Hi, I'm Joe Baker

Freeing the Coils:

One survivor’s journey from abuse to healing and empowerment.

St Augustine's Sin - Why child abuse bedevils Christianity

About the Author

Joe Baker was raised a Roman Catholic by a devout Irish mother.  He served as altar boy and chorister while attending faith schools in Ireland and England, where he encountered psychological and physical abuse.  Later in life he was influenced by his atheist father, who had been alienated by the church when Joe was six years old.

For several years he worked as a technical author, compiling instruction guides and manuals.  In the course of his career he had many articles published and in 2021 he released his first book.

With the Vatican decrying critics of the church as “Friends of the Devil”, he thought back to his schooldays.  In his book he recalls the grovelling prayers of self-censure and remorse prescribed by St Augustine, a penitential ritual still practised in some British schools.  Faith school infants, below the age of criminal responsibility, are marked sinful and spend lesson time chastising themselves for wrongdoings.

Weighing his own religious background, the author researches the negative influence of these dark mantras and makes a surprising discovery.  He explores the possibility that infant stigmatism and Christian teaching on sinfulness might play a role in child abuse and adult mental well-being.

Contributor Lorna Graham, a schoolteacher for 26 years, brings the classroom to life, depicting her struggle to deliver a critically conscious, dialogic education to her pupils.

Writer, Joe Baker, created this website in 2022, to help others avoid his pain and suffering.

Joe Baker in Private

Joe Baker’s life has been an intriguing journey.  He graduated from Borough Polytechnic, now known as London South Bank University, with a BSc in mechanical engineering.  While pursuing a career in freelance design, Joe pursued post-graduate studies in psychology, sociology, and counselling.

In 1979, he took a bold step and founded a business specialising in designing and building access security systems.  The company flourished, earning several world patents in the process.

Life Change

Tragedy struck in 2002 when Joe’s beloved wife, his teenage sweetheart, passed away suddenly.  To add to his changing circumstances, his two lovely daughters married and ventured off to start their own families.  Joe decided to sell his company and retire, to embrace a new chapter of life.  (Ironically, the business thrived after his departure, much to his bemusement.)

Retirement offered Joe the opportunity to indulge his passions, and he found new success in writing.  He revels in our lovely countryside, enjoys sailing, dancing, choral singing, playing music, and honing his culinary skills.  Notably, his cooking has garnered no complaints—thankfully, not because no one survived his toothy adventures!


Snake is an unkind epithet. I use it because in cyberspace cold actors are like snakes.


Everyone is entitled to be treated with courtesy and respect by others, regardless of their situation.  Civility is intrinsic to a civilised society.

From childhood we are taught to be ‘agreeable‘ and many of us are conditioned to feel culpable.  This mind-set makes one potentially open to abuse.  Soft-hearted people seem particularly vulnerable.  Perhaps because they expect to see similar warmth in everyone else; but that’s naïve.  


Copyright © 2022.  All Rights Reserved.  Privacy & Ethics Policies

Contact the author here, or share with your friends:  


Personal accounts are transcribed verbatim from the author’s case history of real-life interactions.  The behaviours described are individual and distinctive and may not be transferrable to other settings.

Edit Template