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I, Witness: The Shocking Insider's Story of Jehovah's Witnesses Paperback – July 25, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 191 pages
  • Publisher: Villa Press (July 25, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097946370X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979463709
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #694,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Kirkus Discoveries Review " A page turning glimpse into the lifestyle of a Jehovah's Witness. In sharing his memoir, Clark seeks catharsis and closure. Born and raised a Jehovah's Witness in a particularly dysfunctional family, he describes his upbringing in a filthy, sometimes violent home with a mentally ill mother and often absent father. His early exerpiences range from shameful visits to the Kingdom Hall, where his family sat at the periphery of the faith due to neglect, to visiting his mother in a mental hospital, a scarring experience. Reaching adulthood illequipped for the world, Clark entered a brief, failed marriage, turned back to the Kingdom Hall, married again, and then a spiritual and emotional rollercoaster ride. After a lengthy struggle with the hypocrisy he perceived in the leadership and doctrine of his faith, Clark's family finally left the Jehovah's Witnesses, a jarring change that was part of the cause of the breakup of his second marriage. More ups and downs followed as he suffered through depression, financial ruin and another failed - and obviously painful and raw period, only briefly explored here. At last, Clark discovers peace in a new faith tradition and comfort through a third marriage. The story is engrossing, and the writing solid. Clark's portrayal of the life of a Jehovah's Witness is necessarily subjective, but it's grounded in a lifelong experience with this often; mysterious faith. Anyone who has received a Witness at their door will find his perspective intriguing. The tradition Clark presents is troubling at best, frightening at worst. hough an imperfect character in many re-pects, his ability to change course and seek out a truer relationship with God is inspiring. One man's successful return from a spiritual hell." Arbor Books (160 pp.) 2007 --Kirkus Discoveries Review - 2007

The New York Times Book Review: The Author is to be commended for coming forward with his tale of abuse, violence and insanity. This chilling and disquieting account should be read by anyone who has left a cult or knows of someone in a cult, as well as there families and loved ones. --New York Times Book Review 2007

Midwest Book Review: Written by former Jehovah's Witness Daniel Clark, I, Witness: The Shocking Insider's Story of Jehovah's Witnesses is the shocking true-life story of a devout member of the Watchtower Society who became disillusioned with the church teachings after observing corruption, dysfunctional manipulation, and cultlike abuse of powe throughout his entire life. He and his family were virtually held prisoner by the demands of the organization. A true tale of growing up in a world of brainwashing, violence and ruthless religious indoctrination, I, Witness is a sovering revelation of the darkness within corrupted religion. --Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA)

About the Author

Daniel Clark is a former Jehovah s Witness and current internationally-renowned woodfinishing specialist. He and his wife are actively involved in prison ministry and educating people about the dangers of religious cults.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ABQChris on April 29, 2014
Format: Paperback
This will be a rather difficult review for me to write, because I'm an atheist, and thus I'm clear on the fact that ANY religion is a cult of some kind. The prospect that one's faith is any "better" than another's is rather silly. It's all about bias toward one's own cool club, isn't it...

The need for any kind of religion in someone's life continues to be a source of confusion to me -- I don't require a book, a gathering or a human authority to be a moral person, and yet I don't believe that I'm inherently any better than anyone else. It's not difficult to be an honest person with integrity who doesn't hurt others; you don't need another imperfect human dictating anything to you, or a deity in the clouds.

However, you're welcome to it, and should be free to practice what you like without anyone calling you a "cult victim" as a result, shouldn't you? As long as you don't hurt anyone or impinge upon others' lives, including trying to change the law or curriculum, you should be left alone to do what you like without judgment.

My mother's a Jehovah's Witness. She is not a nutcase or a fanatic; nor are any of her congregation friends. Please keep in mind, even if you enjoy this book and take something useful from it, that it tells the story of a rare, extreme example -- mental issues that have nothing to do with religion are also part of the story. This book would not be sold if it didn't have a disturbing, confirm-the-reader's-suspicions type of story in it. That's the nature of marketing.

Any humdrum, normal, good person who's a Witness and doesn't do crazy things wouldn't be the subject of a book. Nobody would buy it. This book exists because it contains a scandalous perspective from ONE person's unusual and extreme experiences in a clearly insane family.
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17 of 24 people found the following review helpful By M.M. Billings on March 10, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was a Jehovah's Witness, and have now been out for 17 years. The last 3 years I have been "church shopping" but have in many ways been discouraged and discusted by what I see in mainstream churches also: pastor lying, a pastor who was removed for various offenses including being emotionally abusive to females in the congregation, pastor taking a little extra from the collection plates (when I confronted the pastor about this he did not deny it, but just said, "Nobody has ever noticed because they are paying attention to the program".), pastors controlling and manipulating the flock, intolerance for people having a difference of opinion (and I am talking about just general everyday things here - not doctrine), and some pastors even having sex with members of the congregation. Did you know that a study shows that 40% of pastors are addicted to porn?

My experience in main stream churches is that many of them are much like Jehovah's Witnesses in their coercion to have everybody be the same, to not have freedom of expression, and to have at least sublte threat involved in various ways. They are just not as extreme as the Jehovah's Witnesses, and most people will likely not find out the real functioning of their church if they did not have a former background and awareness that being an ex-witness gives, and as long as you are willing to totally subjugate your personhood to the church.

Recently I looked on the web and found that it is extremely common for pastors (of mainstream churches )to not tolerate any differences and to demand submissive, compliant flock; and that they bring immense pressures to bear, including emotional coercion, to occomplish that.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Barbara C. Powell on April 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is well written, insightful and quite an eye-opener. It should be very helpful to anyone who is thinking of joining any cultlike organization; or who is trying to leave any such organization. I enjoyed reading this book so much that it took me one day. I couldn't put it down. BRAVO!!
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Butterflies are Free on March 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
If Jehovah's Witnesses are the most loving people on the planet, why do they shun family who won't adopt their beliefs? Their intolerance for others not like them reminds me of Adoph Hitler. They even go so far as to compare people to "pests" that need to be exterminated. Dan's book was right on in how it presented the twisted logic of the Watchtower organization and his struggles with finding his identity after he left. I enjoyed reading his story immensely as it is one of literally millions of stories out there of survivors who have survived this dastardly cult. I could relate to so many of his experiences and felt his pain. It takes courage to write a memoir because there will always be critics from all sides. Dan has done a remarkable job highlighting the hypocrisy in this organization, his family's negative reaction to his departure and his will to survive and better the person he is, despite growing up in a dysfunctional family and religious environment. I applaud his efforts and sincerely hope you will read "I Witness." Another great book to read is Brenda Lee's "Out of the Cocoon: A Young Woman's Courageous Flight from the Grip of a Religious Cult" [...]
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Myra McQueen on November 4, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found that the book "I,Witness," is very readable and hard to put down, which is rare in most nonfiction. Daniel is honest and tells it like it was, and that is admirable, and not typical of most who try to look righteous.
He obviously came out with many scars from the experience. But his description of the the hype of the upper eschelon of the Jehovah's Witnesses, is very detailed and revelatory. It will pay the JWs who read this to wake up to the fact that they most likely are having the same problems, and are codependant also. Otherwise they may still be in denial of their current situation.
I feel that he may have more problems as a result of his experience,related to his feelings of lack of confidence, and to believing the opinions of those who tend to be judgemental and condeming of his behavior. His behavior is most likely related to a social disorder, caused by his well meaning and very controling friends, as well as by those who appear to be strange bedfellows that he puts trust in(ie, the very controling Martha, who managed not only his every day life, but also her husband's)
Daniel is very helpful to the exiter because he is honest and does not hide his social and other problems that occurred with exiting. But he is a typical floater that just cannot settle down through most of the book. But with time he should be able to become more stable if he can shed the past friendships of the fly-by-nighters like Steve.
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