I’m in a number of Facebook groups for ex-Christian Scientists, and am an admin for a few. One of the bigger groups has a fairly steady inflow of new members, and it’s often a similar pattern when someone new joins. They read through old threads and like/comment on them, so old conversations from several months ago pop back up in my newsfeed, and I smile or grimace at the subject matter. That’s all well and good.
Then comes the inevitable “here’s my story…” sharing; or the “how do you deal with situations like…” post; then begins the sharing of something that truly starts to piss me off when I read it. No, I’m absolutely not pissed off at the person who’s sharing. I’m pissed off at Christian Science; I’m pissed off at what it does to people and families; and I’m truly and deeply pissed off at what Christian Science makes people do to themselves and others.
There is the post about a still-in-Christian Science family member who is dying a slow death of a condition that could be treated with proper medical care, or the story of someone who does seek medical care, makes great progress, then decides to revert back to Christian Science, and begins to slowly and agonizingly decline physically. Too often, Christian Scientists fail to realize the true damage this crap-show religion does not only to themselves, but to their loved ones who can only stand by helplessly and watch them die. If you want to read a truly touching memoir of this sort of experience, that will draw you deeply into what it’s truly like to deal with this first-hand, read fathermothergod: My Journey Out of Christian Science by Lucia Greenhouse.
There are also the many mentions of ex-Christian Scientists who might just be having a bad day whose still-CS parents will say something to the effect of, “well, it’s just your thought that’s making it bad…” or some other metaphysical bullsh*t like that. Ugh! I swear, this stuff makes me want to scream, and it isn’t even happening to me! It makes me so incredibly grateful (a word I’m working to reclaim from the clutches of my past Christian Science indoctrination) that I have very little contact with Christian Scientists, and no family still marinating in it.
Sometimes, I just want to step away and go on with a life that’s 100% free of Christian Science. That includes involvement with ex-Christian Scientist groups, websites, and blogs (like this one). It’s not that I don’t like other ex-Christian Scientists or want to help them; it’s that I just want to run to a dark cave and deny that it ever existed. Talk about a different twist on the classic Christian Science-denial reflex!
For now however, moments like this fuel my desire to help others who are leaving Christian Science. I want to continue to expose this religion and what it does to people. If anger is to serve a useful purpose, it might as well be as fuel to power a good endeavour.
I can relate to this all too well. It is nice to know I’m not alone with these feelings. When it gets to be too much, I put my computer away and take on a project around the house, or go read a book, or go curl up in bed and cry. There is so much raw emotion being put out there, and so many of those stories echo my own. It is simultaneously very affirming and horrifying that there are so many of us who have been through very similar circumstances even though there is a vast range of ages, backgrounds and experiences.
I go out in the woods on my mountain bike, or the lake with the kayak; sometimes, it’s an impromptu road-trip. Today was an impromptu road-trip to some hot springs. It was good. This mortal mind world is a wonderful place.
This is brilliant! We can’t escape, though, even if it is what we wan to do. We’re blessed to be out of it yet cursed with the memories just like all trauma victims.
My elderly mother still kind of “dabbles” in Christian Science. I’ve walked out on her several times because of this and she’s learned not to mention it to me or I’ll just get up and walk out.
Your ongoing work in helping to clear people from some of the worst aspects of thiis religion, while understandably daunting at times, are never the less fully appreciated by many people.
There was a time when there was no clearly effective way (speaking for myself) that I could find to free myself of the mind control of this religion. I wanted, desperately, to be free from it. I knew there had to be other people suffering from it as well. But I had no way of knowing how to connect with them, how to establish a frame of reference for what I was going through. Christian Science, in it’S public relations, literature, etc., presents such a flowery picture of itself to the world, yet there is such a level of suffering and madness that, in reality that is the province of this religion which, until recent times, is something that the people in it had to endure in silence, thinking they were all alone, or blaming themselves for their anguish.
For years, I was in the Christian Science desert, with no frame of reference of other people who had been through the same thing. That began to change with the publication of “God’S Perfect Child”. And now, with the Internet, and such sites as yours, and Ex-Christian Scientist, etc., there is a frame-of-reference for people to move forward, and to clear mindedness, and the world of reality.
It may be daunting, at times, but you are truly fighting the good fight, and helping many people in the process. May you find the strength to continue on in your endeavors.
Being raised in CS was and somewhat continues to be a living hell. When I was 3 I got rushed to the ER by my father (not CS) with double pneumonia. The pediatric attending said to my dad “another hour and it would have gone differently”. I spent 10 days in an oxygen tent, IV fluids, antibiotics etc.
My memory of this, engraved into my soul, is of my mother going about her daily errands and chores (dad was out of town) and “mentally working” for my return to health or what the F- ever. I recall feeling like I was suffocating, which I was, and mom was totally indifferent. She would’nt look in my direction, I guess because looking at me would reaffirm my illness in contradiction to her belief that pneumonia was’nt real. Lucky for me the 1975 Oakland equivalent of Dr. Doug Ross was there thanks to my Fathers quick response driving me to the hospital as soon as he saw me.
When I was 11 mom married her “quacktitioner” it was a short courtship since she had revealed to him (as one does to a counselor or spiritual leader) the details of her recently deceased fathers estate. Suddenly this vampire who looked much like “Newman” from Seinfeld and actually was born Jewish and had “converted” began flying up to Norcal to “treat” my mother in person. I’m no stranger to giving a woman the treatment but this was a whole other deal.
Just before my 18th birthday my mother got rid of the bastard, but not before both my college money and her parents financial legacy was stolen and squandered.
They sent a traumatized (another chapter all together) 13 year old boy to DayCrap the now defunked Connecticut boarding school. IT SUCKED MORE THAN WORDS CAN DESCRIBE!
A year of hell in a confined Mary Baker Eddy-George Orwell-Ralf Steadman cartoon with nice scenery, gothic buildings, and Angus Young school boy outfits sans the short pants.
At one point in 1986 I was busted with a copy of Playboy and one of Penthouse. I was lectured by the Marque De Dorm Parent that basically “Got hated me for my evil sexuality”
Decades later in graduate school (rise of the internet) I found out that the same idiot was dying of AIDS in Los Angles’s Macarthur park destitute, had alienated all his support network and didd’nt even have CS to not help since CS shuns homosexuality.
Christian Science is a F%#King C U L T! It ruined much of my first 18 years and the damage continues to be revealed as I continue my 3rd decade of psychoanalysis. Anyone sentenced to a CS education….you’re free at 18! Take it from me, RUN LIKE HELL!