Joy and Sorrow: The life story of an Exclusive Brethren survivor by Joy Nason

Joy and Sorrow is the true story of a young woman who escapes from a religious cult in Australia in the 1970s. She subsequently does her best to build a life for herself, knowing she will never have contact with her family again.

In her memoir Joy and Sorrow, Joy Nason takes us into her world of humble working class origins. Born in the UK during WW2 into a fundamentalist Christian cult of the Exclusive Brethren, (EB) her family migrated as economic refugees to Australia in the 1950s.

Joy was one of eight children brought up in the strict world of EB until her early 20s when she made the courageous decision to flee the restrictions and demands of the church. The decision was not easy as she left home knowing that she would be cut off from contact with her parents and other family members from that moment on.

Yet her story is full of surprising optimism in the face of terrible odds – starting from scratch, Joy had to learn live alone 'in the world' with no family support. Even though she was finally away from the Brethren faith, her fear of their retribution kept her awake at nights with nightmares for many years.

And so, Joy slowly but surely made her way in the world, with work stints with kind employers who encouraged her to gain skills, to friends who helped her with socialising, travel and new-found enjoyment of life. Through many jobs and disappointing liaisons that didn't last, to finally becoming a mother of a baby boy, Joy picks herself up after each failure and faces the world with determination and a positive attitude.

Overcoming her trepidation, Joy entered the world of higher education that denied her by her sect and attains teaching degrees, first at TAFE and then at university level preparing her to become Senior Head Teacher of Administration Studies at Ultimo TAFE, all the while juggling the upbringing of her young son.

Having absented herself from any contact with the EB sect for many years, Joy finally determines to “come out” to join the human rights protests being made by investigative journalists, documentaries and other exiled EB members telling their story. In doing so, Joy finds the support of a great many others who have each suffered as she did and together, they create a network to reach out to those who need it.

Joy made the decision to go public with her life and experiences with the EB, not only to give inspiration to young innocents who may be trapped in similar situations but to add to Media exposure of the hypocrisy of the EB in the new public persona they have devised in order to maintain their Charitable status and keep their tax-free millions.

About Joy Nason

Joy Nason was raised in the fundamentalist Christian cult, Exclusive Brethren (EB) before choosing to leave in her early 20s. She made the decision to go public with her life and experiences with the EB to give inspiration to young innocents who may be trapped in similar situations. Joy was a TAFE Lecturer/Project Manager for 30 years. This is her first book.

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