I was in a cult: A spiritually abusive church

DISCLAIMER:
1. I’m writing to heal. Writing about things has always been therapeutic for me. Wiring had always brought me comfort.
2. I’m writing to help others. I’m writing about my experience to help those that are going through this or have gone through it. Know that you are NOT alone. People tell you to forgive, keep quiet and move on. But how can we stop this from happening if no one talks about it?
3. I’m NOT writing this to expose. If you personally know me, it will be very easy for you to identify who I’m referring to. But I don’t want to give that man “power” in my writing and create drama and speculations, so for that reason, I will only address him as “the abusive leader” and not by his title, and never by name.

Well, here it is! My very own story on spiritual abuse and the cult aka “the church”. I will write it in several blog posts.

Just so you know, I feel more free to talk about this because most of my family members are now free from this “church.

Here is the first one.

I can’t believe that I am sharing my story. For a long time I kept it on the down low because technically I wasn’t supposed to talk about it, but I finally decided…what the heck!? I will tell my story.

About eight years ago when I was still living in Texas, my family started attending a new church. This was shortly after my dad decided to step down from pastoring his own church of eleven years. I was still on the fence about attending this new church, so I was going to a different one.

That is until my family sat me down and we had a family meeting about my not attending this church everyone had fallen in love with. I had been there before but wasn’t too hot about it.

The first time I went to “the church” something didn’t feel right. It wasn’t just that the choir was a hot mess, or the order of the church itself, but something didn’t sit right with that “the leader

I then brushed my feelings aside and figured it was nothing to worry about. At the time I was living on campus so I did not visit the church as often until I moved back home after graduating. Everything changed then and the pressure was on. I had started grad school and going to church fours days a week was ridiculous.

Why do some pastors put so much emphasis on going to church and not on our relationship with Christ, per say?

Needless to say, I was labeled a rebel because I was not committed to the one true church, and it didn’t help that I was dating someone. The person I was dating had somehow also become the cause of my lack of focus and “zeal for Christ”–

They was not crazy. They were simply brainwashed, and all of this stuff was coming from their master. And I use the quotes around his “title” because he is nothing of that sort.

I evidently stopped going to the other church and HAD to go to the cult. It was the most miserable two years of my life. Every single day I counted until the moment I would not have to be there anymore. I smiled and pretended everything was okay, but on the inside, I wanted to run away. No one listened to me. They all said I was the problem. I wasn’t humbled. I was too much into the books. I was not focused on the mission. I was not on fire for Christ.

He loved to quote the bible and twist it for his own good to make you feel as if you really should listen to his “sound advice.” Especially Matthew 6:33 which says:

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

By kingdom of God, he really meant about him–not the Kingdom of God. Everything was about “HIM”.

Let’s keep it moving, my relationship with my beau had evolved into an engagement.

Oh boy.

The “Abusive Leader” was HOT! How dare I make such a decision and not follow what he claimed was the will of God for my life? SO many times he told me about “visions” and “dreams” he had about me and they all had to do with me and my beau and reasons I should NOT get married. So that caused friction and tension in the family. My parents were all supportive, but my siblings all thought my marriage would fail within the first six months (still happily married 5 years later), because what their master repeatedly told them. Let’s just say NO ONE got married there. ever.

“Look at her, she doesn’t want to follow God’s will.”

Ha. You mean, I don’t want to be controlled by YOU!?

Anyway, the entire church was against my marriage–I was walking away from God’s will, in their eyes. During this time, all the young folks in the church were deep into this cult and worshipped their master. He controlled who they dated, what they ate, watched, etc. He decided on their career path and education. And most importantly, he controlled their finances. So many of the young adults and ADULTS in the church were simply BROKE.

He made them feel guilty for not give 90% of their paycheck to the church. So, they gave it all. And when they couldn’t pay their rent, he pulled out money from his stash of money he got from his members and would say: “See. I always take care of you.”

Mind control.

So now you’re thinking he really cares about you because he paid your rent. But you forgot it was your money to begin with. Haha.

I don’t want to be too long, but let’s fast forward, I got married and moved away to Arizona far away from Texas and I was relieved. People always asked me why I was sooo happy to get away. Now you know why.

I missed my siblings but at the time we no longer had a relationship, honestly. You could not have a conversation with them without saying his name: Such and such said…

I will never forget one service when he “preached” about people not giving enough. My heart was so heavy and weary. I got out of there crying for the members of the church who hung onto every single word he said and felt guilty. Guilt. Condemnation. Shame. That’s what he preached. Not love. Even though

Christ is love.

For a second before I got married, he started to get into my head and I almost started thinking that, maybe I was the problem. Maybe I was a rebel and had to change. He was trying to strip me of everything. He was trying to take over my mind and think for me. He was slowly manipulating me so that he could control me like everyone else, but thank God I didn’t fall for it. My beau and a friend of mine all saw what I saw. I wasn’t crazy.

Something is wrong with this place.

I wasn’t the only one. Only outsiders could see that something was deeply wrong there. For the insiders, it was too late–they were all brainwashed.

stay tuned for part 2