Wednesday, April 13, 2016

It Hurts






From 1997 WCGnet:  This is just as applicable today to those leaving the Living Church of God, United Church of God, Philadelphia Church of God, Restored Church of God and other splinter groups.


"IT HURTS"

IT HURTS to discover you were deceived - that what you thought was the "one true religion," the "path to total freedom," or "truth" was in reality a cult.

IT HURTS when you learn that people you trusted implicitly - whom you were taught not to question - were "pulling the wool over your eyes" albeit unwittingly.

IT HURTS when you learn that those you were taught were your "enemies" were telling the truth after all -- but you had been told they were liars, deceivers, repressive, satanic etc  and not to listen to them.

IT HURTS when you know your faith in  God  hasn't changed - only your trust in an organization - yet you are accused of apostasy, being a trouble maker, a "Judas".

It hurts even more when it is your family and friends making these accusations.

IT HURTS to realize their love and acceptance was conditional on you remaining a member of good standing. This cuts so deeply you try and suppress it. All you want to do is forget - but how can you forget your family and friends?

IT HURTS to see the looks of hatred coming from the faces of those you love - to hear the deafening silence when you try and talk to them.  It cuts deeply when you try and give your child a hug and they stand like a statue, pretending you aren't there. It stabs like a knife when you know your spouse looks upon you as demonized and teaches your children to hate you.

IT HURTS to know you must start all over again.  You feel you have wasted so much time. You feel betrayed, disillusioned, suspicious of everyone including family, friends and other former members.

IT HURTS when you find yourself feeling guilty or ashamed of what you were - even about leaving them.  You feel depressed, confused, lonely.  You find it difficult to make decisions. You don't know what to do with yourself because you have so much time on your hands  now - yet you still feel guilty for spending time on recreation.

IT HURTS when you feel as though you have lost touch with reality. You feel as though you are "floating" and wonder if you really are better off and long for the security you had in the organization and yet you know you cannot go back.

IT HURTS when you feel you are all alone - that no one seems to understand what you are feeling. It hurts when you realize your self-confidence and self-worth are almost non-existent.

IT HURTS when you have to front up to friends and family to hear their "I told you so" whether that statement is verbal or not.  It makes you feel even more stupid than you already do - your confidence and self-worth plummet even further.

IT HURTS when you realize you gave up everything for the cult - your education, career, finances, time and energy - and now have to seek employment or restart your education.  How do you explain all those missing years?

IT HURTS because you know that even though you were deceived, you are responsible for being taken in.  All that wasted time........ at least that is what it seems to you - wasted time.

THE PAIN OF GRIEF

Leaving a cult is like experiencing the death of a close relative or a broken relationship.  The feeling is often described as like having been betrayed by someone with whom you were in love.  You feel you were simply used.

There is a grieving process to pass through.  Whereas most people understand that a person must grieve after a death etc, they  find it difficult to understand the same applies in this situation. There is no instant cure for the grief, confusion and pain.  Like all grieving periods, time is the healer. Some feel guilty, or wrong about this grief. They shouldn't -- It IS normal. It is NOT wrong to feel confused, uncertain, disillusioned, guilty, angry, untrusting - these are all part of the process.  In time the negative feelings will be replaced with clear thinking, joy, peace, and trust.

YES - IT HURTS BUT THE HURTS WILL HEAL WITH TIME,  PATIENCE & UNDERSTANDING

There is life after the cult.

Copyright (c) Jan Groenveld




18 comments:

Ralph said...

From 1997 WCGnet:

" All that wasted time........ at least that is what it seems to you - wasted time."

Do you mean that after all those years of learning, you carried away nothing positive, nothing at all.

Try my definition of an Armstrongite:-

"Armstrongite?
Definition from Ralph-Websters dictionary: (Limited edition)
Main Entry: Armstrongite
Pronunciation: Arm-strong-ite
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps from late Ephraimite descendent by name of Herbert W. Armstrong who established an organization eventually known as The World Wide Church of God.
Date: early to late 1900’s
: one of a notable group of people who adhere to the teachings of an anointed minister of religion who established a large following throughout the world based on many of his own interpretations of Holy writ. A ‘true’ Armstrongite retains the truth of the Scriptures, rejects the private interpretations of Herbert W. Armstrong and is recognized by his/her following conscious behaviour:-
Repentance of and turning away from past sins ie. transgressions of the law of Yehovah: believing the Gospel as in Mark 1:15 as preached by Yeshua and found in Mat.4:13, Mat. 9:35 and Mar. 1:14, ie. the gospel of the Kingdom of Yehovah: receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit ie. the attitude of Yehovah, as promised: adopting the Decalogue and its extensions as a way of life: by putting Yehovah first in his/her life: by loving his/her neighbour as themselves and not denigrating their neighbour because their opinions are at variance with his/hers; nor considering them as inferior beings because their way of life and faith is at variance with his/hers and by demonstrating a good grasp and use of the spoken and written language by not dragging it through the gutter.


A ‘True Armstrongite’ adheres to the TRUTH as in: Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Ends."

cheers
ralph.f

DennisCDiehl said...

It also hurts,for a time, to learn the Book that causes others to hurt you is far less than presented and far more the human construct than when we first believed.

But then it gets down right fascinating and a truth that actually does set you free if one dares to ask the right questions of and about said Book.

Not for the faint of heart I do understand but it will give one back their actual life and one also can save up to 10, 20 and even 30 percent or more! 😉

Ralph said...

on April 14, 2016 at 3:42 AM
DennisCDiehl wrote:-

" one also can save up to 10, 20 and even 30 percent or more! ��"

Absolutely!

cheers
ralph.f

Micah Royal said...

As a still fairly religious guy -- but in a very, very liberal tradition -- let me say alot that can be said here can be said about religion in general. When its done right, religion can build life-giving community, help support civil rights and social uplift, .... But done wrong even in groups not called cults, it can truly damage people, warp people's thinking, hurt families and communities.
We need to pay attention to our feelings and doubts -- If what is said doesn't make sense, if it causes us and other's pain, we have to ask: Is this really Sacred? Or is this more manipulation, abuse?
If there is a loving Creator (I think there is), how could S/He co-sign on anything that brings such pain, heartache, damage?
So not just cults. But all religions that go wrong. And I sure can relate to the words you share here.
Micah

DennisCDiehl said...

"If your head tells you yes but your stomach is telling you no, your stomach is telling you the truth"

Black Ops Mikey said...

It may hurt initially (substitute anger -- it's easier), but leaving a cult is a necessity, without which, you will continue to be trapped as a slave with even greater damage down the road.

Anonymous said...

Ralph, doesn't a 'true' Armstrongite put the interpretations of Herbie before the bible, rather than the other way around? A person that 'retains the truth of the scriptures' is rather a Christian. Or am I missing something?

Anonymous said...

A Christian is someone who follows Christ, rather than attend some physical church. It's an opportunity and challenge to spread your wings and grow in areas not possible in a domineering, suffocating church environment. You can never fully mature going to church. There's too much explicit and subtle brainwashing, the purpose of which is to keep members under the ministers thumbs. That said, 'workout your salvation with fear and trembling,' might mean it best for some to remain in these churches. Call it the lesser of many evils.

Ralph said...

on April 14, 2016 at 10:31 AM
Anonymous wrote:-

"Ralph, doesn't a 'true' Armstrongite put the interpretations of Herbie before the bible,...."

I guess it depends on your perspective. In the past it has been inferred that I am an Armstrongite so I thought it might help if I stated my definition of same. After all, I was associated with the WWCG for nigh on 40 years years and I came away with what I have defined. It surely was not a complete waste of time, even if there were regrets. Nor is there any "root of bitterness" as found in Heb.12:15. Thankfully I found no need of any of the 'exit and support' networks that can be readily found today although I do appreciate the help that such networks do offer.

cheers
ralph.f

Anonymous said...

Ralph is peddling the same view of Armstrongism that Ian and Vance so nobly espouse over at Ambassador Watch: The man was a scoundrel, but boy, did he get it right.

It's beyond ridiculous. It's somehow found a forum at AW, but I hope people see through it here.

And Ralph: Perhaps a word or two about Jesus' role in the process would be in order...no, wait -- that would be for a Christian. You're talking about an Armstrongite.

My bad.

Anonymous said...

Even though we disagree on many things, I know that you are NOT a bad guy, Ralph.
Listening, learning, and understanding to try to come to some effect is something cults won't allow. So, I would consider you to be de-cultified in my book.

cheers

Anonymous said...

Leave the 'one true religion' denomination, and you end up:
1 Ostracized by family members and former 'friends.'
2 No place of safety for you, so go straight into the tribulation.
3 You lose your eternal life.

The result is the religious version of the secular iron curtain.

Ralph said...

on April 14, 2016 at 5:07 PM
My bad (what?) wrote:-

"Perhaps a word or two about Jesus' role in the process would be in order...."

Jesus does get a mention, by the name in which I know Him viz. "believing the Gospel as in Mark 1:15 as preached by Yeshua and found in Mat.4:13, Mat. 9:35 and Mar. 1:14, ie. the gospel of the Kingdom of Yehovah:"
(see Nehenia Gordon's book: "The Hebrew Yeshua vs The Greek Jesus")

also:-

"You're talking about an Armstrongite."

By my definition, yes.

cheers
ralph.f

Anonymous said...

Anon said, "Listening, learning, and understanding to try to come to some effect is something cults won't allow."

I'd say they try not to allow it, but it actually happens often in cults, and is a basic reason cult leaders need to battle to keep their turnover rates to a minimum.

As far as Ralph defining a ‘true Armstrongite' as one who "retains the truth of the Scriptures, [and] rejects the private interpretations of Herbert W. Armstrong...", well, that's just plain kooky, although the offbeat comedic relief is appreciated.

Jan Groenveld certainly spread more truth and was a much finer human being than HWA did and was, and it's sad that she died in '02 at a relatively young age.

Luv,
VigorousTowelDryerGuy (Which makes me a true Armstrongite, similarly to how DaughterRapingGuy and RatDrowningGuy are also Armstrongites- except without all that daughter-raping and rat drowning!)

Ralph said...

on April 14, 2016 at 10:29 PM
Anonymous wrote:-

"....although the offbeat comedic relief is appreciated."

I'm glad you enjoyed it, as was meant.

cheers
ralph.f

Anonymous said...

Ralph, come on. Judging from your post, your "Yeshua" is a teacher. Where's the recognition of the redemptive work of Jesus? "It is finished," perhaps the most profound statement in the entire Bible, gains hardly a notice in Armstrongism.

Ralph said...

on April 15, 2016 at 5:57 AM
Anonymous wrote:-

"Judging from your post, your "Yeshua" is a teacher'

Yes. Can there be any doubt about that?

also:

"It is finished,"

What do you suppose was "finished" when those words were uttered?

cheers
ralph.f

Ralph said...

on April 13, 2016 at 10:27 PM

"....by loving his/her neighbour as themselves and not denigrating their neighbour because their opinions are at variance with his/hers; nor considering them as inferior beings because their way of life and faith is at variance with his/hers...."

is treating others as human beings, made in the image of Yehovah.

Mat 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done unto me.

cheers
ralph.f