In the mid-eighties to early nineties, a grassroots movement called “Fundamentalists Anonymous” (F.A.) inspired an unprecedented exodus of millions from the fold of Religious Right Christian fundamentalism. Founded by Richard Yao, a former fundamentalist, former Wall Street lawyer, and Yale Divinity School graduate, the F.A. movement also helped topple TV evangelists like Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart. And ever since then, it has become recognized that dysfunctional “bad” religion can be a serious mental health hazard.
But then what happened?
This webblog is to answer the persistent question “Whatever happened to Fundamentalists Anonymous and Richard Yao?”
And whatever happened to that booklet he wrote? And to that really much-anticipated big book that some big agents had sold to some big publishers but mysteriously never saw the light of day?
That springtime of exodus and liberation from the Religious Right’s fold was cut short and crushed by the Pharaohs of the Religious Right. But F.A.’s legacy is in the countless tens of thousands whose lives have been transformed from an endless nightmare into a truly “abundant life.”
And in the many sites for people fleeing dysfunctional religious experiences dotting the Internet.
This webblog is in response to all those who have asked what happened?
And to all those who knew all about the Religious Right persecution of F.A. and Yao but stood by them through thick and thin, Richard Yao wishes to thank them here. All those generous, grateful letters which have somehow found their way to him through the years. From the likes of Frank Zappa, “Tonight” show creator Steve Allen, to New York’s Episcopal Bishop Paul Moore.
And perhaps more importantly from grassroots former fundamentalists who can say like the title of Yao’s potent book “There is a way out!”
This webblog will answer once and for all the question “Whatever happened to Fundamentalists Anonymous?” Ultimately, this webblog is a tribute to all those brave and incredible souls who made Fundamentalists Anonymous. You may be certain that if F.A. were the only thing you did in your life, it would be more than enough!
Feel free to get in touch through this webblog. And may your tribe prosper and increase!
But please note:
- Richard Yao is not interested in reviving Fundamentalists Anonymous and running it again. And no, Yao is not interested in doing media on F.A. either.
- Yao has done his part. He has even forgiven his persecutors and moved on. If F.A. or something like it is to ever see the light of day again, ex-fundamentalists able to do the job must step forward.