Thursday, July 15, 2010

Guest Post at The Cult Next Door

Recently, Julie at The Cult Next Door very graciously invited me to contribute a guest post on her blog. Please be sure to visit her blog and read it, and while you're there, check out the wealth of informative and interesting articles and resources resulting from her own experiences in a spiritually abusive situation. Ironically, Julie was once practically my neighbor and we never knew it;)

Thanks again, Julie.


  1. Thank you, Lewis! The post was beautiful!
    I wish I had "run into" you when were neighbors! I'll bet you would have talked some sense into me about the enviroment I was in!
    God bless!

  2. OK great post! You didn't leave anything out. So sorry to say I was not having "empathy" for her at first. This whole situation is so complicated. How on earth are you dealing with this? Too many people leave out the negative things that can happen during courtship. WHY?

  3. "So sorry to say I was not having "empathy" for her at first."

    No worries. To be frank, I don't always have empathy for her myself. I have moments where I'm very angry at her. She's made some poor and destructive choices that we both now have to live with. Granted, she had MUCH help, and knowing that helps with the anger. Name the emotion and I've been there, probably all within the hour.

    "How on earth are you dealing with this?"

    Not particularly well, although I'm doing better. Within 8 months of her disappearance, I'd lost nearly a third of my body weight. It's been devastating. Every area of my life - spiritual, emotionally, physical, financial, professional - took a whallop. Writing has been a wonderful outlet and therapy for me. Hopefully others can benefit from my experience. A few weeks back, Cindy Kunsman advised me, "Don't waste your pain", and I don't intend to. The most important thing for me has been to cling to my faith in the Lord above all else - and learning to trust Him implicitly, not blaming Him for what people choose to do.

    "Too many people leave out the negative things that can happen during courtship. WHY?"

    I know that opinions may vary on this, but my answer would be that if the true story of courtship, and all of it's nasty fruits, got out, and people became aware of the aberrant, abusive, cultic movements where it's roots are found in modern religious society, it would do a speedy impersonation of the French army. There are minimal positives from organized meddling, and zero spiritual positives.

  4. I really appreciate how honest you are about where you are. You don't gloss over how this whole experience affected you, and that can be really hard, especially for those who learn what "good Christians" should or shouldn't feel, say, think, or do.

  5. maybe it's time for me to chime in here. lewis i can understand exactly where you are even more than you'll ever know cuz i'm married to that quintessential fundie/sort of quiverfull man whose family tries to look normal. i had a lot of red flags along the way but just thought that they were cuz we were sooo young (we met @ 20). well, it turns out that his family is cultic (if that's a term). 3 yrs ago my husband joined a cult very much like david koresh beliefs. oh yeah, i was scared i had every emotion out there you name it i felt it. well, everything (the red flags) began to make sense about this man that i married and his family. hillary, i take that encouragement to be mine as well cuz it's NOT easy to talk about this but it IS easy to gloss over and seem like "i'm an okay/good Christian". well, it's NOT okay really. my God. My husband's in a cult, we were best friends/connected in very deep ways, lots and lots in common but the christian cult exiter that i hired spelled it out for me. your husband grew up in a cultic family and he's never exited so he's been cult hopping. i'm like oh wow where in the helicopter have i been. i'm NOT trying to take the attention off you dear Lewis but man sometimes i see the reality of the situation and go like "huh, really, come on God?" i really need to start a blog or something cuz there's got to be more of us out there those who've married or almost married into a cultic family. GULP! i feel like an idiot right now. but my emotions change so quickly i can't keep up. anyways, ppl need to know me and know this cuz my husband and his family are very extreme on the inside but very normal on the outside. Yak! thanks lewis for blazing this trail. help me cuz i am sooo scared of being found out by my husband & his cult members and what that can do to me. okay, fear is not of the lord well, what about fearing predators huh? these ppl are dangerous! *sigh* i guess i don't take it seriously as i need to hillary really. i want it to go away but i face it everyday and it's like screaming to come out and speak about all of it. this is a start right?

  6. I liked this post. I think that in the crux of a decision we often mistakenly associate "peace" with the decision which is most likely to lead to the most "quiet", meaning, "I know this decision will lead to everyone leaving me alone. I will be back to what I'm used to and have grown comfortable with, and my thoughts and conscience will not be challenged any more."

    The "super-spiritual" among us can hold great sway over the consciences of the weak, leaving them in great emotional turmoil and upheaval should they step in any way "out of line". I'm speaking from experience. They hold the really big guns.

    To be perfectly honest, if I had been in the position of your almost-wife I would likely have caved to the pressure as well, terrified that I could be making a decision "out of God's will", too terrified to recognize the possibility that everyone I've ever known and trusted could be so wrong, unable to accept the seemingly prideful notion that little-bitty me could be the one who got it right while all the Christian leaders in my life were wrong....

    (Another example for your list is Martin Luther, the "father" of the Reformation. He spent the night before his refusal to recant in a Gethsemane of his own. He stood his ground with trembling - and where would we be had he not?)

  7. "unable to accept the seemingly prideful notion that little-bitty me could be the one who got it right while all the Christian leaders in my life were wrong...."

    Laurie...She said those very words to me a couple of hours before she disappeared, and asked me if I wasn't just being prideful. You're spot on about the perceived spiritually strong domineering the weak emotionally.

    frogla...If you feel led to write, you have my 100% support and prayers, sis. I'll help any way I can.

  8. thnx Lewis! sry to have vented on your blog i normally don't do that *blush*. sheeez i haven't even had any wine. lol i need some good advice tho. starting a blog might sabotage some really good work i've been doing cuz my husband & his cult members are prolly watching me pretty closely online. especially since the cult leader knows that i hired a cult interventionist last summer whom my husband and i spent a total of 2wks with. *sigh* i wanna share help heal listen etc but the cost is great so idk. any ideas? thnx again lewis for your gracious attitude!

  9. No need to apologize. Vent here anytime you want. I do;)

  10. Frogla, that must be very hard. Wow, wish I could give you hugs. I'm praying you guys will be able to get away.

    Lewis, I sure hope you're not still losing weight! And that everything else is getting better, too. Take care of yourself.


  11. L...I bottomed out, weight and health-wise, in February of last year, but have since jumped back up to my normal, healthy weight. Well, maybe not AS healthy as before (a little more fluff than firm this time around). A couple of other little health related speedbumps, but with God's help I'm slowing coming back together.