Category Archives: General

How I Escaped Evangelical Hell: A Memoir RELEASED!

Hello, folks! I’m incredibly proud to announce that my first book, How I Escaped Evangelical Hell, is now for sale on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and will soon be available on digital platforms and on shelves worldwide! To the surprise of many, this isn’t a book about game development.

Click here to check it out on Amazon!

Every day at apartment #54, inside his tiny Section-8 bedroom, Jon Jones would stare at the pages of his father’s Amplified Bible. Then, he would turn to his IBM clone 386 SX-25, pick that day’s chapters, and type out what he read. Outdoors, children would be playing baseball; he could hear them, but he would be typing. Not because he wanted to, but because if he didn’t, there would be hell to pay.

“From the age of eight to fourteen,” writes Jones, “every single day, before I was allowed to eat or go outside or even do my schoolwork, I had to type out my chapters, and then I was figuratively free for the day. I remember looking outside to see the kids in the neighborhood running and playing because school was out for the summer–but I had to stay inside to type the Bible. I’m doing God’s Work! Don’t I want God to love me? Keep typing! Now, you may be thinking, ‘how did it take 6 years to type 900 pages?’ When I finished the Bible in its entirety for the first time, my father ‘accidentally’ deleted the entire thing and ‘didn’t have any backups, ‘ and I had to start over from scratch. Infuriatingly, he would repeat this over the years by mysteriously losing chapters or entire books. I estimate that I’ve typed the Amplified Bible somewhere between five and ten times. There are over 880,000 words in the Amplified Bible.”

In How I Escaped Evangelical Hell, Jones bravely reveals his slow drowning by the hands of his radical evangelical Christian family in their pursuit to raise the perfect Godly boy. In doing so, Jones found his salvation through the very computer on which he was forced to write the Bible.

Click here to check it out on Amazon!

Awesomely, it was quickly listed as the #1 Hot New Release on Amazon in the Religious Cult category on Amazon, and is still holding high in the charts. Wow!

This was an extremely difficult book to write, and pretty much lays bare my soul and abusive religious upbringing, and how my pursuit of a career in the video game industry saved me from it. It’s actually a pretty funny read, but still unflinching in its criticism of the dark side of Evangelical Christian culture. I’d spent my entire life either hiding these things or not realizing that it was abuse, but since I accepted that I own what happened to me, I decided to write the book. It’s been amazingly cleansing for my soul, and I’m grateful for my publisher and team at Thane and Prose Press for helping me bring my story to the world.

2,500 ladybugs delivered!

Ladybug delivery day. I’d forgotten. Got a phone call this morning.

mom: “Hello? Jon? Hi, it’s your mother!”

me: “Hi mom!”

mom: “Normally I wouldn’t call you in the morning, but um, I think I got a package of yours. It says it’s live ladybugs.”

me: “Oh. Happy Mother’s Day!”

mom: “…what?”

me: “I ordered that for you. It’s a box full of live ladybugs.”

mom: “…WHAT?!”

me: “Yeah! Have you looked at them yet?”

mom: “No, I’m just looking at the box. I haven’t opened it yet. There are LIVE LADYBUGS in here?”

me: “Yep! Two thousand five hundred live ladybugs.”


At this point she breaks into hysterical, spastic laughter and manages to choke out a “Jonathan, WHY would you send me twenty-five hundred live ladybugs for Mother’s Day?” to which I quickly chirped, “Because I can!”

I stayed on the phone while she read the instructions. “Two thousand five hundred ladybugs is enough for a 2500 square foot garden. JONATHAN, WE’RE IN A 900 SQUARE FOOT APARTMENT!” and she started laughing hysterically again. “WHAT am I going to DO with these?!” and she read further about how to keep them alive and said “Oh, no, you have to keep them refrigerated so they’ll live. David, honey, can you clean out the refrigerator and put these in there please? Oh dear, oh dear.”

I explained to her that I ordered them on the internet and opted against ordering the full 70,000 live ladybugs and also against five giant Madagascar hissing cockroaches, and she started laughing again, the mad laugh of a normal woman pushed to the brink of insanity. “THANK you for NOT sending me seventy THOUSAND live ladybugs OR giant cockroaches!”

me: “So what are you going to do with them?”

mom: “I.. god, I don’t know. *more insane, confused laughter* I guess I’ll go around the apartment complex and let them loose in the bushes? Or take them over to your brother’s house and released them? I have no idea!”

me: “And that’s the fun of it. See, since I moved out I get the feeling that you don’t have enough to do. Above all else, I like the idea that through the power of the internet, with VERY little effort on my part, I can create a problem in your life that you have to solve. Now, really, did you have ANYTHING else to do today before you got the ladybugs?”

mom: *long pause, then the laughter kicks in again* “Well, no, I guess not.”

me: “There you go. Have fun! Let me know what you end up doing with them, and take pictures if you can. Love you, mom! Bye.”

mom: “What? You’re just going to –”



Been focusing on reading more lately, since I actually have time to. I find that one helpful anchor point of sanity during crunch is FORCING time into my schedule to be able to read or relax or do something constructive besides work. I’m getting out of my post-crunch funk a LOT faster than last time. I’m getting better.

Reading more of Nobodies to Somebodies which is now released and even more worth reading. Nearing the end.

Also bought an autographed copy of Winning by Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric. Why autographed? Well, because I’m a whore, that’s why. I’d like to say I didn’t start giggling and do a happy little dance as soon as it was delivered to me at work, but I’d be lying.

But before I do that, as soon as I finish Nobodies to Somebodies, I’m going to finish reading The Motley Fool Investment Guide : How The Fool Beats Wall Streets Wise Men And How You Can Too which has been recommended to me by several people. I’ve read it off and on but crunch usually kills my interest in reading.

My interest in investing has been rekindled by a reader of my blog that contacted me last week. He’s an investor and loves Warren Buffett as I do, is a huge video game fan, and likes what I say well enough to invite me to join, a fantastic investor’s discussion board, and a hell of a lot more. I’ve been digging into it for the last couple days and getting a feel for it, how it all works and where to start. It’s full of unbelievably knowledgeable people and fantastic analysis, advice and commentary, and an intelligent moderation and reputation system that has cash rewards for the best posters.

In short, it’s a fantastically valuable resource I intend to contribute to and use as best I can.

Going to dive into investing as soon as I knock out some outstanding debts, like the Dell Inspiron 9300 notebook I picked up in March. Fantastic machine with a BEAUTIFUL 17″ screen that’s completely replaced my desktop PC. My only regret is that it isn’t faster (1.6ghz) but considering the amount of cutting-edge gaming I do these days (hint: none) it wasn’t practical to do more than that.

That’s all for now. May update this post again later today.

Thousands of ladybugs for mother’s day? Oh, Jon, you didn’t!

A more light-hearted post.

A few months ago I ran across a website where you can order all kinds of beneficial insects for your garden and have them shipped to your front door. My first thought was, “Man, what a great idea! It’s amazing how the power of technology and the Internet has brought us to a point that we can remotely fulfill practically every need imaginable.”

Then I looked more closely and saw that you can order them in batches of 70,000 or more, which is absolutely staggering. The fact that someone can order 70,000 of anything is pretty funny to me, especially if they’re alive.

And so my second thought was “What if I shipped 70,000 ladybugs to someone at random?”

The idea bobbed around in the back of my brain for a while. Every possible scenario of what someone would do with 70,000 ladybugs went through my head and I never stopped finding it hilarious. Every step of their thought process was a riot. “Hey, Jon sent me something!” then “Why’s the box buzzing?” then, when they open it, “AAUAUUGUGHHHH!!!”

However, I never acted on it, and the idea fell by the wayside.

Today at work I restored my old bookmarks to a new version of FireFox and saw the ladybug order page, and the idea was rekindled. Even better, I realized that Mother’s Day is this week. 🙂

The box of 70,000 seemed unnecessarily cruel for my mother, who’s a dear, sweet woman, so my sympathy got the best of me and I shipped her 2,500 live ladybugs instead. It’ll be arriving at her doorstep later this week.

I love that technology lends me the ability to create a problem in her life. 🙂

I’ll post more as it happens.