Reviews

To Heaven Through Hell

A Book About Challenging and Changing Destructive Religious Beliefs

To Heaven Through Hell

 REVIEWS

 From a fellow author

Sue Wilson, brilliantly displays her experiences as the wife of a Christian minister and missionary to Africa, and the turmoil of living in a destructive religion.  To Heaven Through Hell is the best title to describe her book; it sums up in a nutshell the ENTIRE story of her book!  Because truly the woman has been through hell for making the terrible God- forbidden mistake of asking questions.  One of her primary questions that sent her life on hells roller coaster was how could it be possible that only people in her denomination (one of many fundamental protestant groups) can make it to heaven, while all of the majority of the human race would be doomed to hell?  Her experience with Catholic nuns who cared for her during her crisis and fear of birthing her first child alone in Africa (with only her husband…no family) caused this buried question to surface.  The nuns were so loving and caring that she had to ask why God would condemn them to hell?  This type of questioning eventually caused Sue to be perceived as a threat and she was labeled an atheist, a heretic, mentally ill, and even the Anti-Christ by some of the people in her church.  And what’s worse is yet to come!!!  READ ABOUT HER CHILDHOOD, CHURCH, MARRIAGE, CANCER, AND LIFE!!!  I have never known so much pain and heartache; this book reads more like a novel and is very much worth the read.  You will cry and laugh with Sue on her roller coaster ride and if you’ve ever been in a church, you will see yourself in some of her life experiences.  But what is great in it all is her conclusions on what brings heaven from all this hell.  SUE LEARNED A GREAT LESSON which we can all benefit from.  I highly recommend that people buy her book, and seriously…I mean very seriously…consider her primary conclusions on life.  Which is that we human beings are all one, and that God has a very special place for all of us to return to be ONE WITH HIM  NO MATTER WHAT!!!  She learns this from actual paranormal experiences that take place at her most crucial points of need while she is wide awake.  Read and find out how Sue knows without a doubt that we all go to be with God!  THE HUMAN RACE WILL BE BETTER FOR IT!!!

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 From a Business Woman

Thank you for being brave enough to publish this book. I have always had questions concerning the Bible. I do believe in reincarnation and psychic experiences. I thought I was alone. Thanks again.

From an Educator

To Heaven Through Hell unfolds one human being’s fascinating roller coaster ride through life. It helped me step back from my world and think about choices I can make. The idea of an unconditionally loving God, problem solving strategies, and a wide range of related books cited, make this multifaceted book one I will reread and use as a reference for years to come. Although I have not had any paranormal experiences as described in the book, I will do as the author suggests: use the parts that apply to my life and leave the rest.

From a retired Holistic Consultant

Sue Wilson’s thorough analysis of the major elements in her own spiritual awakening may be controversial for many. However, I find it very interesting that over the last 25 years, MOST of the clients I’ve worked with who were serious spiritual seekers, have come to the same basic conclusions: the soul continues to exist with purpose and meaning beyond our physical lifetime, and organized religion was created and is still used to maintain power over individuals through fear of punishment in this life or the next if we don’t follow the teachings of religious leaders.

The methods that Wilson shares with the readers for organizing thoughts, actions and emotions to deal with the dependency created by institutions and power hungry individuals are valid and among the things that any competent professional counselor would urge their clients to follow. Ms. Wilson does not take for granted, as many counselors do, that her readers know where “square one” is. She helps the reader take the first steps to self awareness and independence, then shows not only the pitfalls that might be ahead, from her own experiences, but also the rewards that come from determination and persistence. Over all, a very important book for many people who know their life is not going well for them because religion does not meet all their needs in the real world.

Buy and read this book, then follow up on the excellent bibliography she has compiled, especially the one or two books she mentions most frequently. Whether you are a seeker for personal reasons, or a mental health professional who genuinely seeks to help others improve their lives, much of the insights and information you can use is in To Heaven Through Hell .

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From a recovering codependent housewife

This book is heaven-sent!!!! A highly readable combination autobiography and self-help book, it has the potential to change lives, or at least some of the harmful attitudes and tendencies so many of us have. For anyone seeking answers to an array of important issues such as codependency, religious differences, and personal growth in relationships on many levels, this is an extremely rewarding tool. A great gift to yourself or those you love who are searching for answers!

From a pharmacist

As a pharmacist involved in the medical profession for the past 35 years, I have witnessed addiction in many different forms. Addiction to fear is no different from the other addictions. Withdrawal from addiction is not easy, but it can be done. Everyone who is trapped in a religious lifestyle because of fear of going to Hell when they die should read this book. I rejected religion because I felt it had been a miserable failure in today’s modern society, but I still wondered if I was doomed to Hell because of this rejection. Reading To Heaven Through Hell made me realize how futile and addictive this has become. Why are we taught that Hell is inevitable if we do not believe every word the so-called religious leaders preach? Because fear is the only thing they have to keep them in power. This book showed me that addiction to the fear of Hell can be broken and life can go on in a more relaxed and productive manner than I thought could ever exist!

From an engineer

A while back I heard your interview on a small radio station in Jackson, TN in the late evening and I was the last caller.  I completely agree with you.  I read your book, loved it, and sent your name to Art Bell, the host of Coast to Coast AM heard on over 500 radio stations.  I know he gets a lot of e-mail so I hope he will see mine.  If he does, I know he will be contacting you and sales of your book will sky-rocket.  He is on vacation now and will be back on July 2.

Anyway, he is always looking for guests that will spark controversy and thought provoking ideas similar to yours…especially concerning religion as he feels much the way you and I do.  If I don’t see your name in his upcoming guests list I will keep sending him an e-mail until he does contact you which I know he will, if and when, he reads the e-mail.  People who think like you and I concerning religion must be heard.  I know there is a God, I just don’t think it’s the same God I was taught in Catholic School.  Like I said to you on the radio, “I want to see what’s on the cutting room floor when they edited the Bible.”  Good Luck.

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From a computer programmer 

I am ex-C of C/CC,  an ex-seminarian (missions) and have just found your book and am so grateful to have found it. I’m about 50 pages into it and was feeling pretty alone until I found that there is at least one other person who has admitted surviving a thought control group like the C of C, and who has struggled with life during and after being associated with them.

I was brought up under the same kinds of people who prey upon the vulnerable under the mantle of christianity, as you describe, and am dealing with the painful day-to-day slog of trying to regain my life, meaning, self-worth and a higher power that deserves my trust along the way.

For me, my life was so wrapped up in trying to please and living up to the unrealistic and unreachable goals set by the church and, even more so, by the people at seminary, that I lost myself and my life’s meaning. It’s painful to think that I was a part of the missions program, ready to be a “Company man for Christ” and continue to spread abusive thinking and behavior to others.

I am a person who came out of hard circumstances in early life and was, as you quote Dr’s Whitfield and Maslow, operating on the level of the need for safety. During those years I had many boundaries invaded by people who feel that they are justified in doing so or who are asleep to their own problems and are acting out.

The higher power (I don’t use the “G” word anymore) was presented as a mixed up uber-monster that gives mixed messages: “Sent his only begotten son…”, “Doesn’t wish any to perish” but then says “brings a sword,” “remove your association from others,” and in both the OT and NT directs others to do killing under his direction, especially if they don’t “live up.” Well, I’ve discovered that one can never “live up” to that kind of standard. It appears that you came to the same conclusion.

So, for me, the higher power matter is a real and present struggle, and it is a real and present danger –not a benevolent being but, as presented in Christianity, is, in reality, a consolidation of all of the abusers in my life.

Regaining meaning and self-worth after having been in a group that enforces isolationism and scrupulous control (since they are Restorationists) is hard. Integrating myself into life is both frightening and painful — I lost a lot of early years of healthy socialization to the group. The associated fear, shame, guilt feelings, anger, loss and grief that come up are painful, but I’m reminded that they are good, because it means that there is movement toward health. I’m also discovering that there are no hard and fast answers or fixes. Only time and hard work.

Your story so far has been compelling to me because it means that I’m not alone. There is at least one other person who has been dealing with the painful thinking and feelings associated with living with thought control groups. It gives me hope that there is at least one other person who is not in denial, who calls problems what they are, and who is on the path to recovering herself along the way.

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