You know you were in a cult when...

Idle Morgue

Gold Meritorious Patron
Read this story from an ex mormon - it is very sad (like our stories) and there is much to compare. Cult leaders manipulate, lie and bribe members to belong and believe. Shunning is used to punish ones back into the cult. Cults try to destroy your beliefs and your identity...that is why it is so painful to get out. This came from an Ex Mormon blog!

I am a 28 today, a father/husband and 5th generation, temple married, mormon ex missionary. My son is eight months old. My wife was a convert to the church when she was 18, about 5 years back. We recently decided to leave the church. I am glad I finally came to the realization that it's all a hoax. My emotions are still extremely raw. I live in a state of constant fear of heavenly reprisal and deep-seated guilt from my years of conditioning. I am angry about those feelings and can't wait for them to subside to some degree that feels more manageable.

It really all started when my wife and I started being a little lax about reading, praying, church attendance etc. This created some degree of separation from the beliefs that had always been shoved down my throat. I started to think about things that I had never thought about before. The beginning was something I still can't put into words effectively. The best way I can describe my feelings would be this: The Church is manipulative. I hate feeling manipulated. Therefore, I hate the way the Mormon Church makes me feel. It grew from there. My other big problem was the way we are kept in the dark about issues with doctrine, history etc. God's "One True Religion" should of course withstand any measure of scrutiny.

I really decided I wanted to leave without any foundation aside from my feelings. That was enough for me. I spoke to my wife a few months ago about the way I was feeling. She was shocked and afraid. But she recovered quickly. A week later she described, in tears, deep-seated feelings of betrayal stemming from the "milk before meat" philosophy and her discovery of things about which she was unaware. But she can tell that story. Anyway, we decided to quit being Mormon more or less. A church that controlled my thoughts just couldn't be God's church.

Enter mind-numbing guilt and feelings of despair! I felt and still feel terrified. What if I was wrong? What if salvation is on the line? Not only mine, but that of my son! This little life I helped create and love so dearly might be doomed because of my lack of faith! Partly because of these feelings (to assuage my guilt) and partly for a desire to really know the truth, I began to research.

I won't go into any of the clear-cut problems with mormonism. I will sum it up this way. Before I BELIEVED with all my heart that "the church is true". Now, I KNOW that it is categorically false. Joseph Smith was no more a prophet than I am. Since he wasn't, the Mormon faith is clearly in error. Period. There are a myriad of reasons that this is fact, but I'm sure you know them by know. If you don't, research it for yourself.

Only a couple weeks have passed since I came to this conclusion. The knowledge is both liberating and terrifying. I can no longer in good conscience ever return to the church, no matter how hard its gets. Most of my family and extended family are TBMs. Fortunately for me, My dad (my parents are divorced and my mother is remarried) is an ex-mormon of about three years. I have been angry with him for that entire time. The irony is he understood why I was mad and now he is the one I am turning to for help. I am in my last semester at school. We rent the basement from my TBM mother (whose personal worth is tied tightly to the "success", meaning righteousness, of her children. Until we move and achieve some degree of separation, I am in a constant state of anxiety. She has always thought it is her business to police personal worthiness, bugging me about church attendance, FHE, why I don't wear garments at the gym, etc. For this reason I am relatively sure she already knows something is up, but I fear her reaction if she REALLY finds out. I know she will be crushed. Will she try to evict me? We don't live there for free so she can't just give us the boot.

I am terrified at the notion of being ostracized, and almost even more than that, I know my family and everyone I love will try and trivialize my decision. They will make me out to be some evil monster of a sinner. Someone who doesn't have the intestinal fortitude to endure and make it to the Celestial Kingdom. They will speak in hushed tones about how sad it is that I have fallen away and what did I do to cause it?
They will turn this pivotal moment in my life into a farce and offer no help whatsoever in this most difficult of journeys. They will most likely go so far as to ostracize me and shun me. These people I count on, who I love and care about, who have always been the most important people in my life, will turn one of the hardest times in my life into something I caused. They won't realize that what I am going through is NOT my fault. They won't because they can't. The Church doesn't allow that. Anything that sheds light on the thought controlling aspects of the church or the revisionist history game they play is of Satan. The church won't allow them to be loving and caring family members.

In the end, I have realized, the church only puts families first if they keep the faith. If not, it's perfectly okay to divorce. Go ahead, shun your family if they don't believe. They only do just enough humanitarian work with their vast resources to show all the other TBMs, "hey, look at all the stuff we do to help these poor godless souls who don't have the Gospel!" The real idea is to take care of their own. Missionary work isn't about service, it's about adding members. I remember all those truly needy people who we just left by the wayside the second we realized they didn't want to get dunked. I remember a woman who got baptized just to get some food for herself and her two hungry children. I remember how she was cut-off when it was discovered that she didn't really believe, she just needed food. I remember thinking that it was justified! That she didn't deserve the assistance if she didn't want to do the work to get it. If she didn't believe. How awful to look back and see some of the terrible attitudes I was shown in the benevolent church culture.

I am not really angry. At least not yet. I am anxious about the future. I am free to think my own thoughts. I am sad for the friendships I will lose and the reprisal I will face. I am grateful, for the beautiful wife I have who supports my decisions. I am supremely happy that my son won't have to learn that all his life he was taught a lie. That everyone around him has no idea. I am grateful for the things I received from the church. If not for the church, I would not speak spanish. I wouldn't have met my wife, and consequently, wouldn't have had my son. I wouldn't know a lot of the good people I know. It really isn't their fault the way they think. They have no freedom to form their own ideas. They live in this world where the church is true! I think to myself constantly how much easier that would be. Oh if only it had stood the test of scrutiny. How much easier it really would have been.

This is the beginning of my new life. My life on the outside. I am free. But I am scared. I don't know what to believe.
I don't know how if I'm a Christian. I haven't decided what values to teach my son. I don't know what the future holds. But I know that I am authentic. I cannot live a lie. And that is why I can never go back.


Patron with Honors
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that All organised religions may have started off with one person with a fantastic idea of how things could be so much better.....and then got hijacked by those who felt it in their best interests to use this as a method of controlling others.

For those who feel that I am saying tubbie had a fantastic idea that got hijacked....nah, I , like Arnie, feel that he stole the basic premise from somebody else and funnily enough it resonated with enough people to grow legs and........... the rest is history.

I also said to 'somebody', that I thought scientology may have been an effort to trap those who were bright, or intelligent enough to get out of the current trap we are all in.( of course, I might also be incredibly biased!!!!)
I still feel this may be a factor worth keeping in mind.

This existence is Not as it should be, and IS worthwhile continuing to rise above it.

The message of the Christ, is a worthwhile goal and I feel achievable,as is the goal we chose to believe that scn promoted.

I still want to live in a world that is free from insanity, war and stupidity, currently,where ignorance is worshipped and stupidity held as an ideal worth attaining.

I feel that we were so close and got shut down.... yet again.
I choose not to give up, I choose to try again.
I know my sanity, integrity and existence are worth making afew mistakes for.
You know you were in a cult when...

You still yawn with your mouth closed and look around to see if anyone saw you.

You never take toilet paper for granted anymore.

You still find yourself asking "Why Thursday at 2? Why not Sunday at midnight?"

You don't pay attention to holidays.

You cringe when you see certain movie stars.

You just realized that if mental image pictures are part of the mind and are outside of the brain, then how can an e-meter you're connected to read them?

When you see people being interviewed on TV say "...on the planet" you think "I bet they're a Scientologist"

You are on a message board at 3 am.

You still don't understand how it happened to you.

The Anabaptist Jacques