“Your Divine Self” by Elizabeth Clare Prophet.
Media/art was heavily used to gain access to people’s imaginations. The extent of the church’s use of media is now evidence in the fact that her son is a video editor and owner of his own media company now.
The Godlike figure at the top of the “I AM Presence” is draped in all white an appears to be feminine in nature – in other words it is symbolically representing Mother herself.
As fate would have it, “Mother” aged. she began to lose her mental capacity and now no longer remembers her own children due to Alzheimer’s disease.
The cult still exists, with some resilient members perpetuating yearly summer conferences in Montana as well as practicing at various locations around the world.
Fortunately for me, my father was never a part of the cult and he stayed home on Sundays, remaining silent regarding these beliefs – he wanted us to “come to our own conclusions.”
(Psychological blabble: it has taken me YEARS to overcome my fathers lack of assertiveness, but my relations with women and people in general are much better now that I have)
My own mom invested DECADES of her LIFE to the church, but she just recently began to confide in me that she is becoming disillusioned with the church itself (most likely because ‘Mother’ is no longer a spiritual figurehead). Only ‘Mother’ was able channel ascended masters in order to dictate future predictions and create ‘meaning’ within followers lives.
The conflict between my own mom and my dad increased as the stark contrast between ideologies became more severe. In part due to the church and in part due to a loss of attraction, my mom divorced my dad when I was 10.
Slowly, I began to integrate into the rest of the normal world…but still…my mom was strict about stuff such as “no rock music.”
My mom remarried to my step dad, who would happen to be an influential figure on the church’s Board of Directors.
The arrangement was that I went to my moms house 5 days a week for dinner and spent the night there one day a week. The rest of the time was at my dads house. As a result, I never really felt like I had my own place – constantly searching for my identity.
By the time I was 16 – and I hadn’t been attending church for a year even though I still had the beliefs – I read about the skepticism’s perspective of Mormonism to understand my Mormon friends. I scoffed at it and it reinforced the validity of my own church’s beliefs.
Then I searched out information about my own church (Thanks god for the internet). The things I found…I was in shock at first.
Slowly I began to disagree with the church, but still hold many of the beliefs (Reincarnation, Karma, Shakras, Power of the Spoken Word, the I AM Presence, etc.) because letting go of 16 years of my life in one moment would have devastated me.
But as a man of reason, the thoughts kept entering my head. What if everything I have been taught to believe is WRONG? I needed meaning and understanding, so I read about the fallacies of other religions while learning the intricacies of the theory of evolution.
Suddenly, my mental model of the world was SHATTERED. It has forced me to look critically at every aspect of my life and attempt to understand cause-effect relationships between my past and who I am today. As I identify reasons for certain beliefs, I can allow myself to heal and become a stronger person as a result.
It was amazing how many beliefs lingered through out the years.
Two days after my 19th birthday, I found myself about to finally lose my virginity in bed with a really cute girl in my dorm. But at the moment just prior to penetration, I instantaneously lost my erection.
This forced me to examine my understandings of relations between myself and women. My mom was so against sex, she would fast forward sex scenes, would constantly shun sex in the media, and instilled in my mind the idea of no sex before marriage. My conscious mind, despite watching the Real World and plenty of erotica, didn’t recognize those deep rooted beliefs in my subconscious.
It was three months I spent with that girl before I healed myself emotionally enough to the point where we actually started to have real sexual intercourse. (Meanwhile, she told me I was lucky how good I was with my fingers).
I see my mother occasionally now and have had quite a few conversations about the church and how it affected her relationship to my dad. She in part blames her intensity with the church for that decision and is now focusing on her self by getting masters degree for an education career instead of putting her time/energy/MONEY into the church. This is something I support her for, even though I know that she will always have those mysticism beliefs (Astrology, Chanting, Auras, etc.)
Personally, I try to look at the positives of being affiliated with the church. For one, I have a powerful ability to look at my OWN experiences from an outside perspective in order to reach unbiased, reasoned conclusions. My critical thinking and understanding skills helped me excel at the university while the social sphere of college life really helped me understand myself, and also define the person that I really want to be.
So in conclusion…
I went from being a shy kid with alternative beliefs that constantly was hiding his true beliefs in fear of being shunned, to now being a confident young man able to distinguish fact, fiction, the power of emotions, and intense tools of persuasion. This is an understanding that will be used for positive purposes since I have developed a solid personal moral foundation completely congruent for myself.
Whenever I find myself not believing in myself or limiting my ambitions in some way, I reexamine those beliefs and come to more positive conclusions.
I want to follow my ambitions, or at least have fun doing it.
Which is why I’ve had a great time getting up on stage and doing Stand Up Comedy on amateur nights.
I don’t think I’ll talk about the cult in my jokes…quite yet at least.[/quote]
Deep stuff, man. Each of us has to figure out our own way, and it looks like you’re walking yours.