What not to say to someone who has suffered spiritual abuse

1. Your bad experience prevents you from seeing this PRESENT circumstance/church/pastor objectively. This implies a survivor’s instincts and insights are are invalid. Here’s the thing: maybe our abusive experiences aren’t The Rule but they do provide insight into how abuse happens and how it is propagated.

2. Your bad experience prevents you from seeing your PAST circumstances/churches/pastors objectively. Do you see what I mean? No matter what concerns a survivor raises, the underlying assumption is that their perspective is flawed, clouded and reactionary–including how they reflect on their OWN past.

3. There’s no such thing as a perfect church! Just eat the fish and spit out the bones! Again, dismissive. This statement downplays legitimate concerns about lack of accountability. The survivor is faulted for holding church authorities to an unfair, “perfectionistic” standard. Also, just because some people are able to spit out the (massive) bones doesn’t mean everyone can. Some of us will die choking.

4. Have you forgiven the people who hurt you? People who have suffered spiritual abuse are repeatedly reminded that Jesus commands them to forgive. We get it. Really. Also, we forgive you for being so unhelpful.

5. You know, you can wallow in self-pity or choose to move on. The subtext, here, is that people who talk about their abusive experiences are indulging in self-pity. Believe me, we want to move on. This is why we talk about it. Talking about is actually a sign of healing. When we’re really hurting? We stay very quiet.

6. Well, what were YOU doing that was wrong? Were you behaving rebelliously? Dressing immodestly? This is classic victim-blaming. This line of questioning seeks to cast doubt upon the victim’s credibility and motives. It also casts the perpetrator as the noble character who was “seduced” against their will or understandably “provoked” to violence.

7. Are you allowing a root of bitterness to grow in your heart? No, actually. I only allow root vegetables to grow in my heart. Ahem. Look, this is a loaded question. It presumes that people like myself have an axe to grind and that we’re allowing our pasts to define our future. We’re not bitter. We’re bursting full of sweet, sweet boundaries.

8. Don’t speak against the Lord’s anointed servant! There’s this idea that if a church is growing, the pastor is above the rules that apply to everyone else. Tithes welcome, whistle-blowers not.

9. Human beings make mistakes. True. I make them every day. However, just because we all make mistakes doesn’t preclude accountability or making amends.

10. We used these methods and MY children/family/marriage turned out great! How awesome for you. Those methods were used on me and I had to go to therapy for 5 years. Soooooo. Yeah. How about them Dodgers?

What unhelpful advice have you heard?
Can you add to this list?

  • jen

    Actually, you’ve hit all of them pretty well. My coping mechanism is to kill the evil people off yearly in a NaNoWriMo muder mystery.

  • http://twitter.com/StevenStreets Steven Streets

    “But you weren’t a child so you have to take responsibility”.
    US Army Orders: Report to ft Knox for tank school. After I had Delayed PTS episode at Chaplain School the year the civilian Priest raped me. I self healing fixed the issue by getting myself into Army Band tuba player where i would not be surrounded by religious triggers (is that a great pun or what) and put in for transfer to Army Music School. I had the personal recommendation of its immediate former commander. I had been professional musician before joining the Army.

    Of course the worst advice was what I gave myself after the rape; Join the Army to get my honor and manhood back. The military hell I went through and the homosexual priests’s that run the church (there IS a preponderance) denial of any suffering on my part is why I aint got over it yet.

    Walter Reed Army shrinks aint the brightest bulbs blinking over the human mind. I said nothing of the rape to them or anyone for years but it has lately been revealed the standard Military Med diagnosis for sex abuse trauma was schizoid. So they suspected something. The most excruciating shameful of honorable discharges.

    The worst advice was the gay priest church lawyer that handled sex abuse complaints offering to pay for therapy which they did for several thousand dollars. A complete waste of money and my painful time. I never took or received a single reprobate debased dime from the Church unless it was a musicians check.

    The therapy I needed (and still do) was for a complete purge of the abomination standing in the sanctuary where it ought not, that made my life a desolation.

    But we are dealing with a Roman theocracys fertility cult run by homosexuals.

    Semper SPQR
    For God and Country

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, Steven, for so bravely sharing your story here. I honor it. And I honor you. Semper Fi.

    • Hilary

      Just to point out – male homosexual =/= rapist. I have nothing but contempt for the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, but there are gay men in loving, monogomas relationships, as well as totally consensual non-rape one night stands.
      I’m not trying to deny what happened to you, I truly wish for you all that you need and deserve to heal, but as a (female) homosexual myself, I just had to make a comment – rape and homosexuality have as much overlap as rape and heterosexuality.

  • http://twitter.com/SheilaScribbles Sheila Siler

    While I grew up in a very legalistic environment I never suffered the abuse you did. The older I get I have learned (am learning) not to try and explain someone else’s pain to them. The best thing I can say is “I’m sorry”.

  • KatR

    1&2 are really a form of gaslighting, with the unspoken message being “well, your opinions can’t be trusted, because you are crazy, poor dear.”

    Also, how much does the survivor have to do v. the perpetrator? The survivor has to forgive, the survivor has to get rid of the bitter root, the survivor has to “spit out the bones” (a nicer way of saying “eat s–t with a knife and fork”.) The abuser just has to deal with being “the Lord’s anointed”, I guess.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christy-Chomer-Karnatz/611216017 Christy Chomer Karnatz

      I was trying to remember what the word for that was … gaslighting is also used by sociopaths and narcissists on their victims.

  • Paula

    One of your best posts ever!!! When I share my story with others if they say any of these ten things,, they go on my watch out list and I start putting up boundaries.

  • http://twitter.com/portofbyblos Tara S

    #1. YEP. I can spot a malfunctioning high-demand church from a mile away, and I only had several months experience in one. But my instincts are honed now, to see the potential for shenanigans and abuse.
    #2-10. Can you give me some tips on growing root vegetables in my heart? I have a tiny yard and our strata council won’t let me have a garden.

  • http://twitter.com/MInTheGap MInTheGap

    In 2004, I was part of a church embroiled in a church split. Since I was relatively new to the church, both sides attempted to get me on their side.

    In the aftermath, while discussing these things with a possible interim pastor, I learned that this man believed that he could tell all the problems the church had had in the past based on what was in its Constitution– because those are the very things that the church would put into it to protect itself in the future.

    1 & 2 are objectively true– a person that has gone through an experience is forever shaped by the experience, and they see everything through that lens. While I would never recommend ignoring the warning signs someone with an experience can see, I also do not see the value of assuming the worst of every instance.

    For example, submission in the Bible. Many generations have passed since Paul and Peter wrote about submission. Some have abused these passages, and been abused under these passages. We all agree it’s not the Bible’s fault, but those that apply those Scriptures incorrectly. Does that warrant that we don’t preach these passages, or that we ignore the truth there?

    Boiling it back down, does the fact that someone/anyone at one time used a passage of Scripture as a right to abuse another or usurp over another enough to ignore that passage in the future, or not to be honest about what it says?

    • Awol

      EE, correct me if I misunderstood, but I didn’t see you writing about whether or not scriptures, etc. were right or wrong, but rather, how do we respond to people who have suffered spiritual abuse.

      If I have understood you correctly, then I would simply comment to you, Min, that when a person is sharing about an abuse of any kind, the thing to do is listen rather than elaborate on objective truths, etc. For example, if I am listening to someone share about being sexually abused, there is no way I am going to light up a conversation about how sex can be a very good thing, etc., etc in the right circumstances. That would be highly insensitive of me. That is not the time to ‘be honest about what it says’ or what anything says.

      As for the submission thing, I have experienced ‘well meaning’ women try to tell me how ‘their husbands are very nice’, etc., etc., ad nauseum and that ‘that isn’t what the bible meant when it talked about submission’, etc., just after I tearfully told about a recent episode of abuse in my own marriage, AND I had prefaced remarks to the group those ladies were in with a polite request that no one share with me about their warm experiences with submission, please, after I shared. Immediately after I shared my experience, three of the women burst out with how wonderful their marriages were, and they were submissive to their husbands, etc. So, no, I wouldn’t even go there with any responses about anything being objectively true. (for the record, I believe their ‘objective truth’ and subjective truth about submission were wrong, just plain wrong, anyway.)

      I quit that bible study, by the way, that very night.

      Awesome, right-on-the-mark post, EE!!!!!

      • Anonymous

        Thank you for this, Awol. Yes, this is exactly my point. Thank you.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christy-Chomer-Karnatz/611216017 Christy Chomer Karnatz

        Can I vote this up twice? =)

    • http://somuchshoutingsomuchlaughter.com/ suzannah | the smitten word

      everyone is shaped by their experiences and encounters the world through their own personal lens. if anything, abuse survivors are experts on abuse with first-hand insight to offer the rest of us. EE isn’t advocating assuming the worst here, but you’re coming pretty dang close.

      none of us gets to pretend to be the objective party. there is no such thing.

    • http://thereforeiambic.blogspot.com/ Elena Johnston

      People who have been abused can be wrong in their perceptions–just like everyone else. But the fact that they have first hand experience is a reason to take them more seriously, not less. It’s okay to disagree. But disagree in spite of their first-hand knowledge, not because of it.

  • http://www.lara-thinkingoutloud.blogspot.com/ Lara

    #5 Yes.

  • Ruth

    Yes, yes, yes! Oh, if only people took these to heart! Number 5 especially resonated with me. People who met me when I still hadn’t processed and moved on thought I was the quietest person. Quiet was safe for me at that time, but it didn’t help me process and grow. When I started talking, things changed!

  • http://heathershodgepodge@blogspot.com HeathersHodgepodge

    Yes. This. Thank you. This is why, after searching for a new home church for 6+ years, I’ve yet to find a church I’m comfortable with. And so many of these statements also apply to those of us who have also experienced additional types of abuse as well :-I

  • Dawn

    “bursting full of sweet, sweet boundaries” – LOVE that. :)

  • Chila Woychik

    well said, Elizabeth. good on you for getting the help you really needed to get through that.

  • http://danileekelley.wordpress.com/ Dani Kelley

    “We’re not bitter. We’re bursting full of sweet, sweet boundaries.” Love it! :)

    • Anonymous


    • http://www.facebook.com/sarahnmoon Sarah Moon

      favorite line.

  • Rachel

    These are pretty comprehensive. Actually, all of these could be applied to abusive situations period. I find the first two very interesting because they reflect the subjective nature of life. Yes, my life experience colors my perceptions. Everyone’s life experience colors their perceptions. Therefore, everyone is to some extent prevented from being objective, that doesn’t devalue their perspective or observations. This is particularly true in the arena of faith when so much of the experience is a subjective experience.

    The best thing you can do with someone who has been abused is listen and validate their value as a person. You can’t fix it for them and trying to defend a particular situation/religion, etc. is a selfish action. The only thing that will help them heal is loving them. Loving them just where they are in the process.

  • Anonymous

    I love this and I agree with all of them!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sarahnmoon Sarah Moon

    When I talk about my experience, people say “No one’s listening to you! You’re preaching to the choir!”

  • trenchbuddy

    EE. I just HAD to show my kids this post….It is like a strange fraternity of survivors that get it… We get it. really. xo

    • Anonymous

      I’m so glad the next generation is becoming informed. Thank you for sharing it with your kids.

  • Eric Weiss

    #8. The pastor of our former church (though it wasn’t a growing church) wrote the book on the subject, or at least “a” book on the subject, by which he indoctrinated all the Bible School students so no one dared voice a criticism of the pastor or church leadership – which we belatedly found out about when we naively raised some points of concern about the pastor and the leadership and found ourselves all alone. Feel free to contact me if you want a copy for your files. :)


    • Anonymous

      I’d love a copy! Feel free to email it to me. Thanks!

      • Eric Weiss


  • Elke

    “It sounds like you’re still grieving.” Said in a sepulchral and pastoral tone. With the implication that I should just get over it already sheesh.

  • paul

    “The Trinity is a “community.” Jesus as the Son, is in eternal submission to the Father. As the church, we should be submitted to our lead pastor.”

    (I was actually told this after I questioned the wisdom of an abrupt change in the way our congregation was governed. Later, I was “disciplined” for insubordination.)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=11018683 Elizabeth Larson-DiPippo

      So lead pastor = God? Wow.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy

        Judging from other spiritual abuse survivors blog, “Eternal Submission of the Son” is REAL popular among spiritual-abusers in any postion of church authority. Gives them “Divine Right” for their power trips and control freakouts.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      “Jesus, as the Son, is in eternal submission to the Father.”
      Didn’t St Nicholas punch out Arias for claiming this in that one Church council back when years AD were still in the low three digits?

  • alwr

    “You refused to see the good that was there”.
    And my favorite, from people who have never come anywhere near an abusive church or parachurch organization, “If they have Jesus, how can they be doing something wrong?”

    • Amber

      “If they have Jesus.” I would think they probably have what they think is Him, but they are most definitely not following if they use positions of power to abuse people. “Know them by their fruit”, anyone? People can claim to be Christian and do terrible things. Don’t make excuses.
      I haven’t suffered spiritual abuse, but my mother had a really difficult experience with a leader in her youth group as a teenager. The last church I was at actually had a support group called “Trusting God’s People Again” which I can’t vouch for myself, but it was a very loving and understanding church, so I would think (you can blame me for making assumptions) the group was probably helpful.

    • Anonymous

      Um yeah. Operative word is “IF” Just because they say they have Jesus, does it mean they do? Like Amber (and Jesus) says, “Know them by their fruit.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christy-Chomer-Karnatz/611216017 Christy Chomer Karnatz

    And wouldn’t you know it, I got bombed by several of these when I went to talk to my small group leader. My husband and I finally came to the conclusion today that the group wasn’t the place for us. You know that feeling when you are talking to someone severely fundamentalist, and they take you back to that place of feeling guilty? Like feeling that sense of caution is ungodly or something? Yeah, I was feeling that alright on Saturday. I forgive the woman because I don’t think SHE meant any harm toward me. When she told me that this was just how this group functioned and that I had been the one to make a choice to come to this small group, I felt as small as a flea on a skyscraper. Days later, I’m coming to my senses. Yes, I made the choice to come without any idea of what it entailed. Now I’m making the choice to leave. I’m sure it is going to take me weeks to get the residual guilt feelings out of me.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      ” You know that feeling when you are talking to someone severely fundamentalist, and they take you back to that place of feeling guilty?”
      Two words: GUILT MANIPULATION. JMJ over at Christian Monist writes about it a lot.

  • Pedro M. Rosario Barbosa

    Dear Elizabeth:

    I think you’ve nailed all of those points very well. However, there is a problem in lots of people’s minds. How *do* you deal with a friend or a member of a family who has been abused spiritually? Yes, we all know the generic answer: “Be supportive”. The problem is the specifics of it: In what specific ways can we be supportive in a way that the abused can accept and understand lovingly?

    Take care always, and love you. God bless you.

    • KatR

      I’m sure Elizabeth has her own thoughts on this, but as someone who has survived spiritual abuse I wanted to weigh in.

      I think it’s hard to come up with specific points because survivors are going to be all over the spectrum in terms of where they are with their healing and WHAT they find healing.

      The one thing I can say to people who want to be supportive is “Listen to what the survivor is telling you, and respond accordingly.” This may sound simple, but it can be hard for some Christians to understand that things like the Bible or attending church can be triggering or traumatic for a survivor.

      I had to back away from Christianity to find some measure of healing and sanity. That was not an easy or quick decision. It was a good two years of therapy and tears and reading and several depressive episodes before I understood that is what I had to do. There are people who can’t accept that. I limit my contact with those people.

      Sorry, this is kind of a book. Hope it was at least a little helpful.

      • KatR

        I should also add, there are some spiritual abuse survivors who find a great deal of comfort in Christianity. I didn’t mean to make it sound as if that wasn’t the case.

        • Pedro M. Rosario Barbosa

          I understand what you are trying to say. No worries. :)

  • http://twitter.com/chryssie_rose Chryssie Rose

    I love this. absolutely LOVE this. I have had so many people who had tried to tell me almost all of these, and thankfully we are no longer at that church. Would you be willing to write out a response to what you should say to those who have suffered spiritual abuse?

  • beautythrupain

    “Can I call your therapist and talk to him/her? I just want to make sure you’re on the right path.”

    Really? And how is it that you would know better than my therapist, who is a professional, or myself, who is living this, what *I* need?

    I heard this from several people, including my current pastor/boss. It takes away the survivor’s right to privacy and challenges their sense of personal power/agency. The fact that a therapist can’t legally disclose anything without you signing a paper to that effect (unless you’re a danger to self/others) doesn’t matter. It’s the question/assumption that’s hurtful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=181100183 Shannon Kish

    Wow! Great article. Supporters of the cult I was a part of are constantly using #5 and #7 on us.

  • Naomi’s mom

    #6 Of course women are equally responsible when older men who are “the Lord’s servant”, your boss – who hand picked you to be their on call secretary and told you you were in a privileged position begin to abuse you!

  • http://www.mymusingcorner.wordpress.com/ Lana

    So true. I love this. Ironically, if someone was hurt by a church movement or anything else (in my case, Christian patriarchy), then it says a whole, whole lot about the movement. Way to ignore it!

  • http://www.ericpazdziora.com/ Eric

    #3 is my favorite. “Of course not, but there is such a thing as a healthy church.”

  • Valerie

    I haven’t commented on your blog for a while, Elizabeth, having just gone through/still going through the worst trauma of my life. We lost our premature baby back in July and it has left me a broken shell. Grieving is a long, drawn-out process and we have gone through great suffering. There’s aren’t even words to describe it.

    Just reading through your list iwas struck by how many parallels we can draw from human experiences. My suffering is obviously different to yours, and indeed different to another mother who has lost a child, but what is similar is the ways that other people respond, in a sense. Something we Christians like to do is ‘fix’ people and slap an hallelujah and a God is good onto anything that makes them slightly uncomfortable. W don’t like to hear of struggle and pain. We like to pretend and say that everything is ok. We seem to out limits in things like struggle and grief and depression and other issues when truth is, these are things that God has allowed, and you know what? He’s good with my questions and my lack of faith and my doubt and the fact that there are many days that I doubt His goodness.

    • Valerie

      i think I ran out of room!

      His love can cover all of that. And something I am learning is that suffering and pain can be made into something beautiful. I will never, never tell someone how they should be thinking andfeelingsbout a experience they have had. What do I know? Our pastors have been incredible. Just incredible. They have just loved us and not once offered advice. They have never told us how we should be processing or reacting. I hope that I can offer this to others as well.

      If we all just did a whole lot more loving and a whole lot less judging how powerful would we be?


  • http://twitter.com/frognparis Rebecca Erwin

    Fantastic! My favorites are 4 & 7. Just what I needed to hear today.

  • Claire in Tasmania

    Guess what the bitter root actually is? According to Deut 29:18, it’s idolatry. Nothing to do with ‘allowing bitterness to grow in your heart’. Just another example of abusive scripture-twisting, in fact ;)

  • Sharminime

    I’ve been told #1 and #2. And something that was kind of like – well, we don’t believe that anything really bad happened to you, but out of the goodness of our hearts, we are very prepared to offer you pastoral care.

    • http://lovingfromtheinsideout.blogspot.com Connie

      Oh, wow! Condescending on top of it all. Gah. :-(

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Revd-Peter-Doodes/697842782 Rev’d Peter Doodes

    Number 8 does not only apply to the congregation Elizabeth, speaking out to superiors as a whistle-blowing minister has the same result.

  • http://volunteer11.blogspot.com/ VollyfromtheBlog

    Yeah, for #3 the question is, what were the bones doing there to begin with?

  • http://www.facebook.com/lashondaranthony LaShonda Anthony

    I was told to stop looking at the people in church and look to God-but according to the bible the church is the earthly manifestation of God….ok. Great article! And if my second child had been a girl she would have had your name-it’s the middle names of my grandmothers. :-)

  • Aprille

    You know what’s sad? is that I realized that while very few people have said these things to me…I’ve said almost all of them to myself.

  • jmwe29

    Wow. I left an abusive church over 2 years ago, and what helped me the most was educating myself about church abuse. I’ve got my own mini library now, and wrote my own book. Understanding why abusive leaders are the way they are really helped me to get past it all, and just the process of writing was very therapeutic. One point- I’ve NEVER heard a sermon, teaching or anything on testing spirits. You learn the hard way, I guess. I devoted a whole chapter to just that. Thanks for a wonderful post. My favorite- #3, and some of us WILL die choking on those massive bones!

  • Kat D.

    Oooh, I’ve got a good one. What about “Maybe that panicky, fight-or-flight feeling you get in church is Jesus knocking on the door to your heart?” The crazy thing is, I actually believed that it might be and subjected myself to more abuse because of it.

    • Anonymous

      YES YES YES. I heard this one SO many times. What a lie it was. What a terrible, cruel lie.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      Or “Maybe that panicky, fight-or-flight feeling you get in church” IS the Holy Spirit telling you to get the hell out of there before that church destroys you?

  • Anonymous

    Number 8 was used a lot in my childhood church. It covered a multitude of sins from church leaders. It was so effective because it used fear to keep people quiet. And that is sickening.

  • brainwashed beauty

    My favorite people tell me is that I’m too picky and analytical. Then they also like to tell me how I’ve been too rebellious for my own good and they are right because God said so. Translation – Shut up, ignore your questions and red flags, and listen to me. Oh, here’s the collection plate. :)

    But its ok. They are Christians. I can always trust a Christian. Christians would never brainwash someone. Ever. Like never ever.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t imagine.
    I really can’t imagine.
    I know I say stupid things. I know deep down inside that I have the answers to everything. Yes, I am that prideful. So I have to keep telling the Lord, every day, that HE is God and I am not. That I don’t have all the answers. That even if it hurts, I have to let people find the answers that are right for them. No, I am not talking about all the paths to God that are not through Jesus Christ. I’m talking about other things, like what you have written above. If I haven’t lived it, I don’t have a clue as to the answers. And even if I have lived it, I haven’t lived your life, so how can I presume to have the answers for *your* life?

    I am just so sorry that you and others have to listen to the stupid things people say, like those you have written.

    I am just so glad that Jesus is big enough to bear all of your burdens, even though you/I can’t dump them all at one time. Its the evolution of a soul, not an instant transformation/destination.

  • http://www.whispersonthejourney.wordpress.com/ Sarah

    To #s 1 & 2 I would note that by-and-large the idea of seeing something “objectively” is a myth for anybody. EVERYONE looks at a situation colored by their own personal experience (or inexperience), culture, history, needs/wants, etc. A recent study even showed that people hear the same piece of music so differently that their minds replay that music in a way unique to them.
    Things like depression, PTSD, naivete, a history of abuse, or a history without DO color the way we see present circumstances – but that’s not a bad thing. Being open to hearing and incorporating into our own understanding the way someone sees a situation broadens our perspective and makes us wiser – particularly when the person has experience with something we don’t.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, yes, yes! I have heard all of these. When confronted with #3, I answered, “No church is perfect, but some churches are dangerous.” Would you put a live piranha in your mouth with the intention of spitting out the bones?

    There is another one I’ve heard, always in different words. The gist of it is, “How could you be so dumb? I’d never let that happen to me. I’d never follow anything but the true gospel.” It’s not called gospel, it’s called influence. Have you ever gone to the store and bought something you did not intend to? Have you ever been swayed by propaganda? Then you have followed the influence of another and I’m willing to bet it’s not because you’re dumb, but caught off guard.

    This is a fantastic post, Elizabeth. Thanks for writing it. I’m going to share it!

  • http://twitter.com/mmgutz Melissa Gutierrez

    Rad, thanks. So rad.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    ” Just eat the fish and spit out the bones!”
    What if it’s all bones and no meat?

  • Jeff Sjolander

    I actually am facing two online situations where this list is practically a script for what I am being told. One of these situations the unfortunate spin is also that I am not manifesting fruit of the spirit. Oh, and they are the ones who are wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

  • colleen

    Thanks for these. I’ve heard all of them so often that I think I begin to ask myself them. Learning to let go. :)

  • Anonymous

    “Have you thought that this is a trial they have to overcome, and god knows you are strong enough to handle being treated like this?”

    “Perhaps you need to ask God for proper forgiveness”.

  • Mar Komus

    Pretty much have heard every one of these. Thanks for posting!

  • Anonymous

    Just recently discovered your blog and I can SO relate. I grew up in a homeschooling Catholic family that believed in the apocalyptic writings of a false prophet/visionary. The “cult” beliefs emphasized constant preparation for the end of the world, lie after lie about various world leaders, even the Pope. It was the sort of extremist Catholicism that doubted the leaders of the Church and assumed everyone was just “possessed.” 10 years out of that environment and the scars are still fresh. I still hear #10 from my parents all the time – “well, this worked for me and was positive for me and you need to get over your problems with what we do because it’s not our problem.” I have yet to seek therapy about it, but the knowledge that my siblings are leaving the “nest” not believing this crap is comforting.

  • http://www.kathyescobar.com/ kathyescobar

    so good, thank you for sharing this!