Extreme Religious Control
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16-06-2013, 02:53 AM
Extreme Religious Control
Hello everyone, my name is Dan. (Bow)

For a few years now I've been trying to find anyone who I could relate to in terms of how I grew up. I like reading through detailed stories people give about things they went through and learned while growing up, but it's rare that I can actually identify with them Sad I'd like to share my story, if that's alright, in hopes of finding someone else like me. It's late and I'm trying to think of how to word this... I really don't want to come off as someone looking for pity or another reaction, but this forum seems like a very understanding place that might help me settle my thoughts a little. To anyone who reads through this, I thank you very much.

I grew up in ATI (I believe this forum knows what that is) and Family Radio (that group that made headlines with their May 21, 2011 end of the world prediction). I tried writing down as much of my story as I could on a small blog. I never quite finished writing it, but if it's alright, I'll takes my story from there and put it below. I think it's probably a clear explanation of myself. I really poured my heart out with this, parts of it are embarrassing, but I really wanted to put it into words.

When I was younger, one of my parents died, and the other one planned to control my life. I was homeschooled, and I heard quite a few stories dismissed that homeschoolers don't get enough socialization, but my parent discouraged socialization. Religion was constantly pushed in my face as the reason.

"You are not to have company with fools, the Bible says so."

Nearly everyone must have been considered a fool by my parent, and I was kept away from the world and its evil ways. Nearly all music was supposed to be evil. Actually, the majority of entertainment was a sin, but I eventually found a radio and started listening to the few radio stations that barely reached my area. Music! What a wonderful thing! I learned so much, my favorite songs cheered me up and made me feel sad, and my emotions helped clear my mind and learn about myself. What made me sad? What made me happy? What was I afraid of? What did I dream for?

I heard about people and their friends, their love, their sadness, their happiness, and all felt so far away. My only connection to that world was on a weak little radio and some rather uncomfortable headphones. I learned (somehow) that the radio cables could be moved slightly to change the reception, and although that meant that I could make the sound clearer, if I did nothing most of the time the sound would be very scratchy. I'd find a position where the cord would make the sound clearer and then hold that position for a few hours to listen to the music, sometimes moving slightly to stretch and then find that position again.

Music influenced the name I'm using, so now would be a good time to explain that as well. Listening to music made my heart beat faster. It felt wonderful, it made me feel more healthy, but it always made me a little afraid that I'd be caught listening to music by my parent. Listening to music gave me happiness and fear at the same time, even though I learned music isn't evil like I had been taught. If I remember right, I read somewhere that the foxglove plant has a toxin called "digitalis" that increases the heart rate dangerously, and that description reminded me of my almost dangerous relationship with music. I changed the spelling a little, the letters also stand for things that were important to me, but I doubt I'll ever tell what they were.

(Side note, my name I used on my blog, and the name I use for my music projects, is "Dijitalis". Now to continue the story)

I'm sure not all homeschoolers are the same, but I've seen a few families like mine. When I was younger, my parents fell into two different cults... And were determined to raise their children following the principles dictated by those cults. Both of these cults left (mental) wounds on me, and for my parents they were a toxin they loved to take in a spread to their children.

One of them might seem familiar from the news in the past year. Remember May 21st, 2011? The world was going to end and judgment day was going to start with five months of horrors scraping across the earth, eventually killing everyone. Different news outlets presented the story, with many people poking fun at the delusional people wasting money and time with that weird prediction. Well, my family had been right in the middle of that religious group since around 2001. Way longer than that, actually, but I'd say the prediction started about then. It was based on many numbers in the Bible, and what could I do? My parents told me it was true. They told me this was what God said. I believed it.

I'd lie awake at night thinking, "Only 8 more years... I wonder if I'll ever get anything important done. I wonder if I'm saved. What if I'm not? In 8 years I'll have to suffer in hell eternally..." the main parent (who seemed to relish talking about this stuff) told me several times, "Satan tries to make you think that a few years here is a long time, so you should enjoy it, but then you suffer infinitely! No end! That's waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay longer than the few years you have left!"

Oh, you can't do anything to get yourself saved (besides praying which doesn't actually do anything at all for your salvation but you're supposed to) so if you were destined for hell from the start, no amount of crying, praying or goodness would have changed it. So why do anything? If everyone on earth committed suicide at the same time, they'd all be sorted in the heaven and hell bins the same way as if they lived 100 years each.

I started doubting and arguing against the whole idea the more I thought about it, but it scared me a lot. I was mentally prepared to only have so long to live, and I was terrified of death. My... Well, one of my parents died, and the one who was left ran to tell us that parent was now walking on the golden streets. That creeped me out a lot for some reason. I know the ambiguity of not saying father or mother, brother or sister when talking about my family makes this sound confusing... But I don't want to be too specific. I honestly have a huge fear of this parent, they didn't hurt me physically but mentally they make me very frightened. (sigh)

I was so glad when the date passed, even if reason told me it would, the fear told me it might not. That group was brainwashed, even if it was supposed to be for a good cause. I know of other families it hurt as well, and I keep in contact with a few people near my age but sadly not near my location. I love them to death but nowadays they're not able to talk very often. Surely I'd have some friends nearby, right? Wrong... Now to go into the other cult, which I believe did even worse harm and was even more toxic to me.

What was it called... Advanced Training Institute? Institute in Basic Life Principles? I believe they were the same but slightly different names for different programs in the same system. It was a huge group of homeschoolers who were taught to follow extravagant rules to avoid what was defined as evil and do what was taught as good. First, it was "good" to have huge families. The children weren't supposed to read the training books the adults were given (children had their own indoctrination books) but I read a little of one and it left a very creepy impression in my mind.

Now, let me say first, most people would consider me a pervert. I'm a guy, I'm heavily attracted to girls (although I don't have contact with any) and I've gone through my share of sexual learning on the internet, none of it was ever explained or even hinted at by my parents. I have my own views of sex that I taught myself, and I think very few people people agree with me. Usually I leave out these ideas, because people want to avoid this subject. For me, the "training" presented in those books concerning making families felt "perverted" to me.

The biggest possible family meant the most blessing from the Lord. It was likened to having a quiver full of arrows. To accomplish this, any form of birth control was (of course) evil. The husband and the wife had to... Mate... According to the schedule to give the best possible chance of conception, over and over. The wife had to be submissive to being impregnated during those times.

Once you had your family-Oh wait, I missed some important things, let me go back.

Music, movies, games and almost all other forms of entertainment I can think of were only ways to "invite the devil into your home". They were completely evil, except for Hymns, which glorified God and warded away Satan. If you listened to non-hymns during pregnancy, it could breed "sinful" thoughts and Satan could kill your child. Or, God could be displeased and allow your child to die. There were plenty of "personal experience stories" from people on this.

Once you had your family, you had to make sure everyone followed their roles. The father was the head of every house, accountable only to God. The mother was accountable to God, but also had to be reprimanded and corrected by the father (and obey him) when he thought she was "out of line". The children had to be perfect, there were rules to follow precisely if "wrong" was done, everyone had to wake early and read from Psalms and Proverbs together and then begin reading from the teachings of ATI/IBLP while the father went to work. If any evil object was found in the house, it was to be burned (or gotten rid of in the most complete way possible) to avoid God's wrath and judgments on the house. One story I remember, a woman felt fear and evil emanating from the room above her until she found a ring from her previous boyfriend in the window upstairs. Satan was using it as a portal into her house. She got rid of it and her house was cleansed, and God's favor returned once more. Please excuse me while I shiver for a few minutes. I used to be in the middle of all of this, and it was all that I knew.

With all of the evil out there, at least fellow followers of the creed could fellowship together, right? Welllll... Right and wrong. It seemed that whenever children got together parents had to be watchful that nothing "evil" happened. Other children just seemed like fellow prisoners that could I could never communicate with. I always wished I could ask them "Hey, isn't this kind of ridiculous?" "...Well, yes... I was worried I was the only one who thought that..." But families kept their children apart, usually. The fathers would pick out a proper match for his son or daughter and then they'd go at it, making a huge family to continue the "Godly" legacy. Women were to wear the most modest of dresses. Men were to wear... Well, whatever it was they were expected to wear. Women couldn't have earrings, bracelets, any cleavage was evil too. Any attempts to look attractive was vain and evil, plus it could make a man "lust after her" which was even worse.

I feel like I'm leaving out so much... But I think I'd better stop here for the night. I will say though, eventually my parents thought it was best for their children to stay away from all other children, so for several years we did nothing but wake up, read, eat, read, eat, go back to sleep... Every day. While trying to avoid anything listed as "evil". Locked up, not physically, but mentally. I could have left if I wanted to, but it never occurred to me. What would I do if I left anyway? I knew nothing about the world. I was in a little dark box. One day I found a keyhole, I don't know how it got there, and my family didn't know about it... I found a little radio in a box, and my first thought was that it was an evil token of the devil that channeled evil from the outside world. But what if...? Maybe this radio could teach me something important. Maybe being locked up was wrong. I kept the radio hidden for a few days, afraid to listen to it, and finally I did. That's a story for next time, but I'm so glad I did. I wouldn't be here typing right now if I hadn't.

There's more, but I think I am running out of writing space. If anyone is interested, I'll be glad to post the other half later, and try to answer any questions. But try to be nice to me! Smile
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16-06-2013, 12:14 PM
RE: Extreme Religious Control
(16-06-2013 02:53 AM)LockedButNotClosed Wrote:  Hello everyone, my name is Dan. (Bow)

For a few years now I've been trying to find anyone who I could relate to in terms of how I grew up. I like reading through detailed stories people give about things they went through and learned while growing up, but it's rare that I can actually identify with them Sad I'd like to share my story, if that's alright, in hopes of finding someone else like me. It's late and I'm trying to think of how to word this... I really don't want to come off as someone looking for pity or another reaction, but this forum seems like a very understanding place that might help me settle my thoughts a little. To anyone who reads through this, I thank you very much.

I grew up in ATI (I believe this forum knows what that is) and Family Radio (that group that made headlines with their May 21, 2011 end of the world prediction). I tried writing down as much of my story as I could on a small blog. I never quite finished writing it, but if it's alright, I'll takes my story from there and put it below. I think it's probably a clear explanation of myself. I really poured my heart out with this, parts of it are embarrassing, but I really wanted to put it into words.

When I was younger, one of my parents died, and the other one planned to control my life. I was homeschooled, and I heard quite a few stories dismissed that homeschoolers don't get enough socialization, but my parent discouraged socialization. Religion was constantly pushed in my face as the reason.

"You are not to have company with fools, the Bible says so."

Nearly everyone must have been considered a fool by my parent, and I was kept away from the world and its evil ways. Nearly all music was supposed to be evil. Actually, the majority of entertainment was a sin, but I eventually found a radio and started listening to the few radio stations that barely reached my area. Music! What a wonderful thing! I learned so much, my favorite songs cheered me up and made me feel sad, and my emotions helped clear my mind and learn about myself. What made me sad? What made me happy? What was I afraid of? What did I dream for?

I heard about people and their friends, their love, their sadness, their happiness, and all felt so far away. My only connection to that world was on a weak little radio and some rather uncomfortable headphones. I learned (somehow) that the radio cables could be moved slightly to change the reception, and although that meant that I could make the sound clearer, if I did nothing most of the time the sound would be very scratchy. I'd find a position where the cord would make the sound clearer and then hold that position for a few hours to listen to the music, sometimes moving slightly to stretch and then find that position again.

Music influenced the name I'm using, so now would be a good time to explain that as well. Listening to music made my heart beat faster. It felt wonderful, it made me feel more healthy, but it always made me a little afraid that I'd be caught listening to music by my parent. Listening to music gave me happiness and fear at the same time, even though I learned music isn't evil like I had been taught. If I remember right, I read somewhere that the foxglove plant has a toxin called "digitalis" that increases the heart rate dangerously, and that description reminded me of my almost dangerous relationship with music. I changed the spelling a little, the letters also stand for things that were important to me, but I doubt I'll ever tell what they were.

(Side note, my name I used on my blog, and the name I use for my music projects, is "Dijitalis". Now to continue the story)

I'm sure not all homeschoolers are the same, but I've seen a few families like mine. When I was younger, my parents fell into two different cults... And were determined to raise their children following the principles dictated by those cults. Both of these cults left (mental) wounds on me, and for my parents they were a toxin they loved to take in a spread to their children.

One of them might seem familiar from the news in the past year. Remember May 21st, 2011? The world was going to end and judgment day was going to start with five months of horrors scraping across the earth, eventually killing everyone. Different news outlets presented the story, with many people poking fun at the delusional people wasting money and time with that weird prediction. Well, my family had been right in the middle of that religious group since around 2001. Way longer than that, actually, but I'd say the prediction started about then. It was based on many numbers in the Bible, and what could I do? My parents told me it was true. They told me this was what God said. I believed it.

I'd lie awake at night thinking, "Only 8 more years... I wonder if I'll ever get anything important done. I wonder if I'm saved. What if I'm not? In 8 years I'll have to suffer in hell eternally..." the main parent (who seemed to relish talking about this stuff) told me several times, "Satan tries to make you think that a few years here is a long time, so you should enjoy it, but then you suffer infinitely! No end! That's waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay longer than the few years you have left!"

Oh, you can't do anything to get yourself saved (besides praying which doesn't actually do anything at all for your salvation but you're supposed to) so if you were destined for hell from the start, no amount of crying, praying or goodness would have changed it. So why do anything? If everyone on earth committed suicide at the same time, they'd all be sorted in the heaven and hell bins the same way as if they lived 100 years each.

I started doubting and arguing against the whole idea the more I thought about it, but it scared me a lot. I was mentally prepared to only have so long to live, and I was terrified of death. My... Well, one of my parents died, and the one who was left ran to tell us that parent was now walking on the golden streets. That creeped me out a lot for some reason. I know the ambiguity of not saying father or mother, brother or sister when talking about my family makes this sound confusing... But I don't want to be too specific. I honestly have a huge fear of this parent, they didn't hurt me physically but mentally they make me very frightened. (sigh)

I was so glad when the date passed, even if reason told me it would, the fear told me it might not. That group was brainwashed, even if it was supposed to be for a good cause. I know of other families it hurt as well, and I keep in contact with a few people near my age but sadly not near my location. I love them to death but nowadays they're not able to talk very often. Surely I'd have some friends nearby, right? Wrong... Now to go into the other cult, which I believe did even worse harm and was even more toxic to me.

What was it called... Advanced Training Institute? Institute in Basic Life Principles? I believe they were the same but slightly different names for different programs in the same system. It was a huge group of homeschoolers who were taught to follow extravagant rules to avoid what was defined as evil and do what was taught as good. First, it was "good" to have huge families. The children weren't supposed to read the training books the adults were given (children had their own indoctrination books) but I read a little of one and it left a very creepy impression in my mind.

Now, let me say first, most people would consider me a pervert. I'm a guy, I'm heavily attracted to girls (although I don't have contact with any) and I've gone through my share of sexual learning on the internet, none of it was ever explained or even hinted at by my parents. I have my own views of sex that I taught myself, and I think very few people people agree with me. Usually I leave out these ideas, because people want to avoid this subject. For me, the "training" presented in those books concerning making families felt "perverted" to me.

The biggest possible family meant the most blessing from the Lord. It was likened to having a quiver full of arrows. To accomplish this, any form of birth control was (of course) evil. The husband and the wife had to... Mate... According to the schedule to give the best possible chance of conception, over and over. The wife had to be submissive to being impregnated during those times.

Once you had your family-Oh wait, I missed some important things, let me go back.

Music, movies, games and almost all other forms of entertainment I can think of were only ways to "invite the devil into your home". They were completely evil, except for Hymns, which glorified God and warded away Satan. If you listened to non-hymns during pregnancy, it could breed "sinful" thoughts and Satan could kill your child. Or, God could be displeased and allow your child to die. There were plenty of "personal experience stories" from people on this.

Once you had your family, you had to make sure everyone followed their roles. The father was the head of every house, accountable only to God. The mother was accountable to God, but also had to be reprimanded and corrected by the father (and obey him) when he thought she was "out of line". The children had to be perfect, there were rules to follow precisely if "wrong" was done, everyone had to wake early and read from Psalms and Proverbs together and then begin reading from the teachings of ATI/IBLP while the father went to work. If any evil object was found in the house, it was to be burned (or gotten rid of in the most complete way possible) to avoid God's wrath and judgments on the house. One story I remember, a woman felt fear and evil emanating from the room above her until she found a ring from her previous boyfriend in the window upstairs. Satan was using it as a portal into her house. She got rid of it and her house was cleansed, and God's favor returned once more. Please excuse me while I shiver for a few minutes. I used to be in the middle of all of this, and it was all that I knew.

With all of the evil out there, at least fellow followers of the creed could fellowship together, right? Welllll... Right and wrong. It seemed that whenever children got together parents had to be watchful that nothing "evil" happened. Other children just seemed like fellow prisoners that could I could never communicate with. I always wished I could ask them "Hey, isn't this kind of ridiculous?" "...Well, yes... I was worried I was the only one who thought that..." But families kept their children apart, usually. The fathers would pick out a proper match for his son or daughter and then they'd go at it, making a huge family to continue the "Godly" legacy. Women were to wear the most modest of dresses. Men were to wear... Well, whatever it was they were expected to wear. Women couldn't have earrings, bracelets, any cleavage was evil too. Any attempts to look attractive was vain and evil, plus it could make a man "lust after her" which was even worse.

I feel like I'm leaving out so much... But I think I'd better stop here for the night. I will say though, eventually my parents thought it was best for their children to stay away from all other children, so for several years we did nothing but wake up, read, eat, read, eat, go back to sleep... Every day. While trying to avoid anything listed as "evil". Locked up, not physically, but mentally. I could have left if I wanted to, but it never occurred to me. What would I do if I left anyway? I knew nothing about the world. I was in a little dark box. One day I found a keyhole, I don't know how it got there, and my family didn't know about it... I found a little radio in a box, and my first thought was that it was an evil token of the devil that channeled evil from the outside world. But what if...? Maybe this radio could teach me something important. Maybe being locked up was wrong. I kept the radio hidden for a few days, afraid to listen to it, and finally I did. That's a story for next time, but I'm so glad I did. I wouldn't be here typing right now if I hadn't.

There's more, but I think I am running out of writing space. If anyone is interested, I'll be glad to post the other half later, and try to answer any questions. But try to be nice to me! Smile

This seems to be a stream of consciousness post and as such is a little hard to follow. I did notice that you think your sexuality to be perverse and would ask for you to expand upon that. I think you'll find that only 2 things are really perverse Force (rape) and Pedophillia other than that anything is fair game amonst consenting adults.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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16-06-2013, 12:22 PM
RE: Extreme Religious Control
Jeez u mustve had a lot of time on your hands dude Smile

Its sad that various forms of christianty, as well as other religions, have survived into the 21st century, more unfortunate that that they survived at all.

The ultra-religious backwash needs a lesson in logical thinking, to be blunt. Maybe by century 22 there will be fewer religious.

Sorry if that offends you, but its true.
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16-06-2013, 01:34 PM
RE: Extreme Religious Control
I liked your story. Your story is a very crazy story.
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16-06-2013, 01:40 PM
RE: Extreme Religious Control
Sorry to hear about what you've gone through. But it's always interesting and beneficial to hear a firsthand account of what it's like to grow up in these situations and why it's so dangerous. I hope you continue, welcome to the forums!

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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16-06-2013, 01:59 PM
RE: Extreme Religious Control
Thank you all for the welcome! I apologize if that was difficult to understand, I do seem to write "stream of consciousness" style a lot. My sexuality is probably very normal ha, I'm definitely not a pedofile and I'm turned off by rape, I yearn for consensual love, I guess. I was probably hyper sensitive to anything sex related because of how I was raised, and I felt guilty quite a bit.

I don't think I mentioned this in my story yet (I wrote those blog posts months ago) but I started seriously questioning all kinds of things about religion, and really noticing the hypocrisy, twisting and scare tactics my religion had. I've since been freed of so much fear, and I'm so glad I had an open mind. So my story is continuing, but it does get better ha. I'll try to write more later, since I'm usually busy during the day. I've seen how being closed-minded and hearted has done so much harm, and I'm glad to be working on deprogramming myself. Thank you all again!
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17-06-2013, 03:33 PM
RE: Extreme Religious Control
And now I'm going to post the rest of my story that I have written so far. These paragraphs went into music, friends and sex. Once again, I'm copying and pasting these.

When I first started listening to the radio, I didn't really know how to take in the music. The only music I had known about that far into my life was music that I was told didn't have the "satanic" beat to it, which was something like... Emphasis on the second and fourth beat out of four notes instead of the first and third, which was considered "Godly". The only "allowed" music was classical (probably also because there weren't any words too) and Christian hymns. Contemporary Christian music was evil, though.

Looking back now, songs sounded different when I first listened to them then, if I go back now and listen to a song from back then there's always a few parts that I remember sounding different (in my mind). I decided to pick a few songs to listen through completely and try to focus on the notes and how they fit together, compared to the only music I'd been able to hear.

I really liked it. There were many talented people behind these songs, and I started to find my feelings attached to the songs. If I was confused, I'd try to find Clocks by Coldplay somewhere on one of the stations. If I felt alone and depressed, Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day seemed to express that feeling in music for me. I almost always focused more on the melodies than the words, and I started having a dream that I could become a musician, coming up with melodies that spoke to people's hearts. That idea encouraged me to keep listening to all kinds of music over my little radio, and to try to learn something musically from each song.

It was around this time that my father died. There, I was finally specific about which parent was left... My mom didn't know about my radio and the music I had been listening to for about two years, but she probably would have blamed his death on that.

So did I ever have any friends? Well, kind of. Eventually there was a short period where I was allowed on a computer, but this computer had several kinds of locking and surveillance software for my "protection". I was allowed to communicate with a small group of people that shared a similar religious background. I met a few young adults near my age and it was amazing to be able to talk to them, even though I knew everything I said was being recorded. I got close to two of them, I got very curious... Were they in a similar situation to mine...? Did they listen to some of the same music I did, and like it? Were they being made to feel guilty about similar things?

In both cases, I asked them what kinds of music they liked, and asked them to ask me a few questions about music. The questions were (in both cases) asking about bands and songs that I had been listening to the previous night on the radio, and many nights before. It was such a weird but happy feeling to be able to say to another human being, even more, two, that I knew such-and-such a song, and for them to say "Yeah I know that song". As simple as that seems now, it was earth-shattering then to finally not feel like the only one. My parents went over the chats I had and for some reason, "banished me" from ever talking to one of them again, along with keeping me away from computers for a year or so. The other friend, they said, they saw no "unholy conversation" from the parts of the records that they read, and they claimed that they "were going to "respect my privacy" (hah) and not read anything else I said to that friend. The "banished" friend though, they made sure to let me know they would read every line, every line between lines, and they would talk to me about what I said.

That was the worst part of my life. I wasn't being tortured, spanked or physically hurt in any way, but it was still very hurtful having everything I (foolishly) thought would be my private business read out loud by someone so judgmental, looking at me with searing eyes, telling me they couldn't believe I could be so evil. This was my new life, I was labled as evil. The only thing I could think of was to say the devil had taken over and I gave in, that I wasn't supposed to be like that. Even though I knew that was a lie. I had been a normal person. My heart literally hurt a few times, and one of the few things that helped it feel better was sleeping and trying to ignore everything that happened during the day. I started loving night, because the people who would hurt me would have to sleep then. I didn't cry very easily, but I went into the bathroom often to try to empty my eyes so I wouldn't seem like I was "missing my past sin", and sometimes I would stretch out on my back to make my heart hurt less. When I was going to be asked more questions about what had been read last, I would start hearing a banging sound in my right ear that sped up over time. That wasn't painful, but it made me even more nervous. I started losing weight, even though I was thin to begin with. I wasn't physically hurt once, but my body took the whole situation very poorly.

Now, I realize that may sound over-dramatized, but my purpose here isn't to say "it made me sad, feel bad for me". After what happened to me, I developed a soft spot in my heart for people who were psychologically or religiously bullied, because I knew how it could hurt.

Splitting this into another post because of length.
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17-06-2013, 03:37 PM
RE: Extreme Religious Control
Last part.

I've really been meaning to write a topic about sex, because that was another area that my life was twisted around in a way. I'm really not embarrassed to talk about sex, but I've known quite a few people who looked at it as secretive, gross, evil and taboo. I know many people won't share the same views as I do, or would rather avoid the topic of sex, but I'm going to try to put my views into words here.

First off, I'm straight. I'm a guy, I find girls attractive, that's how I am. I don't have anything against gays, or other guys, ha, but I don't find guys attractive. This wasn't as a result of the religion I was brought up in, as I'll explain in a minute, but to avoid offending anyone I'm just putting that out there that me is me, someone else is someone else, and it's not my intention to say someone's preferences are wrong, unless they're forced on someone else.

Growing up in a christian family, as you might have guessed, I was taught that the Bible said homosexuality was a sin. That's not my main point though, under the instruction of the institution my parents followed, I was also taught that it was a sin to feel affection for a girl before being married. This was called "lust", and it was a sin to have those fires of lust ignite inside you. To avoid lust, you couldn't look at someone of the opposite gender for too long, you definitely shouldn't hug or kiss, and you should never be alone with someone of the opposite gender outside of marriage or family. Before marriage, parents should match up who they felt would be compatible with each other, or, if no parents are involved, a very complex "courtship" process should be followed, defined meticulously in their books. This courtship process involved prayer, Bible reading, and other holy sounding activities to distract from any lust and hopefully determine how compatible you are with your potential partner. If lust sprang up and wasn't confessed to God and repented of, God wouldn't bless your marriage or your life, and later on you could meet up with some horrible curses in your life. Disease that impairs your ability to have children, financial woes, mental anguish, even loss of beloved family members. In other words, lust is a horrible, cursed thing that you can't be trusted with. My parents were pretty paranoid about lust, and before I was old enough to understand why, I would instinctively look away from girls near me. If I accidentally looked at one, my mother would lean over and tell me, "God knows what you're looking at! Don't displease him!" I felt that girls were something frightening, something you weren't supposed to look at or wonder about, or feel any attraction for, or else have terrible things happen to you. It seemed normal to me, I was just happily following along with my parents, my God-given gifts, who I was so lucky to have. They knew about the horrors girls presented, and they protected me from them. Even if I accidentally looked in the direction of one, with no intentions of thinking anything (because I couldn't think for myself), my mother's stern and displeased look would form great knots of guilt in my stomach as I shakily replied "I'm sorry... I'll try harder next time..."

As if the average girl wasn't dangerous enough, there was a far worse threat out there. A twisted mutation of girl, whose evil snared, poisoned and rotted the minds of young men, draining them of their life and dragging them to her bed in the depths of hell. Does that sound strange? That's it exactly, it was "the strange woman". The strange woman could be any girl, her goal is to mislead and capture weak men with her beauty. Passages in the book of Proverbs were read slowly and solemnly, making sure the fear of the strange woman was completely concrete in my mind. Devils and demons were everywhere, and nighttime was the realm of darkness and evil.

Now, let me go ahead and say, I wasn't taught that there were monsters under my bed, or that something was out to get me. I had those fears, because I worried that if the world was so full of such evil, I might have invited evil into my life somehow by accident that would try to torment me. I had terrifying nightmares and imaginations of horrific creatures hiding around the house, chasing me and beating me. Since a true child of God shouldn't have evil dreams like that, I didn't want to ask about them or bring them up, they were probably my fault for some hidden evil thoughts or fears I had. I remember having a fear of the darkness between my bed and the wall, and I once decided to face my fear of something being in that abyss, something wicked, that I couldn't understand. I stuck my head over the gap and looked down, telling myself there was nothing to fear and I was proving it. My imagination screamed at me as a dark mouth went over me in my mind. It looked so real, but so unknown. I remember waking up later and trying to reason out if my imagination had been too strong (of course it had, I had been thinking too hard about my fear), or if something evil had really happened to me. Nowadays I can laugh at those stories, but sometimes I still wake up and worry for a split second that there is something evil nearby. It's sad that those monsters existed in my mind back then because of my imagination, the inside of my mind must have been a pretty messed up place for some of the creatures I had haunt my dreams. I once thought about trying to let them out, draw them on paper (even though I can't draw very well), write about them, or express them in sound or song, but I never did. I'm not sure if doing that would have helped.

Alright, I admit that was a big detour from talking about sex, but it was connected in the way that I was controlled by my guilt and fears to avoid contact with girls, not only was there the sin of lust to avoid, but any girl could be a strange woman with lust as her trump card. I wasn't sure how it worked, but the fear of the unknown is worse than knowing every detail of a monster sitting right in front of you.

After some years went by, and I hadn't been gruesomely... Well, I don't know what fate it would have been, but it probably would have been gruesome. Whatever it was, it hadn't happened to me, and I became a little curious. I still followed my parents wishes, but in my mind I tried to reason out what a girl was. I didn't consider my mother in this, she wasn't a female! She was my mother! ...that's kinda how I thought. I tried to put together a picture in my mind of what a girl was from the few accidental glimpses I had gotten of them. Were they scary? Were they mysterious? Were they... Beautiful? I didn't know what that meant. For a few months the furthest my thoughts went was that girls had longer hair from what I could tell, otherwise, no difference. Honestly I don't even think I knew or noticed I had a penis. As guilty as I felt, I dared to look toward a few girls, and sometimes my mother would see and try to berate my evil eyes. This created a back and forth effect... You know how some stories or legends might tell you to never go someplace, or to never read some book, or never open some box, for the simple reason of "because". I realized there was probably something important behind all of this, and I started wondering even more. One day I realized girls had round shapes on their chests, and after wondering why it occurred to me that something about that seemed comforting. At that point I started getting interested. My religion told me that clothes were to cover our nakedness, and to prevent lust. My particular "religion" was especially strict about clothing and modesty. I wondered about a few things, like how Adam and Eve were created without clothes according to the Bible, and were ashamed later after sinning. But would that mean that covering up is acknowledging that shame? Why was there shame, if God hadn't told them there was shame in being naked? It seemed to be one of their first thoughts, and God didn't seem very pleased either, asking them who told them they were naked.

There was a lot to think about now. I wasn't suddenly wanting to champion a nudist cause, actually I liked clothes myself. Without clothes it was harder to keep warm, express yourself (I didn't pick my clothes but I realized this point much later) and hey, you could even carry things in useful pockets! Clothes were actually pretty great, but I realized that being without clothes seemed to be pretty much taboo. Why wasn't this explained to me? Did people think kids should be "protected" from this kind of thing? The main reason it seemed to be such a big deal to me was because so much went in to keeping me from understanding it. I couldn't picture how a girl looked without clothes, as corny as that may sound, but at that point it wasn't because I was craving sex, I was curious to find out what was so special. What was being hidden. I had nipples, were girl nipples on the bottom of those round things? On the front or top? Why are they so hidden or taboo if they're not bad? I have this long-ish thing that I can't figure out, but what do girls have? I can't even imagine.

I was really going about this the wrong way. Well, at least my ideas were wrong. I found some medical books that explained some anatomy features, and it made me wonder again what was so horrible about the human body that it was thought of as taboo. Were people jealous about how their body looked compared to other people? If everyone didn't wear clothes, putting aside for a minute the useful things clothes did, would everyone be used to it? Maybe everyone would realize they were all human, and wouldn't have fancy clothes to hide behind to make them look better than they were. Maybe everyone would be more humbled, and more equal. Maybe they were afraid of that, and so humanity took up clothes. My Bible told me we were created without clothes, so there probably wasn't something wrong with how we were designed. This fascination grew further, and I realized I was attracted to girls (from the little that I understood or saw of them), and still very curious about how they acted and what they thought. I still stayed indoors almost all the time, in a very small neighborhood with no children my age.

I hadn't thought about reproduction or more advanced topics yet. I was still working on what I thought were the basic questions.
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17-06-2013, 04:48 PM
RE: Extreme Religious Control
how did you get away from all this?


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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17-06-2013, 05:54 PM
RE: Extreme Religious Control
Ah, well, that's a good question. I haven't gotten away from it yet, although it's a little better than it used to be. I've been submitting applications to local jobs but I'm at a disadvantage because this is a very small town, I don't really have any job experience and I don't know anyone personally here. My mom wanted me to help support her, she remarried a guy who pays for lots of expensive prescriptions to keep him "happy and healthy" (even though he really doesn't need all of them) and it's draining her bank account. I told her honestly that I wanted to make something of myself and get myself my own life, and she was very angry about that. After all, she took care of me for so long, now I should be selfless and take care of her, right? That was her reasoning, so I looked like the selfish one to her. I'm still trying to be firm in my stance though. I got a tiny job online editing audio and cleaning it up for someone, it pays very little ($20 a week, which has been borrowed in the past once and never returned).

It's kind of sad to see so many people who are sick of their jobs, when I'd be thrilled to take their place and work toward my freedom, if given the chance. I think my mom wants me to work from home or go to an online college (no money for that but I'm kind of against that anyway). If one of those applications gets through I'm looking forward to being a good worker, working toward freedom and self-sufficiency. Trying to stay positive.
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