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Twisted Scriptures: A Path to Freedom from Abusive Churches Paperback – January, 1997

39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Leaders of many religious groups (even including several mainstream churches) are twisting the Scriptures to subtly coerce cooperation from their members. In the process, personalities are changed and lives ruined. Mary Alice Chrnalogar is a deprogrammer with an international reputation. Chrnalogar reveals how classic mind control techniques are used to systematically seduce followers into total obedience. Twisted Scriptures: A Path To Freedom From Abusive Churches shows readers how to tell when churches are suppressing freedom of speech, intimidating followers, and distorting the Bible. Twisted Scriptures is invaluable as a self-help guide and as a tool for families and friends to free loved ones from destructive groups. -- Midwest Book Review

From the Back Cover

For Someone Else If You’re Concerned. For Yourself If You’ve Ever Wondered. You joined your church because of its intensity for God. Like no other place, it’s helped you discover the meaning of obedience. Of teachableness. Of death to self. If there’s one problem, it’s the confusion that sometimes comes from your own carnal thinking. But God has given you leaders who can lovingly correct a doubting, independent spirit and help you choose God’s best for your life.

How can you go wrong with a church like that? Easily. What you’ve just read actually fits the profile of many abusive churches. Twisted Scriptures reveals in depth how the Bible can be distorted in ways that rob you of the liberty Jesus died to give you. You might be shocked at what you discover.

This book uncovers the subtle but powerful techniques by which, in the name of truth, controlling leaders manipulate and intimidate countless believers. It also supplies tools for overcoming persuasive, deceptive teachings and practices.

Thousands of Christians have already moved from struggle to true freedom and hope through Twisted Scriptures. If you truly want to grow in everything God made you to be, you owe it to yourself to read this book. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 273 pages
  • Publisher: Control Techniques Inc; 2nd edition (January 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0964958805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0964958807
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,162,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 61 people found the following review helpful By LindaT VINE VOICE on July 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
I wish I could have read this book about 30 years ago.
For my own part, I was raised in a loving Christian home, but I had to put up with a lot of "do's" and "don'ts" in my church, most of which were not anywhere to be found in the Bible (including the statement that a praying knee and a dancing foot never grow on the same leg). My parents, however, were not controlling and we were a fairly happy family. Our comittment to Jesus Christ bound us even closer together.
I went to Bible school and one of the courses I studied was enitled Biblical Interpretation. It was an excellent course and well taught, and we learned the logical, common sense way to interpret the Bible.
However, I still managed to get involved in what I thought was a loving prayer group who later got caught up in the "Discipleship" controversey. I later was given the "left foot of fellowship" from the group when I made a remark that they interpreted as questioning their teachings. (By the way, the "left foot of fellowship" means that I was unceremoniously booted out!)
If I had been able to have this book back then, I would have recovered from that bad experience much more quickly. But I am glad that others are able to read it and recover from their traumatic experiences.
I am still 100% sold on the Christian faith, even though I'm not sold on some of the garbage that goes on in the name of Christianity.
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58 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Eric Weiss on March 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have read this book, and I would say (not being too familiar with the field of "exit counseling/abusive church counseling" literature, though I read Steve Hassan's book (Jew former-Moonie) - COMBATTING CULT MIND CONTROL - years ago) that it's a pretty good book. If you deal with people who are or were in controlling churches (a lot of the book focuses on the Shepherding/Discipleship movement), or if you yourself were a victim or member of such a group, or even any abusive church, then you should buy this book.

In fact, this book is good to read if you're involved in most conservative Christian denominations/churches/movements, even "good" ones, as it will prompt you to continue to "prove all things [and] hold fast that which is good" as the Scriptures teach us to do, and not just accept leaders' statements or teachings. If you are discipling someone, or if you yourself are being discipled, this book has many good checks and balances and insights that should help you discern between good discipling and abusive or poor discipling. If you are in a small group that is designed to help you and others grow spiritually, this book will also be of value.

We were in a church that had some serious problems, and we finally left it. Skimming through her 6-page checklist at the back of the book of abusive characteristics, I would say that for us at least (I can't speak for the persons in our church who lived together at the "Bible School") we experienced few of these things, at least not in as overt a way as many controlling groups, but I would bet that if I sent Ms. Chrnalogar all my documentation of the things that happened that led to our decision to leave, she would agree that we were in an abusive church situation.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By M. White on December 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
An informative, highly original book, Twisted Scriptures gives information to help people evaluate what the Bible actually teaches, as opposed to what controlling religious leaders teach. This book exposes shepherding, a practice that has crept into many churches. Ideas which are widely taught and accepted as being from the Bible, but which are not Biblical, are refuted. The author shows that submission is to be made to God alone and to His Word, not to leaders who attempt to control people with guilt and manipulation. The author raises a clarion call for the freedom of the individual and his or her freedom of choice. A groundbreaking book. This book will protect you from religous abuse, and give you firm Biblical ground for your boundaries. If you have been manipulated by controlling religious leaders, this book will set you free.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By on July 11, 1998
Format: Paperback
Before this book came out, Mary Alice posted on the internet a few summary chapters of her upcoming book!
Three month later I was desperate to find out more about what she had written because it seemed that she was following me around the last 7 years. She basically had a part of my lifes story!
She had completed the manuscript, but had no time to complete the website summaries because this book was going to the press.
I managed to get the manuscript because of the dire pain my family was going through by the abuse from a Word of Faith church that we attended. The church wanted to control our family. They did not respect a personal decision that my family had made and wanted to control us. The pastor finally gave us an ultimatum - "change your personal decision or get out of this church! I'm tired of people not listening to what I tell them to do!"
Wow! I was shocked, but why should I have been? After getting the book, I read it 4 times more! This was my story and other peoples stories as well!
As I looked back, I started to look back of 7 years of false doctrine presented by twisting scriptures in order to extract money from the people and slowly you started to notice that the pastor had the best car, the best suits, the biggest house and worst of all was the flaunting arrogance as he stood at the pulpit holding his lapel and stating - "one day God will supply you with a suit like mine!"
It was unbelievable! God never provided him with that suit!
When exerts of the book was presented to a deacon at that church, the comment was, "80% of the material in this book represents our church"!
Great news! I was not dreaming, but that was not all!
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