Once again, I find myself inspired by a post by a fellow ex-Christian Scientist blogger; and once again, my post title is also inspired by a movie title, or in this case the title of a whole series of movies. The latest post on Kindism talks of the blogger’s thoughts on withdrawing their membership in the Mother Church (TMC). Some folks in a group of former Christian Scientists in the United Kingdom with whom my blogger friend corresponds, have chided her/him about the fact that he/she has not officially withdrawn her/his membership, and how that fact is somehow allowing TMC to still hold sway/influence over my friend.
This made me think of how pernicious peer pressure is and especially how much and how often it is exerted, particularly within the Christian Science community, and in this case also the ever-growing community of former Christian Scientists. Old habits die very hard, as I’ve discussed in previous posts. Personally, I don’t care if my blogger friend has officially withdrawn or not. He/she has her/his own reasons, perhaps as mundane as not getting around to it, or whatever. That is entirely her/his issue and nobody else’s.
What also intrigued me was the “Christian Science-speak” that crept into one of the criticisms my friend included in the post:
“I suppose being in MC keeps you in touch with what they are doing next, which may be an advantage. Personally, I wouldn’t give them a dollar or a pound to further their cause nor add to their membership statistics!!!! Some of our group would perceive your continued membership as CS still having a hold over you and all your information possibly returning to MC one day.” (emphasis is mine)
I think this sort of goes back to what my fellow Association classmate said to me years ago about how a person may leave Christian Science, but Christian Science never leaves them. Yes, it sometimes feels like a bad rash that just won’t completely go away. You have moments when it seems like it has, but then suddenly it pops back up again. The Christian Science-speak creeps up when you least expect it. I could easily turn that bolded statement around and say that, “I perceive that your continued association with those former Christian Scientists, who are under the influence of mortal mind, and who have strayed, shows that they still have a hold over you, and you need to guard your thought against animal magnetism and aggressive mental suggestion, or you will return to them some day.”
For the record, I have withdrawn my membership in the Mother Church. I finally did it last year. Nobody influenced me. I simply decided I did not wish to be connected with TMC anymore. Well, I at least sent the letter; and I did it the old fashioned way–I printed it out, signed it, stuffed it in an envelope and snail mailed it. That was the first time in a few years I’d done anything like that. Canada Post must have loved me that day! However, I have never received any sort of acknowledgement. I’m not sure if I should expect anything. Maybe I have an over-inflated sense of how important I am to TMC. Or, maybe it got lost in the mail. Either way, I haven’t received the annual Per Capita Tax form in the mail since I moved to my current address (the one I put on my withdrawal letter), so maybe they did get it. Or, they’re still sending stuff to my old address–3,000 or so miles away. Oh the uncertainty!