"There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can't take part. You can't even passively take part. And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all." -- Mario Savio -- Sproul Hall Steps, December 2, 1964
Linkin Park's album "A Thousand Suns" is excellent. In particular the track "Wretches and Kings" is one that every spiritual abuse and church abuse survivor can understand and appreciate. Set up the surround sound, turn it up loud, and let it rip. Let it rattle around your head and down into your core. On my drive home the other night, I played this song on repeat for two hours, singing/screaming along. It kept me sane.
One of my favorite lines in this song is,"So get with the combat / I’m letting ‘em know/There ain’t shit you can say to make me back down. no!" I have taken a lot of hits this week, mostly through comments and messages on Facebook. People are just furious that I dared to suggest that my former church and pastor have issues and are less than perfect. Basic human nature teaches us that people, no matter how wise or good they may be, can still make horrific mistakes and fall into horrible behaviors. Also that power corrupts. And that pride blinds. This is in the Bible as well, human depravity being a basic tenant of Christianity. So it really blows when people say 'I would never believe that Pastor or so and so deacon or family would do such a thing.' First, that's a hypocritical statement, considering they all try to take the Bible literally. Second, there are thousands of people who have been deeply hurt. Denial effectively cuts them off from the church and keeps those who could help or change things from doing so.
With the recent media coverage in 20/20 on abuse cases, and for example Time magazine, I hope that change is around the corner. Speaking out and leaving the movement is so difficult. Leaving your childhood and life in the past is almost unfathomable. Losing family and friends is agonizing. Grieving and being shunned is harrowing. Freedom is worth the price. Learning to think independently is worth it. Come out, come out wherever you are! Thousands of us have walked your path. We welcome you with open arms. When you are ready, speak with your neighbors and friends. Talk to the police. Tell the state, the world, your new churches. We are many, and united we can bring about the change that is so desperately needed to stop this hell. With all my heart I hope there are no more Tina Andersons, Rachel Griffiths, Brent Stevens (scroll down a page and read about David Hyles), Esther Combs, and Hephzibah Houses.
If you or someone you know needs help or information on leaving a cult, please do not hesitate to contact me. Listed below are some helpful websites.