When Rita Parkinson joined the Jehovah’s Witnesses, she was at the lowest point in her life. Her marriage had broken down and she was surviving off welfare payments with two small children and another on the way. A friend told her about a Christian group whose core belief was paradise on Earth -- a place where believers could live forever, without hunger or war or sorrow. 

“That all appealed to me,” she told INQ. “It gave me a sense of stability and hope and future and safety.”