Why I Left The Seventh Day Adventist Church
Why I Left The Seventh Day Adventist Church – In the modern sense, the word ‘cult’ has become synonymous with trendy beauty brands and loyal casual communities, but we’re not talking about glitter purists and healthy Swifties here.
Broadly speaking, a “cult” is a social group defined by a strong devotion to and general commitment to an unconventional religious, political, spiritual, or philosophical ideology that deviates from the mainstream.
Why I Left The Seventh Day Adventist Church
Generally, a cult exploits its followers materially, psychologically, emotionally, and sometimes sexually. Through mind control and thought blocking techniques, members believe they are transforming their lives into more self-awareness, often alienating them from family and friends who do not adhere to the process. .
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In this interview, we hear from people who have seen firsthand how powerful cult mentality and rituals can be. We discuss how they go about recruiting members, what it’s really like to stick with one, common misconceptions, and most importantly, the ever-complex task of what it takes to get out of the…
I was born into the Seventh Day Adventist Church and had at least 4 generations of followers before I was born.
I was educated in the Adventist school system. So, in addition to our daily academic curriculum, we will learn about White and her “visions” that led to the founding of Ellen G. Church. The clergy was a very hierarchical school system that favored the children of pastors and the children of church workers. Then came the children from simple families, and the parents and children who went down the stairs with my brother were separated. The teachers did not encourage self-harm, but they did encourage character building through suffering (SDA theory actually says that in this life, one only has to go through hell. God is “Truth”). Girls are expected to learn how to perform and boys are encouraged to be leaders. Once, after I stood up for myself in the fourth grade, my brother and I were asked to leave school because we weren’t good role models for the immigrant kids who wanted to take Jesus (we went to a farm school. In the middle he worked in the fields for two years for the Spanish families who made up the economy of my town). Even in our elementary education, the level of racism and misogyny was insane.
As for the restrictions imposed on us, I will list them because they are easy to explain:
Seventh Day Adventist
Guilt was important. “How would Jesus feel if he saw this?” is always asked. “Did you know your angel is always watching? They know what you are thinking, so always keep your mind clear and good.
Another scare tactic is to ditch your family and friends for stupid things and make a big show of following the rules and welcoming your new “brothers” into the fold.
When you have friends, family, and in some cases faith, it’s not easy to separate yourself from it and find yourself participating in a “cult,” especially if the leaders never pointed it out. Did you know you were part of a destructive group, or did you gain distance and clarity after you left?
I wasn’t allowed to go to the more isolated Saturday birthday parties, and I realized that no belief that excludes such people is good. Emily
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I realized that the “church” in me was a few years ago when I was in the fifth grade, and now I’m in the Pathfinders scout group, which prepares for the “end of days”. Well, I proudly shared this information with my classmates, and to my surprise, they were promptly dismissed. I wasn’t allowed to go to the more isolated Saturday birthday parties, and I realized that it’s not good for any faith to separate people in this way. I wasn’t allowed to compete in martial arts tournaments because they were on Saturdays, so I quit my job and stopped going to church in seventh grade because a woman dressed me in pants and went to church.
In your experience, what are some red flags/characteristics associated with a cult and how does it differ from a safe and respectful community/religion or group?
1) What do they get from you? Every cult will destroy everything that gives you more control
2) Limitations – What does the church say you can and cannot do in your life? Personal life? They want complete control over you and your life and will make sure you know the “best way”.
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3) They will punish you – be it emotionally, physically, financially or spiritually, they will find a way to punish you and keep you in submission. They use guilt, physical force, and tithing to punish teachers for disobedience.
10 days straight at our annual reunion at a camp owned and operated by my cousin, who gets to roam around unsupervised and get two free weeks a year. I wanted to share it with a friend from high school who came with us. Well, on the Saturday night of our first weekend, we tried to leave the resort, which I’ve never tried before, and was told that unless it’s an emergency, you’re not allowed to leave the apartment after dark. We tried to go on that trip a few more times to try in the evening, but they wouldn’t let us. Then I did because I realized it was a cult.
It’s been almost 15 years and I still struggle with my identity. The hard part is family. Half of my family is still active in the SDA church. Emily
To be honest, it was easy and hard. Quitting was the easiest decision I ever made. I stopped going to church, I started making Sabbath plans, I started to find myself, I started to create an identity for myself. It’s been almost 15 years and I still struggle with my identity. The hard part is family. Half of my family is still active in the SDA church. My mom recently passed after my younger brother when I was in college. But my aunts, uncles, uncles and grandfathers in my family, I never talk to them because they are rooted in the church. But after my parents divorced, I was very lonely and growing up on that side of my family, I made it clear that I would never go to that church.
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It’s like being born again. I grew up in the SDA church, so I didn’t know any different. It’s been a long time and I’m still guilty of self-doubt, faith and religion, money and relationships. I’m in therapy now, but it’s a process of reprogramming what’s been written into you since childhood.
Anxiety, depression, chronically untreated ADHD and all the fun stuff that comes with it. It’s hard to make friends and hard to trust people. I’ve been separated for a long time and I’m trying to create new versions of myself that I think will be happier than my own.
What support do victims of cult manipulation need and how can friends and family express their concerns if they are concerned about someone they know?
Therapy, a safe place, unconditional love and support. The day I read this chapter in the religion course at my very crude, secular university, I told my mother straight away that the SDA church was a place of worship. The SDA church fits the definition to a T, I pointed it out to him and ordered him out. Maybe not the best way to go about it, but it works – other people like my brother need time and self-awareness. But overall, providing a safe space and space to listen is most important.
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Everyone believes they are psychopaths and will do anything to protect them like mindless zombies. There are many people in religious faiths, many of whom are really kind and loving people, but they find connection with these cults in confusion and loneliness.
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