In 2012, I spent my first “school”-free July 4th in Washington DC, attending the International Cultic Studies Association Conference. I watched fireworks in the nation’s capital, from the DC Mall, and toasted my freedom with other ex-cult members hailing from a vast cross section of cults; all had once claimed answers, promised elusive enlightenment and freedom. All had turned those claims and promises into esoteric prisons. All had perpetrated deception to steal free will and sublimate it into an agenda -$$$.
When I met ICSA’s executive director, I remember saying to him: “All of these fucking groups are the same.” Yep. They are. The marketing spin may vary; the loaded language unique to each group; but once you are in, the indoctrination process is the same.
Needless to say, Independence Day has taken on special meaning for me since then. I imagine the word freedom means different things to different people, so I won’t try to provide a definition. I can now tell you, with certainty, what freedom is not: freedom is NOT having emotions labeled as “negative” – some acceptable, some not, by some external “source”. Freedom is NOT having that “source” dictate what you can express and what you must “non-express”. Freedom is NOT being told what to think & how to talk. Freedom is NOT having personal decisions micromanaged by allegedly superior humans — for example, whom to marry, what do do for work, how to spend your weekend, etc. Freedom is NOT allowing some outside entity to usurp your time, energy, being in service to an elusive higher cause, at the expense of all things personal.
All of the above things are imprisonment. Do they sound familiar?
For those readers who have already left the hallowed halls, cheers to your freedom! I wish you well in reclaiming, your voices, your time, your relationships, your lives. For those who are “breaking rules” by reading this “evil blog”, imagine your life without those arbitrary rules, without the secrecy, without the mysterious “tuition” payments, without unnecessary strain on your time, your “unschooled” relationships, on your psychology. Imagine yourself free of the cognitive dissonance that comes with “clever insincerity”. Since you are here, reading this blog, I believe you are well on your way to your freedom and I toast your steps towards it! I’m happy to help, if you want to reach out through the blog, I will respond.