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Imagine No Religion

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You'll hear people say to let go of the past. Don't let it define you. What I keep reminding them is that a tragic event or events van harm the child's brain development. Phycological problems begin to arise. And without the proper treatment your life becomes one big upholstery battle to find yourself.
I was born Into a Christian cult. This is part of my story.

Ok, I’m going to tell you a story of how I survived a cult. Yes, the religious kind. Kind of like Waco Texas. Well, exactly like Waco Texas. Except this one was based out here in Northern California. I was born into it. My parents were already both brainwashed. And why not raise six kids to be brainwashed too. That’s every parents dream right?

Anyways, moving along. All I knew was the people in this cult. In fact I don’t think I remember there being anyone outside of our tight knit community. We were it. In the whole world, we were it. The leader of said cult set up schooling for all the children. All of the children were homeschooled. But it was ran out of a local community college. And our teachers were all the mothers that were in the church. Uniforms were worn. We couldn’t run. Either walking or skipping was permitted. The worst part was the abuse the children sustained. And looking back now I often think of what was worse, the abuse or the fact our parents didn’t protect us. It damaged a lot of kids. Our punishments, our abuse always came with a smile. The leader loved this part of his fantasy world being played out. His favorite weapon of choice was the PVC pipe. And he would wail on us. First on our bums, but he soon realized that was leaving noticeable welts, bruises and scars. So he switched it from our bums to our hands. No scars there. Only swelling and redness. He could deal with that. After our beatings, which got worse and worse the older we got, we were told to stand in a corner. That lasted six or so hours. So not only did we miss our schooling that day, we were bruised, scared and bleeding. I was 8.

A lot of what I do remember, seeing as when such tragedy hits at such a young age your brain will protect you from the devastating memories that will accumulate over time, are the other children’s faces. Not one of them smiling.
Everything was unity. But it was a unity I wanted out of so badly. I couldn’t scream and I was trapped. My grandma on my mothers side fell ill one year. And we were allowed to let her move in. The leader of the cult figured she was very old, dying of cancer so she was harmless. Wouldn’t run off and tell the outside world of his little secret. And it’s not like any of the parents were going to do that. They were so sick in the head with fear of a God that was going to make their lives hell on earth for leaving the church. Yes, it was ok to see your children home from school bruised and shaken with fear on a daily basis. God loved us, remember? Grandma moved in and took my room. I moved in with my younger brother. My mother took care of her every day. But grandma was on heavy medication from the cancer, she wasn’t much company. There were days I snuck in to see her. And told her everything. And begged her for help. I knew my pleas fell on deaf ears. She was sedated. She was dying. But she knew. She had warned my mother years ago to not follow along with this cult. Because in the beginning, the leader prohibited my mother from ever seeing her mother again. So my mother said goodbye.

A month later my grandma died. And my heart broke. Before she died she did wake up. When I was next to her. She grabbed ahold of me and said she loved me. And that she was so sorry. She had heard me. But she knew there wasn’t anything she could do

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Comment by Chris on September 23, 2017 at 5:35am

Hi Matthew,

Which Christian cult were your raised with?

Being cloistered in a home school environment must be difficult.

I find it difficult to believe that Loomis California public schools, or the local public Community college adhered to the religious doctrine you were subjected to and raised with. I know that happens though.

Public schools and community colleges often have school boards members that push their religious doctrine in public school systems. 

In the Pacific North West there was a group of ‘Christian Scientists”  that thought prayer was the way to heal their children.

They shunned modern medicine. Several children died from simple problems. Others were neglected.  That problem has happened across the U.S. 

Faith-Healing Parents Arrested for Death of Second Child

I could go on and on with reports of Christian Scientists neglecting their children because they thought prayer was the solution.  Fortunately in the past ten years or so many parents, and their ‘leader’ have been arrested convicted and thrown in jail for that nonsense.

I don’t know if that’s what you are talking about though.

There are many internet atheist groups that you may find helpful.  It's important to find a local group of people to with meet in person with who share the same experience to help you grow. 

There is an internet application called "Meetup" where you may be able to find agnostic and atheists in your area to talk with in person.


Comment by Chris on March 5, 2017 at 7:17am

Thanks for sharing your story Matthew.

I walked away from long time friends because they were poison. I cut ties with family members because their negativity. Along the way I met and was able to know people with diverse backgrounds.

I can't imagine how difficult it would be to walk away from family, and friends you grew up with in a closed society. 

You have friends here.

Comment by Chris on February 10, 2017 at 7:14am

We all live with the death of loved ones.

Do you think the myth of heaven provides solace for the death of a loved one?

Comment by Matthew James on January 26, 2017 at 12:12am
Thank you, and I do everyday. I talk about what happened to me in hopes to give people light in an otherwise dark place in their lives now because of religion. The hope that there is light. You're not alone.

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