Keep up the good work

from Marlene Winell

Greetings to all of you helping people recover from religious damage,

Keep up the good work. As a therapist working with clients in this area, I know that people need all the support they can get. (If you don't know me yet, I've attached a brief bio at the end of this letter.)

Now registering:
An advanced weekend intensive for moving beyond religious indoctrination and reclaiming a life of joy, creativity, and connection. Led by Marlene Winell, Ph.D.

Letting go of your authoritarian religion can be exciting and liberating. At first there are frightening and painful feelings as the process of recovery begins. Then you feel stronger and you realize that you need some personal development to become the person you want to be. This workshop is designed to take you beyond basic healing and help you reconstruct your life in a way that is functional and allows full, confident expression of who you are.

The weekend is a powerful group experience of sharing deeply, exploring liberating concepts, and supporting each other in trying new things. In addition to discussion, we will use experiential methods including art, guided visualization, movement, and role-play. There will also be time for shared meals, relaxation, and fun. Because we are staying together, we will have the chance to get acquainted and begin a lasting support system beyond the weekend. As a special bonus, we will have massage treatments available.

WHEN: FRIDAY, July 28, 7PM until SUNDAY, July 30, 3PM.
WHERE: Berkeley, CA

The closest airport is OAKLAND, and we can help you find transportation from there. The setting is a large wonderful house with hot tub, fireplace, and other amenities.

  1. Telephone discussion with Marlene Winell to determine appropriateness for you,
  2. completion of pre-workshop written exercises.
COST: $320 for the workshop, $120 for housing and meals. Total: $440

A deposit of $100 will secure a space.
Early registration discount: $20 (Full payment by July 15)

Workshop objectives are to help you:
  • Deepen your capacity for self-love and self-care.
  • Appreciate your unique identity and express it.
  • Develop more trust in your own wisdom.
  • Practice the art of "being here now" so you can notice and enjoy this life instead of waiting for the next.
  • Increase joy and celebration of what is.
  • Reclaim pleasure and sexuality.
  • Explore ways to be engaged and connected—to other people & the world.
  • Re-examine spirituality.
  • Develop creativity.
To register or request information, send an email to with your contact information and a bit about why you want to attend.

You will receive more details, a registration form, and written exercises. You can also call 510-292-0509. Register soon to save a place. Group size is limited by design.

About Dr. Winell: Marlene Winell is a psychologist and Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies. She grew up in a fundamentalist missionary family, spent some years as a "born-again" Christian, and then went through her own recovery and growth process. She has worked in human services for 30 years and specializes in helping clients who are recovering from religious indoctrination. She is the author of Leaving the Fold: A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving Their Religion. Her private practice in Berkeley, CA. includes counseling individuals, couples, and groups. She also consults by telephone.

Tel. 510-292-0509

The Emperor's New Clothes

I feel so hurt and angry right now. I guess I could take just so much 'crap' from people during a time when I was down. My husband died unexpectedly when my children were only little.

Quite a number of christians who I knew would say things to me like "god is your husband' or 'god is a father to the fatherless'. It all sounded so 'good and right', but to me they were just empty words that meant nothing. Although I felt alot of guilt because I couldn't really understand what was said to me.

I would think to myself, well if god is supposed to be a father to the fatherless, where is he when the kids are off playing in a grand final (very important to them) and they wanted their dad there to cheer them from the sidelines as he would do. My cheering wasn't quite the same. Or where is he when they are sick, and they wanted their dad. My oldest daughter who was just 11 years old when her dad died was a real 'daddy's girl'. My kids missed their dad terribly, and still do.

One woman who ran the christian singles group at the church where I used to go said to me that she felt very angry when people grieved over the loss of a parent, because, she said, that god was the father, and it was an insult to him to grieve for a lost parent.

Some of my christian friends couldn't understand why I just didn't 'get it' - that is the whole god concept - that I seemed to be lacking because I just couldn't 'see' what they could see. I used to think I was like the little kid in the storybook "The Emperor's New Clothes" - when he called out from the crowd that the emperor had no clothes on - when everyone else was saying how splended he looked. Thing is I just couldn't say I could believe something when I didn't.

So, right now my favourite word is 'crap' for all the sermons and advice I was given when I went to church. Excuse my misuse of the english language, but 'crap' seems to cover everything quite nicely. And I feel much better for actually saying what I mean anyway.

Thank you



First of all, I'd like to give thanks to you for your trouble to run this site.

I'm a Korean woman who're very interested in the Christianity.

In Korea, we have 10 million of Christians, and some of them are very weird and lunatic.

They even demonstrated while the World Cup period, because our soccer supporters' name is "Red Devil".

I do hate them because they always threat about "hell".

Anyway...I have a question to the Christians.

Did all the people of Old Testament go to hell?

(None of them believed Jesus Christ as their Savior.)

Even Moses, Isayah, Solomon, king David, etc?

You guys say, only through Jesus Christ people can go to heaven.

And, before the Christ, the poor people have all gone to hell, right? (This is what I've heard from ministers.)

I think Christianity is a very funny religion.

(Or a Myth?)

It's a pleasure for me to read those people who have the same thought.

Have a good weekend~!

Jennifer Lee

Feeling lonely

Hi Every One,

Very interesting site and I have been here quite a few times. It is a relief actually to find it.

I am still caught in the web of Christianity, but am convinced it to be untrue. I just wanted to call out really, to some people that understand. I feel a gulf has opened between me and the people I dearly love and don't want to lose- but I can't connect. It's like they live in a parallell universe.

And yet the "world" doesn't understand either - so here I am popular in both worlds, successful, but alone.

What do I do? Big bang, public announcement, or go along with the flow? Could the "right" thing be to live out my days a lie - to protect the hearts of my dearest friends and relatives? I have learnt to be a good actor in the last ten years after all....

Any way no point to make, no axe to grind, but just wanting some empathy and advice.

From Lonely

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