March 28, 2014
Why Be Ashamed Of Having Been In A Cult? - Bruce Atchison
Having done extensive research for my How I Was Razed book, I learned that victims feel frightened and helpless when they leave their toxic church or aberrant group. During their years in the cult, it became their world. Leaders taught them not to speak to outsiders or have anything to do with them. Consequently all the members of the group knew only each other.
Ex-cult members also fear condemnation by "normal" people. Like anybody who was swindled by con artists, these people feel embarrassed to admit that they were taken in. As a result, they keep quiet and suffer in silence. Some even rejoin the group that had captivated them just for the companionship.
This sad state of affairs must be changed. Having been granted forgiveness by Christ, we must be gentle and caring when it comes to former cult members. These people have been through experiences that we might never have had. The last thing such individuals need is somebody pontificating about what a terrible mistake they made.
Though I wasn't in one of those Jim Jones-style cults, I know what it's like to be misled and not know it. Being young in the faith, and having nobody to disciple me, I know how easily being seduced by cultic missionaries is. What people need when they come out of a bad church is unconditional love and affirmation that they're not bad people because they genuinely believed lies.
It was for ex-cult members and Christians who care about the truth that I wrote How I Was Razed. I wanted to show, not tell, how deceived I was and how wondrously the heavenly father led me to the truth. My testimony of his providential guidance is available in e-book and paperback through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.
Bruce Atchison is a legally-blind freelance writer as well as the author of How I Was Razed, Deliverance from Jericho, and When a Man Loves a Rabbit. He lives in a small Alberta hamlet with his house rabbit, Deborah.
Twitter handle: @ve6xtc