Este libro va a ser muy difícil de reseñar. Sin duda hay que empezar por decir que todo lo que ha logrado Faith Jones después de haber crecido como parte del culto Children of God, sin una educación formal, víctima de un gaslight tremendo, sin un sistema de apoyo tradicional y, obvio, tras la normalización del abuso, es increíble y que ella es una mujer digna de admiración. Sin embargo, al tener un título como Sex Cult Nun, este libro hace hace pensar al lector que va a encontrar una visión crítica, quizá hasta un poco "sassy" de lo que fue crecer en un culto. No es lo que hay aquí, ésta es básicamente una autobiografía de Jones. Los primeros capítulos narran su infancia y en ellos adopta una voz casi infantil para contar su vida en Macao, extrañamente sentí que este narrador infantilizado siguió siendo igual durante todo el libro. En ningún momento sentí que hubiera una exploración del culto tal cual y solamente el capítulo final ofrece una mirada crítica al abuso desde la perspectiva legal de Jones. Creo que esto se debe a que al haber nacido dentro de este culto, Jones nos está mostrando cómo todas estas cosas estaban normalizadas para ella y no las cuestionó hasta muchos años después, pero entonces hubiera preferido un título más referente a sus memorias o autobiografía, que el título tan flashy que le pusieron. Buena estrategia de marketing, supongo.
TW: abuso sexual, abuso infantil.
nic55's review against another edition
First of all, it was fascinating to get the perspective of someone who was born into a cult, effectively being indoctrinated her whole life. While Faith recounts how she viewed the teachings and practices of "The Family", I was able to both see the foundation of manipulation, gaslighting, and abuse and also understand how her young mind had to make sense of these teachings. It was also so interesting to see how a patriarchal cult like this will ultimately harm women and children the most, even without the usual aspects of purity culture. Doesn't matter if sex is a sin or if sex is a divine gift, the power imbalance will always cause harm to the most vulnerable.
I also really appreciated how Faith showed the non-linear pathway her healing journey went on. Even as she was questioning or denouncing beliefs, she still had trouble asserting herself, still struggled with her relationships with men, among other things. Her path was very nuanced and vulnerable, and I'm grateful that she felt strong enough to share that.
So, my issues. Though I kinda knew the content of this book going into it, I was still caught off guard by the sheer amount of child abuse/SA that would be explicitly discussed. That's not the books fault, but Faith describing these instances in such a nonchalant way affected my reading experience. Without the emotional weight behind the words, it just made me feel so uneasy to hear about these violations listed out like they were nothing. I guess it fits the idea that she viewed it as normal at the time, but idk...it really made it hard for me to want to pick up this book.
There is a moment in here where Faith is really fatphobic towards a man in her cult with drastic experiences (
Spoilerhe develops anorexia and substance use issues
Even with my issues, it feels weird to take a star off of someone's memoir, which is why I'm glad I don't rate nonfiction. Faith is incredibly brave for combating years of indoctrination and conditioning, and I'm grateful that she was able to take charge of her life
Graphic: Pedophilia, Sexual content, and Sexual assault
Moderate: Animal death
I hesitated to pick this book up because the reviews are a tad mixed. Many reviews say the content was dry, but I found faith's voice to be the opposite. She was warm, charming, and spoke so much wonder about the world while recounting her youth. The story is told through her eyes through various stages of her long, challenging life as a member of 'The Family'- a Christian sex cult. The book is part expose and part coming-of-age story. I love that Faith tells her story without judgment and full of empathy. She talks about all of the wonderful and positive childhood experiences she had, along with those in The family who were genuinely good to her. Fellow victims. She also isn't shy about speaking up as the story goes on, condemning her childhood abusers.
Faith's life isn't just about being in a cult. She also traveled the world as a child/young woman. She lived like locals do. She speaks multiple languages and has had experiences most people couldn't even dream of. Often, Sex Cult Nun was 'stranger than fiction'- but rarely it was the Cult elements that made it so fantastic. So much of who Faith is was carefully crafted in the adventures- and sometimes deep horrors of her family.
I could not put this story down. When I wasn't listening on audiobook, I was reading it deep into the night. If you loved stories like Educated and don't mind some triggering content, you will LOVE this book. I highly recommend it on audiobook as well. The reader is warm and charming and conveys emotion so well.
I enjoyed hearing about her childhood, but I wish we'd gotten more of an overview of the cult. She had basically one chapter on the history and then everything we learned was through her childhood eyes. I wish she'd expanded on the broader view a little more.
It also kind of lost me toward the end. I believe she is a motivational speaker now, in addition to other careers, and the end of the book kind of turned into her selling her ideas on how to empower yourself. I'm sure it's fine if you like that kind of thing, it just wasn't for me.
I dunno. This book was fine. If you're interested in learning what it's like to grow up in a cult, this is a really fantastic book. There wasn't anything wrong with it, but I didn't really love it either.
Religion and faith and all of that freaks me out. Along with the state of the county and those crazy super Christians who are trying to bring the country to Jesus in the most frightening way possible… and watching Under the Banner of Heaven (so good btw!!! I have to read the book!!!), I have been reading a lot about culty religious groups and I don’t know what my morbid fascination is, but it’s full fucking tilt at the moment.
So, reading Sex Cult Nun: Breaking Away from the Children of God, a Wild, Radical Religious Cult from @iamfaithjones was a no brainer and my next step in reading all of the scariest kinds of culty religious books.
This book is for real! And it’s terrifying. The pain and the horror… just wow! Faith Jones left this religious cult over 20 years ago and is telling her story now, with bravery and a sense of liberation through the healing process.
In no way was this book an easy read!
***There are some major MAJOR trigger warnings though!
GRAPHIC: Child sexual abuse, rape, sexual assault, incest, suicidal ideation, murder, isolation, gaslighting, manipulation, abuse, trauma in the name of religion.***