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Guest JPD

Born in a cult.

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Guest JPD

I was born in Rota, Spain to american parents. My father was station there, in the navy. Shortly after I was born, my father was discharged and my parents moved to Tangier, Morocco to join a group of american missionaries affiliated with the group Youth With A Mission, or YWAM, as they called it. We lived in a christian commune on the beach there until I was 5. The standard line that I heard from my parents as I was growing up was that they had been there to minister to the american hippies who were lured there by the cheap rent and hash, and the excellent surf. I have few memories of this time.

 

Sometime when I was five we moved back to the states, to a town in Indiana called Martinsville. There was an old hotel there that was built in the 20s on a sulfur spring, when bathing in sulphur water was actally a health fad. Obviously the fad faded, and YWAM bought the building for a song, using it to house it's reutrning missionaries. We lived in this christian commune until I was eight.

 

Then my parents pulled up stakes and moved to Nashville to become contemporary christian music stars. This didn't work out, my parents divorced, and for a time my father wasn't so religious. He shacked up with the woman who would eventually become my stepmother, and I moved in with them. I was 11 at the time.

 

My stepmother had been a real wild child. She confessed to me once that she had stopped counting her sexual partners around 200. She liked to smoke pot, too. It turns out that the last 5 years of my Dad's marriage to my mother, he had been having an affair with some woman, and she had talked him into smoking pot before they would have sex. So, my Dad, had developed a liking for pot, himself, by that time.

 

My stepmom apparently convinced my dad that I was going to eventually smoke pot, and so it would be wise for them to smoke it with me first in a safe environment. Which they did. I liked it so much I have smoked it almost every opportunity I have ever gotten. I have sold it, grown it, smuggled it........this is another story. They used the same rationale to show me pornographic movies.

 

Fast forward through my teen years. I was rebellious as hell. I cut myself. I used all kinds of drugs. But I maintained a belief that Jesus was the son of God, but the church was full of hypocrits. Imagine my relief when, at 19, I found a church that seemed to really follow Jesus. There were blacks and whites together. Everyone seemed to have the same level of commitment, zeal. I am a guitar player, and the guy who invited me was a luthier who had built some of the most beautiful guitars I had ever seen. I studied the bible and fell headlong into a dangerous cult. Anyone ever heard of the ICOC?

 

I'll spare you the obvious tales of church abuse, and cognitive dissonance. Suffice it to say that I fell in love with and married another member, and through that process became aware that if what these people preached was right, I couldn't ever do it, and shortly after we were married, we left the church.

 

Immediately I resumed smoking pot and have done so ever since. Ten years now. Im 32. The marriage lasted a couple of years, but it was doomed form the beginning. We divorced after 3 years.

 

Over the years, I have agonized about the choices I have made in life. I have been able to learn enough about the real world to understand that what I was sold from birth was a lie, but I still couldn't explain my enormously self destructive nature, low self esteem, fatalistic mindset, etc. I'm a mess, people. I have been as far back as I can remember.

 

But, a couple of years ago, my mother opened up to me about the first few years of my life. What she told me still amazes me. When my parents joined the group in Morocco, they had basically joined a cult. The group of about 30 people was lead by one couple who had complete control over the rest. Both of my parents have expressed that this was true (although my dad has a different take on the rest of this story, since he is still a christian, and my mother is not). This couple could not have children of there own, for medical reasons, and when my parents joined, I was the first and only child in the group.

 

The leaders took a very strong interest in my rearing, eventually declaring that, in their perfect little christian community, anyone in the group should have the same right to parent and instruct a child of the group as the parents. This eventually grew into the belief that, because their community was a perfect christian community, it should be possible to raise a child in such a way as to make it sinless, or at least as close as is possible, in order to glorify God. Every day and night there were protracted prayer meetings where people would be under the holy spirit. Sometimes these meetings went on into the wee hours of the morning. I was expected, as an infant, and eventually a toddler and a preschooler, to attend these meetings, and stay awake to abosrb the spirituality, I guess. I spent hours and hours away from my parents in the care of the leaders and other cults members, doing and being taught who-knows-what. It was this that eventually made my mom demand that they leave and come back to the states

 

Of course, my indoctrination continued for several years after that, but it was never as intense and creepy as during the most formative years of my life. Years for which I have almost no memory. But, what has certainly remained is that first programming I received. My operating system, if you will. I sincerely believe that the shit I was taught has steered my life in it's fucked up direction, and though I can;t blame anyone else for my decisions, I can't ignore this incandescent stone of anger that lives in my skull. My whole life I have believed that I was bad, that i could never be good without God. Even atheism and rational thought cannot totally insulate my mind from those voices from the past. They lie, I know, but I still hear them.

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Guest JPD

Yikes, I should have proofread that. Is it not possible to edit your own posts here?

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JPD

 

Sorry that you are still so affected by your past :hug:

 

I hope this site can help you, even if only a little bit. I know there are a lot of people here who, like you, were very affected by their religious upbringing.

I hope you find refuge here.

 

Welcome to the site.

 

 

 

Yikes, I should have proofread that. Is it not possible to edit your own posts here?

 

Eh, don't worry about proofreading. We have seen worse. Usually there is a little edit button under your posts though; for the times that your posts get especially messy :HaHa:

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Yikes, I should have proofread that. Is it not possible to edit your own posts here?

103143[/snapback]

I'm not sure at what point the Edit function is turned on. If it's after a certain number of posts or that its open for edit only 1 hour after the posting.

 

Anyway, if you want it changed, post the proof read one after this post, and PM me, and I'll move the new proofed one into the opening post.

 

Hans

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Guest JPD
Usually there is a little edit button under your posts

 

I know, but I don't have one. Do you have to be here for awhile before you can edit your posts, as some kind of security measure (which I don't understand)? Anywho, I ain't sweatin it.

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You can subscribe and the edit button is available permanently and doesn't time out. But you should have it for a short time after posting, IIRC.

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Guest JPD

I still have yet to see an edit button, but alas, I am a lowly nonsubscriber, so I can live with having to proofread my posts. I appreciate all the feedback on my question about the edit function, but responses to what I wrote about my life would be even nicer. Perhaps I left out too many of the juicy bits. Perhaps it's just a bit too wierd. I dunno. I'm having a time making sense of it, myself.

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JPD- Welcome!!!

 

I have smoked pot with my parents, too. But they weren't Christians (well, nominally Catholic, but that doesn't count). No watching porn though... lol.

 

I live in Indianapolis, so I know Martinsville well. It is an assbackwards small town for sure.

 

What is the ICOC? Could you elaborate on their beliefs? I am curious...

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Guest JPD

The ICOC is the International Churches of Christ. They broke from the traditional church o chris in 79, following the teachings of a man named Kip Mckean. The basic tenets include that being a christian means being a disciple, being willing to give up everything for Jesus. The church is the Kingdom of God, so when it says to seek first the kingdom in matt 6 that means to put the church above everything. Always attend all services. Never accept any job that would interfere with that. The main focus of a disciple is said to be to follow matt 28 in the great commision and seek and save the lost, so there are stats kept on how many people you invite to church and how many actually come, and how many bible studies with nonchristians you schedule and, ultimately, how many people you baptise because baptism by full immersion in water is the only way to be forgiven of your sins. Also, no one outside of the ICOC was saved. All church history was apostasy except their little 30 yr old group. Everyone,(except the highest leaders of course) had what were called "disciplers" or people to whom they were directly accountable to confess their sins and to reveal their finances in order to insure that 10% was being given. I could say much more, but a simple google search will save me alot of typing. It's a bad cult. Second only to scientology these days, IMO.

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Guest JPD
Sorry that you are still so affected by your past :hug:

 

If I may say so, you're quite a beauty. If you ever head toward Nashville, let me know and I'll be sure to schedule that hug.

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Whoa. Talk about a mindfuck. Man - I'm so glad you got away from that early church your family was involved in. I'm sorry they got their hands on you when you were so young. You're right, stuff impressed at that young an age - it stays with you forever, even if it lessens in degree.

 

Congrats, tho. And welcome. :goodjob:

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Guest pagmatic

JPD,

 

It all started at Lords Gym in Peabody, MA. Working out was one thing; but eating right was another. That's when I met Keith, a flamboyant Liberace look alike (without the piano and mink coats), who worked at a new Health Food Store in the mall near the gym. The food was expensive, and I complained about it. I think on the third night, Keith finally invited me to church. Maybe he thought being rehabbed by Jesus would turn my Dicey Language into something useful for something else? And everything after that was a big blur. When I awoke, I was in freezing cold water getting Baptized for every bad word I said about Keith's health food, and some other things I did in my life over the years. I don't recall the day, or month, I was baptized; but it was in 1989; because that's when it was cool to work out.

 

Keith would soon fade out, later to be replaced by another guy, who would "disciple me". Paul looked like a lanky carrot and I recall that we fasted for a couple days. No wonder he was frail! He probably did this with all the guys. I really didn't understand any of it; not even after reading passages after passages of Bible stuffage on an empty stomach. My wife can tell you that I'm a real grouch when unfed. What kept me from eating Paul's carroty hair at the time is beyond me.

 

In 1990, I left Boston to convert my mother, who was living in South Carolina. What a mission! She was all nice on the phone; but once I got there, she said those words that brought joy to a Disciple's ears: "YOU'RE IN A CULLLLLLLT!" In other parts of the country, it sounds like "COLLLLT" which sounded goofier. It all depends; but either way, it's a funny word to hear with the emphasis on the "L". All that to say, is that she wasn't interested one single bit. I guess she felt that saying "YOU'RE IN A CULT", at some insane decible would convince me right there to leave that dang church and become the fry cook at McDonalds or something; but it didn't. I just went on my merry way and joined the folks in Columbia, SC.

 

I know I'm not saying much about my personal experiences in the church-- because they're not as exciting as what I'm saying here. Being chastized about a damn wrinkle in my shirt by some leader doesn't go down in my "Happy Times" Journal! I'm sure Jesus didn't iron his cloak and stuff; but if he didn't, who would tell him? What I mean is that I heard more sermons about What would Jesus do; and how we should do it 100 times better; rather than something about..well..whatever theI Baptists teach on Sundays?

 

After a year or so, I got tired of it and left. Again, I don't recall exactly when I left; but it was 1992.

 

There's more to this; but I'd be typing for hours.

 

-Mike

 

 

 

 

 

 

JPD,

 

It all started at Lords Gym in Peabody, MA. Working out was one thing; but eating right was another. That's when I met Keith, a flamboyant Liberace look alike (without the piano and mink coats), who worked at a new Health Food Store in the mall near the gym. The food was expensive, and I complained about it. I think on the third night, Keith finally invited me to church. Maybe he thought being rehabbed by Jesus would turn my Dicey Language into something useful for something else? And everything after that was a big blur. When I awoke, I was in freezing cold water getting Baptized for every bad word I said about Keith's health food, and some other things I did in my life over the years. I don't recall the day, or month, I was baptized; but it was in 1989; because that's when it was cool to work out.

 

Keith would soon fade out, later to be replaced by another guy, who would "disciple me". Paul looked like a lanky carrot and I recall that we fasted for a couple days. No wonder he was frail! He probably did this with all the guys. I really didn't understand any of it; not even after reading passages after passages of Bible stuffage on an empty stomach. My wife can tell you that I'm a real grouch when unfed. What kept me from eating Paul's carroty hair at the time is beyond me.

 

In 1990, I left Boston to convert my mother, who was living in South Carolina. What a mission! She was all nice on the phone; but once I got there, she said those words that brought joy to a Disciple's ears: "YOU'RE IN A CULLLLLLLT!" In other parts of the country, it sounds like "COLLLLT" which sounded goofier. It all depends; but either way, it's a funny word to hear with the emphasis on the "L". All that to say, is that she wasn't interested one single bit. I guess she felt that saying "YOU'RE IN A CULT", at some insane decible would convince me right there to leave that dang church and become the fry cook at McDonalds or something; but it didn't. I just went on my merry way and joined the folks in Columbia, SC.

 

I know I'm not saying much about my personal experiences in the church-- because they're not as exciting as what I'm saying here. Being chastized about a damn wrinkle in my shirt by some leader doesn't go down in my "Happy Times" Journal! I'm sure Jesus didn't iron his cloak and stuff; but if he didn't, who would tell him? What I mean is that I heard more sermons about What would Jesus do; and how we should do it 100 times better; rather than something about..well..whatever theI Baptists teach on Sundays?

 

After a year or so, I got tired of it and left. Again, I don't recall exactly when I left; but it was 1992.

 

There's more to this; but I'd be typing for hours.

 

-Mike

 

 

 

 

 

 

UGH!!! I can't edit it either...I'm already subscribed...or am I?

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It's as if you were raised in Skinner's box. :HappyCry:

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