Sent in by Hannah
I am currently trying to begin the process of leaving a Christian cult and I wanted to share my situation with people that might be able to understand and hopefully offer some advice even. I was born into the cult and brainwashed for my entire childhood by my parents (whom I still love by the way) who are very involved members. If you have seen the film "Jesus Camp" that is a very close depiction of what my life was like. We had extremely strict rules in my house....for example, my sister and I were not allowed to talk to boys (we had to be silent if they talked to us), we could not lock our doors, if we asked questions to our parents they would not usually answer, we could not attend sex ed or anything related to evolution or DARE in school (if we heard someone else talking about things like that we had "sinned")....that's the idea. I was completely miserable but my siblings and I, having not been exposed to rational things, did not know any better or have any choice but to go along with it. I began having sex as a very young child but was not able to tell my parents because they would punish me. We attended church for about 7 hours on Sundays and church events constantly throughout the week to memorize Bible verses. In once instance when I was very ill my father said that I was not reading the Bible enough and yelled at me that he no longer wanted me to live in his house (I was just 15 with nowhere to go).
Well I am now in my early 20's but still depending on my parents to help me pay for college and those things. I have played the part all these years though I have refused to be baptised into "membership." I have still got everyone fooled but I can't do it anymore. To tell them the truth (that I do not share their beliefs) and stop attending church means that most likely I will not be allowed to see or talk to my family again which would be devestating. I don't know what to do but it is getting so controlling....yesterday I was told who I *will* vote for in the presidential election (he told me if I did not vote for this person, he would make sure I did not have the opportunity to vote at all), for example. On Sunday they publicly announced a man in church who had cheated on his wife and prayed to god to bring him misery and suffering. I am so afraid of what's going to happen because I love my family.....
*I am in no way criticising Christianity whatsoever, I am criticising this particular cult.....
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)