Some works of fiction just suck you in and keep you turning page after page for hours. It’s rare to find a work of non-fiction, and a biography at that, that does that. Scott Terry’s autobiography, Cowboys, Armageddon, and The Truth: How a Gay Child was Saved From Religion is one such book. Released in February of this year, it’s still doing quite well on all the major book selling sites.
Scott Terry is now an out and proud gay man, a freelance writer and an artist, among other things. He’s come a very long way from some very humble and very abusive beginnings. He lived through a childhood steeped very heavily in emotional abuse, some covert physical abuse (he hung on the edges of starvation and often was cold from lack of proper clothing/covering and shelter) and in the religious dogma of “The Truth” as Jehovah’s Witnesses call their church and their beliefs.
Scott’s mother divorced his father Virgil and then gave up custody of him and his sister (whom he never refers to as anything but Sissy in the book) to his father when he was all of two. His father would go on to remarry a woman (referred to as “Fluffy”) who wanted the man but not the ready made family he came with. Treatment of Scott and Sissy at the hands of Fluffy was poor, to say the least, before the arrival of her own children. After she and his father Virgil had children of their own, life for Scott became all but unbearable.
Scott did not have love, affection, friends, activities (outside of some very limited church activities) or anything else in his life through most of his teenage years. He barely had food, clothing and shelter. He had only his religion to guide him through the tough times. He, because he was raised that way, stood fast in the convictions of his faith. He just knew that his faith would see him through to the promised land on earth after the expected apocalypse. He prayed to Jehovah for salvation from the sin of being gay (which he kept a complete and total secret for many years). He believed completely in the Armageddon prophecy and in all of the teachings of the church that expounded that only Jehovah’s Witnesses had “The Truth”.
3/4 of this book is a look into a childhood fraught with pain built mostly around the abuse of a woman and the indifference of a man who both felt they were acting in the eyes of God as they believed he wanted. The balance of the book is a reflection of Terry’s salvation that came, not in the form of Armageddon, but at the hands of some people that he thought were long lost to him. Even in salvation, life wasn’t easy.
If you can stand the pain of hurting for Terry, and if you have an interest in the inner workings of “The Truth” / the Jehovah’s Witness church, give Cowboys, Armageddon, and The Truth: How a Gay Child was Saved From Religion a try. It’s a page turner of a memoir.
This is available in paperback and for the Kindle.