People Who Were Born Into Cults Admit The Moment They Knew They Had To Get Out[rebelmouse-image 18352021 is_animated_gif=
As children, our educational and cultural influences are determined by our parents. But sometimes our family can be in an unhealthy environment and as children we're trapped there as well.
Reddit user sweaterobsessed asked "Children born into cults and (who) left, what was your "Oh, sh**!" moment?"
Here are the stories of people living in a bad situation as children, but who made the decision to get out and what was their final straw.
Supreme Leader[rebelmouse-image 18358170 is_animated_gif=
The moment when I asked myself, what, fundamentally, the difference between my church and North Korea was.
My thoughts went something like this:
We sing songs about allegiance to the Supreme Leader.
We have pictures of Supreme Leader in our house.
We ascribe supernatural events to Supreme Leader.
Supreme Leader can do no wrong.
One day, we will invade false Korea, Jesus will come and kill all our enemies. Sometime soon, as of last century week.
Leaving church Best Korea? Where will you go? Horrible things outside!
People who leave Best Korea are evil traitors!
Take extra time out of your day to serve Best Korea (the church).
Anyway, I highly recommend this as a thought process as to whether or not a part of religion is bad- if via substituting nouns it sounds like something out of North Korea, or from a true external perspective (hard to do) it seems strange, it probably is. That's how I left.
A Loving God[rebelmouse-image 18354488 is_animated_gif=
I grew up in a church that was one compound and a bulk order of kool-aid away from being a cult. They mostly focused on the end times and how much and when to tithe.
For me there were two (last straws), the first when the preacher preached a sermon on how god doesn't care about how good or evil you are. Only if you believed the correct things. The second was when he preached a sermon about how babies, children and yes even the mentally disabled go to hell. Unless of course they believed the correct way. Of course as he put it most of them were in hell. The idea that god is all knowing and all loving and tortures babies and the mentally handicapped for eternity was abhorrent to me.
Wrong Child[rebelmouse-image 18358171 is_animated_gif=
In the Cult, job descriptions and qualifications include scriptures. My father wanted a job and one of the requirements was that his children respect him and fear the Lord. But he only had one child at the time.
He was told he would not get the promotion until he had another child, and my mother was accosted several times being told she was selfish, a hellish woman, worse than Eve. She had several panic attacks and finally struck off to find a psychiatrist and renew her use of the anxiety medication she was on before my father made her stop taking them.
Once I was conceived, my father was promoted and they were transferred to what was at the time the USSR. My brother was left with...honestly I don't know who, and my parents won't tell me, but they left for the remainder of her pregnancy. Against medical advice, they flew back to the US and I was born in Illinois. For the next five years we were left with strangers who were ranked highly enough in the Cult to take care of the children of my Father's ranking, until we were assigned secondary parents.
Racist[rebelmouse-image 18351488 is_animated_gif=
I was shunned for dating someone that wasn't white. They gave me bible verses to "support" their claims that it wasn't right. The bible says that God is love. If I can't love someone, then they're not reading the same book that I am. I left, half of my "friends " wouldn't speak to me anymore.
Fake Faith[rebelmouse-image 18358172 is_animated_gif=
I don't think I ever truly believed, but the moment that was cemented for me was when the I had the unfortunate experience of going on a mission trip to Cambodia. Long story short two teams from the church I had previously attended were sent, for the first two week the teams were sent to different locations. During this time we helped the local communities and it was actually pretty nice, normal prayer sessions etc etc.
However during the last couple days of the trip both teams met up and stayed in the same location. It was then that stories from the other team about being possessed by the devil, spiritual enlightenment, tongues (becoming a vessel for god to speak through) and being struck down by the love of god were mentioned by the other team. Keep in mind till that point our team just had your good ole regular fashion prayer sessions.
Surprise surprise later that night when both teams held a joint prayer session, members from my team started hysterically yelling, crying out for god, passing out on the ground and it was at that moment when I realized that it was all bullshit and pretty much mass hysteria mixed in with an enlightenment measuring contest.
Fog Machines[rebelmouse-image 18358173 is_animated_gif=
I was at a yearly conference at a megachurch in my state when I was 15. There were fog machines and laser lights during "worship" and the power mysteriously went out as we took communion, which was an obvious indication that God was in our favor instead of just an overloaded circuit or someone pulling the plug. That's around the time I realized that you can trick anyone into believing anything and started doing research. Officially denounced the church when I was seventeen and had seen enough.
False History[rebelmouse-image 18358174 is_animated_gif=
When I read a book about our sect that told its actual history even though the leaders always said it was created in the time of Jesus and passed down over the millennia in the same form.
Parental Guidance[rebelmouse-image 18358175 is_animated_gif=
It was a Sunday, Sundays we'd usually go during the day and afternoon. But after the first part, when my parents sat me down they told me that we were leaving. I recall being sad because I was playing a game with my friends, at the time I was confused.
My friends that I grew up with ignored me like I didn't exist, I felt like everything I knew was gone. Later on I slowly pieced together what went on there was not normal.
I noticed the manipulative tactics such as showing us graphic videos of people dying and being ripped up because they didn't follow God. They made us have no TV to isolate us, but there's more.
But it was very difficult leaving. It felt like my entire life was a lie, and everything I had learnt for 12 years was taken away and I was left clueless as ever and couldn't relate to anyone.
Luxury Off Poverty[rebelmouse-image 18358176 is_animated_gif=
I'm from Mexico. I was raised Catholic, doing my first communion, going to mass almost every Sunday. However, the first time I saw a very poor old lady giving $300 Pesos (About $15 USD and keep in mind this is a lot of money for a poor person in Mexico) to the church just to see the preacher spend that money on luxury (I had been to that preacher's house and it was very luxurious), I was done with it. Never trusting any sort of religion again. None of them. The way they mess with the people that honestly believe in them is not correct.
Profit for Prophets[rebelmouse-image 18358177 is_animated_gif=
When my church built a $1.5 billion shopping mall using its "investment" money.
Gotta make a prophet somehow.
Anti-Education[rebelmouse-image 18358178 is_animated_gif=
Had a very intelligent friend, she also grew up in this cult. I remember her telling me one day how much she was struggling in science class because evolution made sense to her, but she knew it conflicted with her faith. She was in tears over it, saying that she needed to block it out.
Vengeful God[rebelmouse-image 18358179 is_animated_gif=
Not quite cult, but when the pastor started talking about how God was sending Hurricane Katrina and all these mass shootings as punishment for legalizing gay marriage and not praying in schools, that was it for me.
Surveillance[rebelmouse-image 18358180 is_animated_gif=
When I was 19 and by orders of the pastor, my mom took my bedroom door off the hinges. They were doing everything in their power for me not to leave the church. She would do random searches and pat downs to see if I had any communication to the outside "world". There was so many signs that I started seeing when I got older (I was raised into the religion) - but I was terrified to leave due to the shunning, the fear and being ashamed of "leaving the truth".
Also, my mom didn't want me to go to a therapist even after knowing I was having panic attack's because she was afraid that the therapist would take the "fear of god" out of my life.
Lack of Faith[rebelmouse-image 18354016 is_animated_gif=
When I realized I had this deep, deep feeling that nobody would ever love me if I left the religion because the religion f'd me up in lots of ways. And also feeling like nobody would ever love me if I stayed because deep down I didn't believe.
Runaway, Never Look Back[rebelmouse-image 18358181 is_animated_gif=
My brother and I grew up in a cult family. Not specifically naming anything, but has since disbanded to my knowledge though some of y'all might know which town this happened in. Picture this: a rural town, middle of nowhere with only a handful of people. It was made very clear that outsiders weren't welcome and we obviously didn't get many guests, the ones that stumbled upon it were lost....the town looked creepy as shit so they cleared out fast. Contact to the rest of the world was nonexistent, and we didn't have access to anything - no news, tv, etc. Here are some of the worst things that are burned into my memory...
People got sick frequently but weren't permitted to see a medical professional outside of the cult, but the "doctors" in the cult were absolute quacks. Education was handled by leaders and whoever they appointed.
My older brother really liked dragonflies and other insects. Our dad would capture them and force him to pluck the wings off as a sacrifice.
I had a romantic relationship with a teenage boy in the cult. I became overly paranoid because it was against our religion to be engaging in same-sex relations. For a long time I thought I was going to die since he disappeared one day with no warning. I still have no idea what happened, if he got out by ditching in the middle of the night like I did or if he was killed.
The night I left I kept going until I found a paved road, was picked up by a young man and I can still picture his pickup clear as day. I told him I ran away from home but nothing else, and he didn't pry so we just kept driving. He made small talk, I mostly listened, but eventually I confessed I didn't have any plan or place to go. He suggested the military since he had a friend in it who could help me, plus that'd get me on my feet. I enlisted.
It was like being five again for many years afterward. I had to relearn a lot because what I had been told in my childhood was centered around the cult's beliefs, and my education was severely lacking for my age. I was considered an eighteen yr old in 5th grade. My time was spent drifting between homes and jobs and friends, never stayed in one spot for too long. I didn't feel connected to any identity since it wasn't like I had papers to say who I was.
I had a job as a mover for a while and that's where I met my long term boyfriend. Currently I live with him and just try to take things one day at a time.
I don't know what happened to my parents, but they're probably dead. I haven't seen my brother since that day I left. I have no way of contacting him if he's alive and I don't even know where he'd be.
End of Days[rebelmouse-image 18358182 is_animated_gif=
The pastors got involved in the prepping movement. Suddenly there was this huge focus on the end times. One day she starts tearing into me about not stockpiling more food. The pastors had joined a Multi-level marketing scam for dried food. Most of the members were dirt poor, but suddenly God wants us all to buy expensive prepper stuff.
No Boys Allowed[rebelmouse-image 18358183 is_animated_gif=
I knew a guy born into a fundamentalist Mormon sect on the Montana/Idaho border.
His "oh shit" moment was his 18th birthday when his dad and the other men kicked him out of town and told him never to come back.
They keep the girls and marry them off to the other men in town. But boys gotta go so they don't take the precious girls.
Faith Healing[rebelmouse-image 18358184 is_animated_gif=
My aunt, uncle and their ~5 kids were in a cult in the 80's/90's. They were faith healers and the leader basically preached that if you got sick it's because you didn't love god enough. Their "oh shit" moment was when the cult leader died of gangrene. They immediately founded their own church after the cult disbanded though, so they definitely still have some weird beliefs.
8/21/2011 + 1[rebelmouse-image 18358185 is_animated_gif=
I was raised in the Family Radio apocalyptic Christian cult. I guess the biggest "Oh SHIT" moment was when the world didn't end on May 21, 2011. My whole life was building up to that day and I had no other purpose.
...and then May 22 came and I figure out how to live in a world that I was taught to reject.
Fragile Faith[rebelmouse-image 18346150 is_animated_gif=
When my mom said a relative had "educated himself right out" of our religion I realized that something you can educate yourself out of might not be the source of all truth and enlightenment after all.
This is a big thing for Jehovah's Witnesses. They're encouraged not to engage in higher education because it "destroys faith."
Perhaps if learning to reason and understand science destroys their faith, maybe that faith is not well founded.
Don't you love a good myth?
Let's put some of NSFW ones to the test.
RedditorWizzlyG33wanted to hear about what lies need to be exposed when it comes to sex, death and all things over the top in life. They asked:
"If MythBusters had a NSFW episode, what would you want to see on it?"
Oh JamieSeason 1 Love GIF by OutlanderGiphy
"A five second segment where Jamie points at a diagram and says, in complete deadpan, 'This is where the clitoris is.'"
"If they did such an episode, I could see this being in it for sure."
"I want them to purchase every pill they see on the internet that would make their penis bigger and see what happens."
"I think we can call that one BUSTED already. In what version of any world can you imagine there is a simple pill to make your junk more impressive and every dude you know doesn't already have a case of 10000 pills stashed under the bed?"
"Can you actually get an STD from a toilet seat?"
"This is an interesting thing actually. It was a myth deliberately perpetuated to make people less ashamed of asking for STD tests."
"Fun fact: There are multiple STDs that can be dormant (like inactive) for years. Like several years."
"You’d never know you had gotten it. Then something triggers it, maybe an infection or something, and then you start showing symptoms/Can now test positive. So technically a partner from years before could have given it to you and you either think your SO is cheating or haven’t been with anybody in a long time. Either way it’s scary when you think about it."
"Does a person really stay conscious for a few moments after beheading?"
"There was a French physician who tested this in the early 1900s. After a criminal was beheaded he picked up the head and shouted the criminal's name. The guy opened his eyes and made eye contact with the physician over a period of 30 seconds whenever his name was called. Edit: I provided the source in other comments but here it is on the original comment."
Theorieslooking down homer simpson GIFGiphy
"Size correlates to what? Feet? Nose? So many theories."
"I have size 12 feet and a massive nose and huge hands and the little guy is small."
Oh the lies and the rumors and the shade.
More is MoreSeth Meyers Dancing GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy
"They did prove that women with larger breasts will get more tips. Which isn’t really not safe for work, because Kari literally was working at a coffee shop."
"If breast enlargements will help your job would you be able to write them off on your taxes?"
"How deep underwater are you still able to orgasm?"
"Pretty sure there's no lower limit. When you're underwater, your body is under pressure, but for the most part doesn't actually get compressed. Only your air spaces (lungs, sinuses, inner ears) are really subject to compression from ambient water pressure. There can be painful exceptions like air pockets inside a tooth filling, which I do not recommend experiencing."
"Most of your body is water or various solids, which push back on the ambient water pressure. You prostate shouldn't be blocked by water pressure any more than your bladder is. Source: am old scuba diver, I've done all kinds of things a hundred feet underwater. At that depth the ambient pressure is 4 bar, which in olden-tymes units is nearly 60 pounds per square inch. Also: fish do it underwater, doesn't seem to stop them."
"Does pineapple make your semen taste better?"
"Post orgasm clarity: How much better can you solve puzzles or remember something?"
"Well, recently I did a lot of reaction time tests on humanbenchmark.com and while normally I get average of around 140-145, after a good O I consistently got around 130-135, very often getting single clicks close to 120 which almost never happens in other cases. And it's weird because I feel more tired but apparently my reaction time improves for some reason."
Safety FirstSafety Helmet GIF by Just SecondsGiphy
"A take on the top ten OSHA violations list to see if they are as dangerous as they say."
"Safety regulations are written in blood."
Well that is a ton of great suggestions. Let's work on it.
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Many people value solitude, and having time to themselves.
For others though, loneliness can be a crippling feeling.
Having no one to talk to or spend time with can get wearying after an extended amount of time.
Something many people know more than ever after the global pandemic hit in spring of 2020.
But while some people simply succumb to being lonely, others will find ways to help them cope with, if not completely forget, being all alone.
Redditor No_Blackberry_6286 was curious to hear the different ways people have of coping with their loneliness, leading them to ask:
"Reddit, how do you cope with loneliness?"
Make the most with what makes you happy
"I've learned to enjoy my own company and focus on my hobbies."
"Funny enough, this gives me stuff to talk about when I am around people."
Voices in the background
"Listening to people talk on YouTube so I feel less alone in my house."
Millions of friends, just one click away.
"Chat with random people on Reddit."internet computer GIFGiphy
Still figuring it out
"I don't I'm f*cking miserable."- Savathunh
"I don't :("- __MashedPotatoes__·
Get my body movin'
"It makes me feel better about myself and I have something to do alone."- DerpBread69Gym Working Out GIF by Chance The RapperGiphy
Who says I need to?
"I love solitude."- Befuddled_GenXer
"I become one with loneliness."- thenewyorkofficesolitude GIFGiphy
Hit the snooze button
"Sleep 12+ hours a day."- RockandRoll682
Instant tension and relief
"Lots of arguing online about sh*t I don't care about at all, just to have some form of social interaction, and get off at least 3 times a day."-
There are very few worse feelings than that of being alone.
But it's also quite remarkable how much doing something that makes you happy, be it ever so simple, can elevate your feelings.
In this day and age of advancement, it's crazy how so many things leave our heads scratching.
Like how in 2022 is such and such still around?
Everyone in New York wondered that for the past decade until they took the final payphone.
I always wonder about companies that still make you send a fax.
Y'all have heard of email right?
RedditorPineapple_WarpDrivewanted to compare notes on why we think certain things and parts of life are not yet obsolete this late in the game of time. They asked:
"It’s 2022, what shouldn’t exist now?"
I feel like the list will be longer than we expect. We are still behind in certain ways.
lazy...Bubble Gum Cartoon GIFGiphy
"People sticking gum on random surfaces instead of at least throwing it towards the trash can a few feet away."
How is this allowed?
"'Convenience' fees to pay bills online."
"Yeah or any 'additional fee' that’s required to buy the product or service. Advertise $100 but then at check out they add in service fee $25, convenience fee $10."
"Always at the last second too, usually right before you enter your credit card info. Wtf? How is this allowed? Just advertise $135 if that’s the price the customer is paying. Should not be allowed to bait a low price and switch with a higher one once the customer is already invested."
Can you hear me now?
"Not being able to get cell service is spots in my own home."
"A friend worked in Africa building homes for the people. He said there were bush men with spears and loin cloths with a cell phone clipped on the side. Middle of nowhere yet reception everywhere."
"Most of Africa skipped land lines altogether and went straight to mobile. In the west, cell phones and mobile internet are a luxury, in less developed regions it's often the only way to communicate."
"Companies that create problems and sell solutions instead of solving existing problems."
"This was the inevitable outcome of an economic system in which only those doing labor are allowed to have food and shelter, yet technology is constantly reducing the amount of labor that is actually necessary."
"We only get money for food if we are seen to be working on problems. Now we're having a shortage of actual problems so we must make artificial ones to keep surviving. If only we had UBI, all of these pointless industries would disappear overnight as no one wants to keep working these jobs they know are pointless."
Hang UpCall Me Hello GIF by IDKGiphy
"I literally had spammers somehow dupe the phone number of my local council, it's scary just how close they can get."
I HATE these SPAM calls. All hours of the day and night. I hate you!
Speed UpInternet Mouse GIF by kotutohumGiphy
"We figured it out. Just that the companies are greedy and keep the money for themselves instead of upgrading infrastructure."
"I know! Whatever happened with the Paperwork Reduction Act?"
"in the U.S. you can reduce your junk mail a lot by going to.DMAChoice.org and OptOutPrescreen.com and filling out the forms for your address. I have reduced my junk mail by about 90% : FTC source"
"Having to spend 3 hours in traffic everyday."
"Because North American cities have over restrictive zoning laws that segregate cities based on type of usage and they build to a very low density and with car-centric development that makes it so everyone has to use a car to get anywhere."
"It's not so easy to just 'find a job closer to home' for example I'll search on Indeed and the closest job in my line of work is like 2hrs away."
"So everything but earth Is round right? (according to flat Earthers) So as some members say it's like a frisbee in space. What if, bear with me... the reason the world will end is because a giant dog will catch us and kill everyone on earth by shaking the frisbee too much and cause floods and crap. Because if so, that's how I wanna die, letting a pupper have some fun with a fisbee."
Grossunderstand john boehner GIFGiphy
"Child beauty pageants."
"If I see a mother make her child do one of those, I WILL judge her."
Can we work on eradicating these things? It's all well past expired.
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It's PRIDE month. It's time to be loud and proud.
Well, every minute of everyday we should be loud and proud.
But this month gives you an extra special buzz.
So in the spirit of learning, we will be taking questions from the class.
I know cisgender straight people still have a lot they don't understand.
What do you need to know?
Redditorhre_nftwanted everyone to feel comfortable enough to be as aloud what they've been waiting to ask a queer person. Safe space for all. They asked:
"What question have you always wanted to ask LGBTQ+ people but didn’t because you don’t want to offend them?"
There is always a good way to ask questions. I don't mind many of them.
I'm Outcoming out gay GIF by AT&T Hello LabGiphy
"What should I say to someone who comes out to me? Saying 'um, OK' or 'that's nice' sounds like I'm dismissing them but trying to ask questions or engage in conversation about it seems intrusive."
"It depends, your response should match their excitement. People that casually weave it into conversation usually don't want confetti and vice versa."
So Many Letters
"I know you guys want to be inclusive and all but I always feel behind on all The letters you add to LGBT, so is it fine I just say 'LGBT+?' This is not meant to not be inclusive, I'm all for LGBT+. But sometimes it gets a bit too many letters for me personally. So will I offend you guys if I only say LGBT+?"
"Lol all the labels I identify with are included in the + and I just say LGBT. I don’t know anybody who has been upset over hearing the shortened version. You’re good to keep using the acronym that you already say."
I Don't Get It...
"What does non-binary mean? I'm from Italy and I've never met someone who came out as non-binary or even transgender. My brother met a guy once and he (my brother) said he looked gender-fluid. Gender-fluid Is the only term used here, nobody talks about non-binary."
"I know that non-binary means that you don't identify with one gender specifically (I guess), but I really really don't get it. I'm bisexual (although I've never gotten in a relationship with a woman) so I always felt like I could relate to most people of the community in one way or another."
"But this is just something I can't seem to understand, also because I've never met someone like that. I know I might never be able to get it because I'm cisgender, but I was wondering if some of you would like to take some time to share their experiences with me so that I can understand you a little bit more."
"I know I can look up the definition of it, but why is 'queer' part of the acronym? Doesn't it encompass 'lesbian' and 'gay?' Is there a nuance I'm missing?"
"One of the unintended benefits of the term 'queer' is that it's a good way of saying 'Not straight, and it's not really important for you to know why or how.'"
Hello ThereArt Peeing GIF by badblueprintsGiphy
"Is it ok to use adjacent urinals/talk at the urinals if you two are dating/ married?"
So far, nothing here seems offensive.
You Like It?Fab 5 Netflix GIF by Queer EyeGiphy
"I wanna ask them every time an LGBTQ+ character appears in fiction, if they felt it was a good representation or not."
"Do asexual people not want sex/don't feel horny, but still get butterflies in their stomach for a person they like? Or does that mean they don't have crushes/attraction in any form?"
"Each person is different but a lot of asexual people still have crushes and can still be in love with people. Asexual people can be in happy and healthy relationships."
"Some asexual people might still find pleasure in sexual activities but they might not focus on sex in life. Not all asexuals are sex repulsed. But some are. There is asexuality and people who are aromantic. Aromantic people don’t feel romantic attraction to people, but might feel sexual attraction. Some people are both asexual and aromantic."
Chosen at Birth
"Why is intersex included when it's a physiological/chromosomal variation and not a sexual/gender orientation? Sorry if I worded it wrong."
"Intersex people often have their gender chosen by their parents at birth and so tend to have experiences very similar to trans people. Often it even has to be corrected later in life with surgeries and hormones. It's the variation from the normal binary gender/presentation of that, which aligns them with the queer community in most cases."
"For non binary folk: I'm having trouble wording what I want to ask, like, why I guess? I identify as a woman but don't fit in with the typical stereotypes or gender roles, but I still consider myself a woman. I don't feel like activities, or behaviors, or clothing or whatever has to have a gender to it, so why specify that you don't identify as man or woman? Idk maybe because it's not something I've struggled with, it's hard to wrap my head around! Either way, I 100% support anyone who identifies any way!"
ExtraGay Hearts GIFGiphy
"Do you have to pay an upgrade fee to go from the LGBTQ membership to the LGBTQ+?"
"Omg dude, you can get it for free with Amazon Prime! You didn't know?"
I Like You
"How do you know you are attracted to the same sex? I personally wanted to know this because I am struggling with my sexuality. I have an attraction to men at least as far as I know. But I am constantly going back and forth with women. And it's been very confusing. So I guess it may be how do you know if you're attracted to anyone?"
Ask all you want. Just be respectful. It's easy...
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