A few months back, I decided to launch "Apostate Monthly," a magazine designed for those who have come out of cults and other high-control, abusive religions. Offering the electronic, online edition was simple enough, but my colleagues and I soon discovered that you cannot print a physical copy of full-color, glossy magazine for cheap. (The most affordable print-on-demand company I could find quoted about $20 per issue for printing and shipping in the U.S., with even higher costs for Canada and Australia.) As we are just launching the magazine, we have no real advertisers to help offset those printing costs.
We then got the idea that we could offer a physical copy of Apostate Monthly at a Patreon page, as a reward for certain patrons, and any additional funds brought in would help offset increasing costs for activism.
These current costs include:
- Packets of information and press releases about Jehovah's Witnesses sent to journalists.
- Tri-fold brochures that summarize the issue of child sex abuse and Jehovah's Witnesses. These brochures were distributed during a conference hosted by Reveal News in London in 2017, and have been freely provided to others who have given presentations to lawyers, volunteer groups, and lawmakers.
- Printing and mailing the 188-page "Jehovah's Witnesses and Child Sex Abuse - a Brief Handbook for Attorneys and Other Legal Professionals" to attorneys, to assist them in litigating against Jehovah's Witnesses for cases of child sex abuse.
There are also costs for maintaining the URLs for Exodus, JWvictims, and the website for the Watchtower Victims Memorial Day.
Future activism, which will involve other activists worldwide and which will add to these costs, include:
- Free or at-cost webinars for attorneys and journalists who would like to know more about the hurtful practices and policies of Jehovah's Witnesses
- Free or at-cost webinars or seminars for ex-cult members
- Printing flyers and anti-cult information packets to be distributed at booths set up at various events and locations (i.e., universities, public fairs)
- Cost of booth rental for such events
- Printing packets of material to be sent to TV and movie producers, to get interest in a professional documentary or docu-drama about Jehovah's Witnesses
- Printing materials for our annual Watchtower Victims Memorial Day (flyers, cards, signs, banners) for worldwide use, and to send to media
Along with costs, my personal time spent in activism is also increasing. Currently, in addition to maintaining the site JWvictims.org and its corresponding YouTube channel, I also:
- Maintain the website and Facebook page for the Watchtower Victims Memorial Day
- Update the attorney handbook mentioned above
- Personally contact attorneys to see if they would be interested in receiving the handbook
- Compose information to be sent to journalists, producers, and lawyers
- Compose flyers and handouts used for activism
- Publish Apostate Monthly
Coordinating all the above future goals and endeavors with other activists, and covering their work through my website and social media, also takes many hours every week.
It's also been suggested that the website and YouTube channel for JWvictims.org expand to include surveys and interviews, as outlets for victims to express themselves, but those updates are very time-consuming.
Participants have also discussed having a ribbon of some sort designed for the Watchtower Victims Memorial Day, and having the cards on the website for the day translated into other languages. If I can't do this myself or find volunteers to assist (so far, no luck), I would need to pay a designer and translators to get this done.
I personally am also helping first-time writer Rachel Goren complete an anti-cult fiction novel, "It Was Cold In The Backseat Of His Car," and am working on my own self-help book, which we all know will blow chunks.
This work, along with talking to journalists, attorneys, cult victims, and others, is done in addition to my own freelance writing work, which pays the bills. It's gotten slightly unmanageable, however, especially now as Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientology, and many splinter cults are getting more media coverage and attention from clergy abuse lawyers, and we need to "strike while the iron is hot." What started out as a few hours every week composing blog posts has now turned into a 50-hour per week mission, which cuts into my freelance writing, right when it's getting more expensive for me to keep up with these activism projects.
Trust me when I say that no one will be funding a vacation for me; I live in Florida so I don't need money to visit the beach. While anything you contribute is deeply, deeply appreciated, please understand that patronage helps with costs but not incentive; I will always be an activist against cults and Jehovah's Witnesses in particular, and will always speak up and speak out for victims, and will do whatever is necessary to meet those costs. Your generous donations keep me from having to take on extra freelance writing to meet all those goals.
Also, if I can get enough subscribers and advertisers to the magazine, ad revenue from my sites, and products on the CafePress stores for ApostateMonthly and JWvictims, this page will go away.
So that's it. Anyone who has read this far, you deserve a medal, but I really wanted to assure everyone that every dollar goes to effective, proactive activism that can get more legal cases filed and more media attention on cult victims and their stories, and that will help those victims move forward in a happy and healthy way. Thank you to anyone who decides to donate any amount, it's deeply appreciated!