I found an outlet, after searching to further my knowledge I got a glimse of the outside world and realised slowly that I had been part of a teaching that does not have any love in it.
Very many years ago, I was able to hear a share by a person who had been in Elizabeth Clare Prophet's Church Universal and Triumphant.
Our friend told us that her family managed to wait long enough that she woke up and got out. But they did something that helped her, and it didnt take the form of argument.
Part of it was a situation that was happenstance.
Our informant broke her leg while slaving away on one of the church's building projects. (They were preparing for disaster by creating underground bunkers)
The cult begrudged taking care of members who injured themselves in its service, so our buddy was shipped home to her family, much the way one throws an empty plastic bottle into the trash.
(So much for love and reciprocation of one's loyalty by a cult)
Our pal said she was pretty immobilized due to her leg being in a cast. Her family took care of her at home and they played a lot of card games and scrabble. (This was pre-internet).
Slowly, our buddy told us it began to dawn on her that for the first time she was actually playing and enjoying herself and HAVING FUN with people.
She'd not had anything like that while in the cult. A sense of purpose, yes. Team work, yes. Feeling privliged and saved, yes.
But fun and enjoyment in the human sense?
That realization, aided by scrabble games with her family slowly prepared her to recognize what she did not have when with the Church Universal and Triumphant.
I'd say two ways to evaluate whether a relationship or a group is good for us is
* Can one play and not have it be thwarted or resented? An exploitative group or relationship wants to monopolize all attention and energy. Play is resented.
*Is your loyalty reciprocated?
When there is love, one can play and one's loyalty is reciprocated.