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10/4/08                                                                                       View Comments

I have no one really to turn to

From Valerie

Hello, I am writing from France where I live - nothing like this site exists in Europe, where fundamental Christianity is little know, and unfortunately there is not much help for former evangelicals.

My husband and I became "converts" way back in 1980, and spent 17 years in a very austere community in Geneva Switzerland, where we were literally cut off from our family and friends for years - brainwashed and psychologically abused by a "Christian" woman who was the leader of the community and her family. The usual thing - prayer meetings every day - prophesies that were more and more threatening and menacing towards anyone with the slightest "rebellious" thought - exploiting our fears and fragilities, making us live in abject poverty both materially and culturally... I finally left the cult, after the most terrible time having been harassed in ways I would rather not say by the son of the Leader. Of course I was blamed as a "sinful" woman for this, when it was not my fault. My husband finally decided to believe me and give our family a new chance, and we left the Church in 1997. It was a total rebirth - but really tough to get back to a normal social, family and professional life.

However, over the last couple of years, my husband has experienced a second "conversion" and although he does not yet go back to Evangelical communities, his ideas are as they were before - only perhaps more subtly expressed...

I am now desperate - our four children have left home now, marked by their childhood in a fundamentalist cult, but nevertheless happy and courageous young people, studying and working... I have no one really to turn to who understands the pain I am going through, after thirty years of marriage when all I wanted was peace from all that brainwashing - to go through it all again... it helps knowing other people have been through the difficulties I have expressed, and if anyone has an encouraging word, or knows of any group in Europe, France or Switzerland which I could join, it would be much appreciated...

Many thanks for publishing this message.. Valerie.