Brenda Lee memoir, “Out of the Cocoon: A Young Woman’s Courageous Flight from the Grip of a Religious Cult,” chronicles her strict religious upbringing and subsequent exodus from “The Friends” after her mom, a Methodist Sunday School Teacher, joined a divisive religious sect better known as Jehovah’s Witnesses. When Brenda was just 9 years old, a single knock on the door one hot summer day turned her world upside down and for the next decade she struggled to survive emotional and physical abuse. As a result of her family’s association with this group, Brenda was forced at the tender age of 18 to make a choice: family or freedom. Her heart-breaking choice resulted in her being shunned by her family for more than 30 years.
Born on a 100-year-old farm in rural Pennsylvania in 1962, early on Brenda began her love of writing through journaling. In fact, as a child she hid her diary in a log in the forest for four years to help preserve her identity and independent thoughts. She still has that diary today and it has her baby teeth taped inside, a reminder of her once turbulent childhood. Reflecting back on her life in a cult, Brenda’s motto is, “Acceptance of anything outside your control is liberating.” Brenda considers herself both resourceful and tenacious. At age 47 she became a certified scuba diver, despite the fact that she has nearly drowned twice in her life.
Since her memoir was published in 2006, Brenda’s story was featured in a national cable documentary entitled “Secret Lives of Women/Cults” (WE-TV). She’s also been involved in counter-cult work through her seminars entitled, “Understanding Cults: What You Need to Know to Protect Your Family.” As a public speaker, she’s been a frequent guest speaker at the Colorado Organization for Victims Assistance in Keystone, Colorado, and has appeared on countless radio and TV programs in Denver, Colorado, including KCNC, KUSA, KDVR/KGWN, and Colorado and Company.
Today Brenda enjoys spending her free time with her boyfriend, son, and old dog, Scruffy, joyfully embracing every moment and relishing her life Out of the Cocoon.
For more information and to hear some of her interviews, please visit Brenda Lee’s website at www.outofthecocoon.net