Are you a victim of a cult?

Would you know if you were? Let’s start this post off with what is a cult.

Full Definition of cult

Thank you Merriam-Websters

1: a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious (see SPURIOUS sense 2) alsoits body of adherents the voodoo cult satanic cult
2a: great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (such as a film or book)criticizing how the media promotes the cult of celebrity especiallysuch devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad
b: the object of such devotion.
c: a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion the singer’s cult of fans the film has a cult following.
3: a system of religious beliefs and ritual also: its body of adherents the cult of Apollo
4: formal religious venerationWORSHIP
5: a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator health cults

I bet you are wondering where I am going to go with this. This post is created as a response to an email that was full of hate. Normally I catch the first couple of lines and then just delete without even replying as I don’t want to waste my time with fools. Though this time something was vastly different. The email was well thought out and well written. It avoided the cliches that normally are put into hate mail. As I read it I felt that this person was smarter than average. So I took the time and read the whole email and I even took the time to reply to the person respectfully. In the end, I did not find their points to be educational.

Now I am sure I have you a bit confused about why I said the email was full of hate. Well by the end of the email it had regressed in its civility to the point of standard rhetoric and calling me to repent. Then the real reason for the email had become clear. This email was from a person that I once knew in the church (ahem!) that I grew up in. I don’t feel that it is right to attack a person for their belief structures. Nor do I feel that it is right to attempt to persuade a person to do something that they would not normally do on their own. I feel that you will never convince, persuade, or coerce a person to change their belief structure. Nor do I feel it is right for a person to force their beliefs on someone who no longer believes in the way that they once did. Beliefs can only be changed by education and as a result, a person is challenged within themselves to evolve/change.

So how does this link to my topic? I am going to have you take a look at the Cult of Personality. Some might remember a wonderful band in the late 80’s called Living Colour. They addressed this topic in their popular song called the Cult of Personality. Though the meaning behind it fell on deaf ears.

Lyrics: (Because I don’t want to hide the truth behind the song.)
And during the few moments that we have left we wanna talk right down to earth in a language, that everybody here can easily understand

Look in my eyes, what do you see?
The cult of personality
I know your anger, I know your dreams
I’ve been everything you wanna be

I’m the cult of personality
Like Mussolini and Kennedy
I’m the cult of personality
The cult of personality (x2)

Neon lights, Nobel Prize
When a mirror speaks, the reflection lies
You won’t have to follow me
Only you can set me free

I sell the things you need to be
I’m the smiling face on your TV
I’m the cult of personality
I exploit you, still, you love me
I tell you one and one makes three

I’m the cult of personality
Like Joseph Stalin and Gandhi
I’m the cult of personality
The cult of personality (x2)

Neon lights, Nobel Prize
When a leader speaks, that leader dies
You won’t have to follow me
Only I can set you free

You gave me fortune
You gave me fame
You gave me power in your God’s name
I’m every person you need to be
I’m the cult of personality
I’m the cult of (x7)
I’m the cult of personality

Where does this leave us with the email? You see I receive emails just like this person did all the time. I have even had had them from family members. When you have to justify the pain your abuse causes then you are in the wrong. Which is part of being in a group with cult-like movements. Now I am not saying that every religion is a cult, but I am also saying that they are not. Nor am I saying that if you belong to a group that it also is a cult, or is it? That is for you to judge on your own (remember what I said about beliefs). But you also need to understand the true meaning of abuse. Then understand that abuse can also be self-harm.

“Abuse is defined as any action that intentionally harms or injures another person. Abuse also encompasses inappropriate use of any substance, especially those that alter consciousness (e.g., alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamines).”

Telling a person that they need to “Give up their children” because you do not like that they are different from you is abusive. If that person is not causing harm to those children you have no right to say that. Saying that you need to “repent” is Religious Abuse if it is done to a person that does not support your belief structure. We need to return to the expanded definition of a cult. By including a part of it being in the Cult of Personality. A lot of the time we exclude major religions in the definition of a cult (line 2a), as well as political leaders. The reason for that is as simplistic as “They who have the gold make the rules.” We also refuse to see something as historical as what it is. Not everything that is steeped in history is healthy for us. We as humanity want to see past our inevitable death. We cling to religion and cults looking for deeper meaning as to our life cycle and beyond. It is only natural to do so. But when those groups become abusive is when they need to be held accountable. This goes for religion as well.

Now when we look at the email that was sent to me was from someone who in their mind felt the need to call me to repentance. They did so out of a misguided belief that their religious structures were more important than my right to live in a harmonious way. Furthermore, the person told me that it was not too late to stop being Transgender. This is not possible, I have lived with this issue all my life. I can’t stop something that did not have a real start. It always has been in my life meaning that it is out of my control. I think the final straw was being told that it is not too late to get back with my ex and return to going to church. Let me say this, you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. People don’t end relationships because everything is good. They end them when there is nothing left, my whole jar was completely empty. Leaving was the greatest gift I have ever done not only for myself but for my children as well.

So I asked the person “So what is the greater sin?”. What many people don’t know about me is that I am very learned. I take huge pride in the amount of knowledge that I have and what I seek to learn. The one thing we need to understand is that Cults do not like it when people become self-aware and seek knowledge. This is because those people threaten the power structure that a cult leader(s) have installed. I left the cult years ago when I allowed myself to use my knowledge and see past the deception of hate and lies. One of the many things I was taught is that those who leave the cult cannot leave it alone. That they will try to destroy it or they will return to it. If you don’t know what that is it is a way to discredit the person and their actions no matter what they choose to do.

Don’t misunderstand me I am not seeking to destroy the cult that I was in or those who are still in it. It saved my dad’s life and possibly saved some parts of my family. But we must remember just because one or two good deeds can never amount to a mountain of bad ones. Case in point that the US does not want to face the truth that in its creation it committed horrific acts of genocide. Nor does it want to face the fact that it committed wars crimes at the end of world war two. Don’t get me wrong what all sides did in WW2 was evil to their very core. Nor should we diminish those who risked or lost their lives to make something right. Do you see how that can fit into the issue of a cult and its members?

At some point, we all must grow or be left in the time of history. Little bit by little bit more and more people are turning away from the hate that is created by these cults. The cults only have themselves to blame. The person who sent me the email is not a bad person. In their hearts, they wanted what they saw as the best for me. But sadly without knowing me what they saw was incorrect. I don’t hold malice towards them, though their choice to make assumptions without knowledge was a poor choice.

When I left the “Church” did I know it was a cult? No, I was raised within its walls. All I knew was what I was told over and over for decades. That even comes with the self-harm that I did to myself because I was different than what “They” wanted me to be. Sometimes it takes a major event to open one’s eyes to the truth. I honestly wish those who are still supporting this cult all the best. It has to be their choice when to leave if ever. I am not the destroyer of worlds, but the creator of my own destiny.

Categories: 2021, UncategorizedTags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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