Spiritual Abuse Survivors

There are a lot of people like me – escapists and refugees from abusive forms of religion – blogging now. The Spiritual Abuse Survivors Blog Network, known by the deeply un-catchy acronym SASBN, is a way of working together to bring all these bloggers to your attention.

I’m proud to be a part of it. Anyone with a blog and a history of spiritual abuse can join, and there are great writers doing valuable work in it. In particular, I love Libby Anne’s, Samantha’s, Lana’s and Bruce’s writing. Please check out the other blogs, especially if you’re recovering from a nasty bout of being bashed about by a church. You’ll definitely find someone you can relate to in this list.

Thanks so much to Vyckie and Calulu for making this happen, and to all the bloggers who make it happen. We make so much more of a difference when we speak together.

No Longer Quivering – Vyckie Garrison

Seeking The Light – Calulu

Love, Joy, Feminism – Libby Anne

The Phoenix and the Olive Branch – Sierra

Wordgazer’s Words – Kristen Rosser

Incongruous Circumspection – Joe Sands

Homeschoolers Anonymous

Permission to Live – Melissa

Baptist Taliban and Beyond – Cindy Foster

Mari’s Muses – Mari

Past Tense Present Progressive – Latebloomer

Dispelled: One Girl’s Journey in a Homeschool Cult - Chandra Bernat

Hopewell Takes on Life!

The Way Forward – Bruce Gerencser

Becoming Worldly

Defeating The Dragons – Samantha

I Am Phoenix – AJ

Wide Open Ground – Lana Hope

Feminist in Spite of Them – Sarah Henderson

Quiver Full of Information

Rethinking Vision Forum

  1. How do I join?

  2. This is the first blog I stumbled across that spoke about ACE, and I just wanted to say thank you so much for validating my feelings held against this school, and against the bigots that misused it. When I found your blog and read a few articles, I cried. I stayed up all night and cried.
    One day I hope to share my story, and I know it can’t be the worst, but every time I try to word it, nothing brings justice to how I felt. I feel so conflicted in criticizing the school and the religion.
    On one hand, I believe it is spiritually abusive and a form of brain washing that must be called out on and stopped. On the other, my headmistress was a genuinely kind person, who even though preached many of these things, I felt like there was a glimmer of compassion in her soul, because she gave her entire life to us children and took nothing for herself. She passed away and the school was disbanded and brought back together under a new name, in a new location, with a new (more greedy) headmaster, and sometimes to speak or think ill of the old school makes me feel guilty for speaking or thinking bad against the dead. I truly loved her and it’s so hard to separate her from the school and the suffering it caused because she owned it.
    Anyway, thank you so much, for being a space with words that I feel finally understand me. You have given me a gift.

  3. Hey Johnny, I too grew up in an ACE school I absolutely hated it. I was the only teenager, it seemed, that believed critical thinking to be a necessary part of education. Our school was held in the church, I was there 6 days a week sometimes twice, youth group, night church etc. The man who ran it and still, to my knowledge, runs it. Was a mad man, I don’t have enough time to write all the crazy shit he did. He was a very angry and arrogant man who, once his daughters had left him, only cracked down harder on the kids still in his mad house,
    I was different I had parents who were and are still amazing, ironically my mom was head supervisor of the school. She’s a great woman, she never wanted what it became, she gave all she had for those kids. Unfortunately she was the only one, the other staff were fascists. I love Rock and Roll everything from the Beatles to AC/DC to the Sex Pistols and Killswitch Engage. Man, did I get in shit for that, almost everyday I heard about the evils of rock music, Now you have to understand I am now a musician, I was a drummer and an electric guitarist at that time, not really acceptable in Christian circles unless your playing “good, Christian music to feed your spirit” I made the mistake of not letting people walk all over me, I stood up for myself and made it clear that I disagreed. I tried getting my friends into my music with me with varying degrees of success, one friend felt so guilty about having metal on his ipod he smashed it with a golf club. I was like the drug dealer, instead of weed I got people music they could never get at their parents house. You see, my parents were not the controlling, domineering nervous wrecks that theirs were. They actually talked to me and valued my view point and opinion. Anyways I would get told how evil and rebellious I was, and how I was dragging these kids to hell with me, after getting yelled at every day for two years I decided to take codeine everyday at lunch this made the afternoon much more tolerable. I did that for quite some time, till my mom started to notice how kids were treated as less than by most of the staff. She started seeing her son, who just wanted to listen to and create music, being yelled at for disagreeing with the slightest thing in that fascist system. Since then my whole family has left that church and school and cut all ties. I’ve never been so happy since then I’ve traveled and met the girl of my dreams and we’re getting engaged in a few months. She knows I’m going to ask her but not exactly when. Wish me luck ;)

  4. Chris A Survivor of Spiritual Abuse

    My spiritual abuse took place some 20 years ago and I am still angry and still recovering from it. I am no longer a Christian. I believe in a God I choose to call my Higher Power. I am also a survivor of incest, physical abuse and emotional abuse.

    I was in a church where I was exhorted to obey my abusive husband who refused to work and support our family. I was told that this church held the “truth” and was the body of Christ. I was told to obey the pastor without question. I even felt I was called to minister in this church.

    I supported my husband and son and was told to obey and respect him. It seemed as though the church was organized to punish women and exalt men. They pastor had a fine time saying that men were the spiritual head of the household. “Woman submit yourself to your own husband,” was a favorite verse. The pastor even set drunken men over our auxiliaries to head them. We were told to submit to our administrative head.

    I was very active in the church. I was a minister, a Sunday School teacher, a member of the choir and head of the drama department. I went to Bible study and committed myself to studying my pastor’s favorite book in the Bible, The Book of Revelations. Constant worry about 666, missing the rapture, valleys overflowing with blood, and plagues being released upon the earth warped my child into holding enormous fear. I too was fearful.

    The pastor seduced me and compelled me to have sex with him. He knew I was an incest survivor, he knew my self esteem was very low, he knew I was devout about obeying the Word of God. These sexual escapades took place several times in his office and in his motor home. He truly did not seem to recognize the horrible damage he was administering.

    I finally left the church, got out of the marriage and moved out of state. I am now with a loving man who supports everything I do. I have written one book about surviving abuse and at the request of my publisher am working on another. I doubt I ever go back to the Christian religion, it feels dangerous to me.

    I am really glad I discovered this forum and have put it on my favorites list. Thank you for allowing me to share my story.

    • Thank you for having the courage to share this, Christine. I hope your example will inspire other people to realise it wasn’t their fault and speak out too. Thanks for commenting, and I’m sorry I took so long to reply.

  5. Interesting blog. I live in the US, and have also experienced manipulation from the church. I currently attend no church at all. I have been disillusioned with organized religion. I used to be an altar boy, a youth leader, a deacon, secretary of religious school, and an usher. I was taught that if I disagree with what the pastor said or commanded, that I was in rebellion against God. I was blinded. But now I have allowed myself to learn and grow spiritually beyond what the church dictates.

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