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Getting On : Faith

The way I see it.

from Sakabatou - Tuesday, July 04, 2006
accessed 1020 times

My explination of why we get messed up by religion. And maybe some solutions. Go on, check it out.

This is the way I see this whole religion shit.
I do believe it can work. But it needs to be done the right way, and dam it is hard. I believe its a matter of balance. Just take it easy and dont try to shove all that crap into a kid's brain, especially if you dont live by those rules, because that by itself can fuck you up a whole lot. If you cant teach by example then dont teach at all. The thing is that we were told that religion (Jesus, God, whatever) was all that we needed, BULLSHIT!! "God will guide you", "God will make everything work out" are you fucking kidding me? If God really cared all of us that gaved him our best years would'nt be in this situation. I dont know how God works exactly but if he cant tell me what he wants from me in my face then dont expect me to be a loyal follower.
I believe that what really makes a person is the people he relates to every day. I believe that a father that talks to his kids about every day life is doing his job way better than the one who makes his kid memorize the hole bible alone in his room. And this leads me to the next point.
See, the main problem I find with ultra strict religion is ISOLATION. That is the key word in this whole thing. Isolation is very bad wether you're religious or not. And religion makes it easy for this to happen. All of those fucking rules. You cant do this, you cant do that, there is almost nothing you can do. Your friends have to be perfect, your girlfriend has to be an angel on earth, etc, etc. I am not saying that you should let your kids do whatever they want, but you gotta give em some space too. Beacause when you form this idea in your head of all the almost perfect people you should be around you end up finding out that you cant be with anyone. I realize now of all the friends that I left because I thought that they were a bad influence, but when I look back and think abou it, I realize that they were'nt really bad people.
I had a best friend in highschool, as we grew up he got to be a more laid back person who did'nt a whole lot anymore about religion, but me, I got even more into it. So at some point I started to avoid him more and more. Now I am alone and I would give anything to go back in time a hang out with my buddy all the time, but its too late.
So here I am, falling, but still fighting.

Reader's comments on this article

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from Sakabatou
Wednesday, July 05, 2006 - 18:52

Dam! I am sorry GoldenMic. I dont know where I got the idea that you were a lady, my bad.

So, it took you ten years huh? Shoot, and I am being really hard on myself for not being able to fix it in two years. Well, I wouldnt care much about how long it takes me to get out of this mess if someone could just give me a guarantee that I will make it. I am so anxious of succeden in this effort to move on and I feel like my time is runnig out day by day and I'm not doing much about it and this leads me to fear, fear that I might never be able to fix things.
Like I said, I am fighting. I feel like I've made some progress, but, how can I bee sure? how do I know if I am doing the right thing or if I'm looking in the right places? After you have given up your whole life for a cause you usually dont get the chance to develop an identity, so after you leave comes the question "and now what?"
Believe me, it is not difficult to become insecure about your choices after you find out that all your life you've defended lies and sacrificed for nothing.
So, GoldeMic, the man, what do you suggest I should do?
Because I am willing to whatever it takes even if it take me 20 years, watta hell, I already wasted 18 anyway.

(reply to this comment)
From GoldenMic
Wednesday, July 05, 2006, 19:51

Well, if you are really serious and have the time, there is a three day workshop coming up in Estes Park, CO on July 20-22, 2006. If you can get there, the costs of the workshop could be covered. They offer rooms and very nice meals at a good cost, the ICSA usually offers a few low-cost scholarships, and I too would be pleased to help. This is good work, and it means a lot to me when someone is getting down to it, and now that I have a career and a little extra money, and have accumilated a small fund of donations for exCult recovery, I sponsor 3-5 people each year at the various workshops and conferences. If interested, let me know at (re: estes park workshop). Also, if you'd like, I can refer you to some excellent reading material. Good luck, and I can tell you, it does work and it IS worth the effort.(reply to this comment
From Curious?
Thursday, July 06, 2006, 15:36


For those of us who are on the same boat... or more like, trying to get off of it, what "excellent reading material" could u recommend?

And, by the way, just out of curiosity, where is Estes Park? As in, what country would be a start?

(reply to this comment

From GoldenMic
Friday, July 07, 2006, 18:48


Estes Park, CO is in Colorado, in the US. Sorry about that, I wasn't thinking about how many ex TF's are living outside the US.

As for reading material, the classics are helpful, including Cults in Our Midsts by Margaret Singer, Combatting Cult Mind Control by Steven Hassan, Recovery from Cults by Michael Langone, and Take Back Your Life by Janja Lalich.

Two books of particular significance for me in terms of cult healing are Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman and Domination and the Arts of Resistance by James Scott.

Three books that specifically deal with The Family include Heavens Harlots by Miriam Wilson (kind of light-weight), Life in the Family by James Chancellor (a sociologist idiot who buys the whole lie), and The Children of God by Deborah "Linda Berg" Davis (written from a Christian perspective and skipping past most of the sexuality and sickness).

Powerful books that recount the experience of being an SGA include My Life in Orange by Tim Guest, Unseen, Unheard, Unknown by Sarah Hamilton-Byrne, and other excellent related works include God's Brothel by Andrea Moore-Emmett, Damaged Disciples by Ron and Vicki Burks, Under the Banner of Heaven by John Krakauer, Servant of the Lotus Feet by Gabriel Brandis.

Well, THAT should get you started! Mike Martella. (reply to this comment

From Those are the classics?
Friday, July 07, 2006, 23:40

Whatever happened to Little Women, Shipwrecked, Alice In Wonderland, and Shakespeare?(reply to this comment
From placebo
Saturday, July 08, 2006, 08:23

Little Women is pedestrian and I can see no redeeming qualities in it.(reply to this comment
From Big Sister
Saturday, July 08, 2006, 08:53

Yeah, it does have redeeming qualities, actually. Louisa May Alcott (the author) was really cool. She hung out with great American thinkers of her time (1860s, 1870s), as did her parents. As a famous writer, she was the sole support of her parents and sisters even when she was in her early twenties. She went to the American Civil War and nursed the soldiers in support of the North and believed in equal rights for all races back when this was hardly the common belief. She did not marry, uncommon for women in those days, and did not have children. She wrote Little Women and Little Men -stories about strong, capable and brave women- for girls of the late 1800s partly because there was nothing else like it writen for girls at that time. Although these book seem dated now, they influenced women of many generations. I myself was more influenced by Little Men than Little Women.

Louisa May Alcott was an example of a real revolutionary.
She spoke out for her beliefs in the equal value of all people at a time when few did so. She advocated education for girls and boys, black and whites. Amazing at the time! Her ideas influenced history and have even influenced you, even if you don't realize it. That's a revolutionary in my book!(reply to this comment
From GoldenMic
Saturday, July 08, 2006, 07:50

OK, I know I am a tolerated guest here on this site, being an SGA who is not ex-TF, so I don't want to get all flippant, but in terms of the literature on cults, the works above are "classics" in the field of cultic studies. For the rather small group of scholars and students in this field, these are as basic and seminal as the books you mentioned are to the field of classic English-language literature. Also, how did you come up with Shipwrecked along side of the other three far more read, studied, and analyzed classics? Robinson Crusoe; yes, Shipwrecked; no.(reply to this comment
From Rain Child
Saturday, July 08, 2006, 16:51

Be as flippant as you like, You truly deserve to feel at home on this site (In my humble opinion) That was my remark about the classics, I was just stirring you up for the heck of it... Oh, and I threw shipwrecked in there because it occurred to me that all the classics I've ever read were rather "girly" (The Brontes, Jane Austen, Frances Hodgeson Burnett, etc. )and I was trying to think of a boy's book...Guess it was a poor effort.(reply to this comment
From Big Sister
Sunday, July 09, 2006, 00:21

Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Treasure Island and The Lord of the Rings are books I think of as boy classics, I guess, though I liked 3 out of those four. Checking my son's bookshelf I am reminded that the Captain Underpants series was a huge classic at our house just a few years ago....(reply to this comment
from GoldenMic
Tuesday, July 04, 2006 - 13:10

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
I hear you loud and clear on this. Our childhood experiences make it nearly impossible to develop relgious and/or spiritual lives, since we have been so badly oppressed by the manipulation of that exact part of who we are. I think that's a terrible thing, because many of us have lost any access to the peace and purpose that one can draw from personal spirtuality that is healthy and voluntary. I also agree that the isolation and rejection of "outsiders" has a tremendous negative effect, making us overly impressed with the value of hedonism and interpersonal exploitation, and giving us a reduced likelihood of developing healthy meaningful relationships and friendships. For the first 15 years after I left, I simply ignored spirituality and put up with insincere and defensive relationships habits, though I have worked very hard in the last ten years to reclaim my right to have a rich (though still pretty skeptical and defensive) spiritual life and meaningful, trusting relationships.
(reply to this comment)
From Sakabatou
Tuesday, July 04, 2006, 22:37

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
Thanks for listening GoldenMic. I really needed to get that of my chest. Actually, theres a lot of things I need to get of my chest.
I checked your profile and I read a couple of your articles. You sound like a very wise-educated woman who wants to help sincerely.
Was it hard for you to get on with your life? because sometimes I feel like am not gonna make it.(reply to this comment
From GoldenMic
Tuesday, July 04, 2006, 23:24

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
Sakabatou, actually I am a man, and I only aspire to be wise, but I am glad that my sincerity shows through. As for "getting on" with my life, it took me almost ten years to get past the daily desire to simply drive off the road every time I got on a highway, and I wonder if I would have made it without having two wonderful children that would have been hurt by it. Thankfully, I managed to simply survive that period, and my cult training (faking it daily) allowed me to keep a job during that period. Finally, about 7-8 years ago, I felt strong enough to really dive in to my past and start understanding what had happened, and how, and why. Since then, I have been working very hard to help others shorten that "dead time" by providing workshops, moderating an ex-cult web-site, reading and writing, and by just being willing to talk about it. Thankfully, I have seen many others who took less time to really begin the healing process, and that only serves to inspire me to do more while it continues my own healing process. In short, it WAS very hard to get on, and I really almost didn't make it, but now I am a little more happy and at peace every day, with a growing number of meaningful days and relationships, and fewer nightmares and intrusive memories than ever before. This website can be an important part of the process, and I hope you keep on coming here, and maybe start reading and writing and even attending workshops and therapy, because they were aboslutely lying when they told us that life outside is hopeless.(reply to this comment
From uhuh
Thursday, July 20, 2006, 02:36


Mike, I've started to appreciate your perspective as an ex-mem who's older than the rest of us (a different cult obviously), but kind of like what things will be like for many of us 20 years down the road.

I guess suicide as a pragmatic solution is with alot of us and I had an observation to what you said

"it took me almost ten years to get past the daily desire to simply drive off the road every time I got on a highway, and I wonder if I would have made it without having two wonderful children that would have been hurt by it"

Do you still get to points where ending it all seems like a good solution? If not, when did it stop? (years out, after reading certain books, after finding financial security, true love :P, whatever)

It seems like saying this stuff isn't very encouraging for people just getting out, but I've been out 8 years and so much of the time it feels like I just got out yesterday. When I got out, I was fortunate to have grandparents that immediately pushed me through GED -> SAT -> college, after which I got a pretty okay job and bought a house, I mean I have what successful normal people have ( I don't make as much as some other exmems, but enough for what I need now), but things still trigger that impulse: articles about abuse, that Falung Gong article on this site, the music video for "Concrete Angel". I guess we all have our things that keep us from doing it, you had your kids, I used to say "it'll all be better after college"

I guess that's about all I had to ask, (reply to this comment

Thursday, July 06, 2006, 04:45

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(
Is is to no particular poster but I felt like saying.......

That i feel for all those parents and aunties and uncles and brothers and sisters who Our parents left behind when they joined TF.

Ironic when Tf talk about saving the world -bringing peace love and understanding etc.. WHAT about they're own families whose lives they may have destroyed. Some disapeared alltogether ,others dealt with the pressure by not writing often and not being in contact for many years.

TF want to see a better world but do nothing but add to the worst of it.

Charity starts at home-whats the point in singing to old folks when they leave they're own rotting alone. (reply to this comment
From I agree!
Thursday, July 06, 2006, 15:24

Good point!(reply to this comment
From GoldenMic
Saturday, July 08, 2006, 08:01

I agree. My Mom joined at 21 with three little babies (me being #2) and left a confused family behind. Almost 30 years later, after I was out about 7 years, I was able to help my Mom leave, and it was really tragic to see how pain-filled yet grateful my Gramma was about it, and my Aunt too. They continue to talk about how confused and hopeless they felt about having my Mom be lost in a cult, repeatedly rejecting them and being so smug about it. Actually, its kind of sad for me to see my Mom feeling guilty in both directions, guilty about turning her back on her own people, and guilty about destroying the lives of her children she raised in a cult. Over time, my anger at her has been worked through and largely dissipated, and now I mostly feel sick at such waste.(reply to this comment

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