04/23/2013 01:26 pm ET

The Common Experiences Of Women Who Leave Extreme Religions


When Cami Ostman and Susan Tive met in a Seattle memoir-writing class, the two women found themselves bonding over their experiences in fundamentalist religious groups. Ostman had spent over 20 years in charismatic Christian organizations, while Tive had converted to Orthodox Judaism in order to salvage a sinking marriage. Both had already left their faith communities and moved on with their lives by the time they enrolled in the class. "How to live in the secular world, with all of its paradoxes drew us together," says Ostman. "For both of us it wasn't just one moment in which we decided to leave, but lots of moments along the way."

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