Hutterite book pulled from shelves in some Manitoba towns
A book about Hutterites leaving their colonies is dividing some Manitobans. Two stores in southern Manitoba confirm they sold and then pulled the book, Hutterites: The Nine - Our Story to Freedom,’from shelves.
The book, released in September tells the personal stories of nine people who lived-in and left their Hutterite colonies.
Friesens bookstore in Altona said they sold the book, then decided to take it down, but would not comment further, or explain why.
The Bible Book Store in Winkler also carried the book and planned a book signing with the authors on Nov. 2. The book was pulled and the signing was cancelled, said owner Ted Peters.
Peters said he was getting dozens of phone calls that complained about the book.
“This book was hurtful to a group of people, and we are a Christian bookstore and we felt that being who we are, we didn’t want not to hurt any group of people, and therefore we decided that it wasn’t appropriate for our shelves,” he said.
Peters said he read most of the book. He said the problem with what’s inside is what the authors claim about their former colonies.
The move created controversy in Winkler. “I think if what's in there is true it should stay on the shelves, said resident John Wipf.
Online, there was more controversy. The Reeve of Morris tweeted “So I understand the book Hutterites will not be sold in Southern Manitoba because of community pressure. Censorship prevails”.
A self-described Hutterite with the handle @gwaldner tweeted a reply, “Censorship? Get Real?”, and went on to say that “cult-like literature should not be promoted”.
Maryann Kirkby wrote the book “I am Hutterite”. She also left a Manitoba colony and says the book being pulled of shelves is a form of censorship.
"I mean they have a right to tell a story, and even if you tell a story that isn't accurate it should be in the fiction section, but they still have a right to tell it."
Kirkby said there is an anti-Christian message in the book and understands how hurt people are. She that’s one reason they are happy some stores are no longer selling it.
“I think Hutterites everywhere are cheering the book got pulled. I know that,” she said.
Statement from The Nine
The Nine provided CTV with a statement about the controversy:
“We are sorry they can’t sell the book, but we understand that certain people, booksellers in particular, don’t want to deal with controversial subjects. We are only writing the truth. Whenever the truth is told, there will be resistance, and people attempting to quiet the mighty pen. We are going to continue preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ no matter what is takes, because that is our heart.”
The authors were travelling in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
- With a report by Beth Macdonnell