1. Susan L.

    Words! That hit a trigger! Weren’t we told that Mrs Eddy, in her writings, used a vocabulary second to Shakespeare? Odd that now I lost be in a city who’s claim to fame, besides barbeque, is that we have so many fountains- the only city that has more is Rome. So I was was raised in a religion who’s founder had a vocabulary that was second to Shakespeare, and I live in a city who’s number of fountains is second to Rome.

    • Chrystal Cole

      Oh my gosh, I mentioned this to my son last night!! He is studying Shakespeare in high school right now. “Mom, we’re doing our Shakespeare unit.” And I gasped. And told him, “guess what I was taught in Christian Science …. Mary Baker Eddy* had a vocabulary second only to Shakespeare.” …. I also said, “at least that’s what I was taught in Christian Science… who knows if it’s actually true.”

      Your comment is awesome. Love the fountains. Now I want to visit you! Sounds beautiful! Speaking of which, go see Cirque du Soleil, Luzia – if it’s in your town. It’s beautiful. #Fountains

      *Why do we ALWAYS refer to her by her full name? Or we do this crazy thing & abbreviate it to MBE. All other authors and famous people are referred to by their last name only! So crazy!!

        • Chrystal C

          It is ironic to me that people take marriage advice from her, too, seeing as she was married 3 times and miserable in all of them.

  2. Joanna

    Glad to hear you have found a supportive circle of friends and Friends.

    One thing I noticed that you said about Prin. I was raised in CS but my parents did not believe in any benefits of attending Prin. (I attended the local public school, which was a very fine school). Other Christian Scientists would occasionally push me to consider Prin, or ask us why I didn’t go to Prin. We were invited to “Prin parties,” which were intended to recruit students. When I/my parents asked what the benefit would be to sending me several states away to go to an expensive boarding school, the answer was always, “the campus is so beautiful.” Even at the one Prin party we went to, that was the ONLY thing they could tell us about why anyone should go there: “The campus is very beautiful.” “It’s so pretty there.” The presentation consisted solely of photographs (slides) of landscaping and architecture. Well, guess what. There is a lot of beauty in Ohio, too. I could look out the window for free and see it any time I wanted. I didn’t have to drive ten hours or pay a lot of high tuition or live away from my parents to see beauty. Principia is not the only place in the country where you can see beautiful buildings and well-kept landscaping. It became a big joke between me and my mom for years. Any time anyone mentioned Principia, we would wink at each other and say something about how beautiful the campus was. The Prin-goers never got the joke. They would always agree, yes, the campus is truly beautiful. Nobody ever gave us any other reasons for going to Prin. None!

    By contrast, other, local private schools also recruited. We were given credible reasons for considering those schools; for example, excellence in education, or a superior music program, or successful anti-bullying policies, or even just a solid moral foundation. I knew kids who went to those schools, and they always had substantial, real reasons for attending — not just, ‘the campus is really beautiful.’ I have no idea if there really are/were any educational reasons to attend Prin, or if the Prin alumni just didn’t know what they were.

    So, my dear, I could not but help notice, with private amusement, your referrals to the beauty of the buildings at Prin. I have never been to the Prin campus. But I know you are right: it is truly beautiful.

    • Admin K

      Joanna, I must confess this comment made me laugh out loud. “The campus is very beautiful” was my standard fallback topic when making polite conversation with CS-church ladies who ask about my time at Prin! It was safer than talking about anything else.

    • Chrystal Cole

      Oh my gosh, Joanna! I am sitting here covering my mouth and laughing! Oh that’s hilarious! Thank you so much for letting us in on the joke!! This will be my new favorite joke!! My older child used to have the goal of going to Principia. And I was so proud of him. And now – I’m pushing him to all the wonderful local in-state schools near us. Any one of them is excellent, and several of the very good ones are within an hour drive and he could live at home.

      I love this comment so much. “It’s really beautiful.”

      The recruiter that got me when I was in 5th grade (?) said, “you can do a lot when you can fit your entire class in to two cars.” (The major I had at Principia, there were 7 of us for the full 4 years of our major. We all took all of our required classes together – there were only 7 of us. Yup – we could all fit in to two cars. Not that we ever WENT anywhere together other than to the falling down “temporary” science building! … which was completely redone after I graduated.)

      The whole, “you can do a lot when you can fit your entire class in to two cars” thing got me. BUT – that’s probably not a great reason to attend a college either! Hahaha!

      I know my Principia parent always said to me: “People always tell me how imperfect Principia is, but it’s better than every other place in the world!”

      Yeah – that’s a great reason to go too. That’s also what convinced me. I was brain-washed to believe “it’s better than every other place in the world!” Yikes. Must be because of Bernard Maybeck’s architecture.

      Here’s a funny thing — I grew up in an area where the fall colors are incredibly bright. Is there another place in the country where the colors are more bright? Absolutely. Just beautiful, radiant, bright colors.

      My first semester at Principia was Fall. (As it is for the majority of students, I think, starting college.) Driving there from the airport, the person who was driving me said, “look at the colors!” And I looked at what were supposed to be “the beautiful bluffs overlooking the Mississippi” … and they all looked brown to me. It was a sea of blah. At that moment, I wished I had stayed in my home state, because I realized right then, that I was now missing all the wonderful colors back home. I think the Fall colors at Principia are plain old muddy looking. It’s so weird. I heard about the “it’s so beautiful!” my whole life, then was completely let down.

      I no longer think it’s beautiful. I mean, the landscaping is gorgeous, and I love smelling “Lilac Lane,” but I can easily get all that beauty locally where I live, even in my own town. Even our local Home Depot has stunning tree colors around the parking lot. It’s a breath-taking parking lot at Home Depot.

      Crazy stuff!!

      Thank you, Joanna, and also thank you to Susan for your comments. It means so much to me to see that people read my story. It’s now been over a year since I finished writing this blog (the last few posts are getting posted now), and it’s been incredibly healing to write this story & share it.

  3. Thanks….I was taught not to grief; how could one, there is not such thing as death, and if one says so, one is “silenced” shamed, shut up in a corner…turned into a nothing…I appreciate your recognizing : CS teaches “no grief”…no anger, no sadness,…I keep trying to get into the real world…I can help others do it, not ok for me on some level…I’m 85- and lost so many people…there are furnerals, but some part of me is wrong to be there…

    • Chrystal C.

      Thank you so much for your comment, Patsy. I am so sorry you’re feeling so alone in all of this. I am glad my posts validate your inner truth. Do you know about our Facebook page for Ex Christian Scientists? The latest blog post on this blog has links to it and such. It’s an amazing community who get the weird Christian Science teachings / gaslightings / denial / special kind of anger and/or sadness….. I recommend you consider joining the group and reaching out for help with grief over the loss of friends and family.

      I myself just attended a funeral for someone who I believe was what I am starting to call “sympathetic to Christian Science.” Her stepchildren and her mom are all still in the belief system, as far as I can tell. And I think she never went to doctors for her annual checkup. It’s because of that, that she died in her 40s. At the visitation, I kept hearing so many people say: “It just doesn’t make any sense.” I grieved so hard every time I heard that.

      She left a whole lot of people feeling desperately sad.

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