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This blog has moved. Please update your subscriptions

Big news: This blog has moved to

The new URL is

The new RSS feed is

If you’re an email subscriber, you should be migrated over automatically.

There will be a redirect in place so that anyone visiting is automatically forwarded to the new site, but if you keep your RSS subscription set here, you won’t be seeing many blog posts.

This really just means that Leaving Fundamentalism will have a lot more readers, and I will be able to earn a small amount of money from the blog, but otherwise business will carry on as usual.


Growing Kids the Abusive Way: Auriel’s Story, Part One

After yesterday’s post on the Ezzos, here’s the firsthand experience from Auriel, who was raised under their Growing Kids God’s Way method.

Homeschoolers Anonymous

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Trigger warnings: references (sometimes graphic) to emotional, physical, religious, and sexual abuse.


HA note: The author’s name has been changed to ensure anonymity. “Auriel” is a pseudonym. Auriel blogs at Drying My Wings.


Also in this series: Part One: Growing Kids the Abusive Way | Part Two: Isolation and Ideology | Part Three: Mini-Parents | Part Four: The Sound of a Sewing Machine | Part Five: The Aftermath of Childhood Abuse


Part One: Growing Kids the Abusive Way

“Turn around, put your hands on the bed.” You scream, “No mommy, please!” She’ll grab you by your arm, wrist, shoulder, lapel, jaw or hair, shake, twist, or drag you, scratch, pull, shove, slap or kick you if you don’t move your butt to her room. “You selfish, spoiled rotten brat! You’re just a little ingrate, you little jerk. Let’s have a spanking!” she yells. Escape is futile. 

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Newsnight tonight

In one hour and twenty minutes from now, an episode of BBC Newsnight featuring me will go to air. It will talk about ACE schools in the UK, and it also has interviews with Professor Michael Reiss, and Paul Medlock from Maranatha Christian School. The film is by Anjana Ahuja.

(Disclaimer: The BBC will not be marketing the episode as ‘Newsnight featuring Jonny Scaramanga’).

Tune in from 10:30 on BBC2, UK viewers. Everyone else, I’ll try my best to get them to put it on the Newsnight YouTube channel afterwards.

If you are killing time until it goes to air, I heartily recommend that you read Paul Braterman’s blog on the subject:

Evolution is a lie says the school. Good curriculum, says England’s School Inspectorate

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Zack Kopplin: Louisiana Public School System’s Harassment of 11-Year-Old Buddhist Student “Child Abuse” and “Potentially a Hate Crime”

Zack Kopplin is getting things done lately.


Today, the American Civil Liberties Union, on behalf of parents Scott and Sara Lane, filed suit against the Sabine Parish School Board, Sabine Parish Superintendent of Education Sara Ebarb (pictured at left), Negreet High School Principal Gene Wright, and Negreet High School teacher Rita Roark for religiously harassing and intimidating their young son. The case is horrifying and cringe-worthy, and it reveals a culture of intolerance, ignorance, and bigotry. I’ll get to the specific details of this case in a moment, but first, it’s worth noting: As appalling as the details of this specific case are, none of this should be too surprising.


I have been covering these issues for years now, and despite the repeated protestations of Governor Bobby Jindal, Superintendent John White, and members of the Louisiana Senate Education Committee- most notably Senator Conrad Appel, it has always seemed abundantly obvious that they have absolutely no respect…

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My Father, An Enigma

I can add nothing. Libby Anne nails it. I am reminded of The_L’s comments about how her mom just assumed she would question the suspect parts of her A Beka education, but she never did (

Homeschoolers Anonymous

HA note: The following is reprinted with permission from Libby Anne’s blog Love Joy Feminism. It was originally published on Patheos on November 21, 2013

“Libby, you could be an engineer. You have the mind for it.”

My dad made this comment while we were in the car, driving by a factory of some sort. I was probably around sixteen. My dad’s comment was completely offhand, and I didn’t bother to respond. Inside, though, I was baffled.

Why would my dad suggest such a thing?

Didn’t he realize that my lot in life, the lot God had designed for me, was to be a homemaker, raising children, caring for my husband, and tending the home? Couldn’t he see that engineering was not even remotely related to homemaking, and that if I were going to learn a trade it should be something feminine like teaching or nursing?

Why would he…

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Chick Tract Review: Lisa

Fundamentalism is not always just wrong. Sometimes, it’s also evil. This blog is worth following. Also, Chick Tracts have a litigious reputation, so I suspect some of these posts may not be online forever.

Jack Chick's Funnybook Gospel

Jack Chick sez: Pornography triggers sexual perversion.

This shameful tract is no longer in print, and isn’t even available on the Chick Publications website. However, it is included in the book Hot Topics, in which Chick and the equally insane David W. Daniels tackle six of the “hottest issues of our times,” most of which seem to involve different permutations of gay people and child molestation. And Dungeons & Dragons for some reason.

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When fundamentalists attack 2

So there’s a bit of a fuss going on because one fundamentalist has told a bunch of other fundamentalists that they’re going to hell.

There’s a blog post over at Slacktivist on this subject, and it’s essential reading. I’ve wasted half an hour trying to add something, and deleted everything I started because I’m not going to say anything that Fred Clark hasn’t already said better. Go and read it.

Related: When fundamentalists attack!


I Didn’t Want to Be Broken, I Wanted to Be Whole: By Neriah

A lot of people I know who left religious backgrounds have suffered terrible mental health problems, including me. It’s fine when you believe you’re in the centre of God’s will and everything’s going according to plan. While that’s happening, religion seems to offer a mountaintop experience of knowing the mind of God. But when things go wrong, everything is your fault. Or, if you blame God, that makes you a sinner and a blasphemer. Which is your fault.

Homeschoolers Anonymous

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I Didn’t Want to Be Broken, I Wanted to Be Whole: By Neriah

HA notes: The author’s name has been changed to ensure anonymity. “Neriah” is a pseudonym.

It’s with excitement that I’ve read all the articles posted on Homeschoolers Anonymous — yet I could never figure out which experience of my own to write about.

Until the mental health week.

I was anorexic from about age twelve to thirteen — honestly, the months are blurry and I can’t handle going back and reading my journals from that time to get a more precise number.

But, safe to say, for about a year I starved myself.

I dropped from around one hundred pounds down to seventy-nine; my body began to shut down. My hair and nails suffered, and my period stopped.  When I look at pictures from that time, I’m shocked — my body is gaunt, my bones protrude out…

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Timothy Johnson covers up child abuse to protect father in law.

This blog is by one survivor of New Bethany Home for Girls.


For over four decades, children were sent to New Bethany home for girls and boys located in Arcadia, Louisiana Longstreet, Louisiana as well as Waterborough, South Carolina. The home was owned and operated by The Rev. Mack Ford and his wife Thelma, and other staff members hired by the Ford’s.
The Ford’s claimed that they could turn around the lives of troubled teens, and they would leave NB as upstanding Christians.
The documents signed by each child’s parents gave Ford and his staff permission to use any means needed to rehabilitate the child, as well as corporal punishment.  There are numerous reports of runaways from New Bethany showing up at the Arcadia police dept, telling them of the horrors of the home, they are allowed to call there parents who have already been forewarned by Ford that they would tell these types of lies, to try to get out. The…

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Creationist: Give Creationist Kids Evolution!

I Love You but You're Going to Hell

Creationist activist Dr. Don McLeroy said it: Give creationist kids evolution.


Because the evidence for evolution is so weak, creationist kids will be all the more convinced of the Bible’s truths.

McLeroy’s plea for evolution-heavy textbooks has left us controversy-watchers scratching our heads.  Did he really say that?

McLeroy leapt to national prominence a few years back in his role as chairman of the Texas State Board of Education.  As documented in the indispensable film The Revisionaries, McLeroy used his influence to promote a profoundly conservative vision of proper educational content for Texas schoolchildren.

As that film demonstrated, Dr. McLeroy had a knack for confounding the easy stereotypes of “right-wing” educational politicians.  For outsiders like me, it was odd to hear such a friendly, avuncular fellow insist that Texas schoolbooks needed more creationism and less “hip-hop.”

Earlier this week, Dr. McLeroy returned to testify in front of…

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