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Luzer Twersky
Escaping Religion (selections form the archives).
November 24, 2022
First-person accounts of people who grew up inside insular religious groups, and then choose a different path. These stories are collected from our Escaping Religion series.
Luzer Twersky: First Hasidism, Then Hollywood November 24, 2022
When Luzer Twersky was in his early twenties and already a married father of two, he decided to leave the only world he had ever known, a close-knit Hasidic Jewish enclave in Brooklyn. He told his story to documentary producer Josh Gleason in 2010, when he was just beginning his new life in the secular world.

Luzer Twersky, Actor. He has had parts in numerous films and TV shows, including recurring roles in Transparent, and the Amazon Prime series Undone.

Luzer Twersky
Lauren Drain, Courtesy Hachette Book Group.
Lauren Drain: Why I Left the Westboro Baptist Church November 24, 2022
The Westboro Baptist Church calls itself a “unique picketing ministry,” and that’s certainly one way to think about it. The 40 or so members take hate speech to a shocking new level, protesting the funerals of soldiers and children, holding signs that say things like “Pray for More Dead Soldiers” and “God Hates America.” So, who are these people? In 2013, Maureen spoke to one of them, Lauren Drain, who had been a member of the church for seven years. Today, Drain is a cardiac nurse and a popular fitness model, with nearly 3 million followers on Instagram.

Lauren Drain, author of Banished: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church
She has worked as a registered nurse and is a fitness trainer and model.

Lauren Drain
Joshua Safran: From Wiccan Love Child to Orthodox Jew November 24, 2022
Joshua Safran was born in 1975 into a coven of radical feminist witches. His mother revered a pantheon of goddesses, spirits, and energies, and was determined to keep her son out of the mainstream and off the grid. So he spent his early childhood as a kind of nomad, hitchhiking for thousands of miles, living in buses, vans, and even in an ice cream truck. Then one day he discovered he was Jewish, and after years of wandering he finally felt he had found a home. He told his story to Maureen in 2013.

Joshua Safran, author of Free Spirit: Growing up On the Road and Off the Grid. A recognized advocate for victims of domestic abuse.

Safran's mother, Claudia.