‘An Opposing View.’
The following is a collection of musings from members of the Ex-Christian Science Group on about the difficulty of leaving Christian Science.
I doubt that there is another religious belief system that is so pervasive in the thought that a quick casual conversation will reveal to the participants that both are Christian Scientists.
Is it the familiarity we defend? Or, is it Stockholm Syndrome? There’s gotta be a name for it…
Imagine a Christian Science Sentinel with a section titled ‘An Opposing View.’ What parent would then let her child attend Principia? What reader whose compassion had not been petrified by his studies would not be moved?
I talked with a Unitarian Universalist minister about Christian Science. She said that Christian Science is a ‘closed’ religion that thinks it knows the entire truth already, unlike UU and other ‘open’ religions that allow for questioning, thought, learning, and growth.
I’ve read so many comments along the lines of ‘although I was raised in Christian Science, I always had doubts about it in the back of my mind.’ Which, by comparison, makes me feel rather foolish. I had zero doubt, I questioned nothing about Christian Science until I was over the age of thirty. It is part of the puzzle I’m trying to figure out about myself—what made me such a good little unquestioning cult member?
I stopped attempting to practice Christian Science about ten years ago, but for a long time I was in the ‘it works, just not for me…’ camp. Really, it has only been in about the past year that I have realized how dangerous and even evil Christian Science is, the way it shreds families and individuals. It’s only been in about the past year that I have begun to recognize myself and others as victims of Christian Science.
In retrospect though, what a 180. That is actually pretty amazing, that I was able to go from such an extreme to where I am now.
Every breath of a devout Christian Scientist comes through a fog of filtered observations.
I always harboured doubts about Christian Science, even from childhood. But, it was a weird sort of comfort zone to me–it promised wonderful, fanciful stuff that anyone would want, but it never really delivered. I desperately wanted it to work, looked for evidence that it worked, and for many years, despite it always coming up short, I stuck with it–it kept a weird hold on me. When I saw the gruesome and fatal end result of lives dedicated to Christian Science, I finally realized I needed to take my doubts out for a walk, and I’ve never looked back.
This site offers support resources to help individuals negotiate a transition in a manner that best fits their needs and convictions. We do not advocate any one particular path but acknowledge that there are many legitimate pathways that can be personally and spiritually fulfilling.
3 thoughts on “‘An Opposing View.’”
I had already given it up – always much preferring the wisdom of the Bible to the demogogical, mock-theological language of MBE – already when I was around 10. The problem was that I was still living in a household with 3 to 5 family members who went on to propogate this ideology. It was all around me. I am thankful for my common sense and balance of mind, that I was able to discard these teachings so early. Christian Science damaged my parents and my family and has led some of them to believe that they are superior human beings – it has left a tragic iciness and arrogance in the personalities of those around me and done a great deal to spread destruction and disharmony in my family.
The comments made by Admin K about the mind control aspects of this religion really resonated with me. For years I struggled, on a mental level, to know that my thoughts…even if they deviated away from Christian Science…were valid. And that it was OK that I had them, and that I wasn’t “terrible” or “horrible” because I had them. It took years, with anxiety, depression, etc., before I came to the strong feeling that I was under a form of mind control. But then what could I do?
I actually did contact a person I had heard interviewed on the radio, who worked, therapeutically, with people who had been victims of mind control. But if felt weird, doing so. Also, the feelings of guilt, which had been instilled into me, that I was “betraying” Christian Science. I called him, we spoke, and he said he would be willing to help me. The more bizarre, notable cults he’d worked with. But he hadn’t worked with people who had been in Christian Science.
Probably an example of how C.S. really was hidden in plain sight. The effects of mind control were the same, but less familiar to the outside world. The people in it, however, suffered nonetheless.
I felt very alone, in making a stab at getting some help with the mind control aspects of this religion. But now, with the Internet, and sites like this, it is not an issue now. The Dark Ages have passed, thankfully.
I meant to complete my point in my previous post, about contacting the person I had heard interviewed on the radio, who specialized in helping people who had been a victim of cult thinking. I didn’t follow through with him, after the call. Maybe it was my guilt for having contacted him. It felt weird, and the specialist I spoke with had never worked with people who were dealing with their experiences in Christian Science. There obviously would have been similarities (had I continued with him), that would have come out with me, examples of the type of mental struggles, that one would see in people who had been in C.S., and cult-like thinking in some of the more extreme examples of cult organizations that he was more familiar with.
But I felt very alone in trying to separate myself from Christian Science, in order to think on my own. Pre-Internet, psychologists, psychiatrists…yes…but they are thoroughly condemned in C.S. “You’ll pay a heavy price.” Thankfully, the Internet has arrived, and sites like these let those of us who have been down that road know that we are not alone.
I also appreciate Beth’s comments, as well. Her conversation with the Unitarian Universalist minister about Christian Science, and the minister’s observations about C.S. being a closed religion. She’s right. C.S. does not allow for questioning, thought, learning, and growth. It just tells you what it is “true”, and you either accept it, or, you know, “you’re OK, you’re only going through a phase.”
So glad to be out of Christian Science.
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