Monday, November 30, 2009

Pigs in the Pulpit

Written by J. Michael Wittman, "Pigs in the Pulpit" is the story of his family's journey to freedom after years in what he describes as a cult-like group. As I've said in previous posts, spiritual abuse is a subject that has been swept under the rug by the institutional church. No one wants to talk about it. Well, J. Michael Wittman is talking about it and I admire his candor.

As long as it remains a hidden topic, multitudes of sincere believers will be hurt and victimized. Anyone who has read my blog knows that I'm passionate about seeing the captives set free so I'm thankful for books like this one that are exposing the truth about spiritual abuse.
This is a captivating story of how the author and his family were ensnared in abusive systems for over 17 years. He describes his initial experience of "love bombing" and how that led to allegiance to two different groups and leaders that were controlling and abusive. In the early stages, there was "a systematic tearing down of my will, my conscience and my character, so that I would be more susceptible to being controlled."
Those who haven't been involved in these types of groups wonder why anyone would stay. However, one of the characteristics of mind control is that people find it difficult to leave even after they begin to see what's happening. The tentacles of mind control are strong and not easily broken. The author clearly describes the struggle he and his family went through before they finally were able to break free.
Even after leaving, however, the road to healing and normalcy is often long and difficult. In my opinion, the last chapter of the book is one of the best. In it, the author gives ten suggestions that will aid in the transition to normalcy. Even though I've been outside of an abusive group for many years, I found his suggestions helpful.
Reading this book was painful at times since I could relate to the author's pain and humiliation. However, in my opinion, he's done a wonderful job of describing the horrors of what he endured. Until people are willing to speak out, others will continue to be victimized. and I'm glad he's chosen to tell his story.
Although the story was riveting, it was sometimes difficult to wade through the many unimportant descriptive details. However, I still believe it's an excellent resource for anyone struggling to break free from an oppressive religious system.

2 comments:

Bino M. said...

Tanks Aida! I just added it to my wish list.

Aida said...

Bino, I think anyone who has experienced spiritual abuse would benefit from reading this book. It really deserves a wide readership since I honestly believe the majority of the church has experienced abuse in one form or another.