Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Self-righteousness

From nearly day one in the cult, I was told I was self-righteous. No one wants to be self-righteous. That's what Jesus called the scribes and Pharisees.  

This idea was pounded into my head year after year. One might think that being labelled as “self-righteous” was just another annoyance, but it actually had insidious psychological effects. Once that concept was hammered into me though repetition by various leaders, it kept me questioning my own thoughts and ideas. “How can I trust myself or my decisions if I am self-righteous? I am basically flawed and untrustworthy. I need to look to my wiser Shepherds.”

My other label in the group, "favoring my own children," went against the group's foundational principle of "one wife." This stated that we were to be the collective "bride of Christ" and therefore treat everyone in the group equally, children included. That philosophy paved the way for the "Law of Love" where Berg wrote, "Whatever is done in love is lawful in God's eyes," the 10 Commandments being fulfilled and finished with Jesus' death. As I already wrote, abuse and licentiousness followed.

With these two cardinal sins being held over my head, following me from Home to Home via the reports of Shepherds, there was not much room for self-confidence. I was filled with self-doubt, and I was constantly trying to go against the natural instincts of a mother in order to show my group loyalty. I hate the person I became.

The cult atmosphere and mindset is hard to break. It takes a person actually leaving its confines and stepping back, getting new input, to finally lift the scales of delusion that had become second-nature.

Today, we are faced with many insidious cults, and religious ones always seem to have the strongest grip with their false hopes for afterlife glory and punishment for desertion. ISIS is without doubt, the most hideous because of their immoral framework; North Korea is a close second. Just removing the leader will not cure the deceived followers; new leaders will sprout up like the seven-headed hydra. It is not an easy task to change ingrained mindsets. 

For me, the first step to freedom was the initial moving away from communal lifestyle with its constant reinforcement of beliefs and social pressure to conform. Then, gradually, the allure of the publications faded, weakening my misplaced faith, so that when I was shown Lord Justice Ward's statement, I had the strength to overcome loss aversion and leave behind that which I had devoted 30 years of my life to. 

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