Shutting Off My Brain ~ Part 2

by JourneyWhen we got back from our honeymoon, it was so exciting to set up our new apartment on our Bible College campus. The "married dorms" seemed so big and grown-up, and I put those thoughts about our honeymoon behind me...until Mark told me the news that “God” had told him I needed to give away my car.He said were going to be a one-car couple, and that one car was going to be his old van. This was brand new news to me. I was shocked. What? I tried to bargain with him, but he would hear none of it. Again, he was the male, therefore the one who was supposed to be the “leader,” so though I pleaded, I had no choice but to do what he wanted.The books and the teachings all sai … [Read more...]

12 Good Things I Learned From Being In (and Leaving) a Christian Cult: A Christian Perspective

by krwordgazerI am one of those who left a fundamentalist Christian coercive religious organization while remaining a Christian. I realized not long ago that there are many constructive things I believe and act on today, learned (often the hard way!) from my experiences there. But I think I'm a wiser person, and probably a better Christian, than I used to be, and though it doesn't take away the painful memories, it does help me to feel that the perspective I've gained is valuable, to me and to my loved ones.Here are my 12 bits of wisdom:1. I can't let someone else tell me what to believe. I must read and learn what the Bible says for myself, with a mind to context, the original … [Read more...]

Patriarchy Across Cultures: A Lifetime Commitment: Initiation

by TapatiTemple DeitiesIn January of 1977 Mike and I were preparing to ask for initiation. We were carefully composing letters to Srila Prabhupada to indicate that we understood the commitment we were making and hoped that he would accept us as disciples. Mike shaved his head, something he’d avoided up until that point. He knew he would not get a recommendation for initiation from the temple authorities if he kept his hair shoulder length. Embarrassed, he wore a cap over his head until it grew out again. We were more strictly abstaining from sex as well, trying to genuinely follow the instructions we had received from Srila Prabhupada.My initiation letter is dated February 2nd, 1977. W … [Read more...]

Shutting Off My Brain ~ Part 1

by JourneyThe overt abuse began the day we got married. The wedding was wonderful. I was so excited, so happy. As we drove away to our honeymoon, two Bible College students having just pledged to the Lord their love for one another, I had stars in my eyes.Then my new husband reached over and put his hand on my breast. Not fondling, not foreplay, just putting it there firmly, eyes still on the road, much like a robot.I left it there for a few seconds, stunned, and then tried to gently push it off. He pushed back, and held it tightly, right where he'd put it, firmly on my body. I pushed back harder, but Mark's large muscles were stronger than mine. I felt like I was going to … [Read more...]

"Very brave women …"

No Longer Quivering is an organization by and for very brave women who have lived a life of parallel reality in a country commonly perceived to be the land of the free.Yet, there is a culture of extremism that skews and twists the Christian Bible, further empowering the males and subjugating the women to extreme servitude and excessive child-bearing. It is truly abuse - spousal abuse & child abuse - and deprives the indoctrinated from joy and a quality of life that is unavailable to them.This organization is unique and crucial in addressing the questions from those women who have already removed themselves from their misogynist environments, but who now need to feel connected with a c … [Read more...]

Purging Satan's music….

by ErikaShortly after my family entered the cult of patriarchy, my father felt convicted that he needed to rid his house of Satan's music. This meant getting rid of all his classic rock albums and cassettes. With a family of 6 struggling through the recession of the early 90s in northern NH, those albums would definitely have netted a bit of money that could have been put to good use. As most fundamentalists are taught, if it's not good for you, then it's not good for anyone. Instead of selling those albums, they had to be destroyed.When I found out about this, I was upset. There were albums in that pile that I had been brought up on. Songs that my father brought us up on and that we … [Read more...]

All Saints

by caluluToday was All Saints Day, November 1. It’s the one day where I miss my late father the most. He and I were the two in our large New Orleans clan that would observe the rituals of All Saints. We’d pack a picnic lunch of poboys and potato salad along with cleaning supplies and head out to the cemetery with my ancient Great Aunts.  In South Louisiana entire families turn out at the graveyard to spend time remembering and honoring dead relatives by cleaning the tombstones. A special time of family remembrances and togetherness. It was our ritual that I still carry out when I’m in South Louisiana.It’s a ritual that my years in fundamentalist Quiverful country robbed from me. In my y … [Read more...]

Someone was trying to control every aspect of my life … including my clothes

by ErikaMe and my youngest brother, 1991 After being made to quit the basketball team and the FHA group, I was trying to find any way that I possibly could to stay close to my friends. I called them when I could, I would wait outside on my porch after school ended so that I could talk to my classmates that lived on my street as they walked home each afternoon, I would try to get down to the school or a friend's house when the chance came available. In the meantime, my parents were withdrawing us from as much as they could to be able to cut off as much outside influence and friendship as possible. I remember Mr. Thompson feeding my father the line, "Take away everything that is important to … [Read more...]

Vyckie's Tour de Crap: "The children do not get it at all …"

This letter which I wrote to Jonathan Lindvall via his "Bold Christian Living" email discussion list fits into the time period of the latest installment of my story.  This one is total crap ~ I was trying so desperately to figure a way to get Angel to accept and embrace the godly, quiverfull lifestyle which we'd chosen for our family ~ I think that my desperation is quite apparent in this rather pathetic letter: Dear Mr. Lindvall,Thank you so much for your ministry -- you have been a great encouragement to my husband & me.  I have a concern that I thought you might be able to address as you come from a godly Christian background.  You may have already dealt with this subject and if so, … [Read more...]

Daughter of the Patriarchy: A Terrible Secret

by SierraWhen we went to visit the house in Pennsylvania, it seemed remote, dark and expansive. At the inquisitive yet reticent age of seven, I hovered behind my mother’s leg as we looked around the basement of the long ranch house. It wasn’t quite a finished basement, but there was a bar installed with Heineken cans lining the ceiling. A child about my age was sitting on the floor playing with some ugly 1990s toys. We shared a mutual glance of childhood understanding: we were not agents in this business of buying, selling and leasing real estate (I couldn’t yet wrap my mind around what “real estate” meant in the first place). We were the dolls in our parents’ dollhouses, and I was displa … [Read more...]


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