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Hey Nicole! This article sparked the community manager in me. Now, I feel inspired to get outside my introverted self and start connecting with my coworkers. :)

1 year, 4 months ago on How to Create Culture in a Cultureless Company

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Thanks for posting the Twitter chat here on the blog, so I could "catch up" afterwards. I really enjoyed connecting with many of those who participated in the chat because you connected to their Twitter handles. Thanks, Tim and CMGR Team!

1 year, 8 months ago on Social Media Compliance, Regulation, and Disclosure

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 @tamcdonald Excited about your announcement about where the future of community management is going. C-Suite? Here we come!

1 year, 8 months ago on Are You Empowered?

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Thanks for posting the replay of the hangout, since I'm always in a social team meeting during this time slot. Watching now, Tim! :)

1 year, 8 months ago on Are You Empowered?

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@SuziShumaker Awww...I appreciate your congrats!  Love to share these happy moments with my online buds. :)

1 year, 11 months ago on M.E. Anders Said Yes: Newly Engaged!

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@SweetLifeMommy Thanks so much for the support here on my blog and from the Triberr community. You rock! :)

1 year, 11 months ago on M.E. Anders Said Yes: Newly Engaged!

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@BeckyRamsey Thanks so much - yep, that maxi dress is from your store!! :)

1 year, 11 months ago on M.E. Anders Said Yes: Newly Engaged!

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@Julie Glover Thanks, Julie!  I hope you are also doing well this summer with your writing.  Any progress with your books and agents?

1 year, 11 months ago on M.E. Anders Said Yes: Newly Engaged!

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@tcarter Thanks for chiming in!  I also believe that Barb's post was a beautiful reminder about how precious we are, instead of how we fall short of perfection.  Barb is an amazingly gifted writer with such a heart for those who have endured such traumatic religious psychological abuse. She continues to help so many of us to heal from the past and embrace our future. :)

2 years ago on Dr. Barb on Religious Roots: Sinner or King’s Kid?

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 @Cindy Swanson Hey Cindy!  Thanks so much for sharing your review link about this memoir.  It sounds like a fascinating book - one I added to my TBR pile.  Have a great week! :)

2 years ago on Crooked Cross: Journey Out Of Spiritual Abuse – Starred Memoir Review

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 @finallyfree I am so sorry that you experienced such trauma with your education, as well.  I was homeschooled for a couple years, and the remainder of my schooling happened in Hyles' Christian School (with a brief stint at Fairhaven Academy - eek!)  I remember Commonwealth's being the "rejects" college for HAC drop-outs, unfortunately.  Weird how that worked, eh?  

 

How are you doing now on your journey towards freedom after those three painful situations that sparked your exit?

2 years ago on My Deconversion Story: Losing My Education

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 @lionhous Thanks for chiming in.  I agree that religious materials should not be imposed on employees in the workplace.  One of the issues I also had with this book was the lack of evidence for any of his claims.  It was just a personal essay, and should be viewed in that light (if at all).

 

See you around the blog! :)

2 years ago on The Four Agreements: Ancient Wisdom or Hogwash?

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 @ShadowGalleryV I would agree with you, too!

2 years ago on Types of Cults

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 @farmhand Thanks for your input and the email you sent me this week!  I look forward to connecting more with you on this topic.  Support is VITAL when we are facing traumatic situations or possible mental illness.

2 years ago on Reality Checks for Mental Health

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 @farmhand This type of trauma can be extremely intense.  I would be more than willing to discuss this with you via email (meandersfit@gmail.com), instead of in the comments section, if you would prefer.  I also have several different resources and contacts, who might be of help.  Just let me know!  Thanks so much for sharing.

2 years, 1 month ago on Can Religion Be Bad For Kids?

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 @farmhand I know the feeling.  I still wonder about my first love on a daily basis - what might have been.  Thanks for your comment on the other post, as well.  I would enjoy discussing things further.  Always feel free to email me directly: meandersfit@gmail.com.  All the best!

2 years, 1 month ago on My Deconversion Story: Leaving My Man Behind

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 @BeckyRamsey  @Mindi Ramsey Thanks for jumping into the conversation!  Barb had so many insights for recovering Christians - was amazed by her approach and wisdom.

2 years, 1 month ago on Secrets of Spiritual Abuse Recovery with Dr. Barb

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 @randyw Sure thing, Randy!  Because the server was down, we probably did not have as many readers as normal, unfortunately.  Thanks so much!

2 years, 1 month ago on Why Evolution Is True by Jerry Coyne: A Controversial Analysis

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 @DanErickson Hi Dan!  Thanks so much for commenting and connecting with me about your experience within a cult.  I would love to feature you, your book, and your blog on my site, since I think my readers would find it fascinating.  Feel free to connect with me about it (if interested) through emailing me - meandersfit@gmail.com.  Look forward to chatting with you soon!

2 years, 2 months ago on Cults in Our Midst by Margaret Singer – Psychology Book Review

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 @blisshabits Thanks so much for dropping by the blog and chiming in!  I will definitely enjoy checking out your story...I always am fascinated by other people's journeys to rationality. :)  BTW - your blog posts are always uplifting and put a smile of encouragement on my face, too.

2 years, 2 months ago on My Deconversion Story: Coming Out as an Atheist

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 @TheGodlessMonster Yes, it does change the whole meaning - no worries!  Thanks for the correction.  We "deconverts" gotta' stick together. :)  You're such an awesome supporter - appreciate the comments and shout-outs!

2 years, 2 months ago on My Deconversion Story: Coming Out as an Atheist

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 @superd So true!  Glad to "meet" you virtually and connect about our prior experiences with FBC in Hammond. Isn't the freedom of not believing in a God exhilarating.  Once I stopped having to rationalize away the evidence to force faith to become logical, I felt a weight fall away.  Good luck to you in your wonderful life! :)

2 years, 2 months ago on My Deconversion Story: Asking the Hard Questions

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 @TheGodlessMonster I know the feeling!  I am thoroughly loving my single life. :)

2 years, 2 months ago on Going Solo: The Extraordinary Surprising Appeal of Living Alone

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 @ShadowGalleryV Thanks so much for chiming in here, April.  Reading your comment made my morning!  Yes, writing it all out is extremely therapeutic for me.  Writing is the optimal method for me to process the past, present, and future.

 

I miss being nearby to hang out with you, but I'll send "virtual hugs" your way. :)

 

Your Friend,

 

Mindi

2 years, 3 months ago on My Deconversion Story: Leaving My Man Behind

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 @ShadowGalleryV We love you, too, April! :)

2 years, 3 months ago on Multi-Dimensional Writer Interview and Cult Survivor: Carol Welch

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 @KamelAlboaouh Yes, I will be explaining more of the ideological side of my story in upcoming posts in this series.  I also discuss some of them in my podcast episodes here: http://mindi.authormeanders.com/category/psychpod-studio/  You can scan through the topics to see which you might be most interested in.

 

Always feel free to ask me any specific questions that you may have.  Best wishes, Kamel!

2 years, 3 months ago on My Deconversion Story: Exploring My Religion

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 @ShadowGalleryV Yes, I'm adjusting to my new place, and I LOVE it here!  I would agree that the leaders try to keep you in their bubble, or you will be a threat to the other members and their ministries. I'm glad we are both free from all that mess.

 

Your Friend,

 

Mindi

2 years, 3 months ago on My Deconversion Story: Exploring My Religion

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 @BritanniKayWorstell Thanks for chiming in.  So, you were kicked out of the movement?  I could not fathom how traumatizing that would be.  I am THRILLED that you found a church where you are free to worship a loving God.  For many of us, that is a key to our healing process. Keep us posted on your journey! :)

2 years, 3 months ago on My Deconversion Story: Exploring My Religion

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 @ShadowGalleryV Sounds great!  We can always schedule a time to chat to be sure our schedules mesh up.  Miss you too!

2 years, 3 months ago on My Deconversion Story: Asking the Hard Questions

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 @ShadowGalleryV Glad to hear from you via phone and on the blog!  I sent you a text back, but did not know if you had texting on your phone.  Regardless, hope you are doing well!

 

Your Friend,

 

Mindi

2 years, 3 months ago on My Deconversion Story: Asking the Hard Questions

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 @oneperson You are always such an encouragement, Carol!  Thanks for being brave enough to tell your story as well.  I find it inspiring that you continue to support us new-kids-on-the-block to the ex-cultees. :)

2 years, 3 months ago on My Deconversion Story: Losing My Education

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Merideth Rhyne Mintz from Facebook says, "Okay. I know this is weird, and I have waited and pondered on commenting. Oddly enough, when I googled Ethan Hill and looked at blogs, I found a middle school blog site with "words from our friend Ethan Hill" as one of the blog posts. Clicked on it, hoping to find this Ethan, and found another polar opposite! So coincidental that I had to share it. Not posting the link because it is disgusting to me. The Ethan Hill here, however, is wise beyond his years indeed. Very interesting blogs. Will continue to read them. Thanks for the the information and I hope he succeeds in all he does!"

2 years, 3 months ago on A Child’s Fear of Eternal Damnation

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Janet Sinelli from Facebook says, "Ethan: find a warm family with a sympathetic ear. Surely you must know a friend or acquaintance who shares your views. You do not need to put up with this. Are there laws in your state that would enable you to become an emancipated minor and legally disconnect from your abusers? Make some space between your theologically blind parents and yourself."

2 years, 3 months ago on A Child’s Fear of Eternal Damnation

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 @michaelo Thanks for sharing your experience, Michael.  You and your story have been so encouraging to me as I attempt to process my fundie background.  You have a gift for connecting with people - me included.  Yes - we have both embraced critical thinking despite the barriers.  Hurray for skepticism! :)

2 years, 4 months ago on My Deconversion Story: Losing My Education

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 @opheliag24 My experience is so similar to yours!  I also read my Bible and prayed about my doubts before I just could not make the facts add up in favor of Christianity.  You are right - you cannot "just ask God to show you."  Belief is not something you can conjure up on demand.

2 years, 4 months ago on My Deconversion Story: Losing My Education

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Kamel - Thanks so much for your in-depth comment. I always enjoy hearing your opinions and getting to know more about your background here and on Facebook!

2 years, 4 months ago on Does God Matter To You?

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 @alexandraamor Thanks for the comment!  It's so great to hear from you here on the blog.  It does sound that we have a lot in common.  Yes, you would completely understand how devastating it is to walk away from a relationship and a cult at the same time.  In the end, it's what set us both free.  Yippee! :)

2 years, 4 months ago on My Deconversion Story: Leaving My Man Behind

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 @Mompreneurmogul Awww...thanks!  Yes, feel free to keep me in your prayers, and I'll continue sending positive thoughts your way. :)

2 years, 4 months ago on Does God Matter To You?

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 @Mompreneurmogul Thanks for leaving such an in-depth comment.  I have really enjoyed connecting with you on Triberr, as well. :)

 

I am glad that you have found peace and happiness in your belief system, though I am obviously on the opposite side of the spectrum after growing up in Christianity for twenty years and graduating from Christian College with my Bachelor of Biblical Studies degree.  Studying the Bible in-depth either cements a person's faith or tears it down.  Though I did not want to become "one of those atheists," I did so reluctantly after researching the evidence for my belief system.

 

I wish you all the best as we both strive to make the world a better place. :)  Cheers!

2 years, 4 months ago on Does God Matter To You?

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 @tvpikachu Thanks for chiming in, Tristan, about your viewpoint on the topic.  Good point - discussions about belief are most likely more meaningful.  I will explore that issue in future episodes.

2 years, 4 months ago on Does God Matter To You?

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 @Julie Glover Thanks for the comment, Julie.  It actually is more stimulating to be matched up with someone who sees religion and belief from a different angle.  The man I ended up marrying thinks much differently from me in spiritual matters, which has made for some thought-provoking discussions.  I'm glad you yourself married a wonderful thinking man! :)

2 years, 4 months ago on My Deconversion Story: Leaving My Man Behind

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 @christen8 Thanks for your comment.  It's always exciting to connect with other people like us, who have deconverted.  I also feel that my story was more a "waking-up to reality" story than a falling away from the faith.  I am thrilled for you that you enjoy your life more so now.  Living outside the dogma is exciting and wonderful.  Feel free to comment on any of the upcoming episodes!

2 years, 4 months ago on My Deconversion Story: Asking the Hard Questions

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 @Dhara Mistry   Thanks for the clarification.  I had been wondering about the pts. system.  I have been thoroughly impressed with LiveFyres customer service.  Your team rocks! :)

2 years, 4 months ago on Bible Satire Series Launch with Brad Snowder!

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 @Phoenix2012 I think the points next to your name simply shows how many times you have posted with LiveFyre.  That's my best guess. :D

2 years, 4 months ago on Bible Satire Series Launch with Brad Snowder!

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 @Phoenix2012 Thanks for the feedback.  I'll pass your suggestion along to our contributor, Brad Snowder.

2 years, 4 months ago on Bible Satire Series Launch with Brad Snowder!

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 @BritanniKayWorstell Thanks for chiming in that you also were a part of the same cult.  It's comforting to realize we are not the only ones out there who have been affected and are in the recovery process.   Feel free to comment any time!

2 years, 4 months ago on My Deconversion Story: Asking the Hard Questions

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 @Julie Glover That's interesting that you also are familiar with Hassan's work.  You're definitely in the right type of church - yippee!  I have encountered several really good churches during my exploration phase.  Yours would probably be one I'd recommend. :)

2 years, 4 months ago on What’s the Difference Between a Religion and a Cult?

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 @oneperson Awww...thanks for the support, Carol.  You do so much to bring awareness to religious abuse and cult issues.  Thanks for everything!

2 years, 4 months ago on My Deconversion Story: Asking the Hard Questions

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 @Julie Glover Yes, that totally makes sense, Julie.  I really appreciate your taking the time to explain your college experience.  It sounds like such a positive time in your life.  Your professors seem to have challenged you in a good way.  

 

I think we all do a lot of our own searching.  Wherever those conclusions lead, it's most important that they lead us to be better human beings.  That's key to a happy and fulfilled life, at least from my mere 25 years of living. :)

2 years, 4 months ago on My Deconversion Story: Asking the Hard Questions

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 @Julie Glover Thanks for sharing your perspective as a preacher's kid.  I always looked up to the PKs in our churches when I was a teen.  That's good news that your Christian college supported the idea of searching for yourself.  "I don't know," is sometimes the wisest answer, also refreshing.

 

I would be curious whether your professors encouraged you to ever put Christianity itself on trial.  I wonder how they dealt with those students who lost their faith or belief after studying it.

 

I always enjoy getting your thoughts on this topic, Julie.  :)

2 years, 4 months ago on My Deconversion Story: Asking the Hard Questions

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 @BeckyRamsey I will not be speaking at the AWP Conference, but I will be attending and meeting people outside the sessions.  I have several online writer buds coming!

2 years, 4 months ago on Questioning God’s Existence – Is There a God?

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@JasonBrettMullinder You're spot on, Jason. My thoughts exactly. You'd think that humanity could have figured out the human rights issue before the 1500 year mark.

2 years, 5 months ago on Freethinking Fashion with Robert Affinis

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@Novel Girl Thanks for the comment about Larry's book. It's definitely a game-changer for us novel writers. I'll have to check out your series on your blog about it, too. :)

2 years, 5 months ago on Story Engineering by Larry Brooks: Book Review

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@Phoenix2012 I'm adding Anthony's book to my TBR 2012 list. Thanks for the recommendation on that series.

2 years, 5 months ago on Do Christians Leave Religion Because of Other Christians?

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@Phoenix2012 Don't worry, I took it as facetious and sarcastic. :) LOL

2 years, 5 months ago on Do Christians Leave Religion Because of Other Christians?

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@Monipenny Is that video with Kevin Smith on YouTube? Would be fun to watch. :)

2 years, 5 months ago on Do Christians Leave Religion Because of Other Christians?

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@Monipenny Cool - I did not know Dogma was on YouTube in full. I have the DVD.

2 years, 5 months ago on Do Christians Leave Religion Because of Other Christians?

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@Phoenix2012@Monipenny I loved watching Dogma...just watched it again last week. :)

2 years, 5 months ago on Do Christians Leave Religion Because of Other Christians?

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@Phoenix2012 Sure thing. I hope our responses were helpful. I will also say that I understand how it feels to be going through a separation. It's very stressful. Working the graveyard shift is killer, too.

Keep us posted on how you're doing. We're in your corner. If we can be of support in any way, let us know. :)

2 years, 5 months ago on Do Christians Leave Religion Because of Other Christians?

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@JasonBrettMullinder Fight Club is an engrossing story - one of Pahlaniuk's most well-known.

2 years, 5 months ago on Damned Book Review – Literary Satire by Chuck Pahlaniuk

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@PhilAthans So you also like to write dark fiction, eh? Love it. I think my next Chuck book is going to be "Choke." I've had a few people recommend that one. Eventually, I'll work through his backlist. :)

2 years, 5 months ago on Damned Book Review – Literary Satire by Chuck Pahlaniuk

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@Phoenix2012 I think @Monipenny made some great points and provided some questions to help alleviate your fears through examining them. We both wish that you will find peace. It's very difficult leaving Christianity. It took me four years till I could stop fearing. Let us know if we can ever be of more help to you in your recovery. You are not alone.

2 years, 5 months ago on Do Christians Leave Religion Because of Other Christians?

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@Monipenny So true! I can say that I have read the Bible from both perspectives. Reading with a critical eye was what opened my mind to the inconsistencies and contradictions...those passages that had always niggled in the back of my mind.

2 years, 5 months ago on Do Christians Leave Religion Because of Other Christians?

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@Monipenny Thanks for sharing your thoughts. This question had always bothered me, even when I was a Christian. I always wondered if people just left Christianity because "people hurt them" or "were bitter." Now, I realize that those assumptions were off the mark.

About studying the Bible - Christians either cling onto Christianity tighter (steeling themselves against opposing evidence) OR they begin to question their faith. Anyone who actually reads the words in the Old (and New) Testament for what they actually say (without the interpretations of pastors) will be forced to question why they subscribe to a distorted belief system.

2 years, 5 months ago on Do Christians Leave Religion Because of Other Christians?

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@MrAugieAugenstein Too bad about her husband being imprisoned by the government to get him to shut up. Drastic measures.

2 years, 5 months ago on Types of Cults

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@Suzi Shumaker I am so sorry that the Christian school's teaching against divorce may be unsettling to your children. Unfortunate how that can happen. I experienced those types of teachings in my fundamentalist upbringing, as well.

I must also respectfully disagree with your belief that divorce in itself is a sin. Even when I was a fundamentalist Christian, I could prove from the Bible how divorce was permissible in certain situations, especially if you were the one being divorced.

It's unfortunate that you have internalized that somehow the divorce was your fault, since you stated, "I could have been a more agreeable spouse." This self-blame is rampant and encouraged from the pulpits in many churches. My former pastor would often blame the divorced spouses for not being better husbands or wives, which is the reason they ended up in divorce. This is definitely not true. It's a vicious and manipulative tactic.

I wish you all the best in your relationship with your children, as you raise them to utilize their critical thinking skills. It's very healthy for them to ask questions, even if they are sensitive issues.

2 years, 5 months ago on Is Divorce a Dirty Word?

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@frogla1 Thanks so much for the positive feedback about the blog. I hope it continues to be helpful for you. :)

2 years, 5 months ago on Frequently Asked Questions – Slayers World Blog

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@Monipenny No worries. I'm glad to hear your opinion and very much appreciate your perspective. Unfortunately, too many authoritarian groups wield the "divorce is not an option" as a weapon to keep their women in submission.

2 years, 5 months ago on Is Divorce a Dirty Word?

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@Monipenny You provided some good insight in this situation. I do think that women particularly suffer underneath fundamentalist church authoritarian rules. I remember experiencing this all through my first 20 years of life. When I left that movement, I had much difficulty cultivating critical thinking skills. I had become too accustomed to just relying on "my authority figures" to tell me what to do.

2 years, 5 months ago on Is Divorce a Dirty Word?

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@Julie Glover Thanks for making such a thoughtful comment, Julie. I would agree that there is a significant difference between an evangelical and a fundamentalist. I also find it interesting to hear how other people feel about divorce, no matter what our belief system.

Divorce is a very painful process in the majority of cases. I don't think most people get married with the prospect of a divorce in their future. Sometimes, it's the only option.

2 years, 5 months ago on Is Divorce a Dirty Word?

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@zazurichu Please keep me posted on how you're doing. If you need anything, just let me know. I have quite a few connections within the ex-cult member groups. I know how tough it is to escape a group after 20 years within a cult. It's like emerging into the real world as a newborn. Glad to hear you have a supportive spouse - nothing beats it!

2 years, 5 months ago on Types of Cults

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@ArthurFrymyerJr. Good recommendation for Steven Hassan's book. I just wrote an upcoming blog post about cults based upon his BITE Model: http://freedomofmind.com/Info/BITE/bitemodel.php

Yes, the truth will set us free. :)

2 years, 5 months ago on Types of Cults

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@zazurichu

Thank you so much for your comment. I am glad that you are finding my posts helpful. It is a very painful and terrifying process to exit a cult. I remember cult hopping for a couple years after leaving my childhood group. I could not function in normal society without that rigid belief system.

Exit counselors are the best professionals to handle ex-cult members, in my humble opinion. Check out my Religion and Cult Recovery page for some stellar groups and organizations: http://mindi.authormeanders.com/religion-and-cult-recovery/

I am a part of a few support groups online, which I would also recommend for discussing what happened in your cult:

These two are on Facebook:

- Cult Awareness & Recovery – I am a moderator on this group. http://www.facebook.com/groups/2211301939/

- Independent Baptist (IFB) Cult Survivors and their supporters – I am very active on this group. http://www.facebook.com/groups/35429320847/

This support group led by Marlene Winell is the best of all. I have spoken with Marlene a few times and listened to her lectures. She is an exit counselor, specializing in recovering from fundamentalist/cultic religion. She runs a support group online here: http://journeyfree.org/group-forum/

Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions. Always feel free to contact me directly via email if you need anything – meandersfit@gmail.com

2 years, 5 months ago on Types of Cults

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@JasonBrettMullinder Yes, science should come under close inspection before it can be accepted as fact. Too many of us skeptics just grasp for any evidence that could possibly explain paranormal phenomena without closer inspection.

2 years, 6 months ago on Are You a Skeptic or Believer in the Paranormal?

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@cpgronlund Thanks for dropping by today, Chris! I also appreciated your generous feedback. I was very excited to share your insight with my readers. This is a hot topic amongst them. :)

You provided a different perspective from your becoming an atheist as a kid, instead of succumbing to any mind-numbing religion shoved down your throat without substantial evidence. You are a true inspiration to me, Chris.

2 years, 6 months ago on Are You a Skeptic or Believer in the Paranormal?

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@TheGodlessMonster Now, I know who to ask if I have weapons questions. ;) Sounds like your home is well defended. You gave me a lot of great info to add to my weapons research folder. Really appreciate it.

2 years, 6 months ago on Firing My First Baby Desert Eagle

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@sarahdawndesign Ouch! The kick can be intense. I watched my brother and dad fire the guns before I gave them a shot (no pun intended). It gave me an idea how to steady my hands. Still, I was not quite prepared for it. :)

2 years, 6 months ago on Firing My First Baby Desert Eagle

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@Julie Glover You're a Texan and have never fired a gun? Inconceivable! :) Yes, you should definitely take a trip to the gun range. You might be an Annie Oakley yourself. Have fun!

2 years, 6 months ago on Firing My First Baby Desert Eagle

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@Skywise You brought up some relevant points here. I think many of us former Christians had dismissed the fact that the writers of Genesis predated the institution of Christianity.

2 years, 6 months ago on Bible Satire Series: What Really Happened in Genesis One – In The Big Inning

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@ShadowGalleryV Thanks for sharing your story with all of us, April. Your story has helped hundreds of us out here who have been following your journey through the series.

2 years, 6 months ago on Religious Cult Survivor Dares to Question Authority

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@Artomatcarol Thanks for you input and support, Carol. So glad to hear how you have grown in your spiritual journey. Glad you enjoyed the series.

2 years, 6 months ago on Religious Cult Survivor Dares to Question Authority

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@Skywise Thanks for the link to that book by Krauss and friends. I have not read that one, yet. Will add it to my massive TBR list. :)

2 years, 6 months ago on Bible Satire Series Launch with Brad Snowder!

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@Skywise This story is heart wrenching. I have heard similar stories from some of my peers at my former fundamentalist church. It's despicable how the abuse can be shrouded to "protect the reputation of the church and offender," not to protect the abused. I still am in contact with several of my peers who are struggling with the repercussions of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.

My parents also did not realize how they were harming us kids by exposing us to that environment. They continue to apologize profusely for their mistakes. Forgiveness was not hard for me to give, but the healing itself has been.

I'm also thank god that I'm atheist. :)

2 years, 6 months ago on Religious Child Abuse – Breaking Their Will by Janet Heimlich

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@frogla Thank you so much for your comment. I am glad that you are finding the videos helpful. It is a very painful and terrifying process to exit a cult. I remember cult hopping for a couple years after leaving my childhood group. I could not function in normal society without that rigid belief system.

Growing up in patriarchy is very challenging to overcome once you're supposed to be an adult. I wish you and your hubs all the best in recovering from that situation. I know it's tough. Quiverfull is a very dangerous movement, and they have damaged thousands of young people.

I am happy to hear you are seeing an exit counselor. They are the best professionals to handle this type of issue.

I am a part of a few support groups online, which I would recommend.

These two are on Facebook:

Cult Awareness & Recovery - I am a moderator on this group. http://www.facebook.com/groups/2211301939/

Independent Baptist (IFB) Cult Survivors and their supporters - I am very active on this group. http://www.facebook.com/groups/35429320847/

This support group led by Marlene Winell is the best of all. I have spoken with Marlene a few times and listened to her lectures. She is an exit counselor, specializing in recovering from fundamentalist/cultic religion. She runs a support group online here: http://journeyfree.org/group-forum/

Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions. Always feel free to contact me directly via email if you need anything - meandersfit@gmail.com.

2 years, 6 months ago on Religious Child Abuse – Breaking Their Will by Janet Heimlich

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@Skywise Thanks for chiming in with your thoughts. I am so sorry that you had to experience such horror as a child, especially with the religious based dogma shoved down your brain.

2 years, 6 months ago on Religious Child Abuse – Breaking Their Will by Janet Heimlich

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@jmrhine Glad you enjoyed the interview. I've yet to read the Hitchhiker's Guide, but it's on my TBR list. :)

2 years, 6 months ago on Veteran Author and Poet: Gregory Miller Interview

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@CalebWayneMcEntire This is a very tough conundrum to solve - what exactly is the difference between a cult and a religion. I think I will attempt to address this issue in a future podcast. Not all religions do have a high level of authority set up, but I would say that the Abrahamic religions definitely tend towards authoritarianism.

2 years, 6 months ago on 5 Deadly Traits of Cult Leaders – PsychPod Studio Podcast

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@MarkDY Thanks so much for the recommendation, Mark. I'm adding Bryson's book to my to be read pile. Cheers!

2 years, 6 months ago on The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins – Best Evolution Primer

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@CalebWayneMcEntire It all depends upon a person's definition of cult. There are numerous interpretations. I personally do not believe that every form of religion is a cult, though that is a common logical fallacy of many anti-theists.

I subscribe to the following definition: Cult refers to a destructive group which uses mind control to deceivingly influence its members.

If a church or religion is not employing authoritarianism, mind control techniques, or other manipulations to control its members, it would not fit the definition of cult.

2 years, 6 months ago on 5 Deadly Traits of Cult Leaders – PsychPod Studio Podcast

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@jasonrunnels Thanks for the recommendation, Jason! I just added this book to my 2012 TBR pile. I am already captivated by the premise...right up my interest in thrillers, too. :)

2 years, 6 months ago on Cults in Our Midst by Margaret Singer – Psychology Book Review

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@ShadowGalleryV Good thoughts. Yes, much of the cult-like Christianity practices are all about superiority and holding positions of power. Patriarchal values are also emphasized, which induces fear in the women and children.

2 years, 6 months ago on Religious Cult Survivor Escaped Pastoral Death Threat

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@RobertAffinis You're right, Robert. Slander can be used as a hideous weapon to those coming out of extremist groups.

2 years, 6 months ago on Religious Cult Survivor Imprisoned By Belief System

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@terriv Yes, I also had NO life outside the church. We were instructed to be there "every time the doors were open."

2 years, 6 months ago on Religious Cult Survivor Imprisoned By Belief System

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@terriv Yes, let's definitely connect privately sometime in the near future. I remember how Jack Hyles was very nearly worshipped around the country (and at home.) Now, it seems so odd.

It is quite typical for ex-members to return to the church after an initial leaving, since most of us have no outside social network to help us through the transition.

2 years, 6 months ago on Religious Cult Survivor Imprisoned By Belief System

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@terriv Yes, I definitely went through a period where I tried to make sense of the dogma from my childhood. It took me some time to "come to grips" with the past IFB, but I really did not have as much trouble separating my trust in "Leaders" from my beliefs about God. That's only my experience, and I hear it's not as common for most.

2 years, 6 months ago on Religious Cult Survivor Imprisoned By Belief System

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@terriv I have definitely heard of Berean, since Tom Neal is (or was) associated with FBC Hammond (my home church for 20 years). It is despicable about that investigation, but least the sheriff's office is investigating the situation.

You are spot on about the tactics used to control the congregation and youth. I experienced all of those myself as a teenager. How are your children doing these days? I hope that they will feel a sense of connection to others of us who have experienced similar negative events.

Do not feel guilty for your involvement with that church. My mom apologizes over and over to me about putting us through such horror, but I am simply glad to be free of the past. It was not her fault. She was duped and coerced to join them. You are doing your children quite a service by being open with them.

If you would ever like to connect privately or even share bits and pieces of your story here on the blog, feel free to email me: meandersfit@gmail.com. Thanks again for your comment. It helps to know that the blog posts are touching lives.

2 years, 6 months ago on Religious Cult Survivor Imprisoned By Belief System

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@ShadowGalleryV You actually received an excommunication letter? That's serious. These systems can get out of hand, for sure. Thanks again for sharing your story. What books from Ingersoll and Paine are you reading?

2 years, 6 months ago on Religious Cult Survivor Imprisoned By Belief System

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@oneperson So glad you are enjoying the series, Carol. I also LOVE April's artwork...very jealous. :)

2 years, 6 months ago on Religious Cult Survivor Imprisoned By Belief System

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@ShadowGalleryV Too reminiscent of psychopathic behavior with this love bombing, eh? Yikes!

2 years, 7 months ago on Religious Cult Survivor Attacked by Love Bombing

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@ShadowGalleryV Yes, I had ulcers in 3rd grade. Cumulation of religious stress + parents divorcing = a sick little girl.

2 years, 7 months ago on Fear as Cult Manipulation – PsychPod Studio Podcast

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@ShadowGalleryV So true. Hindsight is 20/20, but being inside the cult gives an entirely different perception. Behind closed doors...oh, scary!

2 years, 7 months ago on Religious Cult Survivor Haunted by Church Secrets

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@LFJeremy@yuvizalkow Thanks so much for the offer. Because of your reaching out, I will add it to my site tomorrow. I will definitely let you know if I need any pointers with Livefyre.

2 years, 7 months ago on Tolerable Social Mediafication

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Just wanted to compliment you on the site, Yuvi. I'm considering using livefyre myself. It takes more work than most realize to get it looking sharp.

2 years, 7 months ago on Tolerable Social Mediafication

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What an insightful post. I have also felt similar conflicts in my own mind lately. Building up to a long-term goal may irritate the go-getter in us, but it's vital to long-term success.

2 years, 8 months ago on No vs. Not Now

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