photo by Bethany Leger

In 2017, Bethany left the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the religion of her upbringing, only to discover she had been part of a cult for 30 years. As a result of questioning authority and pursuing her freedom, she is shunned by her devout family.

In 2018, her YouTube channel Stop the Shunning had 15k subscribers. In 2020, she closed the channel to decompress and focus on the next chapter of her life. She is the author of Physically In, Mentally Out: Navigating Your Exit from Watchtower (2020), which explores the insular world of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, specifically their policy of shunning former members, and how secret non-believing members can strategize their exit. 

Drawing on her experience as a cult survivor and activist, Bethany continues to help readers navigate their own periods of transition. She is currently working on her next book, Burning Down the House: How to Overcome Family Expectations and Build a New Life (release date TBD). What happens when the beliefs and values we form as adults conflict with those of our upbringing? How do we navigate our differences with our family of origin, when it’s clear that mutual respect and compromise are not possible? Burning Down the House explores the themes of toxic family dynamics, setting boundaries, and living a life that’s personally resonant despite the consequences.

Bethany is a Certified Life Coach and has an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Arizona State University. In addition to writing, she also works as a Certified Personal Trainer. She lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with her husband, Jon.