This just in: I’m bitter. Again. Blah, Blah, Blah.

This email was sent to me from Kelli, who titled the subject Broken Heart. Read on for more magic. Yawn.

 

Hello Lisa,
You do not know me as I do not know you personally. I was wondering around on you tube today and came across your video “Master’s Commision Rant.” I was curious, so I watched. I’m not surprised by anything you said. I have herd many people who left a mc with the same attitude. I’m must say that you sound bitter. I was in masters commission for 3 amazing years. I was not raised in church. I started walking myself to church at age 8 by myself. I was not raised in a Christian home, so I made the choice to believe in Jesus Christ and have him be the father and savior in my life. I started thinking for myself at a very early age because I had parents who left me no choice to think any other way.
I am so very sorry that you had this experience as well as many other students. However, masters commission is not intended for everyone. I have become great friends with the funded and many of the staff that have been there from the beginning and I know first hand that it is not intended for everyone. I had a fanominal experience and ministered to thousands of people. I know many people who spent one year in mc to grow their spiritual self and “get their self control” under control before they went to a university. Those people lead great lives and have stable families. They are successful and thank God everyday for that mc that helped them. I also know hundreds of alumni, including myself, that go on do ministry around the world. As far as the covenant for first years, it’s not intended to put a chain around your neck. It’s there, I you choose to do so, to have you focus on God for 9months rather than the distractions that come along with dating. Let’s face it, as for me , a disciple of Jesus Christ, if a man can not be completely focused on the one who  created him for 9 months out of his entire life, then how could he ever be faithful to me as his wife for the next 50-75 years of his life? I am so blessed to say that I have married a great man of God with morals and values that I believe that he could have never had without that covenant. I am in no way saying that people who don’t make 9month covenants with God can’t have them, I’m simply saying the if the opportunity is placed before you and you can handle it, then you can not handle future covenants.
I just don’t understand why you have made your bitterness into a business. You said in one of your comments on your video that a community of people need to come together…..do realize what you are doing? You are promoting a community of unforgiveness and bitterness. Why focus on the negative? What a terrible way to live. It seems as though you are the one that is hurting yourself by ranting on about the wrong that apparently happens to you. Why live in offense instead a life full of joy and freedom? Everyone gets hurt, it’s how you deal with it that developes you…..you obviously are living in the negative. Move on…. Do you really think that at the end of your life the world is going to remember you for doing good? Or will they remember you for contributing to the bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness? It seems as though your purpose in life is to down religions and be negative…..wow….I couldn’t imagine living in such negativity. I feel sorry for you and hope that you find purpose in your life and stop living a life that is devoted to bashing everyone else’s lives….

It’s unfortunate that Master’s Commission hasn’t taught Kelli how to use spell check. Thanks girl.

In response, I didn’t cuss her out. I simply said, I don’t support abusive groups and I hope you will do your part to be socially and ethically responsible with those you deal with, too. 

#mycultlife #hatemail #dumbasses #bitteragain #yawn

The Feminist Yawn-A More Heartfelt Response

I wrote The Feminist Yawn and received enough responses to realize I’d offended some of the feminist community, but what I didn’t expect was my broad generalizations would hurt someone I’d grown close with while collaborating for months on feminist projects. And for that, I’m sorry.

The response I wrote to feminism was mainly over two issues: UniteWomen.org and Daniel Tosh. When I blogged, “I’d been a moderator on one of the larger groups on Facebook for women’s rights (and enjoyed it) and had been involved in a growing women’s group, which I later found to be full of growing scandal/greed,” the latter part of that statement is directed at UniteWomen.org. I’d read a really powerful response by a woman of color who attended the UniteWomen rally and left disappointed. Although her post had to do explicitly with race, I felt utterly disappointed by UniteWomen, as well. For months, I felt women had so much momentum politically and UW came in and dismantled it all with their desire to be the lead group for the moment. They wanted to build a grass-roots movement and be the front-runner, and they did. However, they immediately proved to be utterly disorganized, to make excuses for not uniting women, and they treated individual state groups with disrespect. I became infuriated with UniteWomen and how they had selfishly redirected all of the energy some of us had worked so hard in gaining within the movement toward their personal agendas.

I know this because I was collaborating for months with women doing our own grass-roots movement online. I’d gotten a lot of friends politically charged and we were all moving forward. I’m not quite sure what happened to me, but I felt I needed to take a back seat, despite enjoying the work. There were too many other groups who needed help and wanted me to join in a leadership position and to be honest, I was getting pulled by a few of them very strongly. I’d enjoyed working with my friend J. and we’d become very close, but I had a difficult time saying no to other groups and requests for my leadership skills. I became overwhelmed.

I joined a UniteWomen group in Southern California before UW started pissing me off. The stateside leadership was wonderful but were not directly related to UW. I loved working with them and they transitioned away from UW and into their own group–a group I like very much. They are hard-working women who put their money where their mouth is, so to speak.

And then another group came along around the same time to ask me to be on leadership, which I don’t want to get into personally before speaking with the leader of the group; however, I was a bit taken aback by the personal agenda that steamrolled this group into the mainstream. I was also kind of offended, because I take pride in not using my platform for instances like that, although I could. I don’t believe in exploiting the masses and with UniteWomen’s ability to do that, I was wary of any new group. I was also protective, like an angry mother protecting her brood. I felt like some of us had worked so hard at uniting women and a few opportunists, who hadn’t lifted a finger the whole time, wanted to come scoop them up for their own agendas. That’s NOT why we worked so hard and I felt very frustrated.

My second issue with the feminist community was how quickly we attacked Daniel Tosh. Women writers I respect immediately took to their platform. I was confused over the fact that I personally didn’t agree with Roxanne, because I usually really like her writing. However, I’d been feeling a bit of a disconnect from some of the academic community, and her response seemed very high-tower academic instead of human. The human in me was upset at Roxanne’s response because I felt that she was taking a stance for all of us and leading the feminist community into an army of Tosh.0 haters-as if he were a rapist. Years before this incident, Daniel Tosh had been one of the many comedians I would watch weekly, in my attempt to re-enter the world of pop culture after being isolated from it when I lived in a cult. However base my taste is, I felt personally insulted at everyone’s attacks. Objectivity and rational thinking seemed to go out the window after Roxanne’s article went up and feminists I knew started personally attacking me over my taste in Daniel Tosh’s comedy.

All of a sudden, the community I’d been part of for so many months turned their back on me and attacked me. It wasn’t a good feeling. I suppose that’s when I realized how fickle mobs can be. One minute they love you. The next minute they’re stoning you.

For what it’s worth, I’m still feminist. I’m not feminist in the way my friend Marty is feminist, though. When we were discussing his post, he shared why he was a feminist: “I consider myself a feminist, but that’s just part of being a humanist. It’s okay to be seen as a feminist in my eyes. Just not hysterical, or ranty or attention seeking…”

I’m not a feminist because I’m atheist or humanist nor do I feel it’s fair or accurate to call the feminist community “hysterical” or ranty or attention seeking.

I hope that I represent one feminist well, but I also hope to be seen as an individual. As a former cult member it’s very important for me to have freedom to have my own opinions and taste, even if that means I’m not “part of the group.” I do also hope we can all work together on being objective when we need to be and to think critically instead of jumping onto a bandwagon because it’s popular. Despite our differences of opinion (of which I’m sure there are many), there are a great number of people within the feminist community I admire and enjoy working with. Thanks to one in particular who helped me see that.

Sexism in the Atheist boys’ club

Anyone who doesn’t know that atheism is a dick-only club is about to find out that it nearly exclusively caters to penis. Women are talking about it and women I’ve been talking to have been wondering why they aren’t included in the atheist dialogue or why there aren’t leaders in the atheist community that look like them. The blunt answer-you’ve got the 4 Horsemen (4 Horsemen is a name for the supposed atheist leaders: Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, the late Chris Hitchens and Daniel Dennett) and some of them are rumored to be sexist.

Since when is the atheist community a) so fucking fundamentalist and b) such a little dick club? They took the bros before hoes thing way too seriously.

I am only recently an “out” atheist, so I’m incredibly new to this community. But immediately it sounded a little tired–science is the only argument against why there’s no God? Yawn. Science is extremely important and epidemiology is one of the most fascinating subjects I’ve ever stumbled upon. But, there seemed to be a great deal lacking in the atheist/anti-theist discussions. Then, I figured out why: men with limited expertise were running the show and almost exclusively men with a background in science, which seemed odd to me because I know a great deal of atheist women with better messages than just “evolution is cool”. On another note, there have been a lot of criticisms of the atheist community being too fundamentalist.

So, confused, I sat back and watched. Then, in May of this year, I made a friend in the Flagstaff (AZ) Freethinkers Group, Brian Wallace. He asked me to speak at his group upon publication of my book, which is about my life in a cult. Then, he proceeded to hit on me. This wasn’t totally weird…until it turned weird. It quickly became predatory and really disturbing. He said his girlfriend (Serah Blain?) wanted him to meet a woman and have sex with her. He didn’t even know if he wanted to (lies). They were in an open relationship, he tells me later. Then, he said she was interested in bringing that woman (presumably me) into a threesome in a hotel at the upcoming atheist convention (which I think was this one). What was weird wasn’t that I was asked to be in a threesome. That’s so three years ago, though, and I’m over it. What was weird was the amount of charm and lies this dude Brian piled up just to convince me to sleep with him and his girlfriend.

A month later, I realize exactly why this fucks with my head still. Brian was a sexual predator–manipulating and lying to get in the sack with a girl looking for love. There wasn’t any honesty in the dialogue. It was pure sociopathic manipulation. My real issue, though is that these people, Brian and Serah, are leaders in the atheist/freethinking community. I was even friends with Serah on Facebook and that’s where I think she got the idea to target me. Yes, target.

Later, I realized the men-run (read: all) atheist conventions have been told for years that sexual harassment has been happening and have not done a damn thing to implement a sexual harassment policy? How can you when Dick-y Dawkins is sexist and thinks women should just get “thick skin” and suck a dick it up. Oh, PLEASE don’t tell me to suck it up. I don’t care if you think you run the world, Dawkins. That’s so 1950’s you remind me of the Catholic Church with that type of rhetoric.

At some point in between all this, I join The Clergy Project, where I get interviewed for an hour, but sadly, the interview consisted of bragging about self. Cool story bro. Yawn. You’re running up my phone bill for this? I’ve got shit to do and I’m trying to join a community here, and you’re telling me how awesome you are. Weird. My response to him: “Where are all the women in the atheist community?” Stutter…”Um, oh, yeah.” I’m disappointed.

My atheist role models aren’t necessarily outright atheist, but they stand for human rights issues, secularism, and take an active role in stopping the abuse of the church. Marci A. Hamilton and Anne Rice…these women are passionate about putting their reputation on the line while fighting the Church policy of covering up hatred and abuse. They’re the ones who are admirable in my opinion. All these other boys really don’t do it for me. They’re just not my style and quite frankly, I’m over the frat party mentality (a view of nipples if you’re an atheist). I think I just puked in my mouth.