About the Author
Janis Hutchinson graduated Summa Cum Laude with B.Th. and M.A. degrees in theology following her withdrawal from the Mormon Church. Her knowledge of Mormonism comes from having been an active Mormon for thirty-four years during which time she served two local missions, married a former Mormon missionary, and sent a daughter on a full-time mission.
She is recognized as an expert on cult recovery and the serious problems of former cult members when converting to traditional churches. A frequent guest lecturer in the Bible college classroom and speaker at Christian conferences, and on radio programs, Janis has counseled many former cult members, and served twelve years as mentor for the Institute of Religious Research in their Mormon Mentoring program. Active in her local church, she has been twice widowed and is the mother of three, all of whom have come to personal faith in Christ.
A BRIEF BIO
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As a child growing up in Southern California, I devoured books—Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, the Oz books, Lassie books, and a zillion novels, plus was an avid movie-goer. I made my first attempt at writing when I was twelve. However, I was put down so drastically by a relative that I did not begin any serious writing until in my thirties, and it became my passion. In my early years as a Mormon, I sold articles to the Improvement Era, the official LDS Church's magazine, excerpts of which were used in their radio commercials on the family.
Regarding family, I married my husband (now deceased) in the Salt Lake City Mormon Temple. After seven years, he died. I remarried, and six years later that husband died. Later, I became engaged and he died. I quit trying after that. I had three children with my first husband, a daughter and two sons, one of whom was killed in a hang-gliding accident. My daughter Debra lives in Texas, loves to sing, and is worship leader at her church. My son, Blake, lives in California, works for the government, and is involved in my writing ministry. He works very hard to host my website and I appreciate him very much.
In 1978 I secretly joined a Mormon Fundamentalist group while still retaining my membership in the mainline church. You can read my story of how the group held me prisoner for nine months in a small room after they discovered me sneaking away to a Christian church. Conditions were such that I nearly died, but God spoke to me and enabled my escape. I was, however, left with serious health problems. I had a severe hemorrhage requiring six blood transfusions, then surgery. I had crippling back spasms that required the use of a neck brace; had a completely paralyzed colon and was facing a colostomy (but I was healed in a Christian meeting); all in all, I was a physical mess. Today, thanks to the Lord, I am in excellent health. My only problem? I am gluten and lactose intolerant, which is no big deal.
After I escaped, I requested my excommunication from the LDS Church in 1980 and entered Christianity. I knew I made the right decision, and that Mormon doctrines were unbiblical, nevertheless I still went through twelve years of traumatic aftereffects trying to undo my mental baggage. The reason it took so long is that I didn't realize there were Christian ministries that could have helped me through the transition. I went to Bible College, then on to the University to earn an M.A. in Theology.
In 1994, I sold my first book, Out of the Cults and Into the Church: Understanding and encourage ex-cultists, to Kregel Publications. This came about because during the time I was going through the emotional aftereffects of leaving Mormonism, there were no Christian books describing why I was having such repercussions. After finishing at the University, I decided someone needed to write such a book, so I did. In 1995, Kregel published my second book, The Mormon Missionaries: An inside look at their real message and methods, and published a Spanish version, Misioneros Mormones.
In 2011, I decided to self-publish instead of going the traditional route. This, because agents were just too hard to come by, and even if my book was picked up by a publisher, it would be two years down the line before it would get into the stores. Therefore, in January2012, I self-published the Second Edition of The Mormon Missionaries, updating the information through 2010 and including an extra chapter on the new manual, Preach My Gospel that Mormon missionaries now use.
I am also working on my first novel, Ultimate Justice, which was inspired by a true event of which I played a part. Since it is a novel and I don't use the real names of characters, readers will have to guess which one I am.
Throughout my years of writing, my secular employment was working as Administrative Secretary to corporate officers, then the last twenty years with an attorney. I retired in 2008.
Do I have any other interests? In years past I enjoyed oil painting and won many blue ribbons. I also played the piano and organ for funerals and weddings in the community, but have done none of these for some years now, as I prefer to spend my time writing.