I’ve been very vocal about my personal views, experiences and analysis of the bible and Christianity in general. In the last few months or so I’ve been feeling okay enough to talk about the particular Christian cult that I grew up in. The thing about cults is they hate being called a cult. It makes sense because the word cult itself is a negative description. Cults are extremely dangerous environments; far more dangerous than “modern” Christian denominations. The definition, being ‘a system of religious veneration and devotion directed towards a particular figure or object’, is exactly fitting.
Cult life is restrictive, manipulative and seeks to critically undermine your freedom of thought. So why do people stay in it? Why do people continue to raise their children (especially if they truly love them) in such a cruel, self-destructive environment? It’s a simple yet powerful answer. Fear. Fear that is deep-rooted and burrows itself into the depths of your mind like a parasite. It eats away at your ability to reason, creates demons in your head that you can’t run from and basically just makes you feel terrible about everything that makes life worth living. Children’s minds are like sponges. They soak up every bit of information presented to them and wholly trusts the humans who brought them into the world. The religious sect that I was subjected to centers around a prophet named William Marrion Branham. Before you learn anything about the real world you are thoroughly brainwashed into feeling utmost reverence and respect for this man. You aren’t allowed to question or even think badly of him. It’s been 6 years since I entirely and completely cut myself off from that life. Yet even to this day, I struggle to speak the truth about him. Neither of my past long-term boyfriends nor even my closest friends had known about this part of my life. I shut it out of my thoughts for years on end.
The “End time message” is widely international yet barely known to the general public. I would be so relieved to meet another human being who broke out of this cult. I don’t know anyone else who did. Most people are born into it and die in it. The fear of leaving and the loyalty and devotion toward it is astounding. As much as the cult lifestyle and rules are negative towards men in policing their internal desires, the damage could not possibly begin to compare to what the women in it deal with. Women who stay in this cult suffer from severe lack of self-esteem and dignity. So much is ripped from your humanity. I’m doing this piece because I’m sure there are still members of the cult who obsess over my uhhh… “demonic” lifestyle changes. If there are women, particularly, reading this; I really and truly want to help you. Leaving a religion that you grew up in and that everyone you know follows is terrifying. You will be disowned. You will lose friends and family. You will hear about people trying to shame you. Everyone in the cult will talk about it. Everyone will call you ‘serpent seed’ or whatever. You will be judged to the extremes. You will receive innumerous unsolicited comments about the changes in your life during your transition. You will endure nightmares of the taught consequences happening to you. You will doubt yourself a million times over. You will feel as if an ultimately powerful being hated you. You will constantly be legitimately paranoid about being struck by lightning for daring to reject the lifestyle and ‘blaspheming’ against it. But… honestly… it will truly be the best decision you have ever made. After, possibly, years of recovery you will feel indescribable liberation and true happiness. You won’t find the world scary and ugly anymore. It feels like seeing sunlight for the first time. Cults keep your mind in a prison. It’s gloomy, dark, spirit-crushing and you have extreme Stockholm Syndrome towards your captors. When I left I was not entirely convinced that it wasn’t true. I came to the point of not even caring whether I was destined for hell. I didn’t care. I just desperately wanted out. I started to see that even if this god of the bible was all-powerful and made rules on how we should live, he did not love us. He was cruel, vindictive and hated women for some reason. My first step was one of the bravest things I’ve ever done. For the first year or so I wanted to hide away from the world. I could not face those I still loved. But my decision was for me. I could no longer maintain my respect for myself and live in those conditions. If I was going to die and be tortured for eternity as punishment for rejecting Christianity, it was alright. I chose happiness for my earth life. I felt extreme guilt for wanting to be happy. I went through it alone. That is torturous. I felt like I was the bad guy in all this. Anything that went wrong (which was almost everything; I was surviving by my own resourcefulness and efforts) felt like punishment for my rejection of religion. Deep down I was terrified of failing largely because to everyone I left I knew it would seem like the vindication of me being in the wrong. If I died or something really bad happened to me I knew they would use me as an example in their sermons of what happens when you leave. It was deeply insulting that the followers of the cult offered sympathy toward my biological parents for having the tragedy of their child “going astray”. My father sent messages through people saying he “was willing to forgive me” if I repented. My transition story is long, shocking and very personal to me. One day I hope to be able to write a book about it.
From the outside, its Christianity but with modest dressing (only applicable to women, of course). Let me first define modest. There are 3 main definitions. The first is unassuming in the estimation of one’s abilities or achievements. Synonyms are self-effacing, self-deprecating, humble, unpretentious, unassuming, unpresuming, unostentatious, low-key… basically underestimating yourself. The second is (of an amount, rate, or level) relatively moderate, limited, or small. Synonyms include small, ordinary, simple, plain, humble, homely. And then the third (of a woman) dressing or behaving so as to avoid impropriety or indecency, especially to avoid attracting sexual attention. The synonyms are decorous, decent, seemly, demure, sober, severe. The general public assumes that modesty is an admirable quality, particularly for women. In reality, it actually mostly entails being extremely self-conscious and self-deprecating. The synonyms seem to entirely contradict each other. There is a massive difference between humility and modesty. Self-love and acceptance are way more valuable than conventional modesty. I find that the happier I am with myself, the more I want to help others.
The female body is art. To me, it is one of the most beautiful things to look at. From this perspective, it seems likely for people to find it taboo. I am beginning to finally understand why men (not all, obviously) hate women so much. Women are incredible beings. Resilient, extremely capable, well-rounded, lateral thinkers, kind, etc, etc but then they’re also incredibly beautiful. I’m not saying this with a ‘go girl’ theme. I mean this. As much as I hate how society has been to women and that we bare the heavily underrated biological function of continuing the species, I’d never ever wish to be a man. I love being a woman and I despise the way in which being female is portrayed. It is absolute basic human dignity to have full control of your own body. It’s entirely and completely yours. Why is beauty something that is punishable? I get that men, in general, find women’s bodies attractive. It’s biological. We are nature. We are mammals. We have to be attracted to each other for our species to survive. Why did god “make our bodies” so attractive to men if he rules that even desire itself is adultery. How can god punish based on core biology of what he supposedly made? It’s damaging to believe this. If you are human and alive you cannot stop yourself from being biologically attracted to someone. The more you torture yourself in trying to shut down your core function, the angrier and more confused you become. Who do you blame if this feels impossible to accomplish? Of course, it’s now the fault of the subject of attraction. Victim blaming and ordering women to dress modestly comes from this. Female dressing has a negligible correlation to being sexually abused. Did you know that the highest rates of sexual abuse come from religious sectors? Almost every self-righteous pastor/priest/evangelist who are very vocal on how women should be dominated have filthy secrets of child molestation and sexual abuse. It’s a front. I’m realising that a lot of the men who actively try to control women’s lives use these beliefs as a facade in their filthy power game.
I’ve been trying to gain personal insights into male sexuality to understand why men struggle to control themselves. Women, in general obviously, possess a lot more control over their own desires. There are many factors that contribute, however, the main one focuses on the manner in which we are raised. Most male children are almost never disciplined and taught to control themselves. Male sexuality is thrown at you via every media possible so much so that boys never really need sex education for their own parts. Their masturbation and puberty are so normalised in everyday society. Their attraction to the female gender is universally understood and their sexual misdemeanours are overlooked. on Young boys sexually harass young girls almost ALL THE TIME. There was this game the boys played at school where they would assault the girls by pulling on their bra straps and stinging their bodies with the elastic. No. One. Cared. When. The Girls. Complained!!!! No one. Even though this is assault. Males harming females is sickeningly normalised especially during teen years. Most girls I knew never made a decision to have sex. Sex happened to them. By their boyfriends who just did it. That’s fucking rape. Sex is a decision made by two people. Letting things happen because you’re confused and don’t know is NOT consent. I’m very open about the issues I face with men and everyone just feigns shock. This shouldn’t be a secret. Women have kept the crimes they’ve been dealt with in the dark for many reasons. I have thick skin and a strong mind. I know this. The criticism and rejection that followed when I stood up for myself made me doubt my own self so many times. I feel like I’ve lived a hundred lives already. Some days I feel like an exhausted old lady. I want to live in a community with no religion. Religion and prejudice go hand in hand. The world is miserable. The older generations are fucking miserable. Hear them speak of marriage. It’s a tug of war contract between two people until they die.
“Boys will be boys”
“He’s a man. You have to understand”
Understand what? That you’re a weak piece of shit with no control over your human body? No. Everyone can learn discipline. It’s just that society has never made that a requirement for boys. Girls on the other hand. Uh, me, personally, all I knew about the thing between my legs was that it peed, and it made me feel nice by accident sometimes. No education. Not even a name. I wasn’t allowed to talk, ask or think about it. When puberty hit, it was all about pain. My chest felt raw for years. Still not allowed to talk about it. I called my mother into a room one day to tell her about something that terrified me. Blood was coming out of it. I was dying. She laughed at me because I was stupid, of course, for not knowing what no one taught me. She even got mad at me for not knowing how to use a pad. And then it lasted for 7 fucking days. They started telling people. I knew because people congratulated me?! Wait, what. This thing you told me to hide? Now everyone knows? Everyone looks at me differently. My parents told people like it was a celebration while I tried to die of shame in the corner. And then it stopped. After the first time it happens, you never ever speak of it again. Never let anyone know when you bleed. Never. Oh, the shame that would follow. Now you’re able to produce babies for men. That’s why everyone is so excited. It’s disgusting. Women are not your fucking herb gardens to grow humans. Nature itself trusted women, not men, with future generation humans.
See the difference?
Yeah, it’s messed up. Men are very very capable of control. It is because of this fucking patriarchy that they feel so safe and comfortable to abuse women. When the system is rigged against the victims, it’s free for all at the men’s table. And that’s how they see women. The bad ones anyway.
In truth, men can control their sexuality. It is my strong belief that those who cannot belong in cages. Dangerous animals are locked away when they want to harm innocent humans. If you are not civilised enough to control your own body, get in the fucking cage. Women need to acknowledge their vaginas existence. Pink balls are real. Anyone know what that is? It’s the reason vibrators were invented. Get this. This is how stupid ancient men were. Male doctors invented the vibrator because of episodes of “hysteria” that women were complaining about. Don’t just read this and believe me; google it! The treatment used to be done by hand to calm the women down but the doctors’ fingers were getting tired of “treating”. I’m not kidding. They treated (fingered) the women into calmness (post-orgasm). So these smarty-pantses gave us our own home treatment kit; the good ol’ vibrator cos their hands were tired from their brains being daft. Okay, dumbass, thanks anyway… vibrators are the reason we’re not desperate for sex a lot of the time. And they can do what your weak body parts can’t. To this day some men still believe that the female orgasm is a myth. Some men still believe the clitoris is a myth; even though is it a physical part, very visible and very very very much alive. To even speak of sexual things is taboo though. Fun fact: I only started saying the word vagina around 5 years ago. That’s how taboo it was. Now I even say pussy too. Please don’t stop reading though. The language might be crass, but it gets the message across.
Believing that your very body is something to be ashamed of is so damaging. Your body is the one thing in the world that is yours. To be denied education and access to it AND being taught that it belongs to someone else is crushingly damaging. I don’t even know the words to emphasise this. It is literally… I mean physically… literally IMPOSSIBLE to make a human woman from a man’s rib. Do you have any idea what you’re worth? Does it not feel strange why they try to push you down so often, why the bible silences women at every turn, why it states that you’re a possession? Why does the bible call women filthy and why does god let the Israelites enslave virgin girl children from other nations? Open your fucking eyes. Not a single word in the bible was written by a woman. There is nothing in there that favours women. It was written and orchestrated by opportunistic men, goddammit. Why else would it enslave women and take money from you? Then post marriage it still hands the power to the male figure. Your role as a wife is just to please and serve your husband. The bible physically says that. Look around you. Look at the men you know. You want to give THEM this power over you? Do they even have enough knowledge and wisdom to ‘lead’ you? Lead you to what. No one should hold power over another human’s physical body. No one. Especially none so evil. Of course, I left. There was literally just imprisonment left there for me. I’m so good at this life thing. My success is entirely self-made. When I left, I had nothing. I was exiled, abandoned and rejected at every turn. Everyone I loved turned against me, even those I’d often said that I’d die without. And guess what. I fucking lived, okay. I am magic. For all those nights I pushed through; fucking real blood, sweat, vomit and literal tears. If you wonder why I walk with my head high, wonder no more. Every single thing I have is because I gave it to myself. I’ve been making my own dreams come true since they told me I couldn’t. Come at me with your “girls can’t…” I’ve proved every single person wrong in that fucked-up church. Expected to have sermons about me? I bet you probably do, anyway. I can’t hear it over all my accomplishments. But you’re going to hear ME now.
Those who haven’t read up on the Branham cult, do so. I’m about to drop heavy truth bombs on the followers. He wasn’t who he said he was. All those books about his life? Also written by dudes. He actually hated women. No matter how many times he said he didn’t. He did. Babes, he hated us and that is the truth. Time to fucking leave.
Watch this space for part 2.