After effects of cults
Date: December 26, 2004 09:54PM
1. Why did you leave? What influenced you etc.?
I left because I could no longer deal with the lies and cover-ups of the leadership over various problems within the church. I spent a good part of a deployment reading and evaluation a series of events prior to going out to sea; when I offered reform proposals, they were all rejected.
2. What was the hardest step you took towards leaving?
The hardest step was simply stepping out in faith that God was going to be with me once I walked away from that environment. I, like so many single men in CFCMI, was taught if I ever left the church I was *going to hell*.
3. What was the hardest thing to get over once you left? Or, something you are still trying to get over?
The hardest part for me was acknowledging I had been duped and lied to for nearly 17 years of my adult life. The second hardest part is knowing I still have friends who are trapped there, and I want to see them freed from the abuse and bondage.
4. Would you have gone to a shelter if needed?
I would have gone to one if needed. Fortunately, I was able to make an arrangement to live at the *compound* as a regular tenant till my lease expired. Once it did, I left in a hurry.
5. Did you think about or want help when you left?
I did not think I needed help when I left, thus I did not initially seek help.
6. If yes, why did you not get help?
In retrospect, I believe I was too proud or perhaps to ashamed to ask for assistance.
7. Have you, or do you think about getting help now?
I have been to exit counseling with a licensed psychologist. She has been very helpful in empowering me to deal with the emotional issues surrounding my involvement in CFCMI and the departure.
8. Would you have gone to a shelter for help if there were one for people leaving cults?
9. Would it make it easier to go if it were ran by an ex-cult member?
10. What has helped you overcome the most since you have left?
One thing that has helped me is finding a church where the pastor is strong in his faith and also lives what he preaches. The other is a support forum where I can vent and share my experiences and knowledge. Lastly, I created my own website where I was able to write down my thoughts and experiences while they were still fresh in my mind.
11. If you joined a cult why did you join? What appealed to you most about the group?
I joined because I was a young man looking for spiritual answers and salvation. The group had what appeared to be a deep knowledge of the Bible, plus the *pastor* was a dynamic, charismatic speaker who could easily hold one's attention. This was what drew me to them.