Joy Nason was born into an English working class family during World War Two and raised in the fundamentalist Christian cult of the Exclusive Brethren. Growing up in this strict and demanding world, her family migrated to Australia in the 1950s. In her early 20s, Joy made the courageous decision to flee her family, knowing that she would be cut off from that moment on. Slowly but surely Joy made her way in the world, with kind employers who encouraged her to gain skills, and friends who helped her with socialising, travel and a new-found enjoyment of life. Through many jobs and disappointing liaisons, to finally becoming a mother of a baby boy, Joy picks herself up after each failure and faces the world with determination and a positive attitude. Joy finally entered the world of education - denied her by her sect - and attained teaching degrees, through which she became Senior Head Teacher at New South Wales TAFE. With Joy & Sorrow, Joy made the decision to go public with her life and experiences, partly to give inspiration to others trapped in similar situations, but also to add to the body of evidence exposing the hypocrisy of the Exclusive Brethren.
This secretive sect, now re-branded the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, will stop at nothing to maintain their Charitable status - and keep their tax-free millions. Joy & Sorrow was launched on 1 August by Fairfax journalist Michael Bachelard, at a Charity function in Mosman. Funds were raised for Stepping Stone House, which provides accommodation for homeless youth. Peter FitzSimons is a benefactor of Stepping Stone House and has been connected with the foundation since its inception in 1989. Peter FitzSimons is thrilled to be the inspiration behind the Neutral Bay author telling her story and says of the work: Joy Nason has written a compelling account of escaping the clutches of the Exclusive Brethren. This is an inspirational story for anyone with a family or friend trapped in a similar cult. This book is her testament to a life well lived. From the Foreword by Michael Bachelard, Investigations Editor, The Age