The Ungodly - Escaping a religion I didn’t believe in

Paula Keessen

Category: Biographies

€ 18,45
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When I was eighteen, I left my parental home. Taking only two plastic bags of clothes, I faced an uncertain future. I left realising that no one I knew would ever speak to me again, including my parents, my sisters and my brother. Now, twenty-five years later, I’m still often asked what it’s like to live as a Jehovah’s Witness. In this book I give a detailed look inside that life and reveal the impact of excommunication. I share my struggle, my grief, my anger and my attempts to build a new life. I had to learn to live without rules ...

Acclaim for The River of Blue:

"Very recognisable poems. Clear and meaningful. It reads easily and the poems are concise"​

"Amazing how the writer expresses very personal experiences and makes them recognisable for everyone, or at least understandable to the reader, even if he has completely different experiences."

From the book

One of the prohibitions that has sparked controversy is the Jehovah's Witnesses' taboo on blood transfusions. The Bible states that one should not ingest blood, and Jehovah’s Witnesses believe this includes transfusions. Obviously there is outrage when someone from the community becomes gravely ill but refuses a transfusion – even if it means he or she will die. Even more outrageous are the situations where parents refuse transfusions for their children.

We were all supposed to carry a card stating we ‘deny blood transfusions'. This was necessary in case you couldn’t respond to medical personnel. I carried that little card around long after I left the community. I guess I’d become used to it, and it took many years before I actively started thinking about what it meant. Finally, I decided to throw it away.

About the author

Paula Keessen (1976) released a 2013 poetry collection called The River of Blue. She sees writing as a fight. A fight against the volatility of everyday life. A fight against the fragility of our memory. A fight against the brevity of our existence. She lives a life of simplicity which must be preserved; so she writes, to remember and to be remembered.


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Product information


The Ungodly - Escaping a religion I didn’t believe in


Paula Keessen



Number of pages:





Paperback 12,5 cm x 20 cm

Release date:



978-94-638-9200-1 / 9789463892001


€ 18,45