Dilemma of a Refugee From an Obscure Religion

One of my stated reasons for writing this blog is to offer a place for former Christian Scientists to go, ‘hang out’, and be with others who understand where they’ve been, because in my search, I didn’t find very many such places. That said, the ones I have found are good. When you narrow the parameters down a bit more, to specify those of us former Christian Scientists who are no longer Christian (or religious), the places you can go and be understood are even fewer. I’d love to be able to talk stuff out with close friends, but most of them don’t understand, and just think it’s crazy that I believed in such stuff, and never went to a doctor.

Hence my dilemma: I am a former Christian Scientist. Since Christian Science is a faith that has for the best part of the last 60 – 70 years been in a very rapid decline, and it never was all that large (when you compare it say to Mormonism, or Catholicism, or even just put together a couple of those mega-churches you find in the United States), that means there are not many folks like me out there. When you add in the fact that I have also left Christianity and religion for that matter altogether, that seems to make me an even rarer breed. The Christian Science Church famously does not publish numbers of members, but well-educated guesses pin the worldwide total of Christian Scientists at a maximum of 200,000 and a possible minimum of 60,000. My guess is somewhere in between, at around 100,000–give or take 10,000 or so. How many of those are active? Yeah, take probably a few thousand out of the mix, and you get the picture: there aren’t very many out there, and most of them are very elderly. Almost any time I’ve been to a branch church I’ve been the youngest or almost the youngest in the congregation by a significant margin–even as I approached my 40’s, and left Christian Science.

On Facebook, for instance, I’ve easily found a few pages, and groups for former Christian Scientists who are now mainstream and/or evangelical Christian. Some are more active than others, and I even know some members of these groups. There is also the well-known group Christian Way who have a very good and refreshingly active on-line discussion forum that I visit from time to time, and I’ve contributed a comment or two to it a few times. Many visitors and writers in that forum are not Christian–so I get some things that are relatable to me, but I still find myself wading through a lot of the ‘Jesus’ stuff, and honestly, I’m just not that into him–in fact he’s a bit of an emotional trigger for me. So, the population of ex-Christian Scientist Christians seems to be alive and well, or at least quite active. I don’t have anything against the Christian crowd, it’s just that I am not at all interested in Christianity in any form, and I don’t need to find Jesus or be saved by him. Honestly, I’m not 100% sure Jesus even existed. My salvation, if you will, lays elsewhere.

So, what’s a secular ex-Christian Scientist to do? Well, I did luck out and stumble upon a couple of Facebook groups, one of which is a fully anonymous (secret) group. I have a regular correspondence going with the author of Kindism, and some other folks who’ve found me here on this blog. There’s also the ExCS UK folks across the pond. However, my main outlet so far, has been one of my own making: this blog. I guess sometimes if you’re looking for something and you either don’t find it, or don’t find enough of it, you create your own. So, even though this is something I have created, and thus far am the only contributor to it, I am grateful it is here.

I invite you, my readers, to contribute guest posts if you want to tell your story. Just drop me an e-mail. Anything I post would be kept strictly anonymous, unless you specifically desire otherwise. This isn’t necessarily just my place. It’s a place for all like-minded people, whether you be former Christian Scientists or not. I’ve been intrigued by the folks who have found this blog who weren’t ever “in the faith” (you’re lucky), but who are curious. I hope I’ve been able to shed some light on the subject for you, and don’t hesitate to ask questions if something seems obscure or weird, and I haven’t explained it in my Glossary of Terms section.

Also, the author of Kindism and I have been thinking it might be a fun idea to get our own ex-Christian Scientist version of a Wednesday Testimony Meeting going, but these would NOT be giving stories of healing in Christian Science. Quite the opposite. More like my recent posts about the wonders of ibuprofen and cold medicine. Please e-mail me if you want to participate. We’re still trying to figure out how it will work.

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10 thoughts on “Dilemma of a Refugee From an Obscure Religion

  1. Don’t forget me- I am an “ex” who left 30 years ago, but still have a 4th gen believing hubby and his whole family, plus my sister who is laboring under CS spinoff, Louise Hay’s ideas and her hubby who was a pure Cser active branch member who died in Feb 2013 of an abscess he kept for a decade before it popped and did him in within 24 hours, of bacterial meningitis.

    I guess he is the impetus in starting my blog. It was like my own CS abscess of 30 years which I had benevolently ignored suddenly popped and now I have to rid myself of the virulent puss and necrotic tissue still packed into my mortal mind somewhere, so my blog is much darker than yours and kindism’s.

    Maybe I need to express some gratitude, too

    I really appreciate what you and kindism are doing- keep it up.

    • Just looked up Louise Hay & came across the wikipedia article about Religious Science. Part of me wants to learn more, and part of me wants to run in terror.

      • I haven’t read that article yet.
        Louise Hay has this little blue book that has terrorized me for decades because it makes me feel really guiltyfor having a problem. And my sister whips it out at every opportunity and psychoanalyzes everyone else’s problems with it.
        I think there is an online version. It is called, “Heal your body”
        “Back problems represent the support of life.
        Upper back- Lack of emotional support. Feeling unloved. Holding back love.
        middle: Guilt. Stuck in all that stuff back there. Get off my back.
        lower: Fear of money. Lack of financial support.”
        Or MBE’s “kidney problems: represent criticism, disappointment, failure. Shame. reacting like a little kid.”
        Then she gives a corresponding affirmation ie for kidneys:
        “Divine right action is always taking place in my life.Only good comes from each experience. It is alright to grow up”
        That is just another way to say, “Error is making you sick, not your kidneys. Overcome the error in your thinking and the problem will go away.”

        I think it is a very fundamentalist way to look at physical problems.
        Besides my sister lost a kidney due to an ossified infection she never treated. She did go to the hospital right after she got so sick, she couldn’t move (even in bed, without excruciating pain) before if killed her, though. She had that pain for over a decade and thought is was muscles and one leg was shorter than the other. She was deluded.

        She would never speak to me again if I used the book on her kidneys, or her hubby’s abscess.

        As it is, no one knows about this blog, or my opinions. I am going to stick with it until I have unbeatable arguments. I don’t really expect anyone to read and hope people who do, don’t get too revolted…..LOL. It is an outpouring right now, but form is coming out of it. I know it is in there somewhere, LOL.

    • MKHuggins, please explain again what happened to Louise Hay’s husband? And how did you hear about this? I know of Louise Hay (and have read her book), but didn’t realize her husband was a Christian Scientist.

      I was in a CS church a few weeks ago (to sit with a friend), and I saw that ever present senior citizen with an enormous growth on the side of his face. Seems like there’s one of these in every CS church.

      It strikes me as so very sad.

  2. One idea I had was to do guest-post “testimonies” on Wesnesdays if anyone was up for that, although I may do a few of my own — there are so many things I’m thankful for. My guest-post policy is the same as Emerging Gently’s. 🙂 Kat @ Kindism.org

    • Awesome! Once I’m done with this cold that’s giving me asthmatic reactions, I may have a good one. So far, puffers are making life easier. I probably should be staying home too, but this is possibly the worst week for me to miss work–huge event we do each year on the summer solstice on Friday, so unfortunately, and possibly to my detriment, I’m playing through it. I took a half day off sick today. So did my co-worker–we’re both dealing with the same thing and we were like the walking dead today. I don’t know who got it first, this bug has been racing around the office lately. After the doc appointment, I just relaxed at home and am now enjoying easy breathing and I’m feeling a whole lot better…ahh. And to think, if I was still in CS, I’d still be wheezing on every breath, probably still in the depths of sickness, all the while just praying about it. How stupid!

  3. I am in awe of this website and this blog in particular. Three years ago I was frantic to find something I could relate to, having decided on my own to take a slight medical detour and finding myself completely lost. Trying to straddle the fence between a doctor’s care and the radical reliance I’d known my whole life was impossible for me. I know people do it. But I could not. At that time all I could find was the Christian Way, and that was not my way. I wondered why I wasn’t able to find ANYONE I could talk to. Now I realize that it was good for me to find my own way, but oh it was hard.
    Finding your website is like putting on a warm snugly sweater after coming inside from some unexpected freezing weather.
    I adopted my pseudonym below to join the ex-christianscientist Facebook page. Perhaps you have seen me there. I’m finding I do not fear US, but the ones I have left behind…

    • Thank you for the compliments! It feels good to know that what I write here is helping folks. I have indeed seen you in the ex-CS FB group. We are, in fact, connected as ‘friends’ on FB.

      • Hi EG I’m not tech savvy, so I couldn’t find the new comment section on your ….. blog? Website? To enter any sort of a reply. Where is it?

        I have a question you may be able to answer. Several years ago, when I was still a card carrying CSst, I heard disparaging talk of someone’s re-writing S&H from a native Indian perspective. I never checked it out then, but now I cannot find as much as a mention of it anywhere. Did I dream it?

        Hmmm My Jaycie Facebook friends include two guys from Canada, but I won’t tell.

        I promise Jaycie

        Sent from my iPad

        >

      • Thank you for protecting my anonymity. There have been a few re-writes of Science and Health, but I am unaware of one from a Native American perspective, and that is the spirituality I now follow. There are a few parallels between CS and Native spirituality, but also very huge differences–one being that Native spirituality does not preach a radical reliance on prayer alone for healing. There is a strong tradition of medicinal practice in Native culture that goes back thousands of years.

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