The God Virus

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I have never been able to figure out why Mama—a sixty-five-year convert to Jehovah’s Witnesses—can so accurately point out the flaws of other religions and yet be so blind to her own. That is until I read The God Virus by Darrel W. Ray, Ed.D.

In this well-written, easy-to-understand book, I learned for the first time why people are unable to see to the failings of their own religion.
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Hell on Two Wheels

Race Across America - RAAM [Photo John Evans (UK, 2007)]

When my son Keith recommended Amy Snyder’s book, Hell on Two Wheels, I was apprehensive. We share the same interests in books, but he is an avid cyclist and I know little about the sport. However, it turns out that the book is a very compelling eye-opening read, a darn-good story with no bike racing knowledge required. It is a thrilling tale about the most incredible sporting event you’ve never heard of — a 3,000-mile bike “Race Across America” (RAAM). It’s the ultimate in ultradistance cycling where mere survival may be the greatest victory.

To give this story some perspective, RAAM cyclists average 22 hours of racing each day during this mind-boggling gut-wrenching race. The leaders get by on 90 minutes or less of sleep per day. They are forbidden from taking shelter from the wind behind fellow racers or support vehicles. They ride alone. The race has been completed in just over eight days, but most of the racers are happy to do it in ten.  Do the math.

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AYN RAND and the World She Made

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Whether you love her, hate her or don’t know who she is, Ayn Rand’s life story is a page-turner in Anne Heller’s 2009 book, AYN RAND and the World She Made. The New York Times reported, “A thoughtful, flesh-and-blood portrait of an extremely complicated and self-contradictory woman . . . plumbing the quirkier depths of Rand’s prodigious imagination.”

Before I read this gripping biography, I knew very little about Ayn Rand personally. I knew she was a great writer and I’ve always admired her ability to shoehorn ideas into the thoughts and speeches of the characters she created in Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. Those two books have also stirred the passions and engaged the minds of millions of readers for over fifty years.
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Who Are the Ghosts from Mama’s Club?

Cover of Ghosts from Mama's ClubThe “ghosts” I refer to in my new book, which will be published in May, are metaphors for the toxic residue—dysfunctional behavior patterns—that people acquire during their time in a cult, in my case Jehovah’s Witnesses. These “ghosts” manifest themselves in various forms. True cult believers will see the ghosts as warrior angels, championing God’s truth. But individuals who decide to abandon their high-control religious experience will encounter haunting Ghosts, ghosts with the potential to hinder them from becoming mature individuals able to lead productive lives.

In either case, the ghosts are active agents in the life of both the believers and the former believers, acting as wardens, trying to restrict actions and thoughts. Each ghost is capable of reconstituting itself in many shapes and forms in an effort to bedevil those people who try to leave the cult as well as those who have left it. The six ghosts that you will meet in this book are:

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