Apr 19, 2022

CultNEWS101 Articles: 4/19/2022 (Podcast, Lary Ray, Book, Hillsong, Ultra-religious, Conservative Christian, Mormon, LGBT, ICSA Event, ISKCON, Hare Krishna)

Podcast, Lary Ray, Book, Hillsong, Ultra-religious, Conservative Christian, Mormon, LGBT, ICSA Event, ISKCON, Hare Krishna

"Daniel Levin is an award-winning writer living in Los Angeles. He holds an MFA in poetry from the University of California, Irvine, where he taught creative writing and rhetoric. His writing has appeared in Provincetown Arts, The Sarah Lawrence Review, The Westchester Review, and The Bennington Review. During his time at Sarah Lawrence College Dan, as a 19-year-old sophomore, got involved with Larry Ray, the leader of what turned out to be a dangerous cult. Dan has written about these harrowing experiences in his new memoir SLONIM WOODS 9 A stunning firsthand account of the creation of a modern cult and the costs paid by its young victims. In the first half of their two-part conversation, Daniel shares with Rachel how he first came into contact with Larry Ray the dangerous cult leader, currently on federal trial for sex trafficking, extortion, conspiracy, and a string of other crimes. He discusses how Larry was able to evade detection on campus even while living in dormitories. Together Rachel and Daniel examine what he was feeling as he fell under the control of this manipulative and dangerous man, pointing out the red flags and explaining what prevented him from seeing them at the time. Before you go: Rachel addresses the most asked question cult survivors get; "why did you stay"? with regard to Daniel but also in general pointing out the commonalities of those who linger in abusive situations."

NY Post: Top Hillsong megachurch pastor resigns day before doc premieres
"A lead pastor for Hillsong megachurch has stepped down — mere hours before the premiere of a docuseries about the institution's recent scandals.

"It is with great sadness that I inform you of my departure from Hillsong," Sam Collier, the now-former lead pastor of the Australia-born church's Atlanta, Ga., branch, began a Wednesday Instagram post announcing his departure. "My greatest reason for stepping down as Pastor of Hillsong Atlanta is probably not a secret to any of you. With all of the documentaries, scandals, articles, accusations and the church's subsequent management of these attacks it's become too difficult to lead and grow a young Church in this environment."

Collier, 33, goes on to reassure readers that he believes Hillsong "will get through this storm and come out better than they were before," adding in an Instagram Story that "we still consider [Hillsong] family" and "they are not our enemies." The post concludes with an open invitation to Collier's final Hillsong service — and an announcement that he is launching a new congregation called Story Church this Easter Sunday."

Insider: Saving $10,000 to leave my fundamentalist family and church made it clear that money is power — and I have it
"I was brought up in an ultra-religious, conservative Christian home. There are four of us children — myself, and three boys.

As the only female child, I was subjected to rules that didn't apply to my brothers. I was to learn to be submissive, fulfill the wishes and needs of whatever man I ended up marrying, and practice those skills of subservience with my father and brothers.

Marriage to a man, of course, was out of the question to me. I'm a lesbian, and have been comfortably identifying as such for many years, even in the face of the horrified opposition of my family.

I was 14 when my mother began running interventions on me due to my sexuality, which ultimately culminated in me being sent to conversion therapy at age 16.

I knew that I wanted to get out, but it took me a few years to find a path out of fundamentalism.

When I was 12, I began working as a babysitter, earning some of my own money. My family insisted I donate at least 10% of my earnings to our church — the standard Christian deduction.

After high school, I worked multiple jobs including being a dog walker, a tutor, and a nursing home assistant. I didn't have a grand plan to save money to leave my family's home or anything like that — it simply helped give me an excuse to not be home and gave me purpose in my life.

However, when COVID-19 hit, I was forced to majorly cut back my hours of work, like so many other Americans did.

When I was alone with my thoughts — not consumed with work — it dawned on me that I had accumulated almost $10,000 working my life away. I realized that I could now leave my family and community.

I used some of the money I had saved to purchase a car. Then, I chose to use continuing my education as the guise under which to leave.

I found a place to live near the school I planned to attend and moved there a month before classes were set to begin. That was two years ago, and I haven't looked back since."

RNS: Mormon support for same-sex marriage has doubled in the last decade, survey shows
Mormons have broadened their support for LGBTQ rights in three key areas, though they still lag the nation in supporting the right of gay couples to get married — or to walk into any bakery in the country and buy themselves a wedding cake.

The Public Religion Research Institute last week released the latest findings in its ongoing project of assessing Americans' feelings about LGBTQ issues.

On three issues in particular, Latter-day Saints (Mormons) are still more conservative than the nation, but show a broadening of LGBTQ support compared with past surveys.

On the issue of same-sex marriage, Latter-day Saints' support has been gradually rising along with the rest of the nation's. In 2011, for example, fewer than a quarter favored allowing same-sex couples to marry legally. In 2021, the survey just released, that had doubled to 46%."

" ... On nondiscrimination toward LGBTQ Americans, Mormons are actually even more supportive than the nation as a whole.

Among Americans in general, 79% say they are in favor of "laws that would protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination in jobs, public accommodations and housing." With Mormons the figure is 5 points higher, at 84%."

" ... On the other hand, Mormons generally feel that it's permissible for "a small business owner in your state to refuse to provide products or services to gay and lesbian people, if doing so violates their religious beliefs." Two-thirds (66%) of Americans said that refusing service is not OK, but only 44% of Mormons did."

ICSA Annual Conference: The Power of Story
Nori Muster; Sunday, June 26, 2022; 11:00 AM-11:50 AM - online
It's human nature to make up stories, and we all make up our own story. We piece it together with the events we feel shaped our lives. Once we have a fixed story, we learn to play the role of the protagonist. Thus, the story we tell ourselves about ourselves shapes our behavior, the decisions we make, and the life we create for ourselves. As ex-members, we may feel like failures for joining a cult, and our story may reflect our rationalizations to justify our mistakes. Stories based on guilt and grief hold us back. We may think, "that's just the way it is," and believe we can't change it. However, changing our stories can change our lives.
Nori Muster was in the Hare Krishna organization, ISKCON, for ten years, 1978 to 1988. For thirty years after leaving the group, she clung to the negative story about how the cult ruined her life. She believed joining the group was an unforgivable mistake, and she attributed her failures to her parents' divorce in 1970 that traumatized her as a fourteen-year old. This story was embedded in her consciousness for decades and seemed impossible to change. However, in the last three years, through intensive writing and studying her dream journals, Nori created a new, positive life story. Reading over the journal helped because she found the dreams non-judgmental and forgiving of her daytime self. Instead of feeling permanently broken, she has written a new life story of meaningful experiences and love, and she cherishes her younger self. Along with her discussion of story, she will briefly describe the dream journal project she started in 2016. After the presentation, she will take questions and listen to others' stories.
Nori Muster, MS, is the author of Betrayal of the Spirit: My Life Behind the Headlines of the Hare Krishna Movement (University of Illinois Press, 1997), Cult Survivors Handbook: Seven Paths to an Authentic Life (2010), and Child of the Cult (2012). She was an ISKCON member from 1978-1988, then earned her Master of Science degree at Western Oregon University in 1991 doing art therapy with juvenile sex offenders. She is currently a freelance writer and adjunct professor, based in Arizona.

News, Education, Intervention, Recovery



Intervention101.com to help families and friends understand and effectively respond to the complexity of a loved one's cult involvement.

CultRecovery101.com assists group members and their families make the sometimes difficult transition from coercion to renewed individual choice.

CultNEWS101.com news, links, resources.





Cults101.org resources about cults, cultic groups, abusive relationships, movements, religions, political organizations and related topics.

Selection of articles for CultNEWS101 does not mean that Patrick Ryan or Joseph Kelly agree with the content. We provide information from many points of view in order to promote dialogue.

Please forward articles that you think we should add to cultintervention@gmail.com.

No comments: