Dear Professor Dawkins,
I was born and raised in one of the most fundamental and dogmatic of Christian religions, the Jehovah's Witnesses, where I spent most of my young life preaching door-to-door and giving sermons from the platform. My entire life revolved around the literal truth recorded in the Bible and attempting to convert others to my beliefs. As a Jehovah's Witness, you are taught that all other Gods and religions belong to the kingdom of false religion, called Babylon the Great. Although it took several years of personal struggle, my complete de-conversion from this fairy tale only required me to deny one more God. Reading your book, The God Delusion, was one of the major tipping points.
I must admit, the first time I worked up the courage to start reading The God Delusion, I stopped myself after several chapters. This was a lifetime of brainwashing and dogma kicking in. As a Jehovah's Witness, you are taught that all negative material about your beliefs is to be avoided alltogether. If caught, merely reading such a publication is grounds enough for explusion. Any such negative teaching is the direct inspiration of Satan The Devil, planting seeds of doubt and tempting you into everlasting destruction. In fact, reading other publications of any kind, except that which is produced by the Watchtower Society, is highly discouraged, especially when it comes to subjects such as Science.
I put the book away for a while, returning to my comfort zone. Fear of losing my family and friends forever kept me from pursing my doubts any further. When you are expelled from the Jehovah's Witnesses, you are essentially cut off from any communication or relationship with other Witnesses, for life. This fear is expertly installed in all of us, keeping many people from leaving, no matter how many doubts they secretly hold within.
Eventually, I began learning all I could about real science, not the junk 'science' filtered through religious dogma. I read Carl Sagan's The Demon Haunted World. I then worked up the courage to finish the God Delusion, followed by several of the other “Four Horseman” books, and am now eating up science books like they were pure gold. I also researched much about the history of the Jehovah's Witnesses, founded by a man who was interested in the occult, and used astrology and pryamidology to back up his original prophecies and calculations for the return of Jesus Christ and the end of the world (a fact later covered over by the Watchtower and little known to younger Witnesses today). This, followed by decades of false prophecies, junk scientific teachings, and brainwashing by an organization bent on controlling every aspect of their follower's lives, all led me to the conclusion that this was nothing more than just another Delusion of Man.
While I am a new atheist and still unsure of the status of my relationships with family and friends, no matter what happens, I am happy to be free from an lifetime in an Orwellian religious sect, and now proudly proclaim my non-belief.
Thank you for The God Delusion.