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Kirkby Christian Fellowship
Posted by: Serenity ()
Date: March 02, 2007 02:47AM

I have just spent a good 20 minutes reading all of the posts relating to this, and felt that I just had to add my own experiences. I know for definite one of you and feel pretty sure that I know who a couple more are.

I was brought up in the fellowship, my parents were both members when I was born, so I got the dedication and everything. Neither of my parents were leaders. Its now been almost 10 years since I left the fellowship, I was so scared of leaving - I knew my parents would understand, but who else felt truly terrified of Cheryl and would start shaking whenever she came near you? After I left she even sent people round to the house to try and get me to come back.

After reading the posts on this website, I got off very lightly when I left. Most of what happened to me has only dawned on me now I am an adult. For example, I remember being called into a room with Cheryl, Dave, Mary and Graham when I was about 8. Cheryl pulled out a baby doll and proceeded to ask me to show her where on the doll any of my male family members had touched me. Its the kind of thing that a kid would not get on to, it is only recently that I have remembered this and it has really made me angry. Anyone else had this happen?

The worst thing when I left was losing my friends. One in particular, she was only a month older than me and we had grown up together since we were babies. That hurt, but I have seen her since and can report that she escaped and is now doing well for herself.

The main reason I am posting this message is because of what I have seen happen in my family thanks to the fellowship. I remember one Christmas there was that much bad feeling caused by the fellowship that my family were in two separate rooms. There were constant arguments between about four members of my family, which was a lot to take. Then there are my parents, who have suffered because of KCF, although I am not going into detail about that, they will tell their story in their own time. Another family member's life was practically placed on hold because of the abuse she was getting from people still in KCF who she saw every day. The list is endless, but I was lucky - I never had the self destruct or rebellion thing, but that is thanks to my sister, who protected me from it.

There are still problems in my family now thanks to KCF.

I would just like to say that KCF are hypocrites who ruin lives just because someone has a different point of view. The problem is there are people there too scared to leave and I worry about what will happen to them.

To everyone who is still suffering - there is hope. You have escaped, that's the best feeling in the world. When I left it felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Anyone else get this? I am not in a Church at the moment, I find it hard to trust them now.

I think we need to do something positive about this, whether it just be getting together for a good old fashioned talk, or looking into something more serious - like trying to shut them down. Does anyone know if there is a way to do this?

Keep smiling everyone - now you are out it can only get better from here.

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Kirkby Christian Fellowship
Posted by: rosebud ()
Date: March 02, 2007 03:07AM

I did not realize how angry i still am till i wrote my last post. Is there anyway to shut them down legally. It has got to be better than some of my other nefarious plots against them. If not using the law against them could we not perhaps use the media against them almost like a national warning. A newspaper, a magazine? Or maybe a good old fashioned protest about abuse in church. I know it is confrontational and some of you may not be in any fit emotional state to deal with anything like this,but if you are maybe it is what we should be discussing this, and looking at ways to shut them down. People who are cruel to animals get a ban for life. So what about shepards that are cruel to sheep?

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Kirkby Christian Fellowship
Posted by: brokenbycheryl ()
Date: March 02, 2007 06:56AM

Oh my goodness !!! This is amazing!!! I knew God wanted me to open my mouth about this for many years but I was alone ... A voice crying in the wilderness...That is what God said to e when I joined KFC a long time ago.I was probably one of the first of the old gang to leave. Dave and John W you do know me. I am shaking writing this. I have spent so many years alone and I see before me now my old friends who I love. I was taken aside by Cheryl and Dave they told me my Father had sexually abused me .I had no memories of this. At the age of 42 I still have no memories of this after much prayer and counselling over the years. I left home overnight as I was too frightened to go home . I had a breakdown over this. Many of you on this page took me in ...I was homeless.. I lived on peoples couches/sparerooms ,slept on floors looking after mentally ill people within the fellowship ,and I was having a breakdown. I identified with what one of you said I was terrified of Cheryl i used to shake when she looked at me. We had a joke going around the fellowship at the time. When we were called into her living room to be "counselled" we were sure there were threadbare patches on the edge of her sofa where other fellowship victims had dug there nails into the sofa in terror...
That is what I am like by nature I try to laugh my way out of stressful situations...There was so much more serious stuff that went on . Life threateningly serious stuff that I wont go into on this page.Suffice to say in the USA people sue dodgy Pastors for inflicting abuse on them.Im trying to get up to 10 postings on here so you all can PM me. I too was a leader in this fellowship and I heard clearly the voice of God sayingit was all wrong. I was so young and naive that I didnt realise what would happen if I opened my mouth.I didnt realise to begin with that Cheryl would discredit you and cause everyone else to give you thye cold shoulder. I remembe giving some prophesies out that were hard hitting. I was taken to one side and told they were satanic and I was not allowed to prophesy again..
I glad you guys have escaped I feel for the first time in 20 yrs that I am not alone now.As for the leaders who have escaped who did Cheryls bidding , I dont hold anything against you Im just glad you got out, I still love you and looking forward to talking freely about all that has happened that will be so healing...
So untill that day comes my love, my thoughts and my prayers are with you all...Ive missed you all...
God Bless

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Kirkby Christian Fellowship
Posted by: Polar Bear ()
Date: March 02, 2007 07:15AM

Hi all, I’m sorry to hear some of the very difficult testimonies of peoples lives here. I am so glad those that have spoken have felt this a safe place to do so. What you have shared is most valuable, thank you for trusting us with that.

I’m sorry (Liverpool Writer) I maybe didn’t make myself clear in my message? I wasn’t actually characterizing the site at all; I was saying that we have found a good place to work constructively, together, for positive gains. This is a positive thing, I’m sorry if it was misunderstood it was meant as a compliment and an encouragement.

I agree one hundred percent; it is no virtue to cover up abuse, under any guise. Please understand, however, it can be difficult for those who have been abused to ‘go public’ about such sensitive things. There are people who are working as hard as they can, in their own way, to do the right thing. You have a platform and are shouting loud, others are doing other things. I’m glad you feel able to be loud about the fellowship; perhaps you could share some of your testimony of how you were treated there?

Rosebud, and others wondering about a way forward. One of the most powerful things we can do, which I think a few people have picked up on already (thank you David, very valuable point) is show those in the fellowship that there is life outside. One of the greatest fears is that there won’t ever be anything so good, that others out there are not a ‘chosen people’, or that there’s only cranks and nut cases outside. Show them we are great, our life has carried on and although not perfect, we are doing mighty fine…

I think there is a lot of wisdom and a lot of honesty in what you have said, Serenity. I can remember being terrified of people at the fellowship. I thought people could read my mind, or somehow know those terrible sins I had done. I have blocked out a lot of my own experiences from childhood because I was so unhappy. I’m sorry to hear of the difficulties within your own family. That can leave you feeling divided and very confused.

The story that keeps coming to mind is that of the prostitute and Jesus. Jesus didn’t say ‘you are forgiven if…’ he just said ‘you are forgiven.’ It’s a hard thing to grasp sometimes, but we don’t have to perform, or be close to someone in particular, we are just forgiven. It is a gift. The problem with abusive systems is that whatever you do it cannot be enough. You never feel accepted. You are always driven to achieve more, better, holier performance, and can never quite get there.

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Kirkby Christian Fellowship
Posted by: onlyme ()
Date: March 02, 2007 08:07AM

I think the point is being missed here totally. When I say a 'slag KCF off' website, I used quote marks to emphasise I'm paraphrasing the negativity that can come across with the type of website/posts/actions people take. I'm not playing into any abusers hands or trying to continue any cover up. I'm not sure how all that can be read into just such a simple statement.

I am sad that so many people have had such negative experiences, but I really don't see this kind of thing as something that can constructively help anyone. I don't know of anyone here who is a trained counsellor, and the 'counselling' I have had in the past by religious people who think they know how to counsel, has not helped me, as they don't understand simple principles of counselling such as non-judgementalism. I don't feel helped here, I feel but down by the comments made to me from just the few simple things I have said. I feel I have been judged already, and none of you know ANYTHING about me or my experiences.

And for the record I DID know where that post was, and it was changed to 0 comments so it looked like it wasn't there which is why I asked why it had been removed. And for the SECOND time, I didn't write that post!!!

I won't be back here.

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Kirkby Christian Fellowship
Posted by: brokenbycheryl ()
Date: March 02, 2007 08:45AM

Thankyou for your comments I identifyed with what you said. I have learned to love and trust ordinary(non-christian) people. I see God moving in them everyday. All I was taught to see in the fellowship was their sins and Satan using them. So this is a big change in my perception and it has brought serenity into my heart.
That is how God works he loves everyone unconditionally.
The ethos of KCF is to only mix with christians, that they are a chosen people. (They might say that is not true as they do activities like carwashing etc ,but reports from the streets of Kirkby suggest that the general public think they are Mormons or some other weird cult) to be knitted together in co-dependent unhealthy controlling relationships, this is how Cheryl keeps control of the whole fellowship. Nothing adverse can be said about her and her methods , as people are too afraid to say anything as it would be reported back to her. These relationships come between families and break them up. The family is therefore excluded and not reached with Gods love, That surely is doing Satan a big service. KFC believe that they are a chosen people different from all the other churches in the city, in other word superior super-spiritual christians .This is a common trap that cults use to entice people to stay. When Jesus was being tried in the desert Satan used this temptation of power . As the bible says "power corrupts". If spiritual power and gifts and ministries are esteemed more highly than Love ,problems like this arise. You know the scriptures "if I have not love etc then iI am like a clanging gong etc ...
I cannot trust any christians anymore (but would like to try so that this negative power can be broken over my life) after my experiences with KCF. I have had more than one breakdown over the damage done to me. Most of my problems were fear based. I have recently done a 12 step programme and that has really set me free from my fears.Hence that is why I can talk so freely on this site. You might find this link helpful.

[www.coda-uk.org]

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Kirkby Christian Fellowship
Posted by: brokenbycheryl ()
Date: March 02, 2007 09:21AM

Dear Only Me I hope you dont take this the wrong way , I dont mean it as such...In reply to your comments...
When people have been so exposed to Spiritual Abuse that they have lost their mental health, physical health, their faith/hope ,home, family and their trust in humanity ,it is more a black spot on a piece of white paper. For those individuals there is no white paper the paper is totally black. There are no glib answers using counselling jargon to help such people. I know I have had 20 yrs of it. I lost 22 yrs in fact all of my adult young life. I wouldnt go to any Christian Counsellor NEVER! EVER! again .They dont understand how could they? unless they are survivors of spiritual abuse. You see we on this site who have experienced KCF dont trust christians, why would we then seek out a christian counsellor.
As I spent all my years on KCF acting the good christian and trying to keep my mouth shut ,living a dishonest existence I am going to be honest from now on. You might not like my comments but that is not my problem. Your comments about "slagging off" KCF is the rubbish that I was fed whilst I was there. That is the tool that was used to enable spiritual abuse to take place, and has caused people to have breakdowns, and there are countless people who where rejected and who knows what has happened to them .We are the lucky ones. The only way to get better from the effects of abuse is to be able to share with other fellow sufferers in a rigorously honest way ,in a safe anonymous enviroment. This site is like a rope to a drowning man. Unless you have been through what we are talking about you have no idea how serious it was AND STILL IS

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Kirkby Christian Fellowship
Posted by: Liverpool Writer ()
Date: March 02, 2007 04:37PM

Onlyme, I can only think that there was a problem with blogger.com, or you simply viewed a cache (from your own computer) of the page.

Onlyme, I'm afraid you sealed the reaction you would get when you used those words "slagging off". Can you imagine telling a rape victim to stop "slagging off" their abuser? I mean no judgment on you personally when I say that kind of language plays into the hands of abusers - only on your very ill-chosen words.

I can already see how this discussion is helping, by giving people the confidence that they are not alone, that others have experienced the same, that they are [i:ff9bdcb94e]not[/i:ff9bdcb94e] delusional in their perception of what happened, and that maybe there's hope for something to be done. I have been helping victims of spiritual and religious abuse for a few years now, and you can't underestimate the value of people coming together to confess their stories unashamedly.

PolarBear, I didn't take your comments on my site badly - my response above was about onlyme's comments.

I had a look at the Philippi site, and it looks hopeful. I will try to find out more about the group. There is a sad lack of counsellors with specific experience or knowledge of spiritual abuse.

As regards my own experience, it was a close family member who was part of the group. I had suspicions, but didn't want to rain on her parade, as it were. So I kept quiet... until the day I got a distraught phone call because her world had fallen apart. That was over four years ago, and it was the beginning of a breakdown from which she is still (bravely and brilliantly) recovering.

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Kirkby Christian Fellowship
Posted by: Polar Bear ()
Date: March 02, 2007 06:29PM

I look around this site, and I see a lot of very hurt people. We must be careful that our own pain doesn’t become justification for lashing out at others who may be worse off than we are.

I’m sorry that you see that the whole of your white paper is black, I truly am. I perhaps didn’t understand and made, as you say, a glib statement. It sounds like quite a dark place to be, surrounded by all that hurt and pain, enveloped, like this pain has infected every corner of your being, or perhaps covered who you really are underneath?

I was a member of KCF for twenty years, whilst there I suffered physical abuse, social abuse, mental torture, sexual abuse, some by a family member and some by the church but the church saw it all. When I left home I couldn’t look people in the eye, I was scared to leave the house. I thought I was hell bound and lived in terror that someone would see it in my eyes, or read my thoughts and cast me out of the fellowship for good, cutting off what I thought was my only lifeline. I think people thought there was something wrong with me out in the world. When I started making friends, didn’t swear, didn’t drink, and had hardly heard of any of the bands/tv shows/movies/people that had been going for the last twenty years and really struggled on a day to day basis to relate to normal human beings, I think people thought I had been living in a commune. Which in some ways I had.

I have struggled to have normal relationships, I struggle to get a good nights sleep when things are at their worst, I have had real problems relating in a church setting, big problems with leadership and anyone in authority and a lot of the time, just a problem fitting in and feeling accepted.

I feel like a few people made a few judgments here. I don’t think anyone on this site has any right to say what someone else has or hasn’t been through. We all have our reasons for posting here, we all have things that we’d like to keep close to our chest. I for one am not going to discuss my sexual abuse history on a website.

I think the way you have judged and bullied someone on this site, to the point where they won't return, is unfortunate and makes me sad. I think that having had the experiences you have had, you of all people would know and understand. You don’t know peoples experience here, how dare you judge! Being on the other side of the fence; the bullies of this site are just adding to the damage. Shouldn’t we be working together, helping one another bear one another’s burdens rather than bickering over who said what words and what it might have meant? If we can make this a safe place for people to come, not judge, not fill in the blanks, accept everyone who posts here and appreciate who they are and what they have to say, surely that is a better place to be and somewhere we can all find healing and support…

I can recommend a book called ‘The subtle power of spiritual abuse’ by David Johnson and Jeff Van Voderen if you’d like to read up on anything. I’d be interested to know in what capacity you have been helping victims of spiritual abuse Liverpool Writer.

Again, I can do nothing but agree with some of your statements; that this is a great way to feel accepted and belonging, and counter those thoughts that there is something wrong with us. What we are all feeling is normal, it is human, and it is great to hear that I am not alone in a lot of what I have been struggling with. There was a message earlier in the blog about someone wanting to catch up with old friends and not feeling like they would be welcome. I for one would welcome any contact with anyone who has been a part of my life and wants to say hi. Consider my door open and the kettle on…

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Kirkby Christian Fellowship
Date: March 02, 2007 06:32PM

Dear Onlyme. Thankyou for explaining what you meant to say. I understand what you were trying to say, but maybe you don't know what its like to get something like this off your chest, when folk have been abused, it never leaves them. Yes i agree you have to move on, but the pain is never very far, whats even worse is, you know that things are still happening in KFC and you want to stop it. You say you feel let down by this forum why? can we not comment constructively in a reply to what you said. You say we don't know anything about you or your experiences. Can you not share a little about them, or are they still too painful for you. Please don't think sharing is'nt a good thing, you have the protection of anonimity. Maybe you thought you could put all your experiences behind you, but as in this forum, when something touches a sensitive area, we lose that peace. Please come back and share.

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