Deconversion stories from The Skeptical Review

Amy Smith

An Expression of Gratitude...

I wish to inform you of my feelings of gratitude for your free publication of TSR. I am still uninformed of the source who submitted my name to you. However, I suspect it was someone who wished me to have relief from my state of confusion.

I am in prison and have been for the past six years, and I was raised in a devout Christian family. I was afraid to express my disbelief and the utter conflict of ideas on what life is all about. When I first received your paper, earlier this year, it was in a way like touching a hot potato. I scanned its contents, and the brainwashing in me made me put it down. I did not throw it away, but I wouldn't allow myself to really read them until my third issue. Yes, it took six months for me to let myself even read about my own doubts and secret ideas and opinions of what I have so long been forced to believe. I really don't feel I ever truly believed. Sure, there must have been a creator of some origin, but why all the myths? Greek myths are as believable to me, and they too make little sense. The good old phrases "read your Bible" and "put it in God's hands" are so often recited in prisons--and all over, I am sure. Total cop-outs! What a way to be! I've found I get much better results and solutions by doing something actively, not just by "praying" my fate will change.

I hope you will print my letter, because I have no access to e-mail or a web site. Actually, after six years in this place, when I am released by December of 1998, I will have to discover what they are. Anyway, if you do choose to print my letter, please print my full address, and perhaps I will receive some open-minded correspondence. I have written a few people who have expressed opinions and viewpoints that I am very impressed and inspired by. However, none have answered me as of yet.

I intend to start my new life of freedom, after paying my debt to society, a reborn, free person, less burdened by doubt and brainwash, a totally free woman of the world! My liberation from all the religious propaganda is so refreshingly honest to me and is a new lease on life. I am actually experiencing a personal freedom within these walls. Praise progress!

Thank you again for all the wonderful work put into TSR and its printed wisdom and food for thought. I promise you when I am able to pay for my subscription upon release (Texas prisoners are not paid), I will make up the cost of your generosity of the free subscription I now receive. Please keep me on your mailing list. TSR has opened many doors to my now open mind.

My subscription expires 1-98. Please renew!

EDITOR'S NOTE: I can't remember who asked me to send TSR to Ms. Smith. There are about 60 prison inmates on the subscription list, and almost all of these came directly from the inmates. I do remember receiving the request to add Ms. Smith to the list, but I don't recall who sent it.

As for continuing her subscription, I send TSR free to all inmates who are unable to pay the subscription cost. Therefore, she will continue to receive it. I thank her for taking the time to notify me that it is appreciated.

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