Sometimes I Publish Short Stories About Cults & Mental Disorders

I’m so happy to finally link you guys with my short story “How to Develop a Mental Disorder” which has been published in a literary journal called Milk Sugar. Milk Sugar accepted my piece several months ago, but like all good literary magazines, they publish your work several months after acceptance.

This story is unique and in a way, it’s for you. I’m linking it on My Cult Life because it’s about everything you’ve read here before and nothing like it. If I could condense my blog into under a thousand words, this story would be it. It’s compressed–emotion, language, space. I’ve been waiting years to share it with you all, knowing that it might speak to you guys, but wanting it to be published somewhere first. If you like it, go ahead and share it, quote it, write a piece in response to it.

Here’s a glimpse at their site and my bio. You can access the story in full here for free or read some of it below. If you’re a writer, like them on Facebook or visit their site for more information on submissions.

milk sugar

Here’s an excerpt from the story, “How to Develop a Mental Disorder”:

Cry. Suffer from some incredibly traumatic experience that leaves you with Posttraumatic Stress
Disorder (PTSD). Some examples might be: War, Rape, or leaving a fundamentalist Christian
group after seven years and becoming ostracized from said group. Disagree with the
fundamentalist Christian leaders of said group, be a woman, attend a University, don’t get
married and if you do—don’t marry a fundamentalist Christian leader. All of these events will
ensure you will be ostracized from the group and being ostracized will ensure you will end up
with PTSD.
Evolve. Delve into what it means to evolve into a compassionate human being even when those
around you, who formerly loved you, seem to hate. Read about forgiveness: Arendt, Gobodo-
Madikizela, Wiesel. Then read to blow your mind: Daly, Breton, Barthelme, Foucault. Then read
to remind yourself about those who exist in the world to destroy it, who baffle your mind, who
you cannot explain and who hate you. Hate—for a moment. Then remind yourself that
forgiveness is a type of revenge and that forgiveness doesn’t overlook the deed—it rises above it.
Forgive. Seek forgiveness by writing letters to those who hate you. When no reply comes and
when your efforts are ignored, return to Cry. When one reply comes that is filled with hate,
proceed to Take beatings.

Take beatings. Of all forms, of all kinds—verbal and physical. Beatings from your mother, from
your father, from your sister, from your best friend, from strangers. Mostly personal attacks
when they find out the secret evolution you’ve been making behind their back. Some attacks
won’t be said to your face, but rather they’ll be attacks on your character—in secret. Some will
be beatings out of misunderstanding, jealousy, rage, disgust. You have become what someone
hates most and you must come face-to-face with the violence. You are alone and to them you are
disgusting, you are a heathen, you are going to Hell. You are the face of everything they’ve been
told to kill, maime, murder, destroy. You are the Other.

Read the rest here.

1 thought on “Sometimes I Publish Short Stories About Cults & Mental Disorders”

  1. Hi Lisa!
    I enjoy reading the info on your site about Masters and the LA Dream Center.
    I almost joined Masters in Phx back in 1997 , but I already belonged to another cult / ministry of Phx First Assembly, known as Church on the Street.
    The pastor who runs it is great friends with the Barnetts , but did not like the idea of loosing
    all that money to PFA. That being said Church on the Street is supposedly a Christian “Boot camp” where crackheads and homeless are exploited for big offerings at Pastors School at PFA. I dated a Masters girl for a few months (Rachael Parnham) but the women
    in our church were pissed because I would not date any of them and some how ruined
    our relationship, You are correct if you are from a street ministry you are pretty much viewed as being lower than the rest of the church.
    Anyway I left COTS when they joined Phx Dream Center in 05 and I have pretty much
    been ignored when I call and leave a message for people who still live there .
    I am viewed as a Heretic for not believing that the pastor should rule with a fist of iron ,
    and not believing in tongues ( plus I have long hair, tattoos, ears and nose pierced and I like beer and tequila ) .
    I have not been able to put myself in another situation like that and may never , ever go to another church again.
    I could write a book on the abuses I saw and experienced under the authority of these supposed “Gods Anointed ” they are nothing more than Spin Doctors , thieves , and liars
    and I have actually been violently attacked at church for contradicting what the pastor or
    teacher said was truth ( so much for being noble like the Bereans and searching the scriptures).
    Keep up the good work! and maybe look into COTS Phoenix and see for yourself they are
    legalistic nut jobs who hav
    e a reputation on the street for being control freaks and a Cult.
    Thanks for your time
    Dane Hollinger

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