I have been raised in America as the only daughter in a homeschooling “conservative” Christian family, and somehow made it out a better person. My family was involved in a Fundamentalist cult called the “Advanced Training Institute International” for ten years, attending yearly conferences religiously, signing my brother and myself up for Journey to the Heart, even going so far as to send us both to volunteer at the organization’s Headquarters one summer. I was involved in a competitive speech and debate league all four years of my high-school, and it was quite possibly the most wonderful experience in my life so far.
Most of what I have believed and done all my life has been decided for me by my parents. Now, however, I am an adult. The choices I make now are only one’s that I can make, and the words that I say and the things I believe are mine to decide. And believe me, my opinions have changed a lot. You don’t come out of a cult unharmed, much less levelheaded…at least without a lot of help. Having gotten that help, and coming back a better person, I believe I’m ready to now share my experiences and how they’ve changed my perspective. It is my hope that I will be able to shed some light on a sliver of the world that is all too often lost in the darkness of silence, be it out of bitterness or fear.
I too have shared my time of silence. But now I am ready to speak out with honesty. I want to be frank and sincere and simply speak the truth. I hope that you’ll listen.