Ex-Jehovah’s Witness Opens Up About the ‘Devastation’ of Her Baby’s Death at Daycare

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Amber Scorah says her decision to leave the Jehovah’s Witnesses was both freeing and terrifying.

The author’s story took a tragic turn when, years after she left the Christian denomination, her infant son died the first day she took him to daycare. Scorah found herself with no faith to comfort her amid the heartbreak.

“I had been duped. We all had been. Probably even the leaders had been. Our religious ancestors had come up with a mythology because it felt better to live that way, and because the world could be a scary place,” Scorah, now a writer and editorial consultant for Scholastic, alleges about her life as a third-generation Jehovah’s Witness in her new memoir, Leaving the Witness: Exiting a Religion and Finding a Life. “By the time any of us could have figured out we were in a cult, our whole lives were already committed to serving the community and upholding our faith. My entire life had revolved around it.”

When asked for comment about Scorah’s description of the Jehovah’s Witnesses as a “cult,” a spokesperson from the World Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses suggested readers visit their website for “accurate information about Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

“Far from being a dangerous cult, Jehovah’s Witnesses practice a religion that benefits its members and others in the community,” reads an article on the Jehovah’s Witnesses website. “For example, our ministry has helped many people to overcome harmful addictions, such as the abuse of drugs and alcohol. In addition, we conduct literacy classes around the world, helping thousands learn to read and write. And we are actively involved in disaster relief. We work hard to have a positive impact on others, just as Jesus commanded his followers to do. ​-⁠Matthew 5:​13-​16.”

“Far from being a dangerous cult, Jehovah’s Witnesses practice a religion that benefits its members and others in the community,” reads an article on the Jehovah’s Witnesses website. “For example, our ministry has helped many people to overcome harmful addictions, such as the abuse of drugs and alcohol. In addition, we conduct literacy classes around the world, helping thousands learn to read and write. And we are actively involved in disaster relief. We work hard to have a positive impact on others, just as Jesus commanded his followers to do. ​-⁠Matthew 5:​13-​16.”

“Far from being a dangerous cult, Jehovah’s Witnesses practice a religion that benefits its members and others in the community,” reads an article on the Jehovah’s Witnesses website. “For example, our ministry has helped many people to overcome harmful addictions, such as the abuse of drugs and alcohol. In addition, we conduct literacy classes around the world, helping thousands learn to read and write. And we are actively involved in disaster relief. We work hard to have a positive impact on others, just as Jesus commanded his followers to do. ​-⁠Matthew 5:​13-​16.”