Book Reviews

“In this roller coaster ride of a book, J. Michael Wittman artfully and passionately details his indoctrination, control and manipulation at the hands of an abusive pastor and cultic church system. This is a ‘must read’ if you or a loved one has ever found yourself in a similar situation.  Pigs in the Pulpit is not a dark tale, but a rather a victorious story of healing, redemption and a return to an intimate relationship with a loving God. I know you will benefit and be blessed from its reading.”

Eric Scheibeler

Author, Merchants of Deception

“…As I’ve said in previous posts, spiritual abuse is a subject that has been swept under the rug by the institutional church.  No one wants to talk about it. Well, J. Michael Wittman is talking about it and I admire his candor.…The author clearly describes the struggle he and his family went through before they finally were able to break free. Even after leaving, however, the road to healing and normalcy is often long and difficult.  In my opinion, the last chapter of the book is one of the best. In it, the author gives ten suggestions that will aid in the transition to normalcy. Even though I’ve been outside of an abusive group for many years, I found his suggestions helpful. Reading this book was painful at times since I could relate to the author’s pain and humiliation. However, in my opinion,  he’s done a wonderful job of describing the horrors of what he endured. Until people are willing to speak out, others will continue to be victimized. and I’m glad he’s chosen to tell his story.”


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“J. Michael Wittman takes us on a journey through his life: through his addiction, his discovery and acceptance of God, through his joys and sorrows of those journeys. His story is open and brutally honest. He shows us how to be a better person.  The larger question is what can de done to prevent this kind of activity?Whether you agree with his choices or not you understand them because he opens his soul to the reader.  His story is our story and that is what makes this book compelling and worth reading. This is not an easy thing for us to do, but it is this baring of his soul that compels you to read page after page. It is what makes you admire him. Yes, the book is the story of corruption in religion, but it’s so much more than that.  It’s a story of faith and believing in something bigger than yourself and trusting the path that leads you on.”

Carter Martina

I found Pigs in the Pulpit to be  a very powerful and disturbing book. I think the most worrisome aspect is that we are not talking about some obscure sect or cult but rather the Pentecostal movement. …It could well be happening in your backyard!  The larger question is what can de done to prevent this kind of activity? That is a very difficult question to answer.  If you look at the well known cults of recent time you find a recurring theme, the leader is charismatic and the ‘brain washing’ is done in a subtle way over a long period of time. J. Michael Wittman reached the stage of complete frustration and also had an awakening.  But leaving a cult like environment is easier said than done. There are a set of complex dynamics at work in every cult. One method of control is to control people’s friends; over time the only friends a cult member has are fellow members of the cult. To walk away means leaving behind everyone you care about. But walk away is exactly what he and his wife did.”

Simon Barrett

Blogger, News Network

“There is no greater abuse of trust than those who use the illusion of spiritual leadership to manipulate people. J. Michael Wittman points a powerful and incisive light into this dark underbelly of our religious landscape, and offers hope and healing to its victims.”

– Wayne Jacobsen • Collaborator & Publisher of the New York Times Bestseller The Shack

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