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Born or Raised in a Cult
Posted by: Toni ()
Date: May 28, 2005 06:52AM

For those considering responding about child sexual abuse in cults, for a presentation to US Congress...


Her book is available on amazon:
God vs. the Gavel : Religion and the Rule of Law (Hardcover)

Following is the response from Marci Hamilton, regarding her qualifications for this task.

Please be in contact with her if you want to support her work.

Marci Hamilton wrote:

I am one of the leading First Amendment scholars in the country,
specializing in church/state issues. I am the First Amendment litigator for many, if not most, clergy abuse victims around the country. My legal practice has included the U.S. Supreme Court, the federal appellate courts, many state Supreme Courts. I frequently advise Congress on issues involving constitutional law.

My book, God vs the Gavel: Religion and the Rule of Law will be in
bookstores soon. The premise is that the law must apply to religious entities to forestall and deter the harm they can cause to, among others, children.

I have three main proposals (1) a national database gathering all the
state sex offenders for use by everyone; (2) revocation of 501c3 tax exempt status for those organizations that aid or cover up child abuse or fail to report it to the local authorities; (3) some kind of spending bill that has the condition that the state eliminate the statute of limitations on childhood sexual abuse....
Other ideas are being floated as well.


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Born or Raised in a Cult
Posted by: Sylvan ()
Date: June 20, 2005 10:18PM

Hi, I'm a cult kid. :) We joined Dayspring in Jewett City, CT when I was 7. The church was affiliated with 3 other churches, New Wine in New Hampshire, King's Chapel in Norwich, CT, and Bethel in England. Over time New Wine and Dayspring were dissolved and everyone wound up at KC. (KC and Bethel can both be found in the main Rick Ross site)

My father found himself on the outside of the church doors, after disagreeing with and questioning and being wrongly interrogated by the pastors, and turned to drinking. My mother, two sisters, and I continued attending despite this. Later I found out that the pastors had falsely accused him of molesting my sisters and me, on the word of the resident "prophet", Syro.

I was 16 when Dad started his sobriety, and when Waco happened. The local newspaper published a checklist of things to look out for if you think you may be involved in a cult (which I now believe is Isaac Bonewits' ABCDEF), and King's Chapel matched probably 95% of the items. We left KC soon after that.

I will be 29 this summer. I stopped going to church of any kind as soon as I was out of my parents' house, and began my own spiritual path. I am still working on the way my mind works. I haven't been in therapy, other than a few sessions at Alateen when Dad was newly sober. But it sounds like without the right specialist, therapy can be counterproductive for us cult kids. Phooey. :)

It's difficult to figure out what was cult-learned, and what was ingrained by my dad's alcoholism. I think that they played off each other and magnified the results of each.

I noticed that it was mentioned earlier that

Like the parent, the child usually picks up and drops a variety of interests.
Holy cow is that me all over. :shock:

I am really looking forward to nosing my way through the rest of the forums. :)

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Born or Raised in a Cult
Posted by: amwrites ()
Date: June 21, 2005 11:30PM

I just tried to post something. Did it go through?

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Born or Raised in a Cult
Posted by: Jaded ()
Date: June 23, 2005 02:16AM

I am new to this forum. I left the group in 1995, divorced him and took full custody of our sons. It was a very small group and is still a very small group with less than a dozen followers if you don't count the children.

I still see the effects on my family and deal with them one by one.

My sons father died eight years after we left. He left behind a pregnant wife, two children by her, my children, and at least two I'm aware of with another woman in the group. The other group members are not aware the "higher law" was used and that the two children belong to him.

I still have concerns. I try not to face them, but I don't want to turn my back completely.

Although he went into hiding and had no contact with me or the children for eight years, I took the children to his funeral in Idaho. The group was surprised to see me and the boys. Of course he had told them all that I poisoned the boys against him and kept them away on purpose.

The family of his widow watched me and my sons and later approached me to see if I was part of the group or not. When they found that I wasn't, they wanted to know how I got away.

They keep in touch with me because I can explain things to them when his widow says something, and I think in hopes that someday she'll understand what she is in and want to leave as well.

The most recent disturbing news... The widow had the baby she was pregnant with when he died. She later had a miscarriage and last fall, almost two years later, delivered a baby girl she said was her deceased husband (my ex). She claimed he came to her in the night and "quickened" her with his spirit.

I believe the father to be the new leader of the church, or their group.

The group isn't listed with the other cults.

My concern. The widow has told her children, who have told others, that they have a temple in their basement for special rituals. She also has a chance of becoming someone that will write or guide the home education/schooling program in Idaho.

Am I the only one that this bothers?

Anyway. I'm here and yes, there are still affects on my family.... I guess if anyone has questions, I'll post more.

From Arizona

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Born or Raised in a Cult
Posted by: Toni ()
Date: June 29, 2005 03:30PM

Jaded :

Please acknowledge yourself for your strength and determination to take your children away, deal with the issues (they are ongoing, my family too), and take care of life. Good for you!

Regarding your group information "if anyone is interested."
IMHO, it would be helpful to provide the group's name and concrete information as much as possible. You could begin a thread named for the group.

It can be difficult to find information about smaller groups. You would do a service to provide what you know. This makes the information available to concerned others who seek information about the group. Sounds like a mess.


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Born or Raised in a Cult
Posted by: Jaded ()
Date: July 01, 2005 05:57AM


You are right. I took your comment as advice and posted a thread about the church. It is small, but it is important.... some of the teachings were scary. Still are.

Thank you for your encouragement.

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Born or Raised in a Cult
Posted by: Toni ()
Date: July 05, 2005 12:30PM

What an interesing day...

(Coz, tx for update on Robbin's trial)

Today was at a typical multi-generational 4th of July BBQ. The hostess introduced me to her son's 25 y.o. GF.
"You two need to talk, about your cult-stuff, Toni".
I asked Bonnie (fictitous name) "Were you raised in a cult?"
"I think so." She nodded.

The conversation continued. Bonnie was raised in a strict Bible-based cult. After she deserted in her late teens, her mother was then booted out for defending her daughter.

Another young friend of hers, I'll call her Anne, joined the conversation. Lo and behold, Anne was raised by Landmarkians; she attended 3 teen-forums.

Neither of these young women knew this about each other prior to today. They've been chums for a few years. We discussed Lifton's criteria of thought reform.

It was fascinating to listen while these young women compared their cultic upbringings.

Anne desribed the LEC-for teens, taking the Microphone for public teary confessionals when emotionally and physically exhauted.
Bonnie described all night prayers meetings with public "testimonies", and fatigue-induced hallucinations that were labeled as the experience of Jesus.

Both young women had used drugs to escape their domestic insanity.

Now they are employed, intelligent, living far from their families and trying to unscramble their respective brains. Their eyes lit up as they understood explanations for their families' behaviors. They understood the adage "it's the behavior, not necessarily the teachings" that are problematic.

Get this - and they have another friend who is godson to Warner Erhard.
They plan to do some reading and then grill him for Erhard family stories. :D

We make a difference where we can. little by little. Just as midonov wrote about wanting to help his coworkers understand the phenomenon.

Thank you, all, for being here.

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Born or Raised in a Cult
Posted by: amwrites ()
Date: July 05, 2005 10:59PM

I'm sorry that I'm just writing this now, especially when there are new messages posted.

This was the message I wanted to post, but see that it didn't go through ok.

I wanted to respond to a previous statement about spiritual people not having to be religious.

I think that when spirituality and religion go together, they form a beautiful union that improves the person's life and ability to handle bad and good experiences much better than if the person was only spiritual or only religious. Religion finds its highest expression in spirituality, and spirituality finds its roots in religion. One without the other is like a body without a heart or a body without a head. The body is not complete if it doesn't have both of them.

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Born or Raised in a Cult
Posted by: Toni ()
Date: August 15, 2005 09:10AM

Abstract from presentation at 2005 ICSA conference in Madrid.
Issues for those who were born or raised in cults, based on interviews with 10 people who were raised in cults, and comparing to various theories on developmental psychology

Still, at least we're being studied, maybe someone will understand 'our issues' before we die. We know they're there, and wading through them. It's up to us to find our own answers.


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Born or Raised in a Cult
Posted by: amwrites ()
Date: August 15, 2005 11:02PM

I really feel so bad about what the children experience.

I think about the children I met at one of these communities every day. When I remember them, I long to hold them for a really long time.

I suppose I know the feeling that accompanies the following words: "I have wanted to gather your people as a hen gathers her chicks under her wing" (Matthew 23:37).

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