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Rehab - from religion

There are pitifully few resources available for people who want professional help "getting over" religion, or even discussing their doubts with dispassionate people who will not try every trick in the book to keep them in the fold.

The redoubtable Maryam Namazie sponsors the Council of ex-Muslims, while I found the website of a California therapist helping people recover from religious fundamentalism. If anyone knows of other examples, let's hear about them.

Talking to ex-theists, and reading some of their letters and postings on sites such as this one, I have little doubt that people who want to leave "the fold" could use a support network to help them do so, or at least help them make up their minds in a professional, non-pressurised manner and environment. And they may need some continuing support having decided to do so: often they are walking away from an entire community and emotional support network of people who (sad gits that they are) will henceforth demonise them.

The support should not be about "converting" people to atheism, and should involve the highest professional and ethical standards, employing trained counsellors. In short, everything that most religions fall miles short of! If the best advice for a particular individual is that they are not ready to leave their faith, that's the advice they should be given.

The fact is there is very little out there. And filling the gap would be expensive. And it would probably be a while before anyone was allowed to operate in this way in several countries.

So - is there a need? And if so, how do we take the first baby steps? And secure some long-term funding? Tap up some celebrity atheists maybe?

Personally I feel strongly enough to make a new career out of it: I retired earlier this year and have time to give.



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