Many religious bloggers try to tell you what to do and what to believe. I’m not religious, so I’m not interested in bossing people around.
I’ve spent a lot of time observing other people’s opinions on the subject of spiritual abuse and I have one thing to say: quite a few of them have the same belief system that I left behind.
Why is it that few people have taken to open up their minds to discard the negative, harmful beliefs that once enslaved us? Religious legalism and intellectual blindness is what entrapped us–made us continually subject to abuse. Of course, there are other components like mental coercion, violence, brainwashing tactics. But, the only way I’ve found to truly free myself of all those elements is to sort of empty out my mind from all the religious bullshit and start over with a clean slate. I started later to pick apart each element of belief slowly and thoughtfully, looking at it curiously and wondering why “they” taught me specific things. What did it do to benefit them? What did it do to oppress me? Or, was it helpful to me?
Most of it wasn’t helpful to me. It usually was a way of thinking that harmed me and oppressed me and didn’t allow me to be the unique individual I am.
What is it about leaving one church/cult that makes people want to start another religious movement? I’ve observed a lot of people on multiple online venues who’ve left cults like mine. Most of them have taken the role of “shepherd” and kinda try to pastor people. I really despise the role of pastor, so these people tend to annoy me more than anything.
What I’ve found is that a blogging platform can truly transform someone into nearly a televangelist type of fame, if that’s what you choose to gain from it. Yesterday, I was talking to a writers group and someone suggested I go on a lecture tour, talking about the ills of cults and how to inform parents. I told them I wanted nothing to do with the lecture circuit. I don’t want to be a spiritual guru, a guide for others to follow. And I don’t want to get paid for doing something like a pastor does.
I think each one of you is smart enough to figure out your own post-cult journey and I personally don’t want to force my beliefs onto you. I think the legalistic religious personalities of former cult members is sort of silly and dishonest with themselves. It’s just as ugly as what I left behind and I don’t want anything to do with it. I’m happy enough on my own, meshing together a path that leads many places–none of them more “right” than the other.