenching work that you do, when I have seen and heard tears and sobs and anger and fear, that you are the ones among us in our world that are birthing yourselves. Most … Continue Reading

Childhood Religious Indoctrination

A GRAPH Childhood Indoctrination color

Factors in Childhood Indoctrination in Fundamentalist Christianity

From this graphic, it should be clear that a child in a fundamentalist Christian environment faces a powerful array of factors influencing indoctrination. Many of these techniques are quite deliberate, such as keeping children at home for their schooling to control what they learn and don’t learn.  The primary goal of sincere Christian parents is to pass on their … Continue Reading

Great Poems by Julia Bell

Julia is a reclaimer who lives in London.   She is contributing poems to an upcoming anthology called “Happy Heretics:  Tips for Recovering from Harmful Religion.”   She is writing a memoir about growing up in a strict evangelical family and also a novel.  She recently performed a number of poems, including the one below, and sent me this link.  She is a great writer and you can get her humor even more when you watch the video.  And … Continue Reading

Reclaim your self

Ever really thought about what the doctrine of original sin does to a person’s sense of self-worth and capability?  I collected these Christian sayings and letters and made this video.  Have a look. (Click on title)

Christian slogans and degraded self-worth

I deserve nothing

Coping with Family: the Leprechaun Technique and Other Holiday Tips


At this time of year it’s hard to avoid dealing with the differences you have with your family. If you are a “reclaimer” (reclaiming your life after being religious) who has been raised in a religious household, holiday times can be very uncomfortable when other family members are still devout.  Having worked through these issues with many clients, here are a few guidelines that might be helpful.

I’ll start by suggesting … Continue Reading

Valerie Tarico speaks on Recovering from Religion

Dr. Tarico is a psychologist from Seattle and a member of Journey Free’s Board of Advisors. Her insights on religion and psychology are unparalleled. Don’t miss her book, Trusting Doubt, and read her blog, Awaypoint.wordpress.com. She also has a YouTube channel called Trusting Doubt.

Mark Twain understood Religious Trauma Syndrome

Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)

“I am greatly troubled by what you say. I wrote Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn for adults exclusively, and it always distresses me when I find that boys and girls have been allowed access to them.

So Do You Believe in God?

By Marlene Winell, Ph.D.

I get this question so frequently, I’ve made a real effort to reply. To be honest, I don’t like the question because it presumes we know what those words mean. Here are some responses, touching on more or less serious aspects of the topic.

1. Which god? Do you mean Zeus, Baal, Athena, Shiva, Allah, Jehovah, or some other? If you mean one of those, then no. I am not a theist. I don’t believe in an individual … Continue Reading