Off the Hook

Escaping Toxic Ideology

by Earl Wayne Heflinger


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Softcover
$28.95
Hardcover
$51.95
Softcover
$28.95

Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 3/14/2018

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 328
ISBN : 9781504399913
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 328
ISBN : 9781504399937

About the Book

The author uses his own personal story—of being born into a Christian fundamentalist family with extreme beliefs—to paint a vivid picture of what life is like in toxic ideologies such as fundamentalist religion. The book has three parts. The first describes the spiritual abuse of his childhood due to stifling rules and restrictions inflicted by his parents, caught up in their church’s teachings, on his thought processes and behavior. The remarkably poignant stories show in painful detail how his self-esteem was crushed, how he was never intended to think for himself, and how he was made to feel different and totally out of place in the world—all by “loving” but misguided parents. During his school days, his social life was severely stunted because he felt like an outsider everywhere but in church. The second part discusses his lifelong struggle with spiritual healing and his transition from a spoon-fed belief system to a personally chosen worldview. He thoughtfully muses about all the significant elements of religious/spiritual belief systems—God, Jesus, the Bible, sin, morality, science, life after death, marriage, divorce, and others—and contrasts his evolving beliefs with those of organized religion. This is presented to give the reader a comprehensive illustration of how one particular seeker has constructed a personalized belief system through continual rethinking and updated understanding. The third part calls on the author’s advanced education and professional experience in business and government in analyzing and developing systems and procedures. It describes—with a wealth of tips and checklists—the process by which he escaped a toxic ideology and came to feel intellectually free and “off the hook.” It ends with heartfelt encouragement for anyone similarly affected by repression to accept all available helpful resources and muster the determination to claim their personal power.


About the Author

Earl Wayne Heflinger, M.S., M.A., is a semi-retired information technology professional, an experienced wedding minister, an accomplished artist in acrylics, and a philosopher by nature. He and his wife Linda are both ministers, credentialed by the Universal Life Church, since 1991. They have performed more than 2,500 weddings, commitment ceremonies, vow renewal ceremonies, property blessings, and memorial services. Their ceremonies, which are self-developed—influenced by sources from a variety of spiritual disciplines and their own life experiences—are meaningful and spiritual, but not specifically religious. They own and operate The White Rose Chapel in Colorado Springs. Earl is a father and grandfather. He and Linda collectively have five grown children and ten grandchildren. They live, along with their two dogs and several foster parrots, in Colorado.