Quotes and excerpts:

“Dr. Winell’s book is distinguished by an intelligent approach which fully acknowledges the benefits of an authentic religious education as well as the pitfalls of certain forms of religious indoctrination which rob the individual of personal responsibility and integrity and the exercise of reason; an important question to contemplate today when fast changing, complex, uncertain times make simple answers very appealing especially to the young; and when fundamentalist thinking is found not only in religion but in economics and politics and nationalism too.”

-Caroline Jones, “The Search for Meaning,” Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“This book by psychologist Marlene Winell provides valuable insights into the dangers of religious indoctrination and outlines what therapists and victims can do to reclaim a healthier human spirit”. . . “Both former believers searching for a new beginning and those just starting to subject their faith to the requirements of simple common sense, if not analytical reason, may find valuable assistance in these pages.”

-Steve Allen, Author and Entertainer

“I think the book makes an important contribution to the current discussion about religious cults and extreme fundamentalist groups. . . One of its best features is the therapeutic exercises it offers, which people can do in private, exercises which act as aids to recovery. . . It’s positive, healthy-minded, cheerful and intelligent, and I think it might prove very useful indeed, not just to people who have left their religion, but those who are trying to help them. For those people, I recommend it highly.”

– Alison Cotes, Radio National Breakfast, Australian Broadcasting Corporation

“Leaving the Fold is a compassionate blueprint for healing.”

-Dr. Matthew McKay, author of “When Anger Hurts, The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook”, and “Prisoners of Belief”

“Highly recommended for seminary and public libraries.”

-Library Journal

“There is a set of questions, responses, instruments for self-examination, pep-talks and therapeutic injunctions that may well help many.”

-Christian Century

“Leaving the Fold is a unique and invaluable guide to the psychological harm done by Christian fundamentalism. Dr. Winell’s book is practical, relevant and altogether real.”

-Dr. Edmund Cohen, author of “The Mind of the Bible Believer”

“Leaving the Fold will be another nail in the coffin of fundamentalism. The book will be a major guide for new free thinkers who are rejecting the religious authoritarianism of the Dark Ages. Leaving the Fold comes just the right time to rebut the new Holy War that has been launched by the Christian fundamentalists in America. The time for real religious literacy must not be lost to the new anti-academic book-burners of the religious right. ”

-Dr. Alan Albert Snow, School of Theology at Claremont, Dead Sea Scroll Research Society

“In a world where dogma and religious doctrine have replaced reason and free thought, many people have been victimised. As victims, people need support and guidance–Leaving the Fold provides both. Reflecting on her own experiences, the author presents her book in a thoughtful and readable fashion. For people who have recovered, want to recover, or want to know what others have gone through, Leaving the Fold is a must read.”

-Tim G. Leedom, Editor of “The Book Your Church Doesn’t Want You to Read”

“Leaving the Fold is invaluable to those who have gone through the ordeal of religious addiction, abuse, and disillusionment, and who need a recovery plan. I highly recommend this book not only to the wounded, but also urge all pastors to study it carefully and then re-assess their own ministries. Dr. Marlene Winell has made a most important contribution to deal with the most heart-wrenching of experiences.”

-Rev. Austin Miles, author of Don’t Call Me Brother and Setting the Captives Free.

“It is a greatly needed volume in the field of counseling and I will strongly recommend it to students taking my counselor training course. . . Refuting missionary teachings is my speciality but refuting feelings and emotions, spiritual highs etc. is a specialised field. In this, Marlene Winell knows all the right answers.”

-Shmuel Golding, director of the Jerusalem Institute of Biblical Polemics, Center for refuting missionary teachings and combating missionary activities among Jews.

“We love it! . . . Freedom From Religion Foundation is planning to carry your book. You have a firm grasp of the problems and needs of those who are breaking away from the fundamentalist mindset. I wish I had had your book 15 years ago!”

-Dan Barker, author of Losing Faith in Faith and co-director of Freedom From Religion Foundation.

“I must say that I’m impressed! You point out the problems inherent in fundamentalism without taking a crusading stance. Leading off with your own story makes it easier for the reader to trust the rest of what you have to say. I like the way you acknowledge the positive as well as the negative aspects of dogmatic religion, reassuring former believers that their religious involvement was not some sort of pathology. Chapter by chapter you move from general considerations to the specifics of having been wounded by a restrictive belief system. The many exercises are especially helpful in personalising the process of building up an autonomous self, in my experience the major part of recovery from fundamentalism. I am recommending the book to everyone I know with an interest in the subject.”

-Jim Moyers, Marriage, Family, & Child Counselor, author of “Religious Issues in the Psychotherapy of Former Fundamentalists,” Psychotherapy, V. 27:1.

“Her book is excellent value, taking survivors (or ‘escapees’?) through the process of recognition, breaking away, facing the past, acknowledging the wounds of childhood (chronological or spiritual), recovering self-love, choosing and creating.”

-Eremos Booknews, November ’94
” I felt like I was reading my own thoughts and all of it resonates with what I have been struggling with for years. As I read it tears would just stream down my face because I finally felt that someone understood me and that my struggle had been real. I didn’t grow up in the church but I still have been seeking freedom from it for years. ”

“I just had to say that I am so grateful for you and this book. As well as the people who shared with you in the book their own journeys and recoveries. This book has validated so much of what I have struggled with and I am so thankful for it. ”

“Thank you for your incredible book. I am half way thru and cannot put it down. There is a visceral healing on every page for me. Thank you for having the boldness to write on this subject. I can tell you first hand, there are millions in the south that are hurting from this abuse. My family, in the south, have all but banished me. They are 100% against anything new or alternative. Recovering fundamentalists need people like you since we’re now black sheep in the eyes of the flock. Your understanding of the problem gives me such hope and encouragement. I don’t feel as isolated after reading your words. Thank you!!!