I Fired God

My Life Inside---and Escape From---the Secret World of the Independent Fundamental Baptist Cult

Jocelyn Zichterman

St. Martin's Press

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A compelling memoir and account of the Independent Fundamental Baptist church and its shocking history of religious abuse.

Jocelyn Zichterman was born, raised, married into, and finally, with her family, fled the Independent Fundamental Baptist church. Founded by the fiery preacher Bob Jones, with several hundred thousand members, IFB congregants are told they must not associate with members of other Baptist denominations and evangelicals, with an emphasis on secrecy, insular marriages within the church, a subservience for women, and unusual child raising practices.

In I Fired God, Jocelyn Zichterman systematically details the IFB's disturbing history, exposing a cult-like atmosphere of corruption, greed, and abuse. Having been initiated into its innermost circles, Zichterman knows that the gentle demeanor America sees in the form of the Duggar clan on 19 Kids and Counting disguises the truth about the darker side of the church.

With written documentation and sources so thorough that law enforcement has used her work as a foundation for criminal prosecutions, Zichterman exposes the IFB with revelations including:

  • The disturbing world of abuse within the IFB and doctors and teachers who cater exclusively to church members and fail to report physical and sexual abuse
  • The IFB-controlled Bob Jones University, which issues degrees of questionable value while making vast sums of money for its founders
  • The way the IFB influences politics on the local, state, and national level, and protects its abusive culture under the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion

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Book Excerpts

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1
 

IS THE DEVIL BEHIND US OR UP AHEAD?
My job [as pastor] is to execute wrath upon those who disobey.… Those of you who want to do right, we get along just fine. Those of you who don’t want to do right usually have a run-in with me. You know why? Because I’m ordained by God to stand in this position.
—Bart Janz, sermon, “God and Government II,” Holly Ridge Baptist Church, 2006
Escaping the Cult: August 1, 2006
I looked down at my hand and realized I was trembling. Terror. That’s the only word to describe what I felt.

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Reviews

Praise for I Fired God

“An incendiary piece of work.” —Kirkus Review


“Zichterman’s compelling and moving book will appeal to readers of memoir.” —Library Journal


“This is one edgy, thought-provoking odyssey—from oppressed child to ultimate whistle-blower.” —Booklist


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About the Author

Jocelyn Zichterman

JOCELYN ZICHTERMAN is an abuse advocate and whistleblower fighting against the IFB Church. Zichterman was a critical source and interview for the ABC News 20/20 investigative hour Shattered Faith as well as the "Ungodly Discipline" series featured on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360. She has also been a source for The New York Times and The Huffington Post, among many other publications. Jocelyn lives with her husband and eight children.

Jocelyn Zichterman

© Josiah Zichterman
Jocelyn Zichterman

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Available Formats and Book Details

I Fired God
My Life Inside---and Escape From---the Secret World of the Independent Fundamental Baptist Cult
Jocelyn Zichterman

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
May 2013
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781250026330
ISBN10: 1250026334
288 pages
$12.99

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
May 2013
Hardcover
ISBN: 9781250026262
ISBN10: 1250026261
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 304 pages, Plus one 16-page color photograph insert
$25.99
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St. Martin's Press

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