RE: The High Cost of Leaving Fundamentalism
(05-10-2011 08:53 AM)leaving Wrote: Leaving fundamentalism is a costly affair, but in the end it will be worth it as your walk with the Lord and quality of life will improve dramatically. Often the best things in life are the things that cost us the most, and leaving fundamentalism is really no exception.
There are several tactics that the fundamentalists will employ when you try to leave, or even look like you might now have differing beliefs. The first will be guilt. They will try to guilt trip you about anything and everything, but this is not a new tactic, it is how they get recruits for fundamentalism in the first place. (By the way, as an aside, anyone noticed the word "fun" at the start of fundamentalism...please don't be fooled, they have no idea whatsoever about "fun" and fundamentalism is neither healthy or "fun").
During this period where they try to guilt you back, or even scare you back, they will also gossip mercilessly about you, and it won't matter if it is true or not. As long as it makes a good and sensational story, it will be passed around. You'll get "concerned" people coming up to you telling you that you probably aren't saved and should take care of that, or they'll call you about it, or email you, or put it on Facebook for everyone to see. They will act like they are "concerned for your soul." This is only stage 1 of the guilt trip phase. The next stage of the guilt trip phase is the "you're bitter, you're rebellious, you're angry and you just need to get right" act. Then you'll be flooded with these accusations, and be expected to "repent" and "forgive." Please remember that just because you may have been hurt by fundamentalism and are getting out does not mean you are bitter. If you really and truly in your heart are bitter, then it is something you need to deal with between you and the Lord, but not something that you have to let lure you back to fundamentalism.
The next stage is the bullying stage, and this is often followed by the shunning stage, and sometimes even coincidences with the shunning stage. If they see that you are serious about getting out, they will gang up on you and try to bully you back. You'll get emails, phone calls, Facebook messages etc all harassing you over and over again about the same old tired topics. They'll follow you around, try to find out what you are saying about fundamentalism so that they can have "ammunition" to keep harassing you. They'll constantly talk to you about this stuff. They will not, however, talk to you about anything else, just this. They'll try to get others to gang up on you. If you are married or have children, they'll try to turn your spouse and your children away from you, some will try to get to your spouse and get them back to fundamentalism and then want your spouse to divorce you. Be prepared. No tactic is too low for them to stoop to to try to "win" you back.
Once they realize that they cannot bully you back, the shunning stage will start. Your friends, even those that have been your closest and most trusted companions, if they are in fundamentalism, will feel the "need" to "separate" from you due to "differing beliefs". Even if you run into them downtown and you smile and wave and acknowledge them, they will give you a filthy look and turn their backs on you, and then walk out right in front of you. In fact, this happened to me this past week, with the same people, in two different stores, and I was with a friend who noticed it and wanted to know what was up. Your extended family or even immediate family, if in fundamentalism, may start shunning you to. They will try to win over your children however so you will need wisdom in whether to leave them alone with family members, or not. Be aware that they will try to win your little ones over to the dark side, however.
There is so much more I could write about this topic, and I may even do so as this just scratches the surface. Be prepared for the guilt trips, the bullying, the shunning and whatever comes out of those. And know that in the end it is worth it and that you will be stronger because of it. The cost is very high, but the truth is also that the cost, whatever it is, is worth it in order to be free.
This article is from my blog and is copyrighted.
This all happened to me. The shunning was the worst.