From: "Claudia and Jim" <>  | Block Address | Add to Address Book
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 05:04:13 -0000
Subject: [x-cobu] Church/Cult

I just today got asked to speak to a Bible Study group on my
experience in a Cult. I could actually feel my cheeks redden as the
word was pronounced. I responded, perhaps too quickly, that I would
love to. These questions being talked about here - about the history,
whether Stew was ever really a Christian, whether the Cult was ever a
church - these are really good things to consider, whichever
conclusion you come to. I have a definite opinion on that subject,
myself. But when I am speaking to this group on Tuesday, I think I'm
going to just open my mouth and see what comes out. It's one thing to
wonder for myself, and yet another to try to communicate to someone
else. I like to think of Stewart personally, and even the church,
(which to me is little other than an extension of his will with a
group dynamic)as an abusive father. A father who beats his children.
That is Stewart to me. Children who grow up under those
circumstances, learn to say things carefully, learn to read moods
when he is drunk, become familiar with the many reasons why the
brutality they received was what they deserved. They become familiar
with the terror as they watch him get his belt, the quiet despair of
knowing there is no place to run that is safe from his reach. They
become familiar with uncertainty -never quite sure when he is going
to explode. His presence sucks the air out of a room. There is no
ignoring an abusive father. Neither is there any room for
disagreement or discussion. And yet, many children have fond memories
even under these circumstances. Some more than others. Some only have
snapshot Polaroid memories - that time long ago, playing catch in the
backyard with Dad- before the beatings started. The image is frozen
in memory like a hope that almost was. It gets pulled out sometimes,
when the pain swells up over the bruises, but it never quite
reconciles the reality of this mean, angry old man with the belt
standing before them.