The Thanksgiving Day service is the only ‘special’ service the Christian Science church offers. The readings from the desk include the Presidential proclamation of Thanksgiving, as well as a few passages from The Bible and Science and Health. The service is then opened to the congregation for them to share ‘testimonies of healing and sharing of experiences in Christian Science.’
The following are testimonies from the Ex-Christian Scientists Facebook group, as they give thanks for having left Christian Science. Thank you all for your contributions!
We at The Ex-Christian Scientist offer no readings, or lengthy proclamations, merely our sincerest thanks for everyone who has contributed to our efforts.
“Thank you for your wonderful post (readings) tonight. Many years ago I had a great insight that everything I learned growing up in Christian Science was complete BS and am very grateful to have learned that MBE was psychotic and a narcissist. No matter what happens I know I will be protected from watching my children suffer in pain from an ailment that can easily be treated with medication. When my daughter was kicked from a horse in 6th grade and broke both of her wrists I was able to quickly get her to the pediatrician who immediately began working on her. She had a beautiful healing and didn’t suffer from listening to Larry Groce tapes or a practitioner telling us both we needed to correct our thinking. Who knows what the outcome may have been if we didn’t know about this wonderful world of medical attention. This ability to get my children the medical attention they needed while growing up is the greatest gift that being a non-Christian Scientist has brought me. I am forever grateful!” – S.
“I am so grateful to be part of this healing thanksgiving service. I am grateful for so many insights I have gained since leaving Christian Science, but the most treasured one relates to the healing of a belief of fear of pain. All my life I feared pain. I was protected from experiencing pain for the most part, sometimes with the help of the work of dedicated practitioners, but the FEAR of pain sometime in the future never left me. Now that I have left Christian Science, I no longer fear pain. I know I can rely on modern medicine whenever I need to, and I am most grateful for the freedom this has brought to my life.” – J.
“I am very grateful for the unfoldment that came to me one night while perusing the Internet. I was really curious about the ‘pro and con’ of Christian Science and related websites, but mainly the ‘con’. One in particular was by the American Atheists. This is where I learned about Mary ‘Faker’ Eddy and her shady background with her ‘discovery’ of Christian Science. It talked about how she borrowed a copy of Quimby’s works, removing his references and inserting her own, then claiming his work to be her work (plagiarism!!!). From this point on, l felt deceived and betrayed, that as a child being raised in this religion by my wonderful single parent Christian Scientist mother, as well as my aunts and uncles up to this point in my adult life, I am through with this cult!
On an amusing side, to continue with this article, I want to share a paragraph with you here. It’s about the Church Manual (c), Article IX, Section 2. Sudden Decease.
If a member of the Mother Church shall decease suddenly, without previous injury or illness, and the cause thereof be unknown, an autopsy shall be made by qualified experts. When it is possible the body of a female shall be prepared for burial by one of her own sex.”
To continue through the American Atheist(c) article,
One cannot help but wonder just what constitutes ‘sudden decease’ if there be no such thing as death. Since supposedly there is no such thing as ‘injury or illness’, it would follow that all Christian Scientists lack physical bodies, we are left to wonder just what it is that will be autopsied. With regard to the autopsy being performed by ‘qualified experts,’ we wonder if this was a concession by Mrs. Eddy to the world of real doctors – people who can tell the difference between livers, spleens and strangulated hernias. Precisely who these ‘qualified experts’ might be, we may never know. Even so, whenever the nonexistent body of a pretending-to-be dead female is to be prepared for burial – despite the impossibility of death and thus need for burial – said female non-dead non-body should be viewed only by a not-pretending-to-be-dead female pretending to be embodied.”
After reading this, I couldn’t stop laughing. Before the night was through, I learned about two books (of many) critical of Christian Science. Those being Dr. Linda Kramer’s “The Religion That Kills – Christian Science: Abuse, Neglect, and Mind Control”. Now titled “Perfect Peril”. I bought both and read them cover to cover More than once. It is my opinion that both women set the record straight about Christian Science. I am very grateful to ‘know the truth’ about this bad religion.
I omitted mentioning the second book – foolish me! It’s Caroline Fraser’s God’s Perfect Child – of course!” – G
“I am grateful to have found this site. To have a place where I have discovered that a religion I left four decades ago is , and always has been , never the less, poisoning my entire life. I am grateful for the hideous flashbacks and nightmares I had here initially because it is better to remember. Cannot deal with, cannot purge , what you don’t remember. I am grateful to Elizabeth for listening to my story before I was brave enough to share it with anyone else. I am grateful to Willa Cather for writing those articles while people who knew what a narcissistic, sociopathic, lunatic MBE was from first hand association were still alive, and telling the world about it. Had CS people read it from then on maybe this atrocity of a cult would have never developed to the point it did, and none of us would have had to grow up in it. I am grateful that CS churches and reading rooms are closing, and this abomination of a cult is shrinking…may it collapse completely and its buildings turn to dust. Most of all I am grateful to finally know others who get this, and allow me to be crazy, and go through phases, and speak openly about things I would never speak of anywhere else, and work through things…and to realize for the first time that my childhood really happened, and that the same things happened to other children, and that we somehow survived, and that none of us are alone in this anymore.” – L
“ I am grateful for ibuprofen and the pill, so that I no longer lose 1-2 days of work/school/life 4 or 5 times a year due to miserable cramps, nausea, and vertigo. Through their introduction to my life, I was able to liberate myself from simpering matrons telling me not to believe the Eve myth.” – J.
“I’m grateful for psychology, psychiatry, Prozac, Ativan, and the fact that I had my daughter in the hospital because if I’d had her at home, she probably would have died. Oh, and wine with Thanksgiving dinner.” – A.
“Thank you for the readings on the subject of Thanksgiving. I have much to be thankful for today. Throughout my early life, I was challenged by a false belief: the belief that my thoughts could affect the world around me. I was raised in the Christian Science church, which taught me that the world that we experience is determined largely by our beliefs. For this reason, I was told, I must consciously believe, at all times, that the world is perfect, and I must deny any acknowledgment of the imperfections of the world.
Of course, it was all an illusion, but like many illusions, it had a very real power to hurt me. I developed a habit of denying and repressing my thoughts. I was afraid, all the time, that an incorrect thought would slip through and cause misfortune to me or to the people around me.
I would like to express my gratitude for having seen through this illusion. I know now that I don’t need to be afraid. I know now that my thoughts have zero power to affect the world, unless I choose to act on them.
Knowing the truth has freed me from this false belief. With this freedom has come a tremendous sense of relief. I am free from self-denial and repression, free to see myself as I truly am, and to see the world around me as it truly is: imperfect, and beautiful in its imperfection.” – P.
“I am so thankful for the ex Christian Science movement. Knowing the truth about science based medicine has helped me overcome many physical and emotional issues. Radical reliance on drugs and surgeries has helped me live a healthy, happy existence. I was born imperfect. Scientific research and doctors have helped correct this.
As an ex Christian Scientist, I have shed the fear of my true identity: a mortal and finite woman, capable of many things including the expression of sorrow and loss.
The biggest blessing I have received as an ex-Christian Scientist is leaving behind the secrecy within which Christian Scientists choose to exist. The time for critical, rational thinkers has come. I thank my inquisitive mind for directing me to greater truth, realistic life and my human capacity to love and be loved. My essential spirit and the expression of my soul are reflected in the true principle of human physiology. I am most grateful for the common sense that directed me and lead me away from Christian Science.” –W
“I would like to express my gratitude for my release from the mental prison of Christian Science that I locked myself away in for the first 41 years of my life. I’m grateful to freely acknowledge when I get sick, or feel pain. I am grateful for medications that heal infections, reduce inflammation, or ease pain. I’m simply grateful to acknowledge the reality of this world around us, both the good and the bad parts of it.” -J
“I want to express my gratitude for learning the real truth about both Christian Science and Mary Baker Eddy when I did. I only wished I had learned about them years sooner. Needless to say, i was aghast and shocked at the truth. However, I am holding my head high and smiling, because my Christian Science past is well behind me. I still think of my beloved Christian Scientist Mother, whom I miss so much, but she is in her rightful place where God delivered her many years ago, and I know she is very happy. I am also eternally grateful for that. Lastly, I pray for all Christian Scientists, that they may have the wisdom to leave this cursed cult, to see it more for what it isn’t (NOT a healing religion, NOT a religion to raise their children in and NOT a religion to try to understand). This is my testimony.” -G
I’d like to express my gratitude for waking up with my coffee and the news like a normal person instead of reading some boring-ass books with strange little metal arms that stick out.
Going to the doctor because I want to take care of myself and not being scared to do it.
Listening to other people’s stories,problems,and whatever else they want to share without the crazy Christian Science filter.
Reading normal books.
Watching Little Women: LA, instead of falling asleep at a Wednesday evening testimony meeting.
Lazing around on a Sunday morning instead of falling asleep at a Sunday service.
Having sex or drinking a glass of wine with zero guilt.
Living and loving reality, the good and the bad.
And last but not least, feeling free.
In closing, I’d like to express my gratitude to my sister,for being brave enough to be the first to call bullshit and for helping me find my way out. -M.
It is interesting to me that my entire life I craved true female friendships. (I had one now & again for a year, here and there, but we moved so often that I was never able to hold on to any!)
I prayed and prayed in Christian Science. Begging God to help me. Checked my motives – my motives were to love and be loved. Express love. And nothing came. For 40+ years. No true best friends who wanted to talk with me. Friends I could support when they were down. Friends I could rejoice with when they were up. I wanted friends who would support me when I was down and rejoice when I was up!
I had a few Christian Science female friends who would show up when I was happy and take my happiness like nourishment. Then chastise me when I could no longer give them pure happiness.
Over the years I decided that all the anguish I felt from the various experiences in the Christian Science faith was valid. And I should touch my toe to the water outside. I learned about Mother Nature and hugged a whole lot of trees and started to feel better! I learned I can talk to trees and gain comfort from their bark. I have learned to appreciate birds of all things, and flowers and the beauty everywhere! I learned to trust this Force. The beautiful energy surrounding Nature.
A friend of mine emailed me and asked me if I would ever like to talk about what it is like to leave Christian Science. I didn’t know what that meant, but I decided to try it anyway! And then another friend of mine and I had talked a lot when a family member of hers was struggling and in a hospital getting help. And I decided to introduce these two people to each other, to see if something like helpful communication and support could work. Lo and behold, all three of us have more in common thanks to our Krazy Sauce upbringing than I could have ever imagined!
Who knew that in order for me to get real female friendships I had to leave Christian Science?
I am so grateful for leaving Christian Science. I now have friendships. And these two friendships led me to connect with a few other acquaintances and lost friendships on the Ex Christian Science forum. And now I have met so many people and suddenly my life is full of abundant supportive compassionate friendships! The validation they gave me on one day alone was one of my most healing moments of my whole life. I sat under a brightly colored fall tree on a park bench just basking in the feeling of unconditional validation.
Thank you to the ExcCS admins for your helpful guidings and memes and thoughts. I am grateful for Ex Christian Science. –J.
I am very thankful that you run this website for Ex-Christian Scientists. In Germany, I might be at the other end of the world, but it makes me aware that I am not alone in my longterm experience on leaving Christian Science.
In fact, it is about 15 years ago that I resigned my Motherchurch membership – and some more few years that I started to discover a better life besides Christian Scinece.
This year I am paticularly “SO THANKFUL!!! ” that I do not feel any guilt any more when I go to see a doctor.
Getting older, I had a slight breathing problem on certain occassions. A year ago, I went to a dactor nearby to see on it. He sent me to several specialists. It turned out as a heart defect which could be some years old, now. According to the stae of the defect, I got a good diagnose, have now frequent checks on it using modern technology and get good advices how to adapt my daily life and still keep activities on a good level. Okay, it is not yet totally healed. But it is not neglected any more and well treted.
Some times I had to think how it might have been handled in Christian Science, as far as I got to know similar cases as a former Chgristian Science nurse. I might have tried to pray on it on my own, called a Christian Science practioner or teacher. I might nhave not known about the hidden dangerous circumstances , might have done too heavy activities, might have had serious break downs that are not proper treated – and so even might have passed away within this year.
I think you might understand that I am really thankful this year that I had turned away from Christian Science. -I.
I am grateful for the tough times that forced me to question, and ultimately to leave, Christian Science.
The president of Principia College held a reception for us graduating seniors, and I remember him saying that many of us would do well, and some of us would undoubtedly “fall flat on your face.” Well, I was one who fell flat on my face. I hit a series of dead ends after college. My marriage (to a Christian Scientist) unraveled. I lost two jobs, couldn’t find another, felt like I just didn’t fit anywhere. It was emotionally a tough time, and I had a growing realization that the fairy-tale mentality of Christian Science was holding me back from achieving maturity. It was a long process, but with a growing willingness to trust my instincts I made progress.
As I look back on those painful years of adjustment I realize that I was fortunate. Life has worked out far better than I had any right to expect. If I had stayed in Christian Science I am sure I would have continued to fail in many ways: relationships, family, career, health. I am grateful for the tough times that forced me away from the fantasy thinking that is Christian Science. –B.
Thank you everyone for your contributions.