We are not unique snowflakes. If we look, we find that others have been there/here before, and stuff they've gone through has connection points to what we're finding most difficult.

Ex-Brethren People I know who you should check out:

Caryl has a blog and a Facebook discussion group called Brethren Believers Uncensored. She created the latter when a bunch of us got kicked off Brethren Believers Around the World, for not being satisfied, chipper customers. If you possess two X chromosomes, you might even pursuade her to add you to the mythic "women only" group. She has done a lot of thought about the emotional and mental distortions her upbringing left her to deal with, and how to get rid of them. She knows about how if all love is only conditional, it's not worth much.

Henry wrote a pamphlet, using some extensive research of early Brethren writings, to show that the early Brethren were extremely disapproving and concerned that Brethren tables would become like half of ours soon became: closed/exclusive.

Gabriel is, like me, a man raised Plymouth Brethren, who got kicked out when he didn't want to, and not for the usual reasons. Like me also, he wrote a book about it. And about depending on God, himself, the Brethren and women in general to land him a wife by middle age, and having that spectacularly not work out at all. All in all, very much a man after my own heart.

Bethany has a web page design business and a blog. She does photography. She is very sensible and knows about most things. When she left the TW Brethren, she was giving up something, in terms of status, and familial support. She truly was inner circle, unlike most of us who ended up "out."

Michael is an artist, doing paintings and drawings, mostly. And when it snows, he sculpts dragons and nudes. Out of snow. He's your go-to guy to talk about The Song of Solomon. He is a happy little leprechaun.

Mark has a blog, creates and sells sculptures out of wood and does things like create a modern version of the J. N. Darby translation of the bible. He does nutty things with Daniel and Revelation, symbology and numerology. He likes ducks and collects empty bottles.



Books by "People Who Left." You can click on the book covers if you want to go to Amazon and buy a copy.

Ngaire Thomas was part of the Taylor-Hales Exclusive Brethren cult in Australia. She and her family were "shut up" (shunned and limited to their house) when it was discovered that she'd been using the birth control pill. This is about what happened next. It wasn't pretty.

Elizabeth Esther was raised in a small, fundamentalist sect which, although not affiliated, could not be more like the Brethren. Actually, in some ways it was much harsher and more overtly devoted to mind-warping than any but the most draconican Brethren groups get.

Like me, Gabriel Heath was raised Tunbridge Wells Brethren, and like me, had many romantic and assembly misadventures before reaching middle age, unchurched and unmarried. Funny, vulgar and sad. All too true.

Miriam Toews was raised Mennonite, with mental illness in her family. It makes surprisingly little difference that she was Mennonite rather than some form of Plymouth Brethren. It all seems to be the same process anyway.

Dave Tchappat describes how complicated it was for him to get free of the tentacles of the Taylor-Hales Exclusive Brethren cult in Australia. Kindle version only, at the moment. Radio Interview with Dave.

Raised in the Taylor-Hales Exclusive cult, Hannah Hales explains how messy and liberating it was for her to get free from it.

This is the biography of Marion Field, yet another escapee from the Taylor-Hales Exclusives which split off/kicked out, the group I was raised in.

This was supposed to be a concept album, with a series of songs talking about what happens when fundamentalist Christian upbringing goes very wrong. But I had more to say, so it became a book. Names changed to protect the guilty. Actual church correspondance during the '91 division was used.

Michael Bachelard wasn't raised Brethren. He's a journalist in Australia who decided to look into the roots of the Brethren movement in general, once their meddling in the 2004 elections in Australia and their civil rights violations started to hit the news.


Once again, the fact that Deborah Feldman was raised in a very strict Orthodox Jewish sect makes surprisingly little difference to the experience of those of us who were raised Brethren.

Other Books I Found Useful:

Sounding a bit like The Catcher in the Rye's Holden Caulfield, Don Miller writes authentic, funny, wry, warm and insightful things about stuff. They even tried to make this into a movie. It's fun too. Trailer.

Commediene Susan Isaacs played minor roles on Family Ties, Seinfeld and My Name is Earl. This book is about trying to deal with God, what with the world (and Hollywood) being what it is.

Chuck Swindoll writes about what Christianity would be like, if we took the concept of grace at all seriously. It does, after all, come with a warning label, in the bible. Our grace doesn't need one, any more than homeopathic sleeping pills would.

Martin Zender is a self-confessed loon. And he would rather sit on the couch and drink orange juice with his kids Sunday morning than go listen to a pastor preach stuff he doesn't agree with. And he thinks it's a good idea. This book is about that.

Sounding a lot like C.S. Lewis, N.T. Wright tries to simultaneously strip away all the extra crap we tend to unknowingly add to bible stuff, while also knowing what people living in bible times would have (and would not have) thought.

Son of big-shot preacher Francis Schaeffer, Frank has real problems with how fake churchitude and religion is, having been part of the "inside circle" (on Christian television/Oprah) and having seen how money and image-driven it seems to be.

Tired of writing books which simply explained Christian concepts, and how to live a good life, Narnia creator Lewis decided to do it "upside-down" and write from the point of view of a couple of guardian demons, writing letters about how to screw up a Christian and his life.

This is "rubber meets the road" Lewis. After a life of writing books which explained everything, how God dealt with him and romance (he met a younger divorcee late in life, married her and lost her to cancer shortly afterward), he found he had to figure out how to deal with despair and life and love and God, once heartbreak caught up with him. Deeply raw and beautiful.