BootsnAll Travel Network

Epiphany Part Three: Being Courgeous Enough to Leave A Cult

I’ve left.

It got to the point that..I didn’t know what was really going on around me, I was losing touch with myself, and reality.

When you are surrounded by people who believe something entirely different than you, and you’re… begins to work on your mind in some very negative ways.

A man they had me working with began to call me names, telling me I was filthy and disgusting, that everything I did repulsed him. When I reported this behavior, they told me that I had to keep working with him. They told me that I was having this experience because of my behavior in my past lives, and that I had to accept it as true before it would be stop..that I had been running away from this my whole life, that this is what people really thought of me.

I went back out to the man, I tried to work it out with him and he got violent and realy said things to me which I can not repeat.

Somehow, something clicked in me, and I somehow left the place.

I was on automatic, I can’t even remember what happened..or how it all happened,,except that I told them I had to leave and they were saying, no you must deal with this..and I said, I can’t. I can’t-and maybe that makes me a weak person, but I have to go. There is something wrong with you people, with this place. This is a dangerous place.

I had called the London catholic Worker( social justice organization), a few days previously and looked into going and volunteering with them. They had an opening, so we had agreed I would arrive in a few weeks time.

But I ended up calling them and saying, “Can I come today?” and they said yes.

Somehow I got myself to london. I don’t even remember how. I remember feeling exhausted and somewhat dull. My mind was blank.

I have been here for a few days. I volunteered with their projects for two days before I realized that I wasn’t well, that I was actually on automatic and in a state of shock. I talked it out with them, and we agreed I could just stay here for a few days and not work, just rest, while I figured out what to do.

I’ve had some time for rest and reflection, and have decided to head to France, and stay with a reader of this blog for a little while and then just do some recreational traveling, visiting other friends and seeing things of interest-take some time for myself.

It took alot for me to leave that place-and I will go into it in further detail when I have the opportunity to really reflect on it.

There were alot of reasons I didn’t leave earlier: 

 I didn’t want to be judgemental. As a Catholic, there are many people who think Catholics are judgemental, and I wanted to be open minded. I’m trying to bridge some serious gaps in the way people view each other on this trip and striving to find commonality.

I met some very nice, but screwed up people there-and I felt like I couldn’t leave them hanging. I couldn’t just leave.

I thought that the stuff they were doing would not affect me: in the sense that my faith was strong, and I thought I was outside of it.

Whenever I would start to think “something is wrong here”, something to show the opposite would happen. …like a group of schoolchildren would be brought in on a tour or something. Which was very..confusing.

In the end, it took everything I had to leave.

Now, I’ve had a few think, reflect, ponder..and I can see that what they were doing was really affecting my brain and how I was thinking of myself. I began invalidating myself, my decisions, my opinions.

What a scary experience.

For those of you who would say, “Well, didn’t you check it out before you went there? ” And the answer, yes, I did.

The whole experience just goes to show what the world has come to-what are willing to give up, how much people are feeling isolated or stranded or mentally unwell-that a place like this would appeal to so many people. That people are struggling for such a sense of belonging and community that they will agree to give up who they are. That says an awful lot about the mess we’re in as a culture.

So, this trip which was supposed to be about being of service-has now become about alot of other things. Which was to be expected..but not exactly like this. This wasn’t the experience I had in mind.

Anyway, I will be flying to France on Sunday morning.

I’ll write more about the whole experience when I’ve had some time to reflect on it.



16 responses to “Epiphany Part Three: Being Courgeous Enough to Leave A Cult”

  1. michele whitnack says:

    Dear Gigi,
    I am so very glad you left that place!
    I respect your efforts to be understand and compassionate no matter what… but I knew there would be a time when someone there would cross the line and become abusive.
    Take care,

  2. Jan Maltzan says:

    Gigi, I’ve been out of state for almost a month so haven’t been on the computer. To my limited knowledge this was most definitely not Buddhism. Buddha used in name only to twist perceptions, dominate minds and corrupt the most basics of teachings of Buddha.
    Certainly an interesting experience though!
    Enjoy France and Germany. There will be another time for meditation. Jan

  3. Rebrites says:

    You are welcome here in Spain, as well. I know what you´re going through, having been involved in a similar group many years ago.
    You are a courageous woman, and this experience will stay with you a long time… in its own way it is very transformative!

    Rebekah de Moratinos

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