It is my great privilege to have the blogger ‘Witch’s Slave No More’ post his experience on the Cult Next Door.
I met this wonderful man on e-harmony and soon realized that he did indeed understand what it was to have your trust in God crushed and your belief in human beings trampled.
I have been truly blessed to have a mate that not only listens sympathetically but also empathizes with his whole heart.
Truly this is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in my eyes.
I met this site's current head writer known as "Toxic Sheep No More" on eHarmony last year. One of the things that we quickly established was that we both were victims of spiritual abuse. She, however, has undergone a more classic case of cult abuse whereby a leader, of remarkable charisma, employs arsenals of altered scripture citing that runs inconsistently with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
My history of being spiritually abused comes from a place that is overlooked by most: I was the solitary victim.
After a painful and bitter divorce (which I am no longer bitter about), after a long and difficult battle with my desire to smoke tobacco and marijuana, and after a year solid of pure loneliness (lonely, as in not having even had a date of even just a PLATONIC nature), I met a woman who would take the next 3 and 1/2 years of my life and try to brainwash me into submission. I became a victim of a solitary cultist. You see, where a church cult targets a group of people, a solitary focuses on one victim. During this time, I was brainwashed out of my Fender bass guitar, several computer components, a car (which she traded in for $5,000) and what I estimate to be around $12,000 cash.
However, the money wasn't the worst part. I was conned out of my religion and convinced that faith was futile. At a very gradual rate, this person started to change my perception of God.
Let's start from the beginning. I was raised in a Church of Christ and was taught to love Jesus, Savior of all that put their faith in Him. My parents, as all good parents should do, encouraged me to grow my faith. For the first 3 years or so, they took me to church and I LOVED going to Sunday school, hearing about this "lamb of God", and hanging out with my church friends during service. Our pastor got very sick and my parents didn't like the new pastor so they stopped going and I had to as well. The new church they went to made me uncomfortable and I never quite found a church-home again like that little Church of Christ . Through my teenage years and my early 20's, I didn't fit in anywhere. In my mid-20's, for a short time, I found a Baptist preacher that really seemed to know what he was doing, but then my wife and I divorced and I had to move.
A year after the move, I met the woman that I will only refer to in pronouns. She began citing obscure Bible verses, ones that focuses on the wraith of God, instead of His love. For example, how God sent plagues onto Egypt , but she would conveniently leave out parts, saying that they were to be overlooked because they were a part of a different story. This didn't make sense to me, but she was someone who was willing to talk about God (even though she never listened or took my point of view into any consideration) and talking about God with someone, really felt good. She had an answer for everything, but nothing she said had any real basis of truth to it and after a while, I got sick of questioning what she thought was right. A lonely person like me, craving attention and a listening ear, anyone's ear, will listen to the silliest garbage and eventually accept the garbage as truth. After I stopped questioning her and started buying into her Biblical misdirection, she said that the Bible had no real basis for fact at all, since "it was written by man and it changed every couple of generations to keep up with the times." She had no real proof of this, of course, but she was still reeling me in, like a worm on a hook. I had started to believe that the Bible was pure lies. Then she started to tell me that the "real" god wants us to worship solstices and the equinox and light candles and chant and cast spells to "protect" others. It seemed far fetched, until I did it a few times and I invested a lot of good money for cheesy merchandise. Her next step was to tell me that there were two gods! One that was older than the God that I had believed in... that was pretty much a stumbling block on her part. I could start to see a little bit of light in the dark cavern that was my life and I started to pick the Bible back up again...
That story I will have to tell next time.
"Witch's Slave No More"