The Book Corner – “Goodbye, Jehova!” by Misha Anouk

Libby Partridge explains why the german-language book "Goodbye, Jehova!" gets her vote

Libby Partridge explains why the german-language book “Goodbye, Jehova!” gets her vote

The following is a review of the German-language book “Goodbye, Jehova! Wie ich die bekannteste Sekte der Welt verließ” (English: Goodbye, Jehovah! How I left the world’s most notorious cult) by Misha Anouk, as penned by an appreciative reader, Libby Partridge.

I began reading this book with some trepidation, fearing that it would be similar to many other cult survivor stories, fraught with bitterness and anxiety, tearing apart their pasts, filled with horror stories of mistreatment and abuse, etc.

Right from the beginning, though, I was caught up in the sincerity of Misha’s experience, and the book was impossible to put down without wanting to spend more time in his company. Misha writes in a very entertaining, informal style but with tender sincerity and the occasional humor.

This masterful narrative of Misha’s journey in Goodbye, Jehova! is written with utmost accuracy and authority, detailed with copious sources for reference throughout and listed in the annex.

45 million Watchtowers in more than 200 languages are distributed worldwide and yet most people probably know very little about the adherents to this religious group.

Misha Anouk enjoys a coffee at a promotional event for his book in November 2014 (Photo: Hamburger Abendblatt)

Misha Anouk enjoys a coffee at a promotional event for his book in November 2014 (Photo: Hamburger Abendblatt)

 

Having a history (40 years) within the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses myself, I can vouch for the contents in regards to the methodology of this religious organization and its much misunderstood and seriously sinister practices.

As the title indicates, Misha tells of his exit – what led up to it, how it transpired and how he, after many years and despite the personal challenges it caused, managed to land squarely on his feet.

Misha has the ability to explain the circular reasoning the leaders of the Watchtower use to coerce fierce loyalty from their followers without doling out blame on any individual member. He can do this because he too was force-fed JW propaganda and believed it to be true for most of his formative years, living as was expected of him by his parents and peers.

If he had doubts, there must be something wrong with him – or so he reasoned. I as well as most ex-JWs can relate to this gnawing feeling.

In his book, Misha takes his own story and turns it into “new light” with regards to how we understand the twisted logic behind the fear, the blame, the shunning, the ostracism, the “us versus them” attitude Jehovah’s Witnesses have, not to mention the influences behind Watchtower devotees suffering from such elitist notions in measuring themselves against the rest of mankind.

The really great thing about this book is that it doesn’t leave you hanging. Yes, he goes on to reveal all the ins-and-outs of the turmoil he experienced that led him to be expunged from the cult (disfellowshipped), and he brings us to a conclusion by showing us what happens after leaving and being shunned by everyone you have ever known.

Misha gives us a detailed rundown of the steps to survival as an ex-JW, a dissident, a “mentally diseased” person (as Jehovah’s Witnesses call those who leave the fold). He tells of the denial, anger, negotiations and the ultimate life-draining depression. And finally he shows us that there IS a release that comes from recognizing, albeit after many years and therapy, that one is no longer afraid.

With knowledge and understanding comes a realization, not only why his struggle was so difficult, but also how it brought him to understand himself.

Goodbye Jehova! is a book that will be understood and appreciated by anyone, ex-Jehovah’s Witness or not. I give it 5 stars.

 

 


To order a copy of Goodbye, Jehova! from Amazon, click here.

Misha is CEO of a new organization for ex-JWs, JWalumni.org, with which JWsurvey is proudly affiliated.

Goodbye, Jehova! is currently only available in german-speaking countries through renowned publisher Rowohlt (Hamburg). If any American or UK publisher is interested in translating this book, please contact Rowohlt’s foreign rights division via this link.

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15 Responses to The Book Corner – “Goodbye, Jehova!” by Misha Anouk

  1. Marilyn White says:

    Does this book come in English?

  2. Misha Anouk says:

    I hope it does, Marilyn White. As of yet there’s nothing planned (it’s always difficult for german-language books to get an opening in UK or US). But we always have Lloyd’s book to look forward to, if mine doesn’t happen in english.

  3. anonymous says:

    Is there any way to have the interview translated to English? Thanks

  4. Scrubmaster says:

    There is an Author Brock Talon who has written two books. You can go to Amazon to find his books. Both books are written without bitterness and some humor. But both books hit home with me. One is about his time at Bethel and the other is about his experiences in the organization and his life after the organization. Great reads!

    • Gayle says:

      Really enjoyed 2 books by Bonnie Zieman, very helpful for those who are “out” or those who are trying to leave.. She was a special pioneer, Bethelite, elders wife who left and went on to become a psychotherapist. Highly recommend.

  5. Imacountrygirl says:

    Misha, Congratulations on your book! Good on you for having the courage to tell your story.

    I look forward to reading it if/when it becomes available in English.

  6. ecw says:

    I had the pleasure to read the book.
    Its based on facts about the org (with many references), as well the writer is telling a lot about his own experiences. If you grew up in the “truth” (like myself), you will feel like the writer is telling stories from your own life. Great work Misha! Danke dir!

  7. Barbara says:

    ecw … you said you read the book AND you are writing in English. Perhaps you could translate the book into English for us . I , amongst many, would very much look forward to that.

    I’m proud of so many former JW’s who are writing their books and putting their heart felt thoughts and feelings into words so the rest of the world will see what makes the JW organization “tick”.

  8. JJ says:

    I would like to translate the interview for all of the English speakers here. I’ll just quickly sum up the main points because of the length of the video (kind’a like the new JW history book);
    The JW cult is all BS and I can’t believe why anyone buys into this complete dribble! Run, don’t walk, away from “The Organization” and get anyone out that you can.

    • Queen Effiong says:

      JJ if u aint in it dont push others out ok,all u guys keep ur opinion to urselves thank u. Strive to know Jehovah personally,its important before ds system runs out.

  9. Interrogative? says:

    Thank you so much for the book “Goodbye…”. It looks very well written. I have got it now on my kindle for PC and I will read it with much pleasure and without any difficulty as German language is not a problem for me at all. French only is my mother tongue. But thanks God I can read and speak using more than just one language.

  10. Darlene says:

    Despite the serious topic, I can say thanks for the very pleasant read! I enjoyed how it was written, it was really clear in analysis, had a very good pace (no lengths at all) and things were very well eplained, even for outsiders (no JW’s). I was reading so fast I thought its too short. I wanted to hear more!

    That said, I hope this book *will* get eventually translated in English, but properly from a publisher, so the author gets rightfully the money for every copy. i felt it a bit insolent to ask here openly for a bootleg.

    This book is very well researched with all its cross references, I cannot image how much time went into it till it was completed. And Mr Anouk doesn’t work for labour welfare (I guess) and he *should* get the money for every copy distributed!

  11. Jan says:

    Thank you, Misha for this awesome book!!!
    I bought it 2 days ago and already finished reading it.
    Being close to your age, I was born in 78 and with a similar background it felt like I was reading something that I had written myself.
    For any Ex-JW as well as for anyone who wants to understand how growing up as a JW is, this book is a must have.
    Thank you!!!

  12. InTheJWStruggle says:

    I have been doubting the JW for about 6 months now. I have just recently found this site along with JWfacts.com. I am only 15 and I speak English and Spanish well, and am learning German. I hope I will soon know enough German to read this book soon. Thanks to Misha, Paul Grundy, and Lloyd “Cedars” for helping me. Even though I have not read the book yet, I’m sure it will be great when I do.

  13. Lisa Clark says:

    I am so glad to have found this website. I was born into the JW. 3rd generation. Left when I was 31 with my husband that also was born into the cult. Now 54. Would love to read this book in English.

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