While I have stated somewhat about why I write this blog anonymously, I’ve never really gone that much into detail as to why I choose to keep my identity confidential. About all I’ve said in my “about” section is a line or two about the small Christian Science community, and not wishing to deal with fallout, and a desire for personal privacy. Yes, there are a few of my readers out there who do know who I am, but I trust that they will keep my super secret-agent identity to themselves.
Between the lines of what I’ve said thus far on my preference for anonymity, there is more to tell. Much of it is connected to the passive aggressive judgementalism of Christian Scientists that I have spoken of in a previous post. Hard-core Christian Scientists will never admit to the very inconvenient (for them) truth that Christian Science by and large does not work. It’s about as effective as snake oil–and much more harmful in some cases. So, it is the victim or those closest to them who get the blame–they didn’t practice Christian Science correctly, or there was something wrong in their thought. No, it couldn’t possibly be Mr. Smith’s* cancerous growth that went untreated for years because he and his family diligently but futilely sought healing through Christian Science, a healing method that DID NOT WORK, and did absolutely NOTHING to cure his cancer.
I’ve heard (and experienced) many instances of Christian Scientists being excessively judgemental of those whom they thought weren’t (in their opinion) “good Christian Scientists”–even going so far as to accuse a family member of mine of being the “agent of the devil” because he was involved in choosing a colour scheme for the church re-modeling that was not to her particular liking. In one instance, related by a friend of mine, her own parents experienced the sharp sting of judgement at the tongues of Christian Scientists when her mother had the audacity to wheel her invalid father into the church each Sunday. I, at the ripe old age of 14, was accused of lying and slander when my parents demanded the immediate removal from the Sunday School of my teacher at whose hands I and my classmate were enduring severe mental abuse and manipulation, after I broke down one Sunday morning before church and told them what was going on in our class. Later in life, I was accused by my own Christian Science Teacher of betraying my own father when I took my Dad to the hospital in a last-ditch effort to save his life.
While Christian Scientists on the surface are largely kind and generous in appearance, scratch the surface, and the opposite is often (but I must emphasize not always) true. Criticize (even mildly) their Church or their faith, and the knives are out, and believe me they’re often sharp. As a fellow blogger friend of mine quotes in the sidebar on her own blog, paraphrasing Mary Baker Eddy’s famous statement: “‘The time for thinkers has come.’ Which is great, unless you’re thinking critically about Christian Science.” It’s all well and good as long as you toe the party line. But, step out of line, even unintentionally, and you instantly become an “unperson“.
So, that brings me to the reasons I blog anonymously, and why many of us who leave Christian Science often do so quietly so as not to arouse the attention of our (formerly) fellow Christian Scientists. At this time, I simply do not wish to deal with the harsh, sharp and highly judgemental flood that would most certainly be directed my way, quite possibly by some who have been close friends and definitely previous co-workers of mine. Few of us like to be labeled as an infidel, a failure, a traitor, or otherwise, but that is exactly how I would be viewed not only by some for the simple act of leaving Christian Science–an act for which many would probably be ultimately understanding of, and even forgiving of. But, add in the extra layer of my activity here in writing this blog, and I have no doubt that I would be one of many “public enemies #1” of the Church. I once worked at The Mother Church and was immersed in Christian Science culture for all of my life until I left, and believe me, public critics of the Church are looked upon with barely veiled hatred by hard-core Church supporters–even those who are practicing Christian Scientists who merely disagree with Church policy. Those outspoken critics who also happen to be former Christian Scientists are looked upon with greater scorn. After all, we’re traitors, treasonous in our actions. I’d say that most public critics of Christian Science who are former Christian Scientists would be about as welcome anywhere near the Christian Science Church headquarters or a branch church as Edward Snowden would be at the United States National Security Agency (NSA). I greatly admire the courage of those who do publicly stand up and lead the charge against the false claims and culture of denial within Christian Science with the sword of facts and truth and tell their stories. Someday, I may be willing to come out from behind the curtain, but not now.
Another reason I blog anonymously is that in sharing my journey and my experiences, I share personal stories I wouldn’t otherwise share if I wasn’t anonymous. I am quite reserved, and tend not to open up easily to those I don’t know. The magic cloak of anonymity gives me the personal freedom to share my story.
I am quite open about the fact that I have left Christian Science and my reasons for leaving, and if any of my Christian Scientist friends and acquaintances want to discuss it with me I’m quite willing. Anyone who is connected to me on Facebook will readily realize over time that I am adamantly non-religious, and they’d have to be in an incredibly deep state of denial (or just plain stupid) not to see that I have left Christian Science (I have posted occasionally about how Buckley’s cold/flu medicine has made an otherwise unpleasant night more bearable). I am what you’d call “spiritual, not religious”–I sometimes call myself a “spiritual agnostic”. So far, any of my Christian Scientist friends who have reached out to confirm their suspicions that I’ve left the faith have been very kind and supportive, although none have expressed a desire to talk about it, and in many ways right now, I’m relieved. Many have said nothing at all and continue on as before, and I’ve noticed some who have dropped off my friends list.
I’m sure at some point, my secret will come out. As the United States government is finding out lately, secrets have a way of coming out eventually. I’ll probably be fine with it. I’m open and I’m honest in what I say here. This blog is my own personal experience. It is my truth, and I will stand behind everything I say–often with annotated research. This blog is my truth, and nobody can change it or deny it, however inconvenient that truth may be.
*This is an entirely fictitious scenario, but based on my own observations over the years.