About this blog:
“Emerge gently from matter into Spirit.”
~Mary Baker Eddy (Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures, p. 485)
‘Emerge gently’ is a phrase that is familiar to anyone who has been a Christian Scientist. This blog is the story of my journey both within, and now outside of the religion known as Christian Science. The emergence I tell of here is quite different from the emergence Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this religion and author of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the so-called ‘textbook’ of Christian Science, speaks of in the above quote. It’s the story of my emergence from what I see in retrospect as a false, twisted, denial-filled, highly abstract and esoteric worldview framed by Christian Science, into a clear view of the world as it really is. A fellow ex-Christian Scientist has aptly characterized Christian Science as ‘mental gymnastics’. I call it Krazy Sauce.
I started this blog in 2013 as a form of therapy for me as I worked to heal from the trauma connected to failures of Christian Science in my own family, and deal with the deep anger I feel about what Christian Science has done to me, my family, and especially what I’ve seen it do to others. It is the place where I tell the story about my experience both as a Christian Scientist and now former Christian Scientist. I also open this up as a place for other former Christian Scientists to tell their story too. It is an unvarnished and sometimes harsh critique of Christian Science, the Christian Science Church, Christian Science-affiliated organizations, and Christian Scientists themselves.
I’ve often found comfort in reading the stories of other people dealing with the same things I am. It was after reading a blog by another ex-Christian Scientist, that I was inspired to start my own. I was not finding many ex-Christian Scientist voices out there, and all too many Christian Scientist voices. So, I share my story with the hope that it helps someone else walking the same path I am on, or contemplating a similar journey. Know that there are others of us out there who’ve been through similar experiences. You’re not alone. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need to talk to someone, even if it’s on-line or via an e-mail. I am connected with a vibrant on-line community of former Christian Scientists who are amazingly understanding and supportive. Contrary to how we were taught in Christian Science, one of the best ways to begin to solve a problem is to talk to someone about it, and to acknowledge it.
Although I write from a secular point of view, I welcome everyone to the table here, and I welcome healthy respectful discussion and debate. If you don’t know anything about Christian Science, this might seem like the weirdest rabbit hole you ever jumped down, but I welcome you. If you are unfamiliar with Christian Science, I hope this blog educates you somewhat. Please feel free to ask me questions, and I strongly encourage you also to check out the links on my Resources & Links page, look at my Glossary page (if you encounter Christian Science ‘lingo’ that I occasionally use), and to research materials listed in the Bibliography.
My Christian Science pedigree runs deep and long. My parents were both Christian Scientists, so I was born into it. I am third generation in my family. With the exception of a short break in my late teens, I was an active adherent of Christian Science for the first 42 years of my life, and was deeply immersed in its culture. As a child and teen, I attended Sunday School regularly, and also a Christian Science summer camp (as a camper, counselor, and staff); I was also involved with a Christian Science singles group; youth groups; graduated from Principia College; was a branch church member (with stints as a Board member, and Board chair); and I worked at The Mother Church in Boston, Massachusetts for 10 years in various capacities and departments. I also undertook Class Instruction in Christian Science, and regularly attended yearly Association meetings for 10 years.
My loss of faith in Christian Science was like a ‘death by a thousand cuts’. It was gradual. It took two very tragic failures of Christian Science as a healing method in my own family in 2009 to finally push me out completely. However, my doubts about the ability of Christian Science to heal physical ailments, as well as the veracity of its teachings, were always there from earliest childhood. Now, I’ve come to realize those doubts were valid. I can truthfully say that I have never witnessed either in myself, my family, or anyone I know, one single healing that could honestly and undoubtedly be 100% credited to Christian Science treatment alone. Not one.
Now, I’d say I am spiritual but not religious. In some ways, I consider myself to be agnostic: I believe in the existence of a power outside of myself, but for me it remains largely undefined. Evidence and what makes logical sense to me guide my views. For now, I believe in a collective intelligence or energy of which we are all a part, not some sort of separate sentient ‘sky god’ being out there somewhere–that’s just what makes logical sense to me. I largely follow Indigenous North American spirituality. I don’t accept the capricious and sometimes genocidal Judeo-Christian/Abrahamic model of ‘God’ as presented in the Bible anymore, and I have no liking at all for any organized religion. I attend sweat lodges and participate in various other ceremonies. It is a beautiful, open, ancient, and logical path that has brought me tremendous peace and healing from grief and trauma that I never found in Christian Science.
On a final note, I wish to remain anonymous. I have no desire to be a public figure. In the course of sharing about my own experience with Christian Science in this blog, I share some personal experiences that I would not otherwise share widely if my identity were widely known. Anonymity gives me the mental and emotional freedom to tell my story, and to share my truth more openly. If you happen to know who I am, I ask that you please respect my desire for anonymity. Also, I don’t wish to deal with the potential backlash that would come to me from Christian Scientists. Like any other religious group, many Christian Scientists have a tendency to be vindictive, especially when critics arise from their own ranks.