A child can be severely damaged when a parent believes that every word in the Bible has been dictated by God . . .

Why is the media ignoring the evidence that men can be abused by their partners too?

Is there a God?
Why are we here on this earth?
Is there any meaning to our existence?
Could we just be accidents of nature?

When a parent interprets the Bible literally, the damage done to a child can be enormous. Lynne Renoir was born into a fundamentalist Christian family where the Bible was the central focus. She was not allowed to make mistakes or to challenge her father’s opinions. Such behavior, in his view, was the work of Satan. As God’s representative in the family, her father believed it was his duty to belt the devil out of his daughter, and he did so regularly and severely. When the beatings continued into her twenties, Lynne finally broke free. Convinced she was a failure as a believer, she left home, and for several decades she tried to live by the tenets of the faith in which she had been raised. Eventually she discovered a new way of looking at reality. It was the pathway to her spiritual liberation.

Do men suffer in their intimate relationships?

Lynne Renoir experienced physical abuse at the hands of her judgmental father. The pain she endured led her to investigate how other abused people suffer, particularly men in their relationships with destructive women. In her Master’s thesis Lynne interviewed men from Australia and New Zealand. They told her about severe physical, psychological and sexual abuse, leading Lynne to form the view that men as a whole have been disempowered. She points to the fact that society sees only women as victims of abuse, with men inevitably portrayed as perpetrators. Her call is for governmental authorities to recognise the plight of men in abusive relationships and to take action to remedy the wrong that has been done to them.

Is there a God?
Does our existence have any real meaning?
Could we just be accidents of nature?

For 50 years Lynne Renoir asked herself these questions. Raised in a Christian environment, she and accepted its teachings. But she had no sense of God in her life. If she had discovered what she had been seeking through her faith, she would have expected to feel different or to have her life transformed in some way.

Lynne Renoir addresses this issue by proposing a different concept of truth. She examines the way Western philosophers have argued for and against the existence of God. Then she looks at implications from quantum theory: the oneness of all reality and the multidimensionality of the universe. Parallels are then drawn between these ideas and the experiences of mystics. In these altered states of consciousness, the awareness of self and objects disappears, everything being absorbed into a mysterious oneness. After examining similarities in the religious experience of individuals within the various traditions, Renoir suggests that no one set of teachings can be regarded as “the truth.” The question of personal transformation, in her view, goes beyond the domain of concepts that are either right or wrong.