My Life of Hell in the Kingdom by April

April (AKA NeverAgainV) has granted me permission to publish some of her comics. I hope you will enjoy them. April and I have been internet buddies for a long time and I appreciate her friendship and support. She is a survivor of an especially virulent, oppressive strain of Calvinistic Baptist Fundamentalism.

my life of hell in the kingdom (2)

my life of hell in the kingdom (3)

my life of hell in the kingdom (4)

my life of hell in the kingdom (1)

Comments (19)

  1. Lynn

    Love the cartoons. I know the dismay and confusion aren’t funny and are very real. Had the same effect on me. And of course I thought something was wrong with ME. Nobody else seemed worried or confused.

    1. NeverAgainV

      It does make you wonder if there are people who are confused and worried, but they are living in such fear that they dare not speak of how they truly feel?
      That’s what I think. It’s such a mind prison.

  2. Elizabeth

    Yikes, just reading this cartoon version of what she went through gives me a pit in my stomach…I’m so glad she was able to get out.

  3. Appalachian Agnostic

    I love the expression on the girl’s face. It pretty much shows the way I felt most of the time in church.

  4. NeverAgainV

    Wow Bruce, thanks for posting these for me! I am hoping others can relate there are so many double messages where one thing is said, but the reality is the complete opposite.
    Stay warm!

  5. ... Zoe ~

    I want to give April a hug. Those are profound and so well done April. Thank you for sharing them. I know there are others who can relate. I relate.

    1. NeverAgainV

      Thanks Zoe and everyone for your comments. It means a lot -and Bruce for posting these.

  6. Jada

    Love these, so accurate. It just occurred to me that the church of Christ is actually a heavily Calvinistic organization.

  7. NeverAgainV

    I’m been reading over an outline by my xpastor, to put it mildly, it is something else. Talk about closing people’s minds… I could feel my blood begin to boil as I was reading, here is just an excerpt. It is obvious how he wants to limit their information intake, hence “information control”. Here we go….


    1. This study will particularly address the question of whether we should ever visit other churches, meaning by other churches those churches that do not believe and practice as do we.
    … Never visit another church as a substitute for a true church. It is not!

    b. Never visit another church with the thought of worshipping God with them when there worship is not according to the truth (JOH 4:23-24). Although while visiting there, you might worship God in your heart individually.

    c. Never visit another church to take communion.

    d. Do not visit another church that has received our excluded members.

    e. Do not visit a “baptismal” ceremony that is not a Biblical baptism.

    f. Do not visit another church if your attendance is interpreted by them as an approval of their error (1CO 10:27-28).

    g. You may visit another church if the purpose is to witness to them or to someone among them.”

    That’s just a small sampling of the control used to keep people in the box, not even letting them venture out to other churches, lest they actually get their mind opened. It’s soooo frustrating how people are brainwashed. :(

  8. oneperson

    Awesome cartoons April!

    I think that so many folks from various belief systems can relate to these. The group I came out of wasn’t Calvinist, but tI can still relate to these comics; the tactics were the similar. Manipulation is the same, it just wears a different kind of suit.(“We have the true truth.” etc.)

    Someday, maybe a book will be born.from these comics of yours.

    Have to brainstorm a clever title. Brain storm is so much better than brain wash. ;)

    1. NeverAgainV

      Dang i would love to do a graphic novel someday. :) Thanks for your comment. So true about manipulation, all of those groups do it!

      Thanks all who left comments.

      1. ... Zoe ~

        I think the title of your script is perfect for your graphic novel. :-) Have you ever read Blankets by Craig Thompson? I own a copy and just loved the book and the medium used to tell his story.

        1. NeverAgainV

          Hi Zoe, I read Blankets a few years ago, got it from the library. My friend recommended it, it was very good. :) I was always a comic book lover, way before i got “religion” so to this day I love graphic novels.

          1. ... Zoe ~

            I couldn’t put it down. The only other graphic novel I’ve read is Maus. Never did comic books but I loved the Funnies in the newspaper growing up. :-)

        2. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

          Blankets is an AWESOME book.

  9. Alice

    These are very good, April. I think a graphic novel would be a great idea.

    1. NeverAgainV

      Thanks Alice. I need to put time into it.

      Zoe, I read up to book 10 for the Walking Dead graphic novels a few years back before the show came out. I love Alan Moore’s- V for Vendetta and I’ve read several by Neil Gaiman including Coraline, the Sandman, among others.

      I just saw Maus online, it looks interesting.

  10. Ian

    Very good comics. Thanks for allowing Bruce to share them.

    Pictures allow ideas to be put into precise packets of information. Imaging the words it would have taken to describe each pannel-many wouldn’t spend the time reading them. Look at the success of Chick Tracts for proof.

    For this reason, cartoons/pictures are dangerous to totalitarian societies and corrupt groups. This is one reason Islam will kill people who draw cartoons of Mohammed. I’m sure if evangelicals could gain that power, they would too. Boss Tweed, a corrupt politician in the late 1800′s, said this, “I don’t care a straw for your newspaper articles; my constituents don’t know how to read, but they can’t help seeing them damned pictures!” Eventually the cartoons in The New York Times helped bring him down.

    Keep up the good work.

    1. NeverAgainV

      Just saw that comment. thanks Ian!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>