Friday, May 23, 2008

The Mirror

I was asked to write something to help some people see the difference between what the bible says, and what the HWA Mini-Me’s were teaching. I’m inclined to think it was an exercise in futility, but I did it anyway.

I started crawling out of my mind trap around 1989 when I began researching authority, because I had a so-called minister that was making my life a living hell, as if it wasn’t that already. I abandoned the church before it changed its doctrines because I had already found gaping holes in their arguments. Because of this, it has appeared to me that arriving at a different theological view is the singular route to getting the O.C. shackles off, so it has seemed logical to concentrate on this. But I find the personal accounts far more interesting.

Someone keeps asking me if I’ve read the current Armstrong Survivor post, saying, “you’ve got to read it, it’s amazing how much you have in common with AS and Aggie A.” So maybe I’ll begin talking a little more from the witness perspective since the bible proofs are pretty much huffing and puffing against a stone wall. The only ones that can save the deluded are themselves.

Beyond the general sense of futility, it seems blogging can be cathartic, so maybe there is some reason to continue. Talking to real live human beings, however cloaked in pseudonyms, is a new experience for me. I definitely have my tortuous-shell defenses engaged if I need to interact with another person in the real world. This is a remarkable place where one can approach honesty in a way that has no precedence, at least in my experience.

My nerves were pretty well fried before I hit puberty; frequently, at church, my right leg would quit working, and I’d have to lift it with my hands to get across the floor. My face was probably bright red with embarrassment. The congregation looked at me out of the corners of their eyes, and closed up their little huddles to present me with a wall of backs to isolate themselves from the church outcast.

It was the same story in all the church areas I attended; Olympia; Tacoma; Spokane; Seattle; Phoenix; Pasadena; and to the Canadians, credit, Vancouver BC was almost OK. They might not have wished to show discourtesy to the jittery American since I was a guest in their country. The similarity in behavior, in different areas says; the ‘cause’ was their common beliefs.

Church philosophy didn’t believe in psychological disorders, apart from spiritual corruption. So I’m sure I was a demonic presence as far as they were concerned. The church believed psychologists to be on the same level as voodoo priests. The church thought they were the only ones with all the answers. They would teach crap that caused people to create an environment of tension and a world of paranoia, poverty and shame for their families, and deny any of the human-collateral-damage, qualified help.

Actually, kids in general ostracize other kids who are “weird,” but not to the extent of OWCG kids. You’d think that adults would mature out of that kind of superficial judging. They certainly didn’t in the church of Herbert. I was too weird to have friends at school, and any kid who so much as talked to me at church would have lost substantial social status. I never did have a friend as I grew up, and never once did a single one of them waver from their attitude of disgust and condescension.

Now I have to ask the question; whose fault was it? This is a no-brainer. Kids learn and perpetuate the cultures they absorb from their environment; so when you have condescending, know-it-all, self-important leaders; you get condescending, know-it-all, self-important lay members; and of course kids of lay members.

Someone once said, “If you want to know how you really are, look at your children, they’re a mirror that hides no flaw.” It is a weightier flaw, the church of Herbert had, than the flaws they focused so much upon, (strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel). And I had a broad enough sample to conclude that the mirror reflected the same hideous image regardless of where the church of Herbert might have been located.

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