Friday, November 20, 2015

Deception In The Pews

Exposing the Hidden Dangers That Lurk Within Religions

New Book Examines Rarely Acknowledged Psychological, Sexual,
Emotional and Other Forms of Abuse by Faith Leaders and Institutions across religions

(CHICAGO, IL – November 16, 2015)  A stark new book released by One Pen, Inc. reveals for the first time how rarely documented incidences of abuse and betrayal afflicting churchgoers, and permeating houses of worship worldwide are seemingly more common than ever before, and are increasingly the norm regardless of specific denomination.

Deception In the Pews: Exposing the Hidden Dangers That Lurk Within Religions ($14.99 ©2015, One Pen, Inc., Chicago, IL) intricately examines how some religious institutions today—and many of those anointed to lead them—suffer from classic symptoms of dysfunction, and employ deceptive practices, false doctrine and more to achieve often dubious outcomes. Compiled and written by co-authors Erik Campano, Isabel Esteviz, Sheila Taylor-Downer and Robyn Williams, literary collaborators, based on their own experience inside various American and International religious institutions. The compelling tome discusses in-depth how the manipulation of believers, ranging from sexual abuse, to psychological, financial and other forms, threatens to tarnish and destroy not only trusted, longstanding religious institutions, but ultimately even the faith of the faithful.

Featuring a series of extensive, riveting first-person victims’ testimonies, each followed by thoughtful insights, counsel and healing techniques and solutions, Deception In the Pews: Exposing the Hidden Dangers That Lurk Within Religions takes a cautious but thorough look into the desperate world of peril and despair that far too many churchgoers woefully encounter when seeking spiritual fulfillment, salvation, camaraderie and fellowship.

This book includes a diverse range of stories depicting spiritual abuse congregants endured at the hands of their leaders.  
  • Rabbi arrested for voyeurism after secretly recording female congregants while they were naked in the Mikvah
  • A pastor in Texas was caught breaking into a parishioner’s home on Christmas Eve.
  • A former Hindu Temple priest was sentenced to over 27 years in prison on felony counts including bank fraud, tax fraud and obstruction.
  • Muslim Imam used deception to lure a young girl to his private quarters and sexually abused her.
  • Collectively, congregants lost one million dollars in a Ponzi scheme spearheaded by their spiritual leader.

The book is careful not to overtly condemn alleged perpetrators nor to coddle victims, yet it compassionately acknowledges the vulnerability and confusion of both, and after each narrative asks the hard questions of why leaders sometimes fail to lead, and why the wounded so often are not believed and ritually end up being victimized twice.

Deception In the Pews: Exposing the Hidden Dangers That Lurk Within Religions is a book that promises to captivate, to confront, to empower and to touch a nerve among the lifelong faithful and church congregations and leaders alike, challenging all to take responsibility for their actions or lack of same and to take tangible, measured steps to heal.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Deception In the Pews: Exposing the Hidden Dangers That Lurk Within Religions is available at and at  The co-authors are available for media interviews. Reach them at

For information contact: Isabel Esteviz, Sheila Downer or Robyn Williams at:
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