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featheredserpent
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Date Posted:02/09/2004 4:09 PMCopy HTML

'People tend to think of cults as an information problem, a doctrinal problem. They are missing the point: cults are a family problem, since a cult is an artificial family that seeks to supercede your own and ultimately destroy it.'R. Watters, Feb 1998For more gems of wisdom:-http://www.freeminds.org/psych/psych.htmThe recommended reading list is pretty good by any standard.http://www.freeminds.org/psych/recommended.htm(It certainly is an ex JW page but information is information.)
I believe in only one thing: liberty; but I do not believe in liberty enough to want to force it upon anyone.
H. L. Mencken
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Re:Link to Freeminds web page

Date Posted:02/09/2004 9:39 PMCopy HTML

After 16 years in the Rev ctrs I  feel a bit bloody naive and stupid. My appreciation of a lot of issures are skewed and off balance. I am finding it very difficult to develop relationships with my peers in the workplace. I previously considered 'worldlies' as people who needed to be saved... I considered mainstream christians as deluded people who preached a half truth. It was easy to keep friends in the RF because they had to agree with each other on fundamental doctrines and beliefs... and as christians they were under oath to fellowship. I used to think so arrogantly, as if I knew the mysteries of the universe; at the time I thought myself smarter than most oversight. I'm a little relieved to appreciate that, at the moment, I don't know much at all. Ignorance was bliss.

I sound like a moron who has lost touch with reality in just about all the posts I have made in my various forums. I am escstatic that I have gathered enough sense to have discovered the lie that was my church. I feel like that I have been typing a document for years only to have lost all the information in a computer crash (this happened to me recently!); ya just gotta shrug, learn from the experience, and start again.

I have to break down the walls I have built around me separating myself from my family. I am so happy that I got my two children out of there before their thinking became maligned and narrow.

Very interesting reading at freeminds.org

I find the JW fascinating and frustrating. I used to consider them arch enemies (mainly because they dared not to consider 'speaking in tongues'. I am amazed at how huge they are after looking at some statistics at the freemind site. Shows you how much some people like to be told what to think... sometimes it's easier than thinking for yourself.

full on... (there's another phrase used too often in RF)

[LINK SiteName=Mothrust: Movies and Modern Myth Target=_blank]http://aintchristian.blogspot.com.au/[/LINK] Be nice, for everyone that you meet is fighting a harder battle - Anita Roddick
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Re:Link to Freeminds web page

Date Posted:03/09/2004 3:31 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : HeatandServe

I previously considered 'worldlies' as people who needed to be saved... I considered mainstream christians as deluded people who preached a half truth. 

Isn't this one of the 'benefits' of being in a cult?  Everyone id put into a a nice, neat little category.  Cults offer us order in a world of chaos.   It can be a pretty scary world out there and making sense of it is not easy to do.  Assigning meaning to everyday life is not an easy task either.  Cults offer us a ready-made worldview that we don't have to (or are able to for that matter) create.  Everything has been done for us.  Who and what is good and bad, an interpretation of history, predictions of the future, the very meaning of life.  All in a neat little package.  And it all gave us a sense of security, even if we weren't consciously aware of it or admitted it.

It was easy to keep friends in the RF because they had to agree with each other on fundamental doctrines and beliefs... and as christians they were under oath to fellowship.

Yep.  Ditto to what I wrote above.  All we needed to do to get this sense of peace and security was adopt the beliefs of the group and not stray too far outside of the boundaries set by the leadership.  Sure, we could ask questions but only as long as they did not challenge the central beliefs that founded the worldview.  As long as you only run around withint the 'pen' and don't jump the fence then you are ok.  Asking the hard questions would cost you your place in the group and your sense of security.  That's why people don't challenge it too often.  They know what's at stake.  And this is also why the leaders MUST kick you out if your challenge the foundation doctrines.  You not only challenge the foundations of the whole group but the sense of security of the LEADERS themselves.  Remember, the oversight are Revivalists too.  They are not any different to rank and file members.  They are there for the same reasons...but add a sense of power to the mix too.

I used to think so arrogantly, as if I knew the mysteries of the universe; at the time I thought myself smarter than most oversight. I'm a little relieved to appreciate that, at the moment, I don't know much at all. Ignorance was bliss.

Exactly, bliss and security.  But let's face it.  That bliss came at a very high cost.  A cost you eventually weren't prepared to pay, hence you left.  In the long run, some of us desire more form life than just a sense of security and that, I believe, is God given.  We desire to see more of God's universe and the life given to us than what is inside the cult 'pen'.  Ignorance was bliss but it stopped being so and that's why we leave cults. 

I sound like a moron who has lost touch with reality in just about all the posts I have made in my various forums. I am escstatic that I have gathered enough sense to have discovered the lie that was my church. I feel like that I have been typing a document for years only to have lost all the information in a computer crash (this happened to me recently!); ya just gotta shrug, learn from the experience, and start again.

Yeah, and don't underestimate the grief and trauma that this experience had faced you with.  I have read that leaving a cult can be as emotionally devastating as the death of a spouse.  And yet, everyone around you would be caring and supportive if you lost a spouse but having left a cult, people eother have no idea or simply tell you to "get over it and move on".  They mean well, but getting over it takes years and their advice can often increase our frustration as we simply are unable to get over it and move on. But it does happen.  I suggest you read as much of the counter-cult material as you can.  Get a handle on how cults operate, how you operated in the cult and most importantly, recovery.  There are some great books out there.  I have some listed below but the list is not exhaustive.

I have to break down the walls I have built around me separating myself from my family. I am so happy that I got my two children out of there before their thinking became maligned and narrow.

Yes, good to hear. 

I find the JW fascinating and frustrating. I used to consider them arch enemies (mainly because they dared not to consider 'speaking in tongues'. I am amazed at how huge they are after looking at some statistics at the freemind site. Shows you how much some people like to be told what to think... sometimes it's easier than thinking for yourself.

I used to refer to the Revival Centres as the JWs who speak in tongues.  The similarities in practice between the JWs and RCs are astounding. 

HJS

 

 

Recommended Reading List

Due to the unique nature of these books they can be difficult to locate in local  libraries and bookshops.  However, many titles are available in university libraries and religious bookshops.  The easiest method of obtaining these books is to order them online via Amazon.com 

Churches That Abuse by Ron EnrothThis book warns and informs readers about the fringe churches and groups that operate with abusive styles, creating emotional and spiritual perils for their adherents. 

 

 

Combating Cult Mind Control by Steven Hassan.  An excellent examination of the cult phenomena. Described as "The #1 Best-selling Guide to Protection, Rescue, and Recovery from Destructive Cults," Hassan's book explains what elements are common to cults, and what defines a cult.  As a former member of the the Unification Church (a.k.a. "Moonies") and a psychologist (he obtained his degree after exiting the Moonies), Hassan offers a unique perspective and insight into the cult movement.  Although peppered with examples and anecdotes from the Moonies, Hassan is careful to keep the analysis general enough to apply to many other "questionable" groups and organizations.

 

 

Cults in Our Midst by Margaret Thaler Singer and Janja Lalich.   Singer is a clinical psychologist and emeritus adjunct professor at the University of California at Berkeley who has interviewed several thousand former cult members and testified about cults and their "thought reform" tactics; Lalich is a professional writer and former cult member. The strength of Cults in Our Midst is its clear explanation of the nature of cults, how they operate, the threat they pose to individuals, families, and society, and how others can help cult survivors escape and recover. Many types of cultic relationships are considered, from tiny religious or occult groups to the "large group awareness training" programs that have infiltrated workplaces. The book makes key distinctions between New Age ideas and the cults that use these concepts and between types of persuasion, from education to propaganda to cults' manipulative "thought reform." 

 

 

Faith That Hurts, Faith That Heals: Understanding the Fine Line Between Healthy Faith and Spiritual Abuse by Stephen Arterburn and Jack Felton.   The authors look closely at the disintegration of real faith into a harmful belief system and even religious addiction.  They address motivations and reasons why people are attracted to abusive systems.

 

 

Healing Spiritual Abuse: How to Break Free from Bad Church Experiences by Ken Blue.  With clarity and refreshing honesty, Ken Blue offers hope and healing to the victims of spiritual abuse. He also shows Christian leaders how to avoid abusive patterns and instead offer grace to every casualty of bad church experiences.  

 

 

Recovering From Churches That Abuse by Ron Enroth.  This follow-up to 'Churches That Abuse' gives insight and practical help in dealing with issues after leaving an abusive religious group. 

 

 

Recovery from Cults: Help for Victims of Psychological and Spiritual Abuse by Michael D. Langone.  Contains non-sensational, in-depth information. Among the 20 contributions are personal accounts, discussion of mind control and of the historical background to helping cult victims, and case studies. Guidelines for facilitating recovery are given in separate chapters for therapists, clergy, support groups, families, and psychiatric hospital personnel. Special issues such as children and cults, ritualistic abuse of children in day-care centers, teen Satanism, and legal considerations are addressed. 

 

 

The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse by David Johnson and Jeff Vanvonderen. "Spiritual abuse" describes situations where seemingly spiritual means are used by authority figures in an attempt to meet their own needs for importance, power, intimacy, or spiritual gratification. Church members feel manipulated, used and shamed. Now two pastors of a thriving suburban church offer effective means for dealing with spiritual abuse. 

 

 

Twisted Scriptures: A Path to Freedom from Abusive Churches by Mary Alice Chrnalogar.  Leaders of many religious groups (even including several mainstream churches) are twisting the Scriptures to subtly coerce cooperation from their members. In the process, personalities are changed and lives ruined. Mary Alice Chrnalogar is a deprogrammer with an international reputation. Chrnalogar reveals how classic mind control techniques are used to systematically seduce followers into total obedience. Twisted Scriptures: A Path To Freedom From Abusive Churches shows readers how to tell when churches are suppressing freedom of speech, intimidating followers, and distorting the Bible. Twisted Scriptures is invaluable as a self-help guide and as a tool for families and friends to free loved ones from destructive groups. 

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Re:Link to Freeminds web page

Date Posted:03/09/2004 9:06 PMCopy HTML

Oh Snakey... that avatar... ya'r so naugty. lol.



Do you put yourself down to suck people into talking to you? That's silly if you do.


That statement make me giggle a bit. did it work? yep, but only for so long I would gather. You are pretty insiteful... perhaps I do... and it is a bit bloody silly. I'll keep that in check from now on. Everything I've said has been truthful and painfully honest. However it is time to stop looking for sympathy (what's the good of that anyway), stop being a defeatist and join the human race. I am thankful that you guys have responded... but you shouldn't have to listen to me moan anymore. I hope I haven't sounded too much like Marvin the Paranoid Android from 'The Hitch-hiker's guide to the Galaxy' (Life... don't talk to me about life...). I will try being perky a bit (that may even suck someone in to reply to me... oooooh ahhhhh LOL). If that fails I will post some naked pictures of me ironing (hey... if ya got it flaunt it...)

There will probably come a time when I stop posting and lurking in here... but not yet. There's a familiarity that i'm getting used to here. I enjoy the company of you all and want to contribute. I hope you don't consider me a 'Revivalist' snakey (no offense taken)... I'm far from it now... I'm sure my picture is on the back wall of the local Revival halls with a big BEWARE written underneath it. BEWARE... BIG BAD BLOODY BRUISING BULLY BACKSLIDER!!!!!!

I love it when you rant Snakey.... gets me all goosebumpy! (kidding too). I would hate to have family members still in there. My brother and his wife left before we did and I tried to encourage him to come back... I was such a good cultee. After leaving my local Rev Heads assembly I did manage to talk some good friends to leave as well. You know what it's like when you're at a dinner party and you're trying to leave; sometimes you wait until someone else makes a move so you can leave together and minimise the fuss. Of course, they already had doubts so they mainly followed my lead. It's not easy to rationalise with people who think they are happy in there. I pray your sister sees the 'light'... she will wake up one day and you will look back and laugh about it.

Don't worry, I will never go back to the Rev Centre... if I ever do, I give you permission to track me down and slap me silly. I think I stayed much longer than I actually wanted to because I didn't want to lose what I thought were great and close friends. Just now, I am realising that they were never truly real friends (I have a theory that real friends will always forgive and stick by you - crazy huh!).

You know that feeling when you leave a job and you get that awesome freedom rush and list all the things you will never have to do there again. I left a delivery job... no more rushing all day in busy traffic... no more pleading for signatures from busy chefs... no more heavy lifting and difficult to access loading bays... ahhhhh that feels nice...

Same as leaving the ol' Revvers... no more long prayer and fasts... no more hot sunday afternoons singing 'great big beautiful God'... no more long travels to conventions so that I can see that hundreds of other people are just as deluded as I am... no more pangs of guilt when I put up our Christmas tree. Ahhh that's better.

My wife has been getting professional counselling for a few months now... she's well and truly past cult confusion... me, I probably will have to open up to face to face counselling also (when I can fit it in). Until then I will enjoy ranting here and trying to say stuff that makes sense.

Thanks for the book list Hoj.I have been reading 'recovering from churches that abuse'... Page 81 suggests that people who are leaving make a complete break. this is advice i would have liked given to me if i had the mind to acknowledge it. Don't try to change the system as you leave. It only depressed us and confused us even more as we battled out scriptural arguments with thickheaded RevHeads.

2 Corinthians 6:17
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

Touch not the unclean thing... there's something in that for all of us... donchathink bye guys.

[LINK SiteName=Mothrust: Movies and Modern Myth Target=_blank]http://aintchristian.blogspot.com.au/[/LINK] Be nice, for everyone that you meet is fighting a harder battle - Anita Roddick
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Re:Link to Freeminds web page

Date Posted:07/10/2005 10:50 AMCopy HTML

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For those that may not be aware, there are several extremely dangerous groups promoting themselves to be 'the only way' into the kingdom of God. They are as follows:

The Revival Fellowship
Revival Centres International
Geelong Revival Centres
Christian Assemblies International.


They all splintered from one man, Lloyd Longfield and the Revival Centres International are now run by his son.

Common characteristics to all groups include but not limited to:-
Extremely bigoted attitude towards other christian groups, even to eachother
Promoting a 'one way' doctrine to heaven
Promoting a 'tounges only' salvation
Promoting Legalism through a huge list of rules
Claiming that all their teachings are Bible Based and that any other christian group is in apostate, including the other groups mentioned
Strong anti-catholic message
Bizzare Paranoid conspiracy theorys about persecution and doomsday prohpecies that are not based in truth
No official training allowed for Pastors or Members
Members are not allowed to fellowship with anyone outside of group unless potential recruit
Members aren't allowed to marry outside of group
Members must live with other members
Spying is encouraged and people must report everything to oversite
Any comments against oversite is labelled 'divisive' and people are disfellowshipped
There have been allegations of sexual abuse and misuse of tithes, Cult leader bought a huge mansion in Melbourne, another from the Revival Fellowship recently bought a very expensive beachfront house in Narabeen (Sydney) despite not working for past 7 years.
Members are strongly urged to cut contact with friends and family
Members are told they are 'not safe' outside the group
Members are strictly forbidden studying the scriptures outside the group
Members are forbidden to discuss the bible without a pastor present
Members are strongly urged to give 10% or more of their income
Members expected to dedicate an extreme amount of time to the group, ie Wednesday night house meeting, Friday night fellowship, Saturday activities and two meetings on a Sunday. Any member not attending all activities is questioned and either disfellowshiped or told to 'clean up their act'.
Ex members shunned by cult members.
Any problems a member has is encouraged to be 'overcome' by intense tounges session and 'guidance' from the Pastor.
Oversite claim to be without sin
Oversite claim to be 'led by the Lord' when making decisions about doctrine or any decision for that matter.
Members are told to blindly 'obey them that have the rule over you' and obey oversite, no matter what the personal consequences.
Members must divorce if their spouse becomes an ex member
High pressure 'Black and white' view
Extreme high pressure witnessing
Zero tolerance for fornicators (Revival Centres International) - fornicators are O-U-T for good 'post spirit filled'
Members must move where there is an 'assembly'
Members not allowed in pubs, even if not drinking
Drinking is not allowed

The list goes on.

Some ex members have committed suicide, and nearly all ex members feel severely lost, depressed, daised, like they've 'left the Lord' (leaving the group is in their eyes 'blasphemy of the Holy Ghost' speaking against the group is 'blashpemy of the Holy Ghost') many refuse to fellowship in other churches, many have nightmares about nuclear devastation. Members are kept in the dark over all financial issues, no-one is accountable for tithes etc.

There is a good website explaining the horrible abuse that goes on in this place, it would be good if anyone could spread the word as I personally have suffered tremendous anguish at the hands of two of the above organisations.

Click here to view more of the devastation caused by these groups that claim to be the only true church since pentecost.

PLEASE be aware of these people, they are extremely 'nice' and most members are genuine, yet it is an awfully destructive group to be involved in. If you are thinking of becoming a christian, or interested in pentecost, I suggest something a little less fringe dwelling and a little more mainstream.

Thankyou.

[LINK SiteName=Mothrust: Movies and Modern Myth Target=_blank]http://aintchristian.blogspot.com.au/[/LINK] Be nice, for everyone that you meet is fighting a harder battle - Anita Roddick
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Re:Link to Freeminds web page

Date Posted:08/10/2005 11:29 AMCopy HTML

The Advanced Bonewits' Cult Danger Evaluation Frame

The purpose of this evaluation tool is to help both amateur and professional observers, including current or would-be members, of various organizations (including religious, occult, psychological or political groups) to determine just how dangerous a given group is liable to be, in comparison with other groups, to the physical and mental health of its members and of other people subject to its influence. It cannot speak to the "spiritual dangers," if any, that might be involved, for the simple reason that one person's path to enlightenment or "salvation" is often viewed by another as a path to ignorance or "damnation."

[LINK SiteName=Mothrust: Movies and Modern Myth Target=_blank]http://aintchristian.blogspot.com.au/[/LINK] Be nice, for everyone that you meet is fighting a harder battle - Anita Roddick
RCI prophesies
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