Top Books/Videos for SHANANNAREEFERS
(Failed Faith)

(updated October 1, 2009)


Seekers Humanists Atheists Naturalists
Agnostics Nonreligionists Nontheists Antireligionists
Realists Educationalists Experimentalists Freethinkers
Enlightened Rationalists Secularists

- - - Books Added on October 1, 2009 - - -

019. Losing My Religion : How I Lost My Faith
Reporting on Religion in America -- and Found
Unexpected Peace
, by William Lobdell
"... A former religion reporter for the Los Angeles
Times, Lobdell recounts in this plainly written
memoir how he became a Protestant evangelical,
nearly accepted Catholicism and, in the end,
rejected faith altogether.

Central to the arc of this memoir is the unfolding
sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic
Church, which Lobdell covered in depth during
his time as a religion reporter, beginning in 2000.

Despairing of the role of priests and bishops in
that scandal, he refashions his identity as a cru-
sading reporter out to cleanse the church of
corrupt leaders. But after finding that his inves-
tigative stories about faith healer Benny Hinn
and televangelists Jan and Paul Crouch appear
to make no difference on the reach of these
ministries or the lives of their followers, he
gives up on the beat and on religion generally. ..."

018. The Path of Reason - A Philosophy of Nonbelief
by Bruce A. Smith
"... Smith, a business analyst at a computer software
firm who was once a conservative Christian, seeks
to eliminate misconceptions about atheism and skep-
ticism by examining faith and reason, the two means
by which we evaluate our world.

Writing for those who are confused by media repre-
sentations and culture wars about philosophy and
religion, Smith explains his personal path to atheism
and skepticism as he describes the collision of faith
and reason, the application of reason to such ideas
as the soul, God, and meaning, critical thinking,
including its fallacies, and specific precepts of

He then explains Christianity as he perceives it,
analyzing such ideas as heaven and hell, the ten
commandments, sex and violence, Jesus in the
books of Matthew and John, the end times, pro-
phecy and religious history, and the facts of life
of a committed atheist. ..."

017. Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher
Became One of America's Leading Atheists

by Dan Barker (foreword by Richard Dawkins)
"... Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF)
co-president Dan Barker updates and expands
his story of deconversion (as told in his 1992
Losing Faith in Faith, see below) and relates
new adventures and lessons from the 16 years
since that time as an atheist debater and activist.

... 'Conversions on the road to Damascus are for
those who hear voices and fall prey to delusions
and who would be better off seeking professional
help. Much more valuable in the human story are
the reflections of intelligent and ethical people who
listen to the voice of reason and who allow it to
vanquish bigotry and superstition. This book is
a classic example of the latter.'
--Christopher Hitchens, author of God Is Not
Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

016. Why I Became an Atheist : A Former
Preacher Rejects Christianity,
by John W. Loftus
"... For about two decades John W. Loftus was
a devout evangelical Christian, an ordained minister
of the Church of Christ, and an ardent apologist for
Christianity. With three degrees -- in philosophy,
theology, and philosophy of religion -- he was adept
at using rational argumentation to defend the faith.

But over the years, as he ministered to various con-
gregations and taught at Christian colleges, doubts
about the credibility of key Christian tenets began
to creep into his thinking. By the late 1990s he
experienced a full-blown crisis of faith, brought
on by emotional upheavals in his personal life as
well as the gathering weight of the doubts he had
long entertained.

... he lays out the philosophical, scientific, and his-
torical reasons that can be raised against Christian
belief. From the implications of religious diversity,
the authority of faith vs. reason, and the problem
of evil, to the contradictions between the Bible and
the scientific worldview, the conflicts between tradi-
tional dogma and historical evidence, and much
more, Loftus covers a great deal of intellectual

... This frank critique of Christian belief from a
former insider will interest freethinkers as well as
anyone with doubts about the claims of religion. ..."

015. Leaving Islam : Apostates Speak Out,
edited by Ibn Warraq
"... No quick portrait of the typical apostate is likely
to appear -- some are young (students in their teens),
some are middle-aged with children; some are scien-
tists, while others are economists, businesspeople,
or journalists; some are from Bangladesh, others are
from Pakistan, India, Morocco, Egypt, Malaysia,
Saudi Arabia, or Iran.

Our witnesses, nonetheless, do have certain moral
and intellectual qualities in common: for instance,
they are all comparatively well educated, computer
literate with access to the Internet, and rational,
with the ability to think for themselves.

However, what is most striking is their fearlessness,
their moral courage, and their moral commitment to
telling the truth. They all face social ostracism, the
loss of friends and family, a deep inner spiritual
anguish and loneliness -- and occasionally the
death penalty if discovered. Their decisions are
not frivolously taken, but the ineluctable result of
rational thinking. ..."

014. Why We Left Islam: Former Muslims Speak Out,
by Susan Crimp and Joel Richardson
"... Collected here are the powerful and brutally honest
personal testimonies of men and women who have left
Islam - at the risk of death. What compelled these indi-
viduals to free themselves from Islam's tyrannical grip,
how did they do it, and at what cost? Why We Left
Islam provides the shocking, disturbing answers.

... Here are some of the voices from Why We Left
Islam ...

'I still remember my sister's black eyes; she stared at
the sky while she was dug into the ground. She was
wrapped in white sheets and her hands were tied to
her body. She was buried up to her waist. The rabid
mob circled her with stones in their hands and started
throwing them at her while the roars of 'Allah-u-Akbar'
added to their frenzy...' -- Yagmur

'As a Muslim man, the fact that my mother had only
given birth to three girls made him really angry. He
beat my mother very badly and the doctors were
forced to remove her womb ...When she awoke, my
father was kind enough to tell her that he was divorc-
ing her now that she could no longer have children,
and being a man he needed a son.' -- Shara ..."

013. Wikipedia (The Free Encyclopedia)
List of Nontheists, by User Contributions

"... Nontheists, or non-theists, are people who do
not believe in deities. ... Persons listed here have
either been specifically identified as nontheists or
atheists by a reliable source, or have expressed
unbelief in deities. ...

Lists of Nontheists by profession
Lists of Nontheists by surname

- - - Videos Added on October 1, 2009 - - -

012. Pro-Humanist FREELOVER Posts which
include videos pertaining to Failed Faith
(as of October 1, 2009)

- - - Books from the 1999 & 2000 Versions of this post - - -

011. Leaving the Fold : A Guide for Former
Fundamentalists and Others Leaving Their
Religion, by Marlene Winell (foreword by Steve Allen)
"... As a former fundamentalist, I have worked over
the past ten years with individuals and small groups
focusing on recovery from religious dysfunction and
addiction. Although there are several other excellent
resources on this topic, Winell's book is essential for
understanding how Christian fundamentalism and con-
ventional Christian religion can foster dependency in
its adherents. ..."

010. Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former
Fundamentalists, by Edward T. Babinski (Editor)
"... This riveting new collection offers testimonies of
former fundamentalists who became disillusioned
with their churches and left. Presenting more than
two dozen personal journeys, this book gives a clear
picture of what attracts a person to the fundamentalist
faith and what can drive believers away from their
religion.. ..."

009. Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist,
by Dan Barker

"... About half of the book is Barker's story of his
conversion and deconversion. The other half are
a collection of essays Barker has put together
about biblical errancy, his TV appearances and
debates, and his experiences in the Atheist com-
munity. A modern classic of freethought literature

(for a recent book on Dan Barker's conversion
and deconversion, see Godless, above)

008. Captive Hearts, Captive Minds : Freedom
and Recovery from Cults and Other Abusive
Relationships, by Madeleine Landau Tobias,
Janja Lalich (Contributor), Michael Langone

"... This book will prove invaluable help for both
those with loved ones in a religious cult, and those
coming to terms with leaving a religious cult. The
authors ... treat this difficult subject with care and

007. Cults in Our Midst, by Margaret Thaler Singer,
Janja Lalich (Contributor), Robert Jay Lifton

"... Clinical psychologist Singer, emeritus professor
at Berkeley, and former cult member Lalich (coauthor
of Captive Hearts, Captive Minds) here present an
instructive report on the cult phenomenon, which
they regard as a growing menace around the world.

They define cults as organizations that feature 'coor-
dinated programs of coercive influence and behav-
ioral control,' many religiously or politically oriented
and increasingly centered on New Age self-improve-
ment techniques that they claim are now being ped-
dled to businesses.

They enumerate the dangers of cults to the indivi-
dual, particularly the attack on the sense of self;
they analyze the leaders' techniques (almost all
these groups are authoritarian), including isolation
from family and friends, trance induction, guided
imagery and indirect suggestion; they offer prac-
tical advice on methods of helping survivors to
escape and recover. Includes an appendix of
resources and organizations for those seeking

006. Cults in America : A Reference Handbook
(Contemporary World Issues), by James R. Lewis

"... detailed historical, sociological, and psycholog-
ical discussion of minority religions and the public
perception of them. Following is a detailed chron-
ology of American religious conflicts from the late
18th century through the Heaven's Gate mass sui-
cide in 1997.

Lewis also discusses 47 sects and movements, 
including the Black Muslims, Hare Krishnas, the
People's Temple, the Unification Church, and

Excerpts from court decisions, legislation, and
government actions follow, with supporting
documents and statistics. The work closes with
a directory of organizations concerned with cults,
a listing of web sites, and a detailed bibliography
of print and nonprint materials. 

005. The Mind of the Bible Believer,
by Edmund D. Cohen, Sherwin T. Wine
"... I had been an ex-christian for a couple of months
before reading this. Even so, while reading it I felt
like something bad was behind me - I had to turn
around in my chair and look to reassure myself that
there wasn't. I was shocked to find the imaginary
bogeymen of Christianity rooted so deeply in my
own mind.

We all know that there are Christian cults out there
that practice mind control and brainwashing. This
book exposes the fact that this is the norm for NT
christianity, not the exception. The new testament
is mind-control propaganda, propaganda that held
all the minds of Europe in its grip for a millennium
and a half.

It exposes the newspeak of christianity. The
doublethink, the blackwhite, the slippery concepts
and words. It explains why, as a christian, it's
possible to read a passage of scripture over and
over and still feel like you don't understand it.
(e.g.: Rom 7) ...

004. Bible Prophecy : Failure or Fulfillment,
by Tim Callahan
"... Is our world coming to an end as described in
the Book of Revelations? No!, says author Tim
Callahan, in 'Bible Prophecy', as he subjects the
prophecies of the Bible to rigorous questions. ..."

003. Battle for the Mind : A Physiology of Conversion
and Brainwashing, by William Walters Sargant
"... Sargent's thesis is that religious conversions are
effected not by any supernatural agent, such as
God. Rather, he maintains that conversions occur
by religious speakers using techniques akin to those
used against Korean War POWs. His thesis rests
on insights from Pavlovian experiments on animals
to alter behavior. He explains conversions then in
terms of crowd contagion, 'shell-shock' and thought
reform processes.

... The text has influenced the popular groundswell
of opposition to churches and cults that actively
seek converts. ... In the realm of religion Sargent is
at pains to cast religion as a form of superstition that
ought to be abandoned in a scientific era. ..."

002. The Manipulated Mind : Brainwashing,
Conditioning and Indoctrination, by Denise Winn
"... Research findings from psychology show that
brainwashing is not a special subversive technique;
it is the clever manipulation of unrealized influences
that operate in all our lives.

This book, by breaking down so-called brainwash-
ing to its individual elements, shows how social con-
ditioning, need for approval, emotional dependency
and much else that we are unaware of, prevent us
from being as self-directed as we think; and, con-
versely, which human traits make us the least sus-
ceptible to subtle influence. ..."

001. Why I Am Not a Muslim, by Ibn Warraq
"... Warraq, a former Muslim who now lives in Ohio,
examines the major principles of the world's second
largest religion, presenting a less than flattering picture
of the faith and its followers.

He analyzes factors that influenced the writing of the
Koran, chronicles the rise of Islam, and criticizes the
dark side of the faith with chapters on the Salman
Rushdie affair, the oppression of women in Muslim
society, the authoritarian nature of Islamic law, and
the suppression of basic rights in many Muslim coun-
tries. ..."