Re: Christadelphian HELP PLEASE
Date: January 13, 2023 11:00PM
Thank you for posting your story. It is similar to my own, in many ways. It also brought back memories of my childhood, from which I will spend the rest of my life recovering.
On the surface, Christadelphians (hereinafter referred to as "CDs") generally paint a picture of pacifism, kindness, compassion, and other attractive characteristics, to lure in rare converts. In reality, this is often a pretty fraudulent advertisement. One of my brothers used to say, "They only caress us when there is an audience watching, and they only miss us when we run away."
And sometimes we did run away, though running availed us nothing except more suffering once we got returned "home."
I recall refusing to eat oatmeal one morning, and leaving it on our kitchen table. My slovenly mother could not be bothered making anything else, year in and year out. Sometimes it felt like we were living in a Charles Dickens novel. In response to my refusal (in reality, I'd just gotten up from the table without eating the oatmeal and gone to school), she came with a rod to my ninth grade classroom and dragged me out into the hallway to beat me. The other students and teacher were horrified, as they should have been.
We were the regular recipients of very savage and conscienceless beatings. There was no misbehavior on our part, the beatings were administered for their cathartic effect on the person bestowing the beatings, and/or in theory to maintain "discipline." According to the bastards, their 'holy scriptures" made them entirely entitled to administer such violence.
This same parent I've mentioned never made us school lunches. We'd put two pieces of bread together to take to school, and there would be nothing to place between the slices of bread. We'd pretend to our schoolmates to have a sandwich. We received no medical care of any kind, and we wore the same thrift store rags year in and year out.
I recall a parent coming to get child rearing instructions from our "adults." They were impressed by how well-behaved CD children appeared to be. To assist them with a "hands-on experience," my mother began giving me instructions. When I did not respond promptly enough, she walked across the room and punched me in the face with her fist. "That's how you do it," she said to the visiting parent, "except I am usually very careful about striking my children in their faces, as it can cause them to develop a stutter."
The visiting parent got up without another word and walked out our front door. But she and others never sent Child Protective Services to our threshold. That's what should have happened.
We were terribly betrayed by the adults in this cult. We were thoroughly mangled, exploited, and violated, in every manner, physically, sexually, psychologically, and emotionally.
Several relatives tried to get custody of me and my siblings. They failed in the attempt. The adults with custody of us dressed us in new clothing for our courtroom visit, and curled my sisters' hair into curls, and bought us new shoes. They'd never bothered with such things previously. Twenty years later, after escaping the cult, I attempted to contact the judge who had left us in the cult group. I was going to tell him what a monstrous mistake he made. And he was already dead.
I know my experience was not common for most CD children, but it happened, and ours were not the only households and CD churches wherein such nightmarish stories arose. I have refused contact with most of the perpetrators of my suffering for countless years. I will not let them within 100 miles of my own children.
And may there be a special place in Hell for the monstrosities who speak God's name in one breath, and then use little children as stage props, their personal property, or punching bags.