Ex-cult member to Atheist
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11-05-2013, 05:52 AM
Ex-cult member to Atheist
Hi people,

I thought I would give you all a brief history of my religious life (and where I am now). I had a vague idea of some "god" as a child, no doubt drummed into me by the school I went to (Church of England), but it was never a serious thing. That changed in 2008, in which I accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior and got involved with the Family International (TFI). The Family International have a strange past, with allegations of sexual abuse, prostitution, and in helping to bring about the end of a middle eastern government etc., and they formed out of the Jesus Movement in the late 1960's (they were called the Children of God). I knew of this before I joined, but I figured that all faiths had some "bad" history, or rep. Cut along story short, I took a Bible course, learned it inside and out, accepted what they said on any matter (creationism etc), tried to fit in, proselytize with tracts (the norm) and basically, try to be a better person. That all came crashing down in later 2011. I picked up a book by John Shelby Spong and learned that I had, well, been deceived into believing something that was historically ... shite. I remained a member, tried to ignore the obvious, but then I couldn't resist researching more about the history of God, textual criticism and the like. It was then that I realized "damn, I'm in the wrong boat". I became agnostic, clung to a deistic ideal of God, but read Dawkins, then David Mills, then Hawking, Krauss and then threw it away altogether. I'm now an Atheist. Bit of a short history, nor is there any juicy gossip (the only thing that bothered me, was that members couldn't date outsiders, whether Christian or not, and they all lived communally), but whatever. I'm here! Smile
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11-05-2013, 07:26 AM
RE: Ex-cult member to Atheist
Welcome!

There are others here who have been involved in various cults.

So this one evolved from the "Jesus freaks" of the 60s? I knew a few and boy, did they get on my nerves. Every other word out of their mouths was "Jesus".

Congratulations on your successful journey to reason!

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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11-05-2013, 08:49 AM
RE: Ex-cult member to Atheist
Hello Smile I know for a fact my early "beliefs" grew up out of the Christian Academy "school" I attended early on. Love to hear a fellow victim throw off that rubbish Thumbsup

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11-05-2013, 09:56 AM
RE: Ex-cult member to Atheist
Ah, the late 60s Jesus freaks - I remember them well. High school in the 70s wouldn't have been the same without the guy standing behind me in the lunch line incessantly muttering, "bless you" or even just "bless" like a hyperventilating zombie in love.

Sounds as if you followed your instincts to survive and thrive which brought you to the reasonable, logical, and natural conclusion that we are all together and on our own. Good for you that you kept your wits about you and continued to let yourself think - now, you can let yourself relax and live! Thumbsup

Check things out here - this is an international site and no doubt you'll find many interesting discussions with diverse commentary and views.

Welcome to the forum. Smile

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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11-05-2013, 10:16 AM
RE: Ex-cult member to Atheist
Thankyou everyone!

Hi Dom, I think the Children of God were one of the first groups to spurn the Jesus movement. If I remember correctly, it was either during the Summer of love, or a couple of years later (66-69). They have had some bad press (some false, some true), for example, if you left you'd be called a "backslider", but nowadays they call you a "leavetaker". I lost many "friends" after deciding enough was enough, as you can imagine. The difference between the COG and regular Jesus movement's was that they would encourage free-sex etc. Unluckily, I never got laid with group members (I had to look elsewhere lol), but they did a little prostitution in the 80's in the hopes of drawing in new members. There was some questionable activity going on around that time (so I have read, and heard), but obviously I was never around to see any of this. They are becoming more conservative these days (many have left).

It was a hard thing Kim, because it gave me meaning and happiness etc. but I realized that my sanity was more important. I have aspergers and ocd, so I can be over-analytical. One other reason why I left was because I ended up developing a "sin" obsession, and it was becoming unbearable. I still have that now, and I have been prescribed some anti-depressants etc. because of how harsh it's affected my mentality. But as you say, I can now live. Thumbsup

On the plus side, since leaving I have felt comfortable in studying philosophy and evolutionary psychology (something I would NEVER of done when Christian, as I was a bona fide creationist).
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11-05-2013, 07:59 PM
RE: Ex-cult member to Atheist
Welcome, Azbo!

I knew a few people who are part of The Family International. They were nice people, a family of three, their daughter a little older than me. When I got to hearing about TFI I wasn't fully deconverted, but heard enough that my mind went "Okay, this is creepy".

Hope your studies are fun, and open a whole new world for you. Thumbsup

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11-05-2013, 11:29 PM
RE: Ex-cult member to Atheist
Welcome to the forums, Azzie.

You couldn't date non-cult members?

.....were the pickings good with what you had?

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12-05-2013, 05:57 AM
RE: Ex-cult member to Atheist
Believe it or not, they are all attractive people, but I never dated any of them. If I could describe them in three words, it would be: sexually compulsive hippies. Most of those that I knew personally were lovely people, but since leaving, hardly any have spoken to me. Typical, eh ? Wink
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12-05-2013, 06:07 AM
RE: Ex-cult member to Atheist
I'm horrified!

Shocking

You were raised C of E but spell 'saviour' incorrectly?

Fucking blasphemy!

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12-05-2013, 06:32 AM
RE: Ex-cult member to Atheist
(12-05-2013 05:57 AM)Azbo123 Wrote:  Believe it or not, they are all attractive people, but I never dated any of them. If I could describe them in three words, it would be: sexually compulsive hippies. Most of those that I knew personally were lovely people, but since leaving, hardly any have spoken to me. Typical, eh ? Wink

"Sexually compulsive hippies" and you left? Are you fuckin' retarded?Big Grin

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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