I was born in 1966. I grew up in this church, and I will regret that the rest of my life. We lived in Monroe, Louisiana. I think back on those days and only wish it had never happened. My parents were I guess weak minded, or something, they never questioned anything, just did as they were told. The first blow to my family, and I guess childhood was that my mother had been married before my father. The church did not allow second marriages at the time, so my parents were filing for divorce. I was around 9 years old. This really stressed my parents’ relationship. But, before it was all done, the church changed their view on it so they did not have to divorce. But the damage was already done.
As time went on I don’t think they ever really got over the fact they must still be living in sin. We did all the holy days, none of the holidays, and we were distant from family like Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Grandparents etc. My parents said they were not chosen as we were to go to the place of saftey, and they might hurt me or my brother if we got to close, because they would be jealous. We NEVER went to the dentist, or doctor, and all illnesses were treated with home remedies. When I was 13 and got super sick during the Days of Unleavened Bread, with tonsils and severe flu. Still they only got pills, no shots or surgery.
My mother felt like she was such a bad person because of her first marriage. Our pastor would come a couple times a week to see her, and fortify her fear and depression. I never understood why we changed pastors so much, but the last one I saw was Brisco Elliot! I was 16, and he was the new pastor. I am 44 now. He was very hard on my mother: she had gained weight, smoked cigaretts, and remember we still had the issue of the 1st husband. He did not like the smoking. A month before her 47th birthday, Mr. Elloit came to the house to put oils on her and pray. I still to this day only remember a few times in her life when she was happy. Well, because of the weight gain from trying to quit, and still smoking he decided to use some tough love on her: he kicked her out of the church. Being so brainwashed this crushed her: she was so worried about not going with her family to the safe place, and that we would not get to go because of her. She would tell us, the others in the world would kill me and my brother to get her and dad to switch to their religion, and all she wanted was for us to be safe, and because of her past sins we would not be.
So on May 17th, we went off to school. It was her 47th birthday. My brother and I got home as usual at 3:45. Mom took a nap in the afternoons during the soap operas she loved, but, because of the nap never saw me come home! I had asked some of her friends from the church to come over that afternoon, but none would, so I quickly as a teen could made a cake from mix. And she loved stuffed peppers, so I tried to make that too. Well, the cake slid over some, and the peppers did not look like hers, but they were done. I went to her room, and when I opened the door I was met with a sight I will never forget. My mother had shot herself in the head.
I have not been to a church since, and my brother still lives with me after all these years. I have to say the next few years were very tough. The church had nothing to do with us, and as I said we did not even know our family! I have emailed the church and written angry letters from time to time. The last email I got from them said for me to just grow up: things happen and we move on from there.
I am no longer able to keep my mouth shut, I have to do something, this CULT almost destroyed my life, and it DID destroy my family.