1. My aunt (never met her) is part of a cult in Texas. A couple of my cousins, her daughters, got out and were basically shunned by the community. My aunt told my cousin that she would go to her wedding and then before the wedding she sent a letter to my cousin that she wasn't going anymore because the marriage was damned to Hell. She also told her sister, my other aunt, that she got sick (had cancer) because she didn't believe enough.
My cousins are very successful now and work hard but damn, they went through some crazy brainwashing as kids.
2. I was born and raised in a cult, and considered myself a member up until I left my parents' home at the age of 18. The group I was associated with is not well known, but the effects on the members are tragic and undeniable.
We were literally brainwashed. We had weekly services with a set program (three hymns, prayer, sermonette, hymn, announcements, main message, hymn, prayer.) It never altered from that layout. As well, the messages we would hear were often videotaped sermons from maybe five main people at "headquarters". The topics were extremely narrow (Prophecy/the end is coming!, Self Improvement/all of you suck and you should hate yourselves, Setting Ourselves Apart/don't talk to "worldly" people, they will taint you.)
There were many ways in which we were indirectly encouraged to harm ourselves. Many people looked down upon modern medicine, and felt that using it was a way of turning away from God - slapping him in the face, making it clear he wasn't needed. I personally knew people who died for their faith, waiting for God to heal them. On the other hand, when any of the main leaders fell ill, they were immediately rushed off to receive medical care.
They controlled our diet. We pretty much were kosher (though they denied all influence or association from/with Jewish people.) There were annual days of fasting, and whenever the leadership could scare up enough drama within the members, they would declare a "church-wide fast" so we could all get closer to God and resolve our issues. We fasted when the church's income was said to be dropping. We fasted when leaders were ill. We fasted when people died. We had our own personal fasts for the hell of it, or when we felt especially guilty and out of touch with God. Parents were encouraged to get their children involved as young as possible. My parents tell me I started observing the annual fast when I was three years old. I remember one year when my brother was two or three, at at one point during the day, he just broke down sobbing because he was so thirsty (oh, yeah - we abstained from food and drink. We got obscenely dehydrated, every time.) Looking back, I just don't understand how a parent can behave that way.
There was actually an entire message once where one of the leaders took on the subject, "Are we a cult?" and he actually went through a checklist for us. His conclusion was that we were a cult, but that it was a good thing. We should be proud! Only not, pride is a sin. We should be pleased.
They were so sex-negative, I can't even describe. We spent so much time and energy frantically thinking, "I can't think about sex" that it was all we thought about. It was "evil, dirty, wrong, and it would hurt if we weren't married." I literally built up so much fear over it that when I did finally have sex (Continued)
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I literally built up so much fear over it that when I did finally have sex (as an unmarried adult, hah...) I had developed vaginismus, a sexual pain condition. The cause is often psychological - in my case, being so afraid of it hurting, that it hurt, which further fed into my fear.
You had to be baptized before a minister would marry you. You couldn't be baptised and marry someone else who wasn't. You couldn't marry outside the church. Some ministers wouldn't baptize you if they thought your only incentive was to get married.
There were rampant cases of sexual abuse from the leadership, but we were always too fearful to report it. Always taught that it must have, in some way, been our fault.
"Traditional" gender roles were enforced - i.e., women stay home, pop out babies, cook, and clean. Men were to work and support the home. Having children, and lots of them, was strongly encouraged - "Be fruitful and multiply", and all that crap. Adoption was frowned upon, even for those who were unable to have their own children. So many families were living in poverty because there were just too many children to take care of. God forbid that any of them have a medical condition that required constant treatment.
We were robbed on a regular basis. They called it tithing. Not only did we give ten percent of our entire income, but we were also to set a second ten percent aside (to be used at a seven day religious convention of sorts every year) and on every third year, we would give an additional ten percent to the church. Imagine losing 20% of your income every year, and 30% every third year. Imagine being poor to begin with. Imagine being told you are poor because you have been literally stealing from God by not diligently paying your tithes.
I could go on forever. There is so much.
3. I was part of a fundamentalist Christian cult known as ATI/IBLP. Recent scandals have hit the news about the cult leader Bill Gothard when over 50 women came forward with allegations that he sexually harassed/assaulted them. But that's only scratching the surface. Let me tell you my scariest experience - and just keep in mind, I'm far from the only one.
First off, throughout my childhood my father and sisters abused me. Since the cult taught a strict familial hierarchy, with the father being top dog, then mother, then children in order of birth, as the youngest I was bottom of the totem pole. My father would twist Bible verses to justify anything he wanted to do. Because ATI is a homeschool cult, it was really handy to cover up the abuse from any prying eyes. My home was a prison for 11 years until he died of a massive heart attack. And that's not even the scariest experience.
Fast forward 2 years. I'm 13, with a mother who's frantically fixated on me being a "troubled child" because 1. I dared resist my father's advances and argue against the abuse I was suffering, gaining me the reputation of 'Rebellious', 2. I'm severely depressed because I'm a freaking victim and depression is considered sin, and 3. I asked too many questions as to WHY we believed the things we believed - you don't ask questions, needless to say. So she calls some cult members here and there, pulls some strings, and long story short, she gets me placed in a secretive program called the "Log Cabin" program. They tell her very little details about it, and she tells me even less. All I know is I'm about to move to Oklahoma for a while to be fixed by "nice counselors" because I'm a dirty sinner.
Wednesday, July 11th, 2001. I'm dropped off. (Continued)
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Wednesday, July 11th, 2001. I'm dropped off at a locked-down compound in the middle of nowhere near Skiatook, Oklahoma called "Eagle Springs Training Center". They pose as a "residential childcare facility" for appearances sake. This means my mother literally signs over custody of me, her own child, to a bunch of strangers in a compound in the middle of nowhere, and leaves me there and goes back home far away. They assure her I'm in good hands.
For the next two years, I am tortured, brainwashed, starved, sleep deprived, threatened, punished, humiliated, interrogated, and terrorized. I lose 40 pounds in the first month or two. They take me off my medications (believing it is wrong to take them) cold turkey; I exhibit severe symptoms of withdrawal and they go ignored. I am worked grueling hours, sent on aimless hikes and marches, scrubbing floors on my hands and knees until my knuckles are cracked and bleeding from the bleach, punished with hard labor until I'm near fainting. They had fun coming up with new and strange "punishments". One was a forced vow of silence: You were told never to speak for days or weeks on end - if you do, you are punished further. I was given tasks designed to fail (for example, extremely short time limits on difficult tasks) in order to be punished and humiliated. I was forced to grovel and confess humiliating sins (existent and non) in front of the 30-or-so members in the compound. I was given spoiled, undercooked foods, and even chemically-treated water that burned my throat and left me horribly sick. I was placed in solitary confinement for 2 1/2 weeks, while they blared music to torture me (the song lyrics went, "Trust in the Lord, he makes no mistakes, he knoweth the end of each path that we take - for when I am tried, and purified, I shall come forth as gold" -- basically it was a blatant message...you're being tortured because God loves you and he's going to put you through fire to melt you into gold) and gave me endless confessional papers to complete detailing what a terrible sinner I am. I was interrogated for hours on end, as well as hypnotized. I was screamed at and "exorcised" for hours on end. I had no privacy, even going to the bathroom they would stand outside the door.
I was there for TWO YEARS.
The scariest part of all of this is that I am far from the only one. The Log Cabin program was run in Oklahoma, Indiana, and I believe an alternate version for Russian orphans was done elsewhere (either Indiana or Illinois). All of these programs secretly tortured and brainwashed children and teenagers. Many of them were so-called "delinquents" (they had committed minor, petty crimes) who were ordered by judges to be shipped to these compounds and held against their wills.
This runs very deep. It has never been accounted for and probably never will be. They tried to investigate alarming allegations of child abuse in Indianapolis, IN and the whole thing got swept under the rug. The only thing you got to hear about on the news was Gothard feeling up a bunch of women. You never hear about his systematic child torture programs.
Bill Gothard and IBLP simply have their fundamentalist hands in too many pies. They will probably never be caught.
4. My parents were members of a cult with a fake guru/ holy man sort of thing. He used to lead group chants and things and one time while everyone's eyes were closed chanting away in the semi darkness, me and him locked eyes and he realiszd that I was laughing at how dumb it was. He had a vendetta against me since then.
He turned my parents against me first, convincing them that one day in the future (he could read the future apparently rolls eyes) i would break their hearts and leave and destroy the family. because they were so invested in him they started believing it and treating me (a 13 year old) as if I had already committed the unspeakable act.
After this he made my parents focus on my older brother more than me, lavishing him with expensive gifts such as gucci watches, a brand new mitsubishi jeep with a private plate before he even passed his driving test, and experiences like executive box seats to major sports events up and down the country plus more.
This wasn't enough, after this he (Continued)
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convinced all of his followers that I was mentally disabled, and needed to be kept isolated. for most of my teenage years I would come back from school/college/ university to an empty house, many times not seeing another soul for weeks. the story of my parents retarded child spread through the entire community where it is an accepted fact now, and i cant get married because everybody just assumes that I am mentally disabled.
After this, he bankrupted my parents and family, making them pay all his bills/ expenses and rewarding them with "prayers.
He convinced my parents that I was their enemy and to ignore me my entire life. To this day, I have never once been able to have a heart to heart talk with either of my parents. I have been working for 6 years now and they don't even know the name of my boss, or team, or even what i do. they are only interested in what day I get paid.
I am a better man than anyone has ever understood, and I forgive my parents. I forgive them not because they deserve it, but because I believe that this experience made me stronger as a person. If all this could not break me through all those years, then what can break me now?
If anybody is reading this, who is going through something similar, all I will say is that your family is ill. If they were of a sound mind, they would not be doing these things. Be kind, be good, be better than them.
7. A friend of mine accidentally got involved with a cult in Iowa. He thought it was just a really close knit church, but eventually snapped that something wasn't right. He moved to Texas for work pretty shortly afterwards and after about a week of being here someone knocked on the door. It was one of the members. She came there to try and talk him into going back, and progressively became more and more emotional. They ended up having to call the cops to have her removed from the property.
8. I was best friends with an Olympic athlete who was into Scientology. Due to his semi-fame, he was given the VIP treatment at their Hollywood "Celebrity Centre" where I often accompanied him. I sat in the waiting room with the likes of Lisa Marie Presley and Giovanni Ribisi while he did his auditing sessions. When he introduced me to John Travolta at one of their celebrity events, Travolta wrapped me in a bear hug and lifted me off the ground.
My friend convinced me to leave my day job and work as his personal assistant. He was doing a lot of corporate speaking appearances. I moved into his house and we lived like brothers, swimming in his pool, going to strip clubs, working out at his training gym. I had some amazing experiences like going backstage at the American Music Awards and hanging out with Guns N' Roses for two hours.
The Church's publicity team wanted to set him up with a girlfriend. They set up a series of dates with very cute Scientologists, but nothing really took off.
We had a lot of philosophical discussions. I found many of Scientology's aspects to be very insightful, but the money-grubbing and the Xenu business kept me too skeptical to fall in. At one point, he made an anti-gay argument, basically saying, "Imagine carrying that to the extreme. We'd all die off."
Things got creepy when he started asking me for (Continued)
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Things got creepy when he started asking me for rubdowns after his workouts. Then one night inviting me to masturbate with him (I passed). Then at a party he propositioned my gay cousin, who immediately told me. Obviously I have nothing against LGBTQ people, but I felt very creeped out. He was behind on paying me because he had run up huge debts for services at the Church. I left and we haven't spoken since.
9. Former member here.
I was a part of a "Christian" cult. They referred to it as a discipleship program. Whenever we did something wrong, they made us work-out as form of punishment.
The year I was in there, I made a new friend in the program/cult; he was a chain smoker. About 7 months into the year, he got caught smoking. They woke him up at around 5 AM to run. Later on in the day one of the leaders there took him to an abandoned prison and made him run around it several times, amounting up to about 6-8 miles of running.
All this happened because he got caught smoking a single cigarette.
10. I was married to a Scientologist (Scn).
Well, Scientology is weird. It's all consuming, as most cults are. My ex-husband only knew and associated with people in Scn. However, all his friends were actually very very nice and really cool to me. I never felt outwardly pressured to join Scn, but the insidiousness was absolutely there. I'll get to that.
Ex-husband was raised in it, you could say he was a second generation Scientologist. His parents joined up back in the L Ron Hubbard days and they were IN IT. They both worked for the church, as auditors. They were dirt poor; all of their money went to the church. Hundreds of thousands of dollars. They were deep in debt. They had no health insurance, and no money for anything except rent for their tiny, run down apartment. That part made me the saddest. They were nice people.
Now, I married him back when I was younger, more idealistic and willing to overlook major differences. I was a bit lost myself and really just looking to connect with anyone. I was always atheist, and actually really against organized religion, but he always assured me that Scn was not something he was active in and that it wouldn't be a problem. He wasn't taking any courses all the time we dated and were engaged, so I believed him that Scn was more like his parents thing, than his.
After we got engaged, he started telling me how a friend of his needs some "help". She was training to become an auditor (that e-meter thing you hear about) and needed someone to practice on. I declined.
He kept asking and insisted that its just for her practice, it doesn't mean I'm "doing Scn" and that it would mean a lot to him. So I did it, and (Continued)
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So I did it, and ...What a silly experience! You sit in a room with the auditor, hold these cans. Let me tell you- the rigamarole they use to get the "cans" set right so they pick up your wavelegnths (or whatever they call it) is laughable.
Lotion on the hands, squeeze the cans--that didn't work? Go for a walk, drink some water. Lotion again, squeeze the stupid cans ...all this over and over, until something on the auditor's end says it's all working now, and then you're good to go.
I lied though the whole thing. They acted like I made some amazing breakthroughs, (I got a "floating needle"!) and then that was it.
However, I was then called over and over and over to come back in. What the hell? I thought this was a one time thing to help this chick out?? Nope they were all over me. They wanted 3 hour sessions, days in a row, on weekdays! No wonder Scientologists are all poor- they want you in constantly, during work days! I became so disagreeable to them that they actually gave up calling me to get me in. I guess they figured me being married to one was enough to eventually get me.
The overriding insidiousness I saw was the learned ability to scam people. I witnessed a Scientologist owned business get taken down by the feds for fraud on their clients.
The reason I divorced him was because he stole a large sum of money from my account that was not to be touched. It just vanished and he had nothing to say for it. He opened TWO credit cards in my name and maxed them. He put me into financial ruin. It was a disaster.
11. I'm surprised there aren't more former Children of God/The Family International babies posting on this thread.
I was born and raised in the COG/TFI and I'm convinced it is/was one of the most detrimental cults out there because of the way their doctrines were weaved into every tiny area of people's lives. Everything was dictated by leadership and controlled by peer pressure (it was a communal cult; hive mentality was rampant). The type of food you ate, the way you dressed, who you lived with, the education you received, the movies you watched, the music you listened to, who you had sex with, who you married...EVERYTHING was controlled. There was absolutely no real free will allowed and very minimal contact with the outside world happened, except if you were asking people for money or trying to convert them to Christianity/the cult.
I left when I was in my early 20's and it's only been a few years since then so I'm still trying to unlearn a lot of things. I decided to go to college and get an education and I'm so miserable because basic things like "how to study for an exam" or "how to interact with your professor" are completely foreign concepts to me. I didn't find out till college that I'm pretty good at science and math - subjects that were highly discouraged in the group, or if taught at all were either very simplistic (math only went up to basic algebra, if you were lucky) or taught with such a religious/creationist spin that it's unrecognizable as science. (Someone actually posted excerpts from the biology textbook I had in "high school" on reddit a while ago, and everyone was commenting "haha, those are all lies and not real science!" And I'm all "well...damn...")
I like to imagine that if I'd had regular schooling when I was younger maybe I could have been an engineer or an astronaut or something awesome.
Forget dating. I have more sexual knowledge and experience under my belt (hurhurhur) than most people my age, and I don't have a clue what normal dating looks like. To me, sex is synonymous with intimacy is synonymous with control. I am terrified of getting into a relationship because I know that it would be so ridiculously easy for someone to abuse their power over me. When you're raised to always say yes, you have no idea what a struggle it is to say no.
When people find out about this cult the thing that usually gets focused on the most is the sex aspect of it (it was literally a sex cult) but for me the worst part is just having no frame of reference for connecting with other people outside the group. I can forget the bad things that happened and just get on with my life, but it's difficult knowing how to make new friends and build a life outside of TFI. I just don't GET most of what people talk about (I've only got a few years of movies/music/pop culture history in my brain), and can't really relate to how other people act/react to things. I didn't have any of those "normal" experiences like high school, dating, going to prom, etc. My best friends are former TFI people because I can't seem to make real friends out here in the great wide jungle of a world. I wonder how I will ever be able to get close to people when they will never be able to comprehend the experiences I've gone through, and at the same time I can't relate to their experiences either. "Real life" things that most people take for granted like graduating college, buying a house, having a successful job, etc. seem like fairy tales to me because nobody in my life growing up did those things. I don't have anybody who can give me advice on how to accomplish those normal life tasks because nobody I grew up with (or our parents) did any of those things.
I feel pretty lost. I'm still picking pieces of this cult out of my identity and it's exhausting.
I went to see Hunger Games: Catching Fire recently and I broke down crying in the middle of it because I had a sudden realization that I grew up believing that the sort of apocalyptic, depressing scenario played out in the Hunger Games was an inevitable outcome in my future. Not the actual hunger games, obviously, but the extreme government control, oppression of the people, dire social circumstances, etc. It made me feel very alone in that moment, sitting with the knowledge that I was viewing the very thing my childhood nightmares were made of and knowing that nobody around me could possibly comprehend the reason for my tears.
Any engaged couple looks forward to the big day when after months of planning, they get to tie the knot and declare their love in front of family and friends.
What could possibly go wrong?
It turns out there are so many variables that can contribute to making the bride and groom's celebration a major matrimonial miss.
Curious to hear examples of weddings gone wrong, Redditor lolf**kno asked:
"Those who have been to a ruined wedding, what happened?"
Dramatic brawls and speeches plagued these weddings.
Catty Attendees And Booze
"Very beautiful wedding in a huge barn at this apple orchard. They must have spent a ton of money on the decorations and catering because it looked like something out of a magazine. The ceremony was great, the flower girl did her thing, the vows got everyone choked up. Everything seemed to be going well. Not even 15 minutes into the reception the mothers of the bride and groom getting into a full out brawl, hair pulling, red wine being thrown. Their sons jump in to defend their honor, chairs start being throw, tables are flipped, parents are grabbing children and running for their lives."
"The bride and groom are horrified and leave immediately and head back their honeymoon suite. My fiancé and I left after this as well but we heard from some other friends that most people ended up staying and getting wasted at the open bar on the bride and groom's dime. Apparently, the fight started because one of the groom's sister complimented the bride's grandmother's dress. The bride's mom thought she was being sarcastic and called her a b*tch, then the drama ensued. Mind you they had all been pregaming the wedding pretty hard."
Playing For The Drunk Uncle
"I played a wedding where as we started playing the set, everyone ran outside and nobody was to be seen for the rest of the night."
"I originally assumed it was because nobody liked us but the bride came in afterwards and said there was a huge fight involving multiple members of both families and everyone basically went home upset, injured or in a police van."
"We couldn't stop playing since we were payed and it was our job, and the only person watching was the drunk uncle dancing on his own asking for requests we didn't know."
Maid Of Honor Speech Goes Off The Rails
"Was a guest of friend of the bride, did not know anyone attending. Very expensive over the top place, several hundred guests of this very Italian wedding. Maid of honor grabs mic at the cocktail hour begins her speech, rambling, drunk. Quickly devolves to stating the recently deceased mother of the bride was against this wedding and that's basically what killed her. Plus Vinny will never give up sex workers. She is tackled by several people and dragged away."
"The happy couple is separated and divorced within a year."
This is what happens when bad luck crashes weddings.
Tumbling Into The Sunset
"I work at a golf course with a lot of history behind it. We do wedding venues inside the clubhouse and the actual ceremony is held outside by the historic water fountain and large pond."
"First problem was the weather. I live in the high desert and it was very warm. A solid 90 degrees that day and it was also pretty windy. So everyone's outside, no umbrellas, no ezups."
"The next problem, and probably the worst, was the golf cart incident. The bride and groom wanted to 'ride into the sunset' on one of our golf carts. Drive around a little bit on the golf course. To be fair, it is beautiful on the course during sunset. However the cart had somehow gotten a nail in the tire, tire went flat, battery on the cart went crazy and the cart ended up freaking out. It came to an complete stop from 15mph to zero. The wheels and mechanisms locked up, almost seizing. Both the bride and groom (fairly overweight mind you) both fell out and rolled over a few times. They were totally okay, just a few bruises and perhaps a bruised ego or two. So retrieving that cart was fun."
"And last but not least, the power inside the clubhouse went out to do the high winds. There was no after party available. Only the cake was cut, hardly any food was given out. Yeah, not a great day to cover for someone on your day off."
"I was not born yet, but my parents rented the observation deck on the Hancock building in Boston for their reception. Tallest building in the city, beautiful view. My dad pored over historic weather charts to figure out what day was statistically most likely to be nice out. Day of the wedding comes and of course, thick fog unlike anything they'd ever seen before. Couldn't see a thing out the windows of the room they had picked specifically for the view."
"Worked out well though, they were happily married for nearly 30 years before cancer took my dad's life a few years ago."
"There's one other funny anecdote from that wedding: The wedding was held in Kings Chapel, which is an incredibly historic church here in downtown Boston that's somewhat of a major tourist attraction. To close that on a weekend afternoon for a wedding, it turns out, was not very expensive. The tourists waiting outside to see the church didn't know that, though, and someone started the rumor that my parents were incredibly wealthy, maybe even Kennedys. As a result, there were tons of people taking photos of them when they left the ceremony. Not sure if any of them ever figured out that my parents were most certainly not rich or famous."
"I was best man at my sister in laws wedding (stepped in for the brother of the groom, that's another story entirely)."
"For a whole year of planning all the bride (SIL) wanted was a dove release while they said handwritten vows to each other. Very small, non denominational (most of the family are atheist anyway) wedding."
"Day arrives (early summer) and something is off with the bird handlers. They show up a bit late and are sourcing help from the wedding party to get everything in line. When the time comes to say their vows I help the handler carry the chest with the doves in it over to what is to be the altar where the bride and groom are standing."
"Vows are just about wrapping up and the handler gives ME the signal to open the chest. I open it and see 20-30 DEAD DOVES IN THE CRATE!!!! I immediately close it to try and limit who knows what happened. Too late. The look of horror on the bride's was all that was needed. We spent the next few hours trying to cheer everyone up but by the end of the reception the entire wedding party had organized and filed animal cruelty complaints on the handler. It was all anyone could focus on."
Tragic losses unfortunately befell leading up to or at a couple's nuptials.
The Wedding Guest Who Left Too Soon
"When I was 6 or 7 I went to a cousin's wedding. Everything was fabulous for little me, so much sugar everywhere, basically heaven. The reception was in a big community center that was reserved for the occasion. Went to the girls' bathroom, passing by the men's room to see my uncle on the floor. Went back to the main room to tell my dad my uncle was looking weird. Well, uncle had a stroke and had died."
"The bride spent the rest of the afternoon crying, and everyone except close family left."
"Bright side is the mariage is still going strong 20 years later, despite what happened that day."
A Terminal Diagnosis
"Leading up to my friends wedding his father had been battling cancer after a terminal diagnosis. And it was touch and go whether he would be well enough to attend the wedding, in the end he was too unwell to attend despite wishing that he could."
"Just as we got to the wedding reception my friend was informed that his father had just passed away. It was devastating."
"Happened to my classmate. He is successful middle level manager, divorced, about 35yo or so. Found a girl of his dreams but from a provincial poor town. The girl insisted to have the wedding in her town to show off her 'success.' The wedding is crashed by her old friends including male friends who are not that sophisticated and have some tense feelings towards the successful groom from the city. Somebody starts a fight in the middle of wedding, groom is trying to stop it and got stabbed in the back. Died right there. And he was my classmate."
An Unfortunate Trespassing
"The wedding was at a state park that's famous for its giant gorge/waterfall. I don't know whose idea this was, but someone suggested a photo overlooking this gorge and everybody was game. The wedding party went around a stone security barrier and the maid of honor literally fell off the cliff to her death. It was like 500+ feet."
With a lot riding on a wedding to go off without a hitch, the mounting pressure is one where something is surely to buckle.
And because wedding guests are usually inebriated and high on the buzz of celebration, they throw caution to the wind and make some choices they wouldn't make under normal circumstances.
People's ill-advised actions can have regretful consequences, but no one expects death to be an outcome.
Fortunately, the weddings I've attended or heard about from friends were not as catastrophic as the anecdotes mentioned above.
While the Redditors' stories are sorrowful, it gives me a sense of relief these devastating examples are rare occurrences.
Sometimes I think back to a teacher I had when I was a kid who demanded to know whether any of us were "raised in a barn" in response to crappy behavior. Namely littering. She hated littering. Can you blame her? It's a horrible habit and some people do it with no sense of shame. She dedicated much of her time to telling students to pick up after themselves and dispose of things properly. For that, I'm thankful.
But why didn't anyone else get the memo? The trash I see on the streets is obscene.
People had lots of thoughts to share after Redditor SneakyStriedker876 asked the online community,
"What seemingly uncivilized thing is commonplace in society?"
"We delight in the deaths of others as long as we feel it was justified. But when the reverse happens we act all high and mighty like we wouldn't engage in the same behavior."
"Slaughtering each other..."
"Slaughtering each other via warfare to solve political differences. It's standard policy worldwide."
Indeed it is. And it seems impossible to stop.
"Littering. Especially dropping cigarette butts on the ground/flicking them out the window.
The world is not your personal ashtray/garbage bin."
Every now and then I find new trash in my yard and I am constantly amazed by how nasty people can be.
"Mobbing someone because of their opinion or for a comment they made a long time ago, even if that time was yesterday."
"Xenophobia. The fact that racism and racial violence still exist is an indicator that we're still tribal primates in fancy clothes."
And it makes no sense! It's not based in reality. We are truly a tribal species.
"Shouting while arguing, refusing to listen to the opinions of others, basically the inability to debate and maintain proper communication."
"Letting people die..."
"Letting people die of curable conditions simply because they can't afford healthcare."
Probably the biggest reason why much of the Western world looks at the United States with shame in their eyes.
"Parents forcing their kids to hug family/friends despite the kid being uncomfortable doing it. They feel uncomfortable for a reason."
"During the holiday season..."
"During the holiday season, customers take products off of our online fulfillment carts. Y'all have legs. Get your own."
"Using phone speakers..."
"Using phone speakers in public. I don't care what you and your friend think about that restaurant, or how much that Spotify jam speaks to you. Nobody else wants to hear it."
We truly need to stop all of these, don't you think?
Have some opinions of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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I love presents. I try to hide my enthusiasm, and I do my best to appease the greater public by saying "it's the thought that counts." But that is a WHOLE lie. I don't just love gifts, I love great gifts. And if you go rogue from my lists, please keep a receipt. It's just plain rude to divert from what the recipient has requested.
This thought process has emerged from experience. I have received some trash presents over the years and now I'm too old to pretend you just went crazy while shopping. Like... "do you even know me?!"
Redditor u/sulemannkhann wanted to hear all about the presents some of us have received that we prayed, came with a receipt, by asking:
What's the worst birthday gift you ever got?
Have we met? That is an actual question I asked a gift giver once. (Who shall rename nameless) Football tickets. FOOTBALL TICKETS?! Who? What? I can't.
Looks FamiliarBroad City Wow GIF by Comedy CentralGiphy
"My own scarf. Yes, that's right, my mother went into my room took my only scarf, wrapped it and gave it to me like it was a new scarf."
"Thought I was getting a bike for my 15th birthday but my foster parents announced that they were sending me to a group home after living with them for 11 years. Devastation! That place was a wake up call. More independence then at my foster home but those kids had it really really bad, 12 year old heroine addicts, abuse... what the entire hell! I hurried up, graduated from high school at 16 and got the hell out of that place. I turned out ok, work in the legal field, live in Las Vegas. I did forgive my foster parents before they died."
The Forgotten One
"My brother and I worked for a farmer one summer, and he paid us with a used car. At the end of the next year, my brother graduated high school, so my parents paid me out for my half of the car, and that was his graduation gift. I gave them all a big discount compared to what it was worth. So like $500 for my share of a $2500 car."
"2 years later, and I needed $50 for some graduation fees, so I borrowed it from my mom until I could get to the bank. (Before mobile banking and ATMs everywhere.) Later, when my mom is telling me they invited all their friends over for a 'graduation' party, I asked if they had gotten a gift for me. "Well I gave you fifty bucks."
"I paid it back the next day, and she didn't blink. The 'graduation party' was just my parents friends, who said congratulations to me, but it wasn't really for me. A few years later, my little sister graduated, she got a car. They bought a used car for her, and our other little sister got the same when she graduated. My parents are mostly nice, and I never felt like they singled me out at birthdays or anything. Just my graduation seemed like I turned invisible."
Office Party Fail
"HR complaint from two subordinates fighting over how to throw me a surprise birthday party."
"I've never worked in an office environment, but the stories I've heard of people being required to buy a cake for the whole office and to celebrate their birthday with their coworkers would be enough to keep me in blue collar work for life, were it not for the fact that I love being active and working with my hands and could never sit at a desk all day anyway."
Basicslaw school finals GIFGiphy
"My Asian mom's gift was "no extra Kumon homework after school homework" so my birthday gift was that I didn't get extra homework from her."
Regifting is trash behavior. Do better. I'd rather you just say I forgot. Or... I just don't care for that much. But regifting? No.
"Stomach flu and my first ever period, at the same time. I think it was my 13th birthday."
"Omg, exact same story for me. It was my 13th birthday and my family took us kids to visit our relatives in Subsaharan Africa for the first time. I was sick, jetlagged, overheated and riding down a bumpy road in a Jeep driven by my dad in the complete darkness. We had just eaten at a restaurant where I found a giant scarab beetle in the bottom of my soup bowl. I have flashbacks to this day."
"My grandparents have been gifting me (and my brother) the same set of three vice grips for almost 10 years. Collectively we have 60 vice grips. I don't know if they bought a pallet of them, or where they are coming from. GET A GRIP GRANDMA!"
"I had a friend who's father was famous for doing Christmas shopping at the last minute. One year she complained that she went downstairs on Christmas morning and found, sticking out of her stocking, a spatula. Her birthday was a few days after telling that story, so myself and her friends all decided to get together and get her spatulas for her birthday, as a gag gift."
"Well, when it was our birthdays she retaliated. Which lead to a counter-offensive. And soon a new tradition was formed. And guys, I have so many spatulas now. Everything from dollar store cheap plastic, to hand-carved spatulas, a golden spatula, and even a replica of the famous Malaysian fighting spatula."
"I've got seasonal spatulas. As in, today it's time to pack away the Christmas spatulas and bring out the heart-shaped Valentine's day ones, followed by the bunny-shaped Easter ones. We've also been passing around this clip from the Weird Al Yankovic movie UHF. "Spatula City, we sell spatulas, and that's all!"
Their ultimate whack-a-doo move...
"A pair of homemade custom pajamas. Only problem was that they weren't made yet. It was just the fabric and a promise to make them for me. I had to give the fabric back and I never got the pajamas."
"Nothing legal just at our wedding they gave us a card that basically said 'have some land.' When the dust settled I asked what they thought we would do with it, they said build a home. I said ok, gonna need legal ownership for like building a house. They said sure we will get right on that. Then they decide to sell out and retire and never mentioned our wedding 'gift' again."
Gross...Disgusted Steve Carell GIFGiphy
"My grandma got me a hairbrush with a plastic horse head handle. The horse head was all chipped up and there was hair in the brush."
"My Godfather sent me a Birthday card each year which said, he paid 100 bucks to a bank account which I was supposed to get, when 16yo. He then got into alcohol, used all the money and died."
Oh for God sake, why even bother giving anything at all? Lint rollers, used brushes, homemade pjs... y'all ever hear of a gift card? Just put five bucks on it and call it a day. You can't hide cheap, so stop trying.
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I'm still on the fence about this whole extraterrestrial situation. I need more proof. Now I'm not naive enough to think that in this vast, endless universe only the human race exists. I just need proof, tangible, solid, didn't see it from my trailer through beer goggles proof.
I also need proof about the afterlife, another out there topic. Truth be told, I've never been that into this whole conversation. I've got enough daily problems on this planet, let alone worrying about making Will Smith's biggest hits into documentaries and not just popcorn/comedy space farce.
But let's compare thoughts...
Redditor u/ValencikHannibal197 wanted to discuss life beyond this planet, what do we really think? They asked:
What's the best theory on UFOs or aliens you've ever heard??
I definitely wouldn't turn down an excursion to AREA 51. I'd like to poke around and get a sense of the place. I've never personally been up close and face to face with a "non-Earther." Not sure I'd like to be...
TV Truthx files monkey pee GIF by The X-FilesGiphy
"UFOs/Aliens are a cover for all of the secret projects that the government is working on. Actually stole that from the X files."
"How human birth parallels alien abductions:
- Babies are taken from their home (womb)
- They still developing sight, so they see bright lights and grey figures.
- They hear an "alien" language they don't understand.
- They suddenly feel cold after leaving their womb.
- They are in a surgery room being poked with tons of instruments.
Long story short: some people suggest that abductions are just people who had memories of their birth."
In the Mind
"I just don't think anyone will ever see this. But I think that UFO's are the projection of our unconscious collective mind. Everything that exists in reality, also exists, in our immaterial mind. Is it possible that the insides of our mind are also just one drop in the ocean of consciousness... and together we create the material reality were in, simply by experiencing it in a real way, inside-out through our senses."
"My father was an aircraft mechanic and fabricator for test and spy aircraft for the USAF. He spent 75-85 working with test aircraft. He said that when they were going to do a test, that could possibly be seen by the public, they would make a betting pool on how many UFO reports local authorities and flight towers received."
Under the Seasci-fi ufo GIFGiphy
"I like the idea that some UFOs aren't machines. Instead they are some sort of Upper-Atmosphere Jellyfish. I found the issue of Fortean Times that had this article. Here's the cover: http://ft.gjovaag.com/q/images/a/ae/FT291.jpg"
Interesting. There are some ideas we can look into. None of it proof, but possibilities. There are certainly plenty of future film ideas.
"We are like that un contacted tribe and everyone agrees not to bother us."
"I've heard it explained from a channel (idk if you know what channeling is) kinda like this. First of all, we as a species tend to freak out, shoot first and ask questions later. Most humans would have a literal psychotic break. You have to believe in vibrational energy as it relates to our consciousness."
"The aliens (certain ones) are at such a higher level that it would be jarring for us to come in close contact with. We are slowly getting there but it's a process. Like 2012, end of the Mayan calendar, wasn't the end of the world it was the end of an energy cycle that we as the human race had never made it past before."
"Previous civilizations have been destroyed or destroyed themselves before they got this far. We passed a point where we are very unlike to destroy ourselves anymore. This doesn't mean we won't see some real bad hardships yet but we will keep progressing."
"train your eyes"Dancing GIFGiphy
"I was a firm believer in t em when I was in high school and kept googling theories and info in my spare time and during my study halls. They said their bodies were so lightweight or something that the reason why you can't see the evidence is that they disintegrate before hitting the ground."
"And then LOL it was so funny, some people would swear you could "train your eyes" to see rods... HhhahAHAHAHA. Like there were these experts. Video showed him walking around with a serious face, then pointing. And he's like, "that was one just there." "You can't see them, you have to be used to them... like me."
"I've spent many years immersed into hunting them finding them. That's why I can see them." And then one day China, who loves occult stuff, had like a lab that set up a nighttime camera to capture footage of rods at night... then realized they were normal bugs at overexposure. lol"
"The Dark Forest theory. Basically the theory that the reason we haven't made contact is because all the other civilized life in the universe/galaxy knows not to broadcast their location. They've learned that there's something awful or predatory lurking in the dark forest of our galaxy, and that it's better if they keep to themselves."
"That the universe is so vast that we haven't been discovered yet."
"This makes sense to me because traversing the distance to or from even our our stellar neighbors would require technology that is not known to us now or likely to be known by us anytime soon if it's even possible at all. To assume without evidence that aliens could possess this technology and have visited us does not meet my skeptical standards."
Back and Forthback to the future great scott GIFGiphy
"Time travel exists, and UFO sightings are actually future humans coming back to our time. That is why they are so discreet, and never openly make contact."
I hope time travel exists. Now that I'm onboard for. If aliens do exist... just come on out guys. We could probably use your help.
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