I left the ICOC cult in 2005. I spent 2 years in counseling and doing intensive work to recover from the PTSD I had as a result of my 15 year membership. I have no doubt that my character has been permanently changed as a result of my membership, and of course I'm not too happy about that! I don't want to be self-righteous, judgmental, and all those things.
I posted on here extensively a while back on the Byron Katie threads but not since. I'm coming here again now because I had a little altercation on a Facebook page today which bothered me more than it probably should have. I was accused of being 'authoritarian' - a word associated with cults. I think I could have just brushed off the post but for the use of that word. Instinctively my reaction is to think that her response was uncalled for and rude, but if she has a point and I was being 'authoritarian,' I really want to know, because I DON'T want to be that way.
The thread was on a page for homeschoolers, and the subject was personal finance being taught in schools. Some of the comments seemed to me to be very disdainful of teachers and parents of schoolkids. To wit: "I can't imagine a kid in school would have much of a chance to be part of the family financials." "Just another way to take responsibility off the parents." "In the hands of schools, financial education could be a horrible thing" "to be taught by teacher's in state school's,these people have in the most never lived outside the system of the public tit,they are the most unqualified people on earth too teach children anything regarding responsibility." "your parents won't teach you, because they figure you're learning stuff this important in school."
So I wrote this: "I gotta say -- I plan to homeschool... but I am disturbed by the comments here which make the assumption that parents who don't homeschool are neglecting their children and that schoolteachers are clods. That is neither fair nor true in most cases."
And someone, probably the page owner, replied to me with this: "If people's opinions "disturb" you maybe you should spend less time on the Internet. Also, your authoritarian opinion is not necessary."
I know it seems like a very small matter, but I want to get outside opinion on what I wrote and on the response to it, because I don't want authoritarianism to be part of my character if I can help it. Maybe I can't; I was a know-it-all only child to begin with, and joined a cult and lived for decades thinking I was better than the rest of the world. But at least I can try!
Thanks all :)
"Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something." -Westley in The Princess Bride
MY STORY: I grew up Presbyterian, but joined the Int'l Churches of Christ cult [www.reveal.org] at age 18 and was a member from 1990-2004. After leaving, I did extensive work (counseling, studying cults and spiritual recovery, and forum participation) to recover from the PTSD resulting from my cult membership. I created a Spiritual Recovery forum, which though not too active now has lots of good links about cults and spiritual abuse. [forums.delphiforums.com] All my life I was an extremely devoted Christian until about 2009, as my beliefs gradually changed through learning more about the bible and its origins and issues, and now I am an agnostic theist [en.wikipedia.org]. I live in New England with my husband and daughter.
You merely stated a dissenting opinion. That hardly seems authoritarian to me. In fact, based on what you describe. the tone of the page you mentioned sounds pretty authoritarian. You might want to steer clear of that page. I think there are many people who homeschool who also subscribe to certain religious/spiritual tenets--I am not at all saying that they are cult members, only that they might not look kindly on someone who does not share those views. Based on your experience, it seems clear that people on that Facebook page do not want to hear any dissent.
I wouldn't worry about it, and I wouldn't spend one additional nanosecond on that Facebook page.