Gerry B's Book Reviews

Cowboys, Armageddon, and The Truth: How a Gay Child was Saved From Religion, by Scott Terry

A raw but optimistic story of human resilience – 

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Cowboys, armaghedon, etc. - coverStory blurb: Cowboys, Armageddon, and The Truth: How a Gay Child Was Saved from Religion offers an illuminating glimpse into a child’s sequestered world of abuse, homophobia, and religious extremism. Scott Terry’s memoir is a compelling, poignant and occasionally humorous look into the Jehovah’s Witness faith — a religion that refers to itself as The Truth — and a brave account of Terry’s successful escape from a troubled past.

At the age of ten, Terry had embraced the Witnesses’ prediction that the world would come to an end in 1975 and was preparing for Armageddon. As an adolescent, he prayed for God to strip away his growing attraction to other young men. But, by adulthood, Terry found himself no longer believing in the promised apocalypse. Through a series of adventures and misadventures, he left the Witness religion behind and became a cowboy, riding bulls in the rodeo. He overcame the hurdles of parental abuse, religious extremism, and homophobia, and learned that Truth is a concept of honesty rather than false righteousness, a means to live a life openly, for Terry as a gay man.

About the author: In 2007, Scott Terry sent an excerpt from his yet-to-be published book, Cowboys, Armageddon, and The Truth, to the San Francisco Chronicle. An hour later, he received a freelance contract and a request for more, leading to many stories for the paper.

In his book, Cowboys, Armageddon, and The Truth, Terry has produced a gritty and poignant autobiography of an innocent boy escaping an abusive and fanatical childhood. Scott Terry was raised as a devout Jehovah’s Witness, and spent his childhood praying for Armageddon to come and asking God to heal him of his homosexual thoughts. By adulthood, he had escaped the Witness religion and no longer believed in an upcoming apocalypse. Indeed, as a gay man and a real cowboy, he was riding bulls in the rodeo, abandoning all faith in religion.

Scott writes for the Huffington Post, and also writes a blog for http://www.Freeminds.org, one of the largest ex-cult and ex-Witness websites. Scott Terry is an urban farmer, a watercolorist, an installation artist and a successful businessman. He lives in Northern California.

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Review by Gerry Burnie

When it comes to eating and reading, I am a compulsive. I generally decide what I want to eat at the last moment, and I choose what I want to read by a mood that overtakes me at the time. Last week, while I was preparing for this review, I decided I was in a biography mood; someone or something interesting with an off-beat story. Consequently, when I came across Cowboys, Armageddon, and The Truth: How a Gay Child was Saved From Religion by Scott Terry [Lethe Press, October 2012] it filled the bill very nicely.

It is the author’s own story of an adolescence dominated by a shrewish stepmother who took perverse satisfaction in psychologically abusing him, telling him he was unloved and unwanted, and at the same time filling his head with thoughts of Armageddon in his own lifetime. It was also a time when Scott began to notice his attraction to other boys, and the conflict this created in light of his parents’ homophobic beliefs and that of their Jehovah’s Witness religion.

To this point there is little unique about this story: An abused lad at the hands of a dominating mother; a semi-cult religion with a homophobic bent; and a conflicted emerging homosexuality. However, what is refreshing is the positive attitude Terry maintains throughout, and the lessons to be gained from it.

Going back to the story, the situation finally came to a head when Scott’s sister insisted on returning to her biological mother, and the stepmother forbade him to have any contact with her. Fortunately, Scott had other relatives who weren’t caught up in the Jehovah’s Witness religion, and who had genuine compassion for him. Using this support as a base, Scott  gained the strength to accept his sexuality and move on–eventually becoming a rodeo performer.

This is a raw story of bad parenting—which debunks the tired old adage that “mother knows best”—and also the destructive nature of some dogmatic religions. However, it is also an inspirational story of resilience, even at a young age, and the ability to overcome adversity. Five bees.

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Visitors count to Gerry B’s Book Reviews – 38,962

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Notice to all those who have requested a book review

Thank you for your interest, and my apologies for not responding to your request individually. I’m getting there, but the numbers have been overwhelming. Please extend your patience just a bit longer.

Thanks again!

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Stop the Bull: Canadian history made boring…

bullpoohI had reason to go looking for a Canadian web site similar to Legends Of America, an excellent history resource with some real ‘meat’ to it—meaning, it is history made interesting. It also features some Canadian characters who have played a significant role in American history, i.e. Pearl HartBat Masterson, etc., for which there is hardly a mention in Canadian-based histories.
A veritable wasteland

 What I found was a depressing collection of thumbnail sketches, afterthoughts  to American frontier history, a roll call of stodgy Canadian/British statesmen (John A. Macdonald, etc.), and lesson plans so dry you could strike a match on them. More

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If you would like to learn more about any of my books, or to order copies, click on the specific cover below. Two Irish Lads and Nor All Thy Tears are available in both Kindle and Nook formats. Publisher’s price, $4.95.

      

Thanks for dropping by. Just a little bit more than 1,000 visits to go to reach 40,000 visits–20,000 more than last year. Yay!!

 

 

 

 

December 3, 2012 - Posted by | Autobiography, Coming out, Gay non-fiction, Non-fiction

4 Comments »

  1. Jehovah’s Witnesses are unpopular for many reasons, none of which matched the early church except for non-political involvement, which is not exclusive to them at all. They are like carnival hucksters preaching the need to become a Jehovah’s Witness or die at Armageddon.

    They say they promote good family life? Only until you disagree with the leadership in Brooklyn on the slightest of points, and then they completely divide and destroy the family. Then they write hypocritical articles like the new July 2009 Awake! “The Bible’s Viewpoint – Is It Wrong to Change Your Religion?” and make themselves look open-minded and progressive, but practice the most destructive forms of shunning of all religions if you disobey the leadership’s ever-changing doctrines, dates and rules.

    Anyone can be persecuted, which proves nothing if you are a religion invented in the late 1800s by a man who was into pyramidology, numerology, and who stood on the top of a building with a white sheet waiting to be raptured. 130 years later, they are still awaiting a false hope.

    *tell the truth don’t be afraid*-Danny Haszard- FMI dannyhaszard(dot)com
    (cool stuff on JW)

    Comment by Danny Haszard | December 4, 2012 | Reply

    • I have a very jaundiced view of all religions, and particularly the dogmatic variety. Scratch the surface and you will a very nasty critter indeed.

      Gerry B.

      Comment by Gerry B. | December 4, 2012 | Reply

      • I completely agree with Gerry’s take on religion. I came out of my childhood with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, completely disagreeing with any form of religion. In fact, I took an informal survey at an exJW conference once. I asked the participants how many of them had left the JWs and then moved on to another form of religion. Out of 25 people in the room, only 2 raised their hands. That’s significant, I think. Most exJW, especially those of us who are gay, completely abandon religion after getting out of the JWs. And btw, thank you Gerry for a really nice review of my memoir. I appreciate it!!! Scott Terry

        Comment by Scott Terry (@ScottTerryWrite) | December 19, 2012

      • “Cowboys, Armageddon and The Truth” was a great read, Scott, and it said a lot of things that needed to be said. The very nice thing about being a book reviewer is that I get to meet so many talented writers through their works.

        Merry Christmas to you and yours, and a great New Year too.

        Gerry B.
        PS: That goes for all who read this post, as well.

        Comment by Gerry B. | December 19, 2012


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