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Showing posts with the label William Branham Cult

Surviving Through Art (And A Little Humour)

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I want to discuss my sister, briefly, in the safest way I can. The majority of ex-Message Believers I’ve connected with know her more than they know me, because I was gone at 16. So you - if that's you - you'll know who I'm referring to. You’ll agree she is the kindest, gentlest soul.
My heart aches as I realize all she's been through. I wish I could save her but when I try to show her the newspaper articles or the history archives revealing the facts on Branhamism, she tells me “Becky, it makes me happy,” with the saddest eyes. While reading Charity Rissler’s recent memoir and how she managed the confusion of  her Message childhood through art, I'm reminded of Josephine. Her talents always fascinate me. I believe that although she never escaped the cult, she's past the worst times of her life and has gained some independence. So here’s an artistic visual into her past. Our past, despite each of our quirks and different paths. We shared the same family, the same…

My Struggle With Christianity

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One of the last occasions I visited a church was in this photo, a little over a year ago. It was not entirely a religious function but a wedding - a Message wedding. The preacher who once snapped scissors and swung his crutches at me conducted the ceremony. His complexion was zealously flushed, contrasting his collar and even whiter locks of hair. I don't mention names for the sake of peace. His inheritance is worth millions, and in no time my inbox might overflow with threatening legal letters. I’ll choose my battles, though I can promise you every word I say stems from a trauma memory.
The newlyweds were young and beautiful. The fresh-faced bride, my spouse’s relative, had natural hair let down in styled curls. How did Message woman manage to look so effortlessly gorgeous?! Was she loved, confident? How bittersweet. I'd longed to marry in this church, my father walking me down the aisle. My first escape plan involved the fantasy of marriage. But here now with a devilish slit,…

Breaking The Cycle (Graphic)

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Motherly instincts sprouted at a mere 12 years old, when my mother, pale and sick, dropped her newborn into my arms and said, “Here, take him.” She would refuse to leave the house for 6 years following that date; part of it sickness and fear of The Outside World, and part of it punishing my father and not wanting to be seen with him.
I loved the boy she handed me. We did everything together in his toddler years - anything fun and adventurous that could be done in the Middle of Nowhere. He didn't look like my Benjamin doll with the single blonde curl, but he was real, had brown hair, and the greenest, happiest eyes. If I had known he would never again be in my life, I might not have left. I might have held him tighter. I might have fought harder with the government to see that all members of my family were safe instead of focusing on my aversion to foster homes and my own predicament. Maybe a foster home would have been safer for him. I'll never know. 
But I know eventually, afte…

Dear Women Who Want To Leave The Message

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Ladies, all that you've dreamed of is on the other side of fear.  You fear Hell. You fear demon possession by music, even music with good beats and happy lyrics just because it falls under the category of secular. You fear that you'll betray your family if you leave or that they will betray you, disown you. You fear you'll starve on your own. I did. You fear you'll be lonely. You fear you'll be vulnerable to predators. 
How can you survive without knowing who's good or who's bad? It's so easy at Church. The ones in your congregation are safe and everything outside of that is evil. You fear you'll have to break up your family and negatively impact your children. You fear you might even lose your adult children. You fear you'll never find love again. How will you get past the insecurity you might feel in a relationship where women's bodies are accepted? Where a female in clothes revealing her knees or shoulders in front of a significant other i…

Gaslighting (Raw Personal Content)

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What do you you see? I see a flower girl in an 80 dollar dress surrounded by worldly relatives.
I see Mom’s face smiling, sitting pretty in that curtain material she picked out for Sister Rita to sew together. I feel pretty too, for the first time in my life and everyone is telling me it. Screw you, Dad. I want to tear off those fancy stockings and run barefoot through the wedding hall, dancing in circles, singing for joy. 
I hated leotards almost as much as dresses (this one was the exception) because my feet got so hot and sweaty but I knew what Mom would say. Bare feet on you girls arouses your father. I didn’t know then but I think most ordinary Moms would say something like, You shouldn’t run barefoot in wedding halls in case someone breaks a glass.



For one second, my smile faded. Defiance glowered in my eyes. Cold, hard, childish rebellion. Behind me, a forbidden, evil Christmas tree and in front of me, my great Aunt clicking a button. Dad looked on in disgust. I posted this photo …