I learned today of the suicide of a member of one of the forums I occasionally visit. He was an ex-Jehovah's Witness living in North Carolina. Being an ex-Witness, he was shunned by all his former friends. He was desperately unhappy, struggling to rebuild his life but he lost hope that he was going to succeed. He posted under the user-name Oompa.
I consider the Watchtower Society responsible, at least in part, and perhaps a very large part, for the unhappiness and misery of so many like Oompa. But they are not alone. Many others do the same, whether they are sects or cults on the fringe of the church, or informal groupings within the mainstream. Where believers will routinely pursue their own righteousness at the cost of the unhappiness of people around them, immense personal damage is done.
I think that when I publish Leaving Gilead in two or three weeks I will dedicate it to the memory of Oompa.