Monday, February 24, 2014

Neil Godfrey Talks About Life in Armstrongism and Learning To Think For Himself

Former WCG member Neil Godfrey writes about his life in Armstrongism and his awakening that led to his exit from the cult on the Vridar: Musings on biblical studies, politics, religion, ethics, human nature, tidbits from science web site.

A New Life

That’s the short version of a long story. I was actually disfellowshipped three times before I left for good. My last years were critical of the church leadership and the way they treated members. They were also critical of an outfit that could ruin people’s lives by insisting on teaching certain doctrines yet turn around and say those doctrines were wrong and we’re sorry, etc . . . and expect us all to continue to be loyal members!

From there I returned to the more uplifting and open form of worship I had grown up with. I attended Anglican and liberal Baptist churches for a time, and a few others, including a Roman Catholic one, until I found the most comfortable one for me and my kids.

I was certainly no atheist. Perish the thought. I remained a devout Christian, but one that did not look to any organization or church as an authority. Salvation and conversion was a personal matter between the believer and God. It was a happy, fulfilling time. I still look back with respect on my years in those liberal churches.

The move towards atheism was another story that came later. Before then I read widely on cults and other fundamentalist churches and was surprised to learn how common my own experiences had been. I formed a little “cult veterans support group” or support group for ex-cultists. Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, other weirdo ones I can’t recall now — we were all astonished at how alike our experiences had been. While immersed in the cult we had been conditioned to think of ourselves as unique. All of that fell away and it was great for all of us to compare notes and discuss positive ways forward.


Anonymous said...

I read the article. It's honest, without proselytizing, and a good read.

Thanks for putting up a variety of viewpoints as well as entries on a variety of splinter groups.

A commenter wrote, "When we set up our enemies as straw men, we become just like them.", but I think that to mention and talk about the WCG's splinter groups is hardly setting them up as straw men.
(Nor is mentioning and talking about other cultish problems within Christianity, here. Neil made the good point that there's a commonality among cults.)

Hopefully, as time goes on, more people will be able to take a break from cheerleading their particular religious viewpoints to examine and clean up the crap in their religion's backyards, sideyards and frontyards.

Corky said...

Neil Godfrey's "Vridar" blog is about the only blog on the web that provides an honest discussion of the origins of Christianity.