In Shattered Diana: Downloading Malware, Diana Lee gives a captivating narrative of her chaotic upbringing in an evangelical home in the 1950s.  The book gives the reader an introspective look at how Diana-the-child felt and attempted to cope as she experienced the psychological and physical abuse of her home and the religious fear and shame indoctrination of growing up in evangelicalism.  The book frequently interjects Diana’s narrative—one that creatively blends prose with poetry—with the scoldings Diana so frequently experienced and the religious hymns, still widely sung today, that celebrate obedience and redemption through violent punishment.

—Eric Cernyar, JD

 

Your book will help those who have been saying “what’s wrong with me?” change the question to “what’s wrong with them?”  It could help millions stop the self-blame they were taught and to put it back where it belongs, with the perpetrator!

Thanks, Diana, for telling it like it is.

—Pam Lampe

 

Thanks, Diana, for making us aware.

—Barbee James

 

Evangelical Fundamentalism is like going through life looking in a mirror.  Everything is backwards.

—Paul Weis


Review of Susanna and John Wesley’s Religion and Parenting Style

Wesley worshipped an ancient, revengeful warrior god who demanded total obedience. His god’s goal was to control the universe with spells, sacrifices and gruesome punishments.  He hated women and what he called their weaknesses: compassion, intuitive wisdom, love and creativity — including the ability to give birth. He also feared them because of their understanding and acceptance of the continual changes in nature; and therefore, the need for death. Those who still follow the rules of Wesley’s god raise children who are generally obedient, yet carry the rage and wounds inflicted by the followers of this blood-thirsty god. Any wonder our earth and its creatures are in such distress.

Rev. Sylvia Falconer
Unitarian Universalist Minister


A Neuroscientist’s Response to Susanna Wesley’s Child Rearing Letter to John [1732]

Experimental neuroscience work shows that experience shapes behavioral adaptations by reorganizing neuronal maps/circuits in the brain. The emotional circuits in the brain are organized along a continual structural/functional axis; bonding, love, safety, appetitive circuits exist at one end of this physical axis, and fear, anxiety, fight and flight are at the other end of this axis. It is also known that the neuronal circuits that “fire together wire together”. Simply put, the circuits that are used/“fed” are the circuits that are built up and thus shape the particular behavioral adaptation.

This would suggest that an environment of “beatings” and “breaking” the soul would “feed” the fear, anxiety, and aggressive type behavioral adaptations and develop these respective neuronal circuits; by contrast, shaping the soul in the context of love, bonding, empathy, compassion, etc. would “feed” the circuits of the other end the emotional circuits and promote the accompanying adaptive behaviors.

Howard Nornes, PhD
Professor​ Emeritus,  Anatomy and Neurobiology Department
Colorado State University
College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences