Escaping cult life: ‘That’s an invisible scar that never goes away’ | RNZ News

Source: Escaping cult life: ‘That’s an invisible scar that never goes away’ | RNZ News

Diane Benscoter: How cults rewire the brain | TED Talk

The Power of Cults: Recovery from Religion podcast

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I stumbled upon this podcast the other day. When I was 33 and entering a cult, there was little public awareness re cults or religious abuse, and when I was 38 and exiting, there still was little circulating on the subject. There were a few books re cults or religious abuse, but you had to search for them. That’s now changed. There’s now a lot of information circulating re cults, and the public is more aware. I’ve listened to several episodes on this podcast, all personal interviews with people who had experiences similar to mine. This episode, The Power of Cults, Podcast #15, is an interview with Dr. Janja Lalich whose work I’ve long admired, and who is an excellent resource for explaining the phenomena of cults, and how intelligent people get swept up by them and don’t leave.

Schmierer v. The Tribal Trust, 2018-NMCA-058 – ObiterDictum

—>Source: Schmierer v. The Tribal Trust, 2018-NMCA-058 – ObiterDictum

Informational article, but once again, I just want to say I wasn’t physically locked up. I feared leaving, because I was duped into believing that if I left I’d go to hell. This was my last chance. My prison was mental. Plus I couldn’t just leave my children.

And I didn’t escape. I could have left at any time. After 6 months of shaming, THEY kicked ME out.

This was clear in my deposition presented at trial in 1989 at the Sacramento Superior Court. In fact, the Judge said to me, “but you were free to leave.”

Yes, your honor,” I said, “but Deborah Green told me over and over that if I left I’d go to hell, and I was too afraid not to believe her. I was convinced that she was God’s prophet.”  

Moving away from fundamental Christianity

Yup, I am no longer a Christian fundamentalist. I no longer believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God, or for that matter even inspired by a God. I wrestled with my faith after 30 years of holding it tight. Too many things made no sense.

In the beginning, questioning triggered night terrors: was I forsaking God, and was he therefore forsaking me? I visited a psychologist to help me get through, and I began researching the historical jesus, and the beginnings of Christianity. As a Christian I only read books to support my faith, and defend it. Now I was curious about the evidence on the other side.

What most set me free from a biblical mindset were the teachings of Bart Ehrman, professor of the New Testament at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Ehrman attended seminary to become a teacher of “God’s word,” but after examining the historical Jesus, the origins of Christianity, and the origins of the Bible, he became un-converted. I wanted to learn what he learned that changed his mind, that caused his paradigm shift.
My questions were answered by reading Misquoting Jesus: The Story of Who Changed the Bible and Why, and listening to The Historical Jesus, a class Ehrman teaches through the Great Courses. Like, do you know the gospels were not written by Jesus’s disciples? They were written 30–70 years after his death. Nobody really knows who wrote them. The names Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were ascribed to them decades after they were written.
Ehrman points out errors in the gospels progression, like how Jesus became the “son of God” after baptism by John the Baptist in the gospel of Mark (scribed about 30 years after death), to “the son of God” in the womb in the gospel of John (scribed about 70 years after his death). And how in Mark Jesus had passover with his disciples before his death, but in John he died during the Passover, signifying that he was the sacrificial lamb of God. Ehrman’s study and writings opened my mind and liberated me from the ancient dogma of the Christian faith, and once again, the fear of hell.

 

MAURA SCHMIERER v. THE TRIBAL TRUST

—>Source: MAURA SCHMIERER v. THE TRIBAL TRUST JIM GREEN BRIGADIER GENERAL JIM GREEN LILA GREEN BRIGADIER GENERAL LILA GREEN FREE LOVE MINISTRIES AGGRESSIVE CHRISTIANITY MISSION TRAINING CORPS

It’s been a long drama, but after nearly twenty years the verdict regarding the transfer of my 1989 CA judgment to New Mexico, against the Greens, or ACMTC, is finally in, first from the court of appeals, then from the NM Supreme Court: my law suit is NOT time barred. Unbelievable, I know: it’s so ancient! Once again, my thoughts are that we reap what we sow. The Greens and their army of followers eluded this CA judgment for over 30 years, moving, changing personal names, changing organization’s name multiple times, purchasing property with cash, money orders, hiding properties under another’s name, and further hiding properties in fake trusts. Basically, their deceitful actions voided any time bar.

the incarcerated Deborah Green

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Nailed, but not to the cross. This is not persecution, not martyrdom. This is incarceration for horrible crimes committed.

I swear I can sometimes feel her suffering. But I feel Jim more.

 

 

 

TEDx talk: I grew up in a cult. It was heaven and hell.

OUTSTANDING, POIGNANT, POWERFUL, UPBEAT!  What a light! Lilia Tarawa intricately and eloquently describes how heaven and hell can be entwined within the cult environment.

Jim Green’s sentencing

With a plea deal Jim received 10 years of incarceration, followed by 3 1/2 years of probation. Word is that during sentencing he cried and apologized to M.G. for the terrible way she was treated.
Screen Shot 2018-12-18 at 11.57.29 AMJim is the one with the heart. Yes, he was Deborah’s accomplice, he’s culpable for the abuse done, and he lied to cover things up. But my thoughts toward Jim have always been that he was duped just like the rest of us. He honestly believed that his wife received visions and prophesies from God. Per recently defected ACMTC members, Jim grew conflicted over the years because of Deborah’s demands.

Such was the case in 2005 when this article appeared in the Gallup Independent: https://culteducation.com/group/801-aggressive-christianity-missionary-training-corps/1454-general-sense-of-well-beings.html

plea deal

No second trial for Deborah Green. They did a plea bargain. Deborah pled no contest to first degree child abuse in the case of 12-year-old Enoch who died of the flu (autopsy suggesting sinus infection) on ACMTC’s compound. Enoch had no birth certificate, no death certificate, and received no medical care. Law enforcement had long received multiple complaints and concerns from families who hadn’t seen nor heard from their loved ones in years, cut off by command of “General” Deborah Green. Discovering Enoch’s death prompted a deeper investigation into the Greens, giving authorities reason to dig.

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Deborah received an additional 18 years to her already 72 year sentence. She will die in prison. Alone. Justice served.

But Enoch’s life was far too short-lived.