#283 – Cult Survivor Sally Lotz

Thomas Green here with Ethical Marketing Service on the episode, today we have Sally Lotz, Sally, welcome. Thank you. Thanks for having me. It is my pleasure. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a bit about yourself and what you do? I sure can. Well, I am currently, I am a published children’s author. I’ve written and published four books. I am also a writing coach where I help people to write their books in 30 days and I’m a mentor. So I, and I love doing that. Thank you for the introduction. Um This is uh one of those episodes where I think I’ve got a lot of admiration for the fact that you come in on and telling your story because I think that it benefits others. Um And so with that, would you like to start by telling your story? I would, I’d love to tell my story. Um And I’m, I’m not shy about it. I actually wrote about it as well. Um I started um I was actually writing as a young child um doing all sorts of, you know, plays and uh little school projects.

Um But my mom around when I was around age six, she um joined a cult and it’s a very well known cult called the Jehovah Witnesses. And from that point on my life changed drastically. Um She also married a man who was very abusive. And um so I went from having this idyllic childhood to having everything taken away from me that Children, you know, enjoy birthday parties, Christmas, you know, here in the States we have Thanksgiving and we have Easter. And so all those things suddenly became evil. Um And as years went on, I, I kind of didn’t, I didn’t understand this Jehovah and why he hated things so much and why he didn’t want us to have fun. Um And of course, the Jehovah’s Witnesses always have reasons why, but it just didn’t make any sense to me.

Um And then I had a, my stepfather who um was extremely abusive in every sense of the word um sexually, physically, emotionally. And if you’re not familiar with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, they have something called a two witness rule where you cannot report something that someone has done to you, whether it’s they stole your car, you know, you’re being abused whatever it is unless you have two witnesses. And so not very many people are going to go and report abuse. And I say that as well, they’re not allowed to go to the police or any authorities, either that is something that is called shaming Jehovah. So you really have this very specific um set of guidelines and rules that you must follow or you can be dis fellowship. So as a young person who was being abused, as my mother was being abused, we had and my sisters, we had no outlet and our voice would have been shunned and then we would have been the ones punished while my stepfather was allowed to continue doing what he was doing.

So that’s what happened. Um Yes, he was allowed to continue in the community as well because he was never stopped. Um I don’t know how much damage he’s he did. Um But my story came about when I was 15 and my mother found out that I had a boyfriend who was not a Jehovah’s witness and I used that term boyfriend loosely because we basically held hands. We met at the library. You know, it was this great big romance, right? I was pulled in to talk to the elders for counseling, um where they now the elders are, are always men. I was 15 and I’m sitting across the table from three old old guys who were questioning me very sexually explicit questions about my relationship with this boy who I really don’t hold hands with. And that’s when my light bulb moment happened. And I said, you know, this is crazy.

I live with a monster. Nothing happens to him. I’m holding hands in the hallway at school and I’m being punished. And so that was the point where I decided I was done and I needed to get out. And I just, my mom asked me, I had to make a choice to, to either serve Jehovah or, or the boy. And I told her I’m taking the boy. And so which she did not think was, you know, that was not what she thought I was gonna say. And um, so I ended up leaving home at age 15 and um started a rocky journey uh forward trying to get my, my footing. And um it took me a while, um, couple of failed marriages um until I finally got into my group with my, my writing and um just doing what I love. So that’s my story in a nutshell.

Thank you for telling your story. And um I’m very sorry that you had to actually go through all that awful stuff. Um First question is more of a, a knowledge from my part. Um around, um I wasn’t aware that um Jehovah’s witness witnesses were a cult. Um I, I know that religions can sometimes um fall into being a bit culty and there’s quite a fine line between religions and cults. But is it the case that it, is it, is all the cult or is there some religion part of Jehovah’s Witnesses? So they have been around for a long time. So they’ve been around since the mid 18 hundreds. And um actually the seventh day adventists are an offshoot of them. And I think that they did not start as a cult. However, over the years and through the changing of leadership, they have become a cult. Um So they have, there’s about 10 things that make up a cult and they hit all 10.

Um So, and of course, if you ask a Jehovah’s witness, they will tell you, no, it’s not a cult. But um they have a leader group of leaders who God is the only one who talks to. And in fact, they call their God, Jehovah. Um So Jehovah talks to only the leaders, which is, I think it’s 12 men. And those 12 men then trickle down to uh what is written in the publications and what is preached at the kingdom halls. And then they have another level of men who oversee and they call them overseers, oversee areas and then they have the elders and the congregations who take care of the congregations. And so from the bottom up, it’s Children, then the moms and the dads and the elders. And so Children, very low women, very low, absolutely no voices. Um I also talked about dis fellow shipping, which means if you break the rules which can change um you are shunned, which means your entire family, your entire uh your friends, entire congregation around you will no longer talk to you.

If they see you in public, they will turn away and they will, they will turn their back on you. Um, which is why many people don’t leave because they don’t want to lose their family or they’re married and they have Children so they can’t leave. Um, it’s, uh, there’s a lot of other rules and things that people don’t know about that. Higher education is discouraged. Um, when you see them out on the street corners, I’m not sure what they do where you live. I think they probably stand on corners with carts or they go knocking on doors. That’s a requirement. It’s not voluntary, knock on the door, get the knock on the door. Ok. It’s not voluntary. It’s a requirement and they must do a certain number of hours per week and there’s different levels for different people. Some people choose to do 40 hours a week and they have to record it and they have to turn it in, like report how many people they talk to how many hours they talked, how many Bible studies they did, how much literature they gave out.

So, I don’t know any religion or any of those few things I just said are part of the fact just leaving. You know, if you’re going to a church that you don’t like or you don’t feel connected to, you can leave and there’s no consequences. You know, you can go visit any type of church. Um, I could walk into a, um, a synagogue. I could walk into a Catholic church. I could walk into a mosque and there would be no consequences for me. Um as I’m a Christian woman. So for me, there’s no consequences. However, if I was a Jehovah’s witness, there would be consequences. So the do as you say or this will happen is kind of an alarm bell. There would you say there are any others that uh people need to watch out for? So they don’t fall into something such as this? Yeah, they quickly love bomb you and they, they typically talk to people about pain. They find someone’s pain point very quickly.

And you have to remember Jehovah’s witnesses are very well trained. They go to three meetings a week and this is all they do. They are trained to find your pain point and then they draw you in slowly. It’s a slow process, um, which usually starts with love bombing and lots of attention and then they encourage you to, this is the very big culty thing. They encourage you to get rid of the things around you that, um, will be discouraging to you or will take you away from this path you’re on. Get rid of the people who are telling you don’t do that, don’t do that. You know. Um, they, they want you to focus on Jehovah and they slowly take things out of your life and then all of a sudden you look around and like all your friends are gone but you cut them off. Yeah, it’s like the removal of options. Right. So that you’ve only really got one option left and that’s the, that’s the cult. Correct. Correct. And because they go for people who have these pain points, um, sometimes people are in a depressive state and they’re not thinking clearly and a love bomb is just what they need.

You know. So a love bomb is where everybody comes around you and just shows you all this attention that maybe you haven’t ever had and you just think, wow, what a great environment. This is gonna be my life, you know. And um I mean, this is, I’d like to know what your thoughts are on this in relation to what percentage if you could estimate. Um Do people know that it’s a purposeful, harmful thing? And uh what percentage would you say are just unaware and they have good intentions but are producing bad results. Have you got any thoughts on that? I talk to a lot of people and I wanna say, you know, for me, I think it’s about 50 50. I feel like there’s a lot of people there who know what’s wrong and they know what’s going on and it’s an environment for them to continue doing what they want to do that being, you know, someone who’s abusive, it’s the perfect environment. And I also feel like there’s a lot of very kindhearted people who believe they are doing the right thing and they are truly saving people’s lives but they’re still in a cult and they’re still, it, it’s, it’s not purpose, there’s nothing purposeful about it but it is making them feel good.

Um uh, so I, I wanna say 50 50 thank you for that. And, um, what age were you first introduced to it? Approximately? I was six. I was six. Yeah, almost, almost a decade. It took to get out then it did. And, you know, as a child I didn’t have a choice in any of this. This was just like this is your life now. And, um, I, I think that’s, I always gave my Children the choice, you know, I went to church and things like that and it was, you know, it, it was, ended up being their choice. I never forced them to do anything because it has to be from your own heart and your own beliefs. Right. But here I’m stuck in this cult and I didn’t really have any choices where to go either. You know, it’s like I was just a kid. Like, what am I gonna do? And had you ever, um, after you got out and maybe you were able to sort of work through your thoughts a little bit.

Did you ever have a conversation with your mum about that process? Um, any conclusions or closure there? Um, I’ve had many conversations with my mom. Um, and then for years it was just, let’s not talk about this. Topic because she would just get angry. She doesn’t have the ability to have a conversation because her mind is so uh wrapped around Jehovah and she can’t see it clearly beyond that. So her immediate response is get angry. Um But the last conversation I had with her, I, this was when I was writing my book. I just said, you know, mom, you never, you never stood up for your kids. You and you still to this day say that you never did anything wrong. And um I said, you, you followed the guidance of men who told you to go back into a home where all this abuse was going on and go and you’re a mom and you’re a parent and your first instincts should have been to protect your Children.

And she said, well, I did the best I could with what I had. And I said, I just told her I didn’t buy that. That’s an excuse because before that she had a, she had a marriage that she got out of it. It was a bad marriage for a similar situation. And so I didn’t buy that at it at all. And she just got mad at me. It’s like, so I, for me, I had to just move myself away from it because she just denies any wrong. She denies that that’s going on in the house. She denied, you know, like literally like it never happened. And um I know that he hurt a lot of other people because we moved a lot. And um I had some other people recently on the side, find me on Facebook on my book and then they kind of told me a few things. And so I know that his swath was very wide and not limited to the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Um Thank you for sharing that. Um Have you ever named this person in your book? I have, I have, I’ve named him, I tried to go to the police. Um but my abuse that I experienced was not what my, my sibling experienced and she is the one who experienced a lot of trauma and a lot of he did, he, he did a lot to her. Um So I wasn’t able to report anything because for me, it was mostly physical and emotional and you can’t, you can’t go to the police for emotional abuse. Um And my sister is still a Jehovah’s witness and she won’t do anything and um I tried to do, there’s a, there’s some attorneys that are doing like a class action lawsuit and I tried to get in on that. Um But again, my, my personal experience wasn’t enough for them. They needed to be my sister and she’s not ever gonna do that.

Um I used to go out to the carts in my neighborhood in California and talk to the, the, the women and, and show him, show them his picture in case he was at one of their kingdom halls. But, um, really nobody had any interest. They all called me a liar. Um, so, yeah. So, your, your sister has suffered abuse but she still is in it anyway. She is. And her husband was an elder. My brother is an elder. Um, my sister is one of those who does the 40 hour a week, um, door to door might not be 40 hours anymore. It used to be, I think they dropped it down. But, um, she’s very, very religious and, um, have you thought about why that is, I was gonna follow up with a question about your mum and the fact that she wasn’t able to and then I face the reality might be my interpretation.

I was gonna say why. But you’ve got other family members as well who are perhaps, maybe in denial, maybe just, um, duped in some way. Why do you think that that’s the case? Oh, they are definitely in denial. So, I do have, uh, three sisters and all three of them, um, deny what this man is. In fact, my younger sister who, it’s actually her dad had a relationship with him where her Children were allowed to be around him. And I can’t tell you even me just thinking about right now how angry I was with that. And, um, I don’t understand it. I don’t know why. If somebody tells you this is happening, that you would let your Children be around this man. Um Even though he’s your dad, I think it’s all to do with the cult mindset is that they are told that Jehovah is gonna take care of it and they need to rely on Jehovah and going to the police is never an option.

Going to the authorities is never an option. Um In fact, I just was reading the news today, there was a $40 million settlement from a man in Hawaii who was abused and he just got a settlement from the Watch Tower Society, which is the child’s witnesses because they did not report the abuse and they kept counseling him to go home and they protected the abuser. So it’s not just me, it’s not just my family, it’s a very widespread issue. Yeah. And um my uh interpretation of your answer is like if you follow a particular blueprint sort of what we talked about previously, um then you can sort of manipulate some human beings into thinking a particular way and even what you said about like the not going to the authorities. Um If you take that off the table, obviously, they’re the only ones that can do anything about it. So obviously, if you were running a cult, that’s the first thing you would do is to make sure that whatever the options are, it’s never to go to the police because they’re the ones that can stop it.

Right. Correct. And for, for me, for me, I had a, I had a lot of family members who were not shows witnesses, my mom had sisters, I had a dad and he had a large family. So for me, if I had not been cut off from all of these people, if I had not been afraid of like going to a teacher, because that was an authority for the school principal, that was an authority. I probably could have just said one thing to somebody and that would have been the end of it. And I don’t beat myself up over that because I was a child and I was, you know, taught, you know, that’s how you behave. But I, I do, when I see Jehovah’s witness Children, I do talk to them and I do tell them it’s ok to go to the police, it’s ok to talk to a teacher. It’s ok to tell somebody you trust about something that’s happening. Jehovah’s not gonna hate you. That’s what they teach them. They usually just kind of look at me wide eyed, but I want them to know that it’s ok.

You know, they may, I’m probably the only person that’s told them that, you know, well, well done for doing that. Um because I, I think that a lot of people are very hesitant to get involved in, um, let’s say other people’s Children. But when, when it comes to their safety, obviously, it’s is necessary. So if they’re coming to my door knocking on my door to sell me a watch tower. I, I feel like it’s ok for me to talk to them. They kind of invited it. Right. They invited themselves over. Yeah. At any point. Did you, um, regret leaving? No, I hated that whole life. I’ve never regretted leaving. What I don’t like is that it’s destroyed my family. I have six siblings and we all just kind of scattered to, you know, survival mode. And so I, that’s what I don’t like. I don’t regret that, but I don’t, I, I don’t like the outcome. I’m happy I left good.

Yeah. And at this moment there is probably, or I would say almost certainly someone who is considering joining the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Um What would you say to them? I would say that it would be a very, one of the biggest mistakes that you could make in your life. Um Just do an internet search on the abuse. Um The Jehovah’s Witnesses like to come across as biblical scholars. Um But if you keep in mind that they made up their Jehovah and all of their books and literature has been like, they’ve changed their Bible to fit Jehovah so that they can um manipulate you. That alone to me is scary. But I would say do the research and be aware that that there’s a lot of manipulation going on and there’s just a lot of people who are trapped there who can’t leave. They are not gonna tell you as you’re walking in this door, all the things that you have to do to maintain this relationship with Jehovah.

I mean, this is weird. This is gonna sound really strange but you know how you always see Jehovah’s Witnesses dressed nicely. You never see when coming to your door, you know, and like you’ll never see a woman coming to your door in slacks or jeans or anything. They always dress nicely. So when you walk into a Kingdom hall, you’re required to dress like that as well. So little kids are in suits and ties, uh, women are in dresses, men are in suits as well. Yeah, all they’re grooming, everything they do is they’re told how to dress and how to groom themselves. So they’ll start telling you, you know, you, you can come to a meeting but you can’t come like that. You know, I would say warning, warning, run away, like slow compliance. Is that what you mean? Slow compliance? Yes, they will not let you come to a kingdom hall until they think you’re ready and just go to a meeting off the street yourself. Just look up a meeting when it is and, and walk in, in your street clothes and see what happens.

It’s very uncomfortable. Use the term kingdom hall. What is that? They do not use the word church or synagogue or mosque because they believe anything that’s outside of Jehovah’s witnesses is Christendom, um or Babylon as they like to call it. And it is Satan, it is literally the devil. And so they say Kingdom Hall, they don’t say church services, they call it meetings. So any way that they can disassociate themselves with being a religion or a church, they will, which is why most of the buildings have no windows. They’re just usually like a brick or a block construction. Very ugly. And what is the difference between like a normal sort of, um, other than the fact that you can’t leave very easily, of course, which he covered was the difference between, let’s say going to a church gathering. Um, and, uh going to a kingdom hall meeting. Um, I’ve actually gone to a church halfway through a service and left.

Um, I’ve gone to churches for three months, not felt like it was a good fit for me and I’ve left all different denominations and, um, I’ve met friends there and some of them were still friends. Nobody, nobody, uh, stopped talking to me. Um, nobody gave me, you know, like a phone call saying, where are you? Why aren’t you here? Um, nobody stalked me afterwards. You know, it was my choice to go where I felt the best for me. And that’s, that to me is a big difference also, other, other than that you have like the guy at the front of the room sort of lecturing and everyone sitting in the, in the seats listening. Is that pretty much the Yeah. So for me, my church is usually, we have a lot, we have a worship team that starts the service where we have a lot of singing and everybody’s singing and there’s music and there may be some people dancing, there may be lots of waving of hands.

And then, you know, we usually have a pastor who, who um preaches on a subject and um the Kingdom Hall, the singing is typically done out of a book and everybody’s singing standing still. Um And the services are the same no matter where you go any given day, any. So this Sunday, the service here in Florida will be the same as the one where you live and always men, women are not allowed to pray. Women are not allowed to lead my church. We have women, get up and pray. We have a women led prayer team, the worship team that sings, it’s like 95% women and there’s one guy, you know, so, um that’s, that’s a big difference to me. So, um should we say uh for, for women and Children uh are viewed as less than in this particular um cult?

Yes. Yes, women should deter a significant percentage of people from joining in the first place. I would imagine it is. But you don’t know that you don’t know that until you are already indoctrinated. It’s a slow process, you know, like I said earlier, it’s, they start manipulating you early on until you’re in and then it’s like, oh, no, what have I done? It’s too late. You know, and a lot of people don’t like to admit they made a mistake. So they stay because I’ve already done, I’ve already gotten rid of my friends and I’ve already, is, is money involved in this decision. They, they ask you to invest a load of money in something normally with cults. So they don’t talk about money a lot, but they do ask for giving, they don’t talk about, they talk about giving to a greater, for the greater need. Um, those women and men that you see out on the streets and the books and things, they have, they have to buy all that themselves and they give it out.

So that cost a lot of money. Um and they ask for donations for everything. So they don’t pass a plate like they do in church. Well, most churches don’t do that anymore. They just have a big box and they ask you to donate. Um, but they always have a reason why, you know, we’re trying to do this. We’re trying to do that. And um kind of makes me sad because my mom is like, is 83 now and she is bas she basically lives in poverty and she still gives even though she doesn’t have anything to give and they don’t help her, but they have a $40 million lawsuit they have to pay for. So it has to come from somewhere. Yeah, 40 million is a lot of donations. But, um, I, I was under the impression, um, I, did you stop speaking to your mom at some stage? Um, I, I, um, my mom lived with me for a while and, um, when COVID hit after that, I kind of went into a depressive state.

And I just realized after talking to my therapist that it was because I had this person living with me, he was giving me PTSD. And, um, at that point, I just decided that that relationship wasn’t good for me. And, um, I still was talking to her at that point. But when she found out about my book that came out, which is called The Truth is a lie because they call themselves the one and only true religion. They call themselves the truth. Um She called me up one day and was screaming and yelling at me and that was kind of the end. So, but every now and then there’s a communication but it’s nothing. It’s not like a mother and daughter should be. Yeah, presumably that’s because, um, I mean, 100% on your side, uh with this particular point. But presumably that’s because she gets, um, uh, she gets shunned as a result of your book. Is that reason why she’s upset. Oh, yeah, in their world, I’m considered what’s called an apostate.

I’m speaking lies about them. And so really she shouldn’t have any contact with me at all. Yeah. You’ve been through a lot and I, um, I don’t know. Again, I have a lot of admiration for you based on the fact that you’re talking about it. Um, because you’ve done the work and to some degree, um, worked through it if someone has just gotten out of it or is struggling with similar, um, scenarios that you’ve been through. Uh What do you tell that person? Um Yeah, there’s a lot of people who come out of other cults. Um And my thing is I didn’t do this when I got out and I should have get into therapy right away because your mind is hanging on to all of this garbage even though you think you’ve let it go and it’s gonna come back to you in forms of depression, anxiety, PTSD. And also your mind was reprogrammed to think a certain way and a lot of people lose that empowerment and the mindfulness and um you need to get that back but you need to retrain yourself.

So there are, there are therapists who work with religious trauma. It’s called with PTSD. Um But find somebody who’s gonna walk you through this process, do not, don’t try to do it on your own. Um And then surround yourself with a group. Um I belong to a group here called the Ex Jehovah’s Witness Group and we meet once a month and it’s great. We have pot luck and we just talk about all the silly things we used to do. So, that’s what I would I recommend. Yeah, I didn’t, I wasn’t aware there are therapists that actually specialize in that. Um, but you’re, you’re part of a group. Um, what, what’s an example of, um, silly things that you used to do? Um, going door to door? Um, I, you know, some, some of the women were told their shorts, their, their skirts were too short, you know, but they were already below the knee and they got, they got corrected, you know, in front of everyone else for having a shirt. Uh their clothing wasn’t modest enough. Um So we, we just talk about stuff like that or like the dating pool.

Um The dating pool is five women to one man and Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in premarital sex. They don’t believe in um dating until you’re getting married. So we’re just gonna imagine what that’s like. Why so many get, get married so young. And um, one of the girls told me that in her congregation, there was one elder who was single and then another gentleman who was single and the elder was not a very attractive man, but all the women were going after him because he was an elder and they wanted that spot in the, in the congregation. So that was our joke was if you know, you’re single and you wanna get married, go to a kingdom hall. If you’re a man, don’t go, if you’re a woman. And I wanna say, what, what do you make of all this? Like, what do you make of that type of scenario? It just proves to me more and more. I mean, you know what a cult it is, you know, um, so much control that, um, that, you know, you’re told how you can dress and if it’s inappropriate and it’s, it’s still below your knee.

Um You’re told you’re distracting a man by what you’re wearing and then, you know, go for the elder. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s crazy. Well, um, the, you mentioned the book, um, how was it to write the book? Uh, from a, from an emotional perspective, um, early on, I didn’t really want to write it because I, I write for Children. So that goes up to age 18. Um I didn’t want to write a memoir. I didn’t want and then I also didn’t think anybody really cared because I thought so what I grew up having witnessed, you know, but then things started happening around me that just showed me that I needed to write it. And um it was a little bit of a healing process at the beginning, but then it was more of an awareness project. I, as I was talking to people about growing up in a cult, they kept telling me you didn’t grow up in a cult. It’s the Jehovah’s witnesses and I found myself explaining over and over again.

I went, OK. So most people don’t think this is a cult. So my book became an awareness book. It is written for young adults. It is fiction, but it’s based on all the facts of my life and, and a couple of other young people who I met and I just kind of twine them all together. So for me it’s a, it’s awareness and it’s, I’m, I’m giving back in my way, taking them down. So for me, it wasn’t, there was a little bit of times where it was traumatic and I got a little bit angry. Um, but I took care of that during the editing process and made it cleaned it up. Are you proud of what you create is I am I am what, what really makes me proud is when I, when I read reviews from people, when an next Jehovah’s Witness will message me on Facebook and tell me that I, they just read my book and um, they had to stop a few times because I really nailed the uh emotional, um the, the feelings, the emotions, you know, and all the things that they go through.

And, um, so I, you know, that happened to me a long time ago and I still remembered it. And has anyone reached out, um, as a result, uh kind of as a, as an advice, you know, what do I do in this scenario type thing. Um I haven’t gotten there yet. Um The Jehovah’s Witnesses are very, not really like on the internet. Too much looking for a material like mine. Um But that’s not to say they’re not gonna come across it. Um I get a lot of activity on tiktok now and so I’m starting to see some comments pop up from people. So I’m hoping I’m, and I’m really hoping it’s, it’s for the hands of teens. It’s really meant for teenagers, but it, it’s an adults, read it as well um to be aware of people in their life who may be in this cult and what they could be going through.

And like I said, for me, it was a few kind acts of random people in my life who opened up some doors for me and made me see, hey, the people in the outside world, they’re not what I’m being told they are. And so it kind of piqued a little bit of interest, which is why I had that boyfriend in the first place because I was starting to see the outside world was not Satan and this bad place that there was people who actually were happy and had lives. So it’s an awareness of like you don’t know what your one kind word can do to somebody else and your awareness um of them can do that. That goes for every, everybody I think it’s not just churches and mosques. It’s like the whole outside world is Satan. Yes. Yes. Yes. And what were the doors that were open to you that kind of helped you uh follow the breadcrumbs if you will.

Um I had some, I was lucky enough to be in a school at this time where there was no other Jehovah’s witnesses and none of my siblings were there. And so, I mean, I had nobody a tattle tale on me and tell what I was doing. So it kind of let me have some friendships for the first time in my life. Um And again, they weren’t really deep friendships because I wasn’t allowed to have what they call worldly friends. But a few people, you know, who kind of just, you know, like sometimes it would just be lending me, you know, their, their book for the day because I forgot to do my homework or somebody who took me into their wing in art class and helped me with a project or, you know, it was always a struggle for me in school because I wasn’t really supposed to be around anybody, you know. So I tried to stay under the radar. So it was, you know, somebody who just said hi to me and sat with me at lunch, you know, just be aware the people who are in or maybe a, a significant percentage of the people who are in the Jehovah’s Witnesses that they’re victims.

Would you say that, that’s fair. Yes. The more and more that I talk to people and the more and more that I see people getting out, the more I see a victim coming out and it may be not as severe as what I had, but, um, definitely stuck in a relationship with somebody, um, victimized by an elder, victimized by, they say, brother and sister, which is uh somebody else in the congregation who’s either male or female. So victimized by a brother or a sister. Um Even if you don’t want to stay there and you wanna leave because you don’t believe in Jehovah, you’re immediately a victim because they just, you have to stay or they don’t talk to you anymore. So, you know, well, I really appreciate you sharing everything and especially writing the book. Um It takes us sort of to current times you’ve mentioned um, a few different mental health.

Um Shall we say concerns um to what degree is your past do you have to deal with? Um, deal with your past on a day to day basis? Is it, how much would you say? Is it still with you? Um You know what it, what it really comes up is when there’s a holiday. And um I don’t have like a family around me that, that kind of hurts, kind of stings. Um But day to day it doesn’t hurt me or affect me because I’m, I’m beyond it. Of course, I would love to have a relationship with my mom. I would love to have a relationship with my siblings. But um that’s kind of something that’s, you know, up to them at this point. I think that would be about it. I mean, just I get the daily reminder, you know, as soon as I go on my social media and see somebody who’s commented on being an extra ho was witness.

So how do you mean? Sorry? I’m not sure I followed. Um I just have the daily reminder that that was my past. You know, that’s where I came from. Um Because somebody will comment on one of the Jehovah’s witness ex Jehovah witness boards and because I’m on them and um I’m continually making positive comments and encouraging people and so it’s my past, it’s where I came from, but it’s not who I am now, I guess is what I’m saying. And um but it’s just a little daily reminder um when I’m on there like, yeah, that’s where you came from. What you say you’re, you’re out of it now. I think it’s positive. I think it’s positive because I’m using it all in a positive way. I could be angry. I could be, you know, just living in that past wallowing in it and not trying to move out of it. So, um I, I’m using my experience for good, well, well done again.

Um I think you’re brilliant for creating something which is gonna help other people. Um, as a result of your experience, um, do you have any closing thoughts that you want to share? I usually tell people just to be, to have that moment of kindness and it goes for anybody if it’s, if they’re in the Jes Witnesses or not just being kind to another human being smiling and saying hello to somebody that you’re walking by, who’s a stranger. You, you don’t know what that person’s going through. You could be the only person they talk to that day. And then, and, and then, of course, I always like to say, get a copy of my book and then you will really understand what the Jehovah’s witnesses are about and, um, they need to not be around anymore if they need to go away. Um, I don’t know how to make that happen other than how I’ve used my words, um, and written about it. Well, and they’re, they’re particularly difficult to get rid of. But, um, if no one is talking about a problem, then it’s not going to be solved, right?

If people are just being silent about it, then no one knows. But now you’ve opened up the discussion. Um, I, I would say it’s definitely the first step to dealing with the problem. Mhm. Exactly. If nobody knows what’s going on, uh, if there’s no awareness and nobody’s talking about it, it’s just gonna keep going on so well done to you. Um, if people want to buy the book. Where do they go? Well, it’s super easy. Um You can go to my website, which is SallyLotz.com and I have a section where my books are and it has a link that’ll take you to get one you’ll take. And there’s also a link if you want an autograph copy. Um That’s the easiest way to do it. It’s available in paperback and on Kindle version. No audio book at this point. Is that coming? I would love to do an audio book. I need a, I need an investor who would like to invest in me. So if there’s anybody out there, I’d welcome it. All right. Well, um again, uh well done for what you’ve created. Sally. Thanks for being a great guest today and sharing your story.

Thanks for having me.