Tag Archives: Cults

When You Don’t Need Anger Anymore

Words of wisdom for anyone who thinks “once a fundamentalist always a fundamentalist”, or that former cult members continue to be motivated by reactionary anger – spoken by one who escaped the ignorance of a cult upbringing, Tara Westover:

Anger has a role to play. Anger is a mechanism our brains use to get us — it’s a self-defence mechanism — your brain tells you to be angry so you get yourself out of situations that will do you harm.

Once you’re away, once you’re safe, you don’t need anger anymore. You can let it go and live a better life without it.

That’s from around the 40 minute mark of a broadcast interview with Tara Westover on ABC – Conversations. That’s the Australian ABC. The summary on the webpage:

Tara grew up in rural Idaho, in the shade of the Rocky Mountains.

Her family was ruled by her father, a radical Mormon survivalist who thought the End of Days was upon them.

His distrust of government meant Tara had no birth certificate and was home-schooled, which really meant she worked in her father’s junkyard.

When she became a teenager, her brother became violently abusive towards her.

Tara taught herself in secret and was admitted to Brigham Young University in Utah.

From there she went to Cambridge and Harvard, and had to educate herself about the wider world.

The interview was enlightening, so refreshing to listen to someone who has thought about her experiences in a constructive way. I’ll have to read her book, too.

 

Waco (the background story)

James Haught of Daylight Atheism has posted the historical pathway that led to the Branch Davidians and the Waco disaster beginning from the Millerite movement of 1843 and 1844.

The Story Behind Waco’s Tragedy

David who had a thing for feet sees Bathsheba washing her . . . .

It’s a story of dashed idealism, sordid and cruel moments, the power of belief, and too much that I can personally relate to. I watched the TV mini-series on the Waco story late last year and, as I expected, found myself too easily able to identify with some of the followers. My experience was with the Worldwide Church of God. Not that that was my only experience with religion, but it was the one that echoed aspects of the Branch Davidians history.

One moment in the movie that left me shaking my head in all too believable “disbelief” was when one of the most loyal followers of Dave Koresh was challenged by an outsider pointing to some of Koresh’s blatant moral failings. With unshakable faith the loyal follower replied that he wished with all his being that God had chosen anyone else except Vernon Howell (who took the name Dave Koresh) to be his prophet because he could scarcely imagine a less likeable person, . . .  BUT, he was the one God had chosen, and he had to accept that, and submit to God’s will.

How often did the ministry in the Worldwide Church of God, especially the upper leadership, find opportunities to preach the message of King David, a “man after God’s own heart”, chosen by God, and David’s moral failings, his adultery, his murders, made no difference. Those who rebelled against this David when he was getting older and losing his grip on the kingdom were the ones led by Satan against “God’s anointed”.

The hypocrisy, the self-serving message, it’s all sickening in hindsight. But that’s how many of us were. If it hadn’t been the Armstrongs I suppose in another time and place it could have been Vernon Howell and it could have been me there. The one “saving grace” for the Worldwide Church of God was that it’s top leader was old and had no desire to give up his comforts or put himself in any serious physical risks. Those things come so much more easily to one in his early 30s. (For a number of years we were seriously expecting our leader to be given a vision or sign that would be the signal for us to “flee” to a “place in the wilderness”.)

James Haught rounds off his post

it’s unsettling to realize that some people among us are capable of believing far-out fantasies, enough even to die for them

I think there’s a slight misunderstanding in there. The processes that lead some of us to join extremist political groups responsible for terrorist attacks, I believe, are very similar to those that lead some into extremist religious cults. The radicalization processes are the same. It’s not that some people are somehow predisposed to believe or act out bizarre things (maybe some are, but they aren’t usually the ones who are accepted into extremist groups) but that so much depends on a person’s background experiences, close integration with a supportive social group, and circumstances at the time. Thankfully many people find that hard to believe because they cannot imagine themselves in the sort of condition and circumstances that begin to subtly lead them into a gradual acceptance of “the bizarre”.

 

Discovering Why “Even Atheists” Deplore Jesus Mythicism. (Or, Thoughts on “Cult Atheism”)

This is an exploratory essay, not much more than a diary of disorganized thoughts on my recent experience with an atheist discussion forum.

After much delay I finally enrolled as a member of the Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA) Forums to contribute to a discussion on the historicity of Jesus. I had been encouraged by the report that a growing number of members there appeared to be open to the view that Jesus possibly had no historical existence but I still should have done my own homework on the nature of the site and character of its members before submitting my first comment there. After thinking over my time there and doing some rather belated review of the forum (or congregation of forums) I believe that the best comparison I can make to that “atheist community” is that it is very like a religious cult. It is certainly a form of a religious or church substitute for the newly faithless or for the long-time faithless who have never managed to outgrow their childish level of thrill at discovering they can break rules and social norms (like, ooh, so very naughtily using offensive words as often as they feel like it) without the fear of hell hanging over them.

I also think I finally understand why so many atheists viciously attack the Christ Myth theory.

Before continuing let me list a little of the distant and immediate background to my thoughts. Firstly, I spent too many years in a religious cult in addition to a number of years doing a lot of reading of works by psychologists and others who explained the cult experience and provided assistance in recovery. (See the links in the side bar to Vridar profiles for a few details.) I know a little about cults and the cult experience. Secondly, I have recently read the following and these have no doubt more immediately helped crystallize certain thoughts on the AFA experience:

  • Do intelligent people realize that they are smarter than anyone else surrounding them?
  • Herwig, Holger H. 1987. “Clio Deceived: Patriotic Self-Censorship in Germany after the Great War.” International Security 12 (2): 5–44. https://doi.org/10.2307/2538811.
  • Benda, Julien. 2006. The Treason of the Intellectuals. Translated by Roger Kimball. New Brunswick, NJ: Routledge. (Originally published 1928 by William Morrow, NY.) 
    • —  I took up the Benda book in pursuing an argument made some time ago by Noam Chomsky. The Treason of the Intellectuals foreshadows Chomsky’s criticisms of today’s liberal intellegentsia. It was the Herwig article on German intellectuals that reminded me to finish reading Benda at last.

When I became an atheist I don’t recall ever having the slightest interest in searching for and associating with “an atheist community”. When I heard that such communities did exist I was perplexed. What could they possibly have in common? Atheism simply means not believing in the existence of supernatural powers. That’s hardly a basis for a club of any sort. Haven’t atheists been responsible for historic crimes against humanity? I am sure many atheists are as burdened with ugly prejudices and bigotries as anyone else. And one hardly needs to be a Stephen Hawking to come to the conclusion that “there is no god” so I squirmed in some pain when I read Richard Dawkins’ suggesting that atheists should call themselves “Brights”.

But look at the AFA Forums site. It’s like a church or cult website, a place where all the converted (or de-converted) can go to find “like-minded” people, others with presumably an accommodating perspective, to discuss any problem in life:

There is a place where you can introduce yourself and be welcomed; just like a church group where all new members are welcomed, or screened.

Then there is a “Getting Started” room for those “new to the [faith or lack thereof]” can find mutual assistance.

But I love the “conversion stories” page. “Coming Out Stories”, its called, and I am reminded of so many church gatherings where people stand up and share their stories about how they came to Christ.

Next we see a space where one can learn about an “atheists’ viewpoints on things . . . . to better understand the atheist worldview”! Do you see what is happening here? Atheism is being presented as a group identity that sets apart its members as different from others. How many atheists have really needed to consult a community or “nonspiritual” guides to learn the “atheist viewpoint or worldview” on things?

I should at this point backtrack to the site’s banner: AFA Forums is identified as “a celebration of reason”.

Ah yes, the place for the Brights. I will return to the irony of that banner’s logo.

And just like so many fundamentalist type churches we have community-run places where members can share and learn how to resolve

  • Family matters
  • Educational issues
  • Ethics and justice
  • Women’s issues
  • Sexuality issues
  • Mental health issues
  • Political issues . . .

How convenient. It sure helps to have a place to go to relieve one of the anxiety of having to think through such questions truly independently and with one’s own research and reflection. Safety, security, nurturing, … all in the group.

Again just as cults and evangelicals have literature and go-to persons for information on science questions (how do we answer this or that question, for example) AFA helpfully provides forums to share that sort of knowledge, too.

Of course there is also the obligatory magazine. Presumably this is in part meant to evangelize and in part meant to support existing members.

Nor, of course, is the enemy forgotten. There are places one can discuss the enemies of the Brights and the Free: places bearing signs such as read more »

6 Tips for Deprogramming Trump followers (and Clinton’s? and Others….)

Cult deprogramming might sound extreme so first a wise word I wish I had taken on board some time ago:

Bear in mind the difference between an actual cult and a cult following.

There’s a big difference between Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, and Jim Jones, and Charlie Manson, and David Koresh, Shoko Asahara.

It was not a wise choice of words when I described many of Acharya S’s followers as “cult-like” in their thinking. My words were construed to mean that I was saying they themselves constituted a cult despite my efforts to explain otherwise. But in reality that was only one of my many sins in their view and I am not sure following the points below would have made any difference at all to the animosity they continue to have towards me. Still, not following the points below is an absolute guarantee that one’s efforts to “deprogram” a person with “cultish” type thinking will fail.

The points and the quotations are all taken from David Feguson‘s article, Cult Deprogrammer: Here’s How to Stage an Intervention for Your Trump-Supporting Friend on Alternet. The article addresses Trump followers but I’ve added a tilt towards HRC in my own title. That was my attempt to make the following points more general. They apply the best of times to any communication attempting to persuade someone to think differently.

How does one approach someone who comes across as “stubbornly resistant to facts” and blind to an “idol’s” hypocrisy?

  • Approach the person with respect

It is important to frame your intervention as an act of caring and support. Otherwise, the person will feel that they have been ambushed, and they will go on the defensive.

read more »

Holy Hell: What life in a cult was like

What life in a cult was like: “We gave away our critical thinking and moral code and surrendered it to him” — Gary Kramer writes about his interviews with former disciples of Buddhafield, including disciple filmmaker of Holy Hell.

Buddhafield espoused starkly different teachings and practices from the Christian cult I belonged to — and both Buddhafield and Christian cults are very different from Islamist political/terrorist “cults” I have spoken about before. The similarities, however, are also very real. I quote from Kramer’s interview those points that also point to my experience and what I have read in the research about terrorist cells.

What led to involvement? Will Allen (WA):

I was on a quest for happiness. I was pretty burned out from college. I liked the teachings I heard, and the people I met, and that was the beginning of the end. I was young and looking for some kind of secret to life—how to live my life and give it purpose.

Another member (David Christopher – DC) replied:

We were looking for something deeper. Our families are a cult. I have a new definition for cult: a group or organization that inhibits your thinking through guilt, shame, or coercion. That can be your family, it can be your church. . . . Most everyone in our community wanted something more—they saw something under the veil and wanted more than just the superficial, and that’s how they entered into this.

You can’t just join the Buddhafield. It’s hard to get in. It’s selective, and secretive. I realized quickly that there was something going on. I wasn’t invited in. There was a process you needed to go through… Eventually you get invited. . . . It was “this is more your family,” and I felt that way—it was way more intimate than my own family.

Why stay?

It’s like any relationship. You find the good and hold on to that as long as you can and overlook all the negatives. . . . (WA)

The craziness wasn’t really apparent for most of us. I’d like to say 80 percent of it is so fricking amazing that you can live in this state of bliss. And 20 percent was a little weird but you say, “I’m not going to look at that part.” (DC)

Comment on the culture, the rules:  read more »

Cults & Terrorists in Christianity and Islam

Several scholarly works (and yours truly, too) have observed significant parallels between the mechanisms that lead people to join “extremist” Christian cults and those that lead others to join radicalised Islamic groups.

Many of us blame the religion of Islam and the Quran for terrorists. Should Christianity and the Bible be held to account for those cults that tear families apart and are directly responsible for deaths of children and others because of willful neglect of medical treatment and indirectly responsible for suicides, and a host of other financial, psychological and social pain and suffering?

Of course Islam is to blame for terrorism, many argue — Just look at those terrible verses in the Quran. And of course at one level it is self-evident that we could not have “Islamic terrorism” without Islam just as it is tautological to blame Christianity for “Christian cults”.

The critics I am talking about, however, mean something more than the obvious tautology. They dismiss the arguments of Muslims themselves to the contrary and point to the Quran or Hadith. Islamic terrorists justify their crimes by these Islamic works so it follows that the religion of Islam is responsible for terrorism, the argument goes.

I have run into this viewpoint most recently this morning in a post by “apologist James Bishop” [link https://jamesbishopblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/islam-an-undesirable-class-situation/ no longer exists: Neil Godfrey, 24th July 2019] James attempted in vain to argue that a Muslim speaker was actually “lying” about her religion by trying to dissociate it from terrorism. James instead pointed to the passages that he believed the terrorists would use to justify their own religious beliefs. Others in his class replied that there are also terrible passages in the Bible. James wanted to argue his own interpretation (for him, the “plain reading”) of these “supposedly” terrible Biblical verses but was overwhelmed by the numbers opposing his claims.

Let’s compare this situation with a Christian cult. The cult to which I belonged emphatically took the Bible (so we sincerely believed) at its word. So much so that we believed other Christians were lukewarm or deceiving themselves (lying?) when they chose to respond differently to some of the Bible’s strongest demands.

  • All who followed Christ would suffer persecution, Jesus said. Most Christians were not being persecuted so “obviously” according to the Bible they were not truly following Christ. They may have been saying, “Lord, Lord” but Jesus said he would cast them out for not actually doing what he commanded.
  • Christ came to bring a sword; not peace. He promised divided families. He said anyone who loves mother or father more than him is not worthy of him. Leave the dead to bury their dead. We were commanded to leave and forsake all to follow God. And that’s what we did.
  • Have faith in God. Without faith we had no chance in the day of judgment. Could we trust God when he commanded us to keep the sabbath, to tithe, to rely upon him for healing — even to the point of losing one’s job, of being unable to afford decent food or clothes or pay the rent or petrol for the car to get to work, or death? If not, we had no chance of making it into the Kingdom of God. Would we refuse to be conscripted into the army and go to jail?
  • Would we live by every word of God in the Bible? Would we follow and submit to his ministry “as they followed God”? And knowing “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft” would we submit even if we saw them sin?

Now most Christians would interpret and apply the biblical passages I refer to above differently from the way we did. Does that mean that most Christians are not “true Christians” or that they are “lying” about their religion?

Of course not.

It means that a person’s religious beliefs are to be found in the mind and practices of the person professing them, not in an outsider’s critical view of their holy book. In fact, if an outsider did accuse most Christians of “lying” or deceiving themselves about their own faith because they did not follow the Bible literally (or “fatuously” as someone preferred to describe it) they would in fact be asserting the prior truth of the cultist as the “true Christianity”. Maybe it was, originally. But that’s irrelevant for what it is and means for most Christians today.

Does it mean the Bible and Christianity are responsible for Christian cults. In a sense, yes, but indirectly, surely. To understand why some, a few, do become cult members we do better to look beyond the Bible and Christianity itself, however. That’s what my previous post (How Radicalization Happens to Them and Us) is in part about.

 

Understanding Extremist Religion

An inevitable question arising out of my preceding two posts that attempt to set out the fundamentals of Neil Van Leeuwen’s analysis of the nature of “religious belief/credence” is where extremist views fit in. This is a topic I’ve broached several times before from different perspectives and hope to again as I get through more readings from various fields (e.g. anthropology, philosophy). In this post I add Van Leeuwen’s comment.

First, to recap:

Characteristics of Factual Belief

1. Factual belief is independent of its practical setting

We can believe our ancestor can see but this credence is elicited by ritual or religious moments and never changes our belief that the ancestor is a lifeless corpse. 

2. Factual beliefs have cognitive governance

The reverse is not true: we may imagine people really do turn into animals but do not worry we are eating a person when eating a pig. 

3. Factual beliefs are vulnerable to evidence

Failed predictions like the Y2K fear are forgotten; failed predictions in religions are maintained by adding further credences to them.

Characteristics of Religious Credence

1. Religious credence is dependent on its ritual and religious places and moments; it is not independent of its practical setting

We can believe our ancestor can see but this credence is elicited by ritual or religious moments and never changes our belief that the ancestor is a lifeless corpse.

2. Religious credence does not govern factual beliefs

We may believe people turn into animals but do not worry we are eating a person when eating a pig. Creationists rely upon clusters of other religious credences to maintain their opposition to the facts of geology.

3. Religious credence is not vulnerable to evidence

Failed predictions like the Y2K fear are forgotten; failed predictions in religions are maintained by adding further credences to them.

4. Perceived Normative Orientation

Credences structure behaviour towards “the good” and away from “the bad”.

5. Free Elaboration

Credences can be elaborated and imaginatively extended (e.g. God is more angry with people in your city today than with those in Hell); one cannot elaborate factual beliefs.

6. Vulnerability to Special Authority

Devotees can accept empirical failings in a guru but not moral hypocrisy.

.

Van Leeuwen sees extremist credence as another cognitive attitude that needs defining.

So what are the characteristics of extremist credence?  Note that 1 and 2 overlap with properties of factual beliefs: read more »

How Religious Cults and Terrorist Groups Attract Members

frictionThere are interesting parallels between the processes that lead some people to join both religious cults and terrorist groups. If you once joined a cult you will very likely recognize some of the pathway others have walked to become members of a group responsible for violent terror attacks.

If you joined a religious cult you knew that others thought you were a bit weird. Numerous accounts of those who joined terrorist organizations show that those becoming interested in an extremist group were aware their families and wider society would try to talk them out of it so they kept their interest secret from everyone except others, if any, whom they knew shared their views.

Joining either means turning one’s back on society and immersing oneself totally in an alien way of life.

Jerrold Post appears to have been the first to recognize that cult recruiting can provide a useful model of terrorist recruiting. The analogy begins by noting that individuals who join either a cult or a terrorist group are likely to be characterized as “crazy.” Both a cult and a terrorist group require a level of commitment that most people find difficult to comprehend.

McCauley, Clark; Moskalenko, Sophia (2011-02-02). Friction: How Radicalization Happens to Them and Us (Kindle Locations 1709-1711). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition. — (My bolding and formatting in all quotations)

McCauley and Moskalenko in Friction: How Radicalization Happens to Them and Us take up this comparison.

Here we focus on recruitment to the Unification Church (UC) of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. The UC is generally regarded as a cult, and, more important, there is an unparalleled research literature for this group. A 1965 report by Lofland and Stark titled “Becoming a World Saver” chronicled the beginnings of the UC in America, and the surprise value of the report was its emphasis on the importance of social networks in religious conversion.

read more »

My Last Days In the Cult: My Exit Story

caf43cedf899d2c59372b595867434d414f4141About 15 years ago I placed online a short account of how I came to find a new life, a new way of thinking and of self-acceptance after too many years as a dedicated member of the Worldwide Church of God Armstrong cult. I was one of many ex-members of that cult to add their little bios to that site. We felt it worthwhile to share our experiences to encourage others who were grappling with the various stresses and challenges of unraveling the thought-habits of years and finding a much healthier way of life as we had done. Above all we wanted to assure them that there really was a better life beyond and it was never too late to change one’s life’s direction. Recently I realized that there was one aspect of my final years in that cult, the years immediately preceding my leaving that cult, that I have very rarely spoken about in public forums. Given that there has recently appeared in print a charming little account of my former life that conveys a bizarre image of my former and current psychological makeup I thought it might be worthwhile for me to share for anyone half interested what my final years in that former religion were like.  (I say it was a “bizarre” account. I must refrain from using the word “dishonest” because I am sure the author would certainly have taken the trouble to have interviewed me and asked a few basic questions had he the time. It is quite understandable that busy people would need to rely upon stereotyping and armchair psychoanalysis to find the profile they need to prove their points about someone they wish to denigrate.)

First chinks in the armour

The first slight cracks in my faith in the teachings of the cult came when I decided to study in depth each book of the Bible as a discrete unit, as if it were not part of the canon. I would even try to read it as if I knew absolutely nothing at all about anything else in the Bible. That is, I would try to read each book to try to ascertain what it was saying in its own terms — without any reference in my own mind to any other canonical work. Of course most books, especially in the New Testament, do contain references to other biblical books. But I did not want to read, say, Romans, with any baggage in my head from what any other letter or gospel said. That process led to some interesting results. I began to see that some of the church’s teachings were really founded on unjustifiable interpretations. What’s more, I began to notice many passages that I had once read so often but also passed over so often without realizing their full import for the message the author was trying to convey. I took a number of questions to our ministry and earned myself a few worried looks. I was beginning to realize I was coming to understand and know more about what the Bible says than our trained ministry. I could see that they had not been taught to study the Bible as such but only to study the church’s teachings in the Bible. read more »

Revival Fellowship churches

I’m interested in learning more about the Revival Fellowship churches. If anyone knows of any reliable sources of information its governance model, history, strategies and methods of promotion, conversion methods, personal experiences, please do respond here or, if you’d prefer, email me directly at neilgodfrey1 [AT] gmailDOTcom

Many thanks,
Neil

40 years ago: Denis Rohan and the Road to the Apocalypse

2

Some of my old friends in what was the Radio Church of God, which was later renamed the Worldwide Church of God, will remember well enough

Denis Michael Rohan who in 1969 brought their cult religion (and Australia) into international notoriety when he started a fire in the Al Aqsa mosque in order to hurry up apocalyptic end-time events.

Australian Radio National has what looks like a fairly comprehensive archive of interviews, videos, images, literature, court proceedings about Denis Rohan and what can lead a person to do such a thing. See their Background Briefing archive Rohan and the Road to the Apocalypse.

I suspect members of the Herbert Armstrong cult (Radio Church of God) at the time were more focussed on what the publicity meant for them — cultic fear of persecution and all that — to have noticed that this one time one person crazy event had a profound significance on Arab politics vis a vis the State of Israel. This is discussed in the Background Briefing archive. It appears that the threat of the destruction of this mosque actually catalyzed a united front on the part of the Arab states that not even the 1967 war only two years earlier had failed to accomplish.

One interesting point that emerged (new to me at any rate) was the notion of the Jerusalem Syndrome. Apparently (unsurprisingly) there is something about just being in the vicinity of Jerusalem that can activate unstable mental tendencies in some.

There’s an interesting comment by Tel Aviv Professor of Religion and expert on the Jerusalem Syndrome, Alexander Van Der Haven, at the end of a program interview:

You can either use religious language to make people more extreme, make people jihadists, or you can try to in the case of Islam, you can try to emphasise more moderate beliefs in the Qu’ran, more moderate traditions. So this is the very interesting thing of religion, that people tend to regard religious beliefs as very absolute, they mean one specific thing. But in reality you can do many different things with it. Somebody might have been able to convince Denis Rohan that you shouldn’t act upon your beliefs, this is something allegorical, instead you should pick flowers in this and this garden, and one might have been able to convince him. I think what you can learn from these cases, religion is very flexible, it can lead to the most aggressive destructive behaviour and it can also lead to more quietistic behaviour. The Jerusalem Syndrome is an instance of people who act in a very strange way on certain religious discourses and stories, which of course religion has, especially in Christianity, you have the Book of Revelation, in Judaism you have this emphasis on the Temple and the hope for the restoration of the Temple. So our religious scriptures offer these extreme possibilities. I think basically you can manipulate these for the good and for the worst.

It appears Rohan was converted to the beliefs of the Radio Church of God by well-meaning members while he was in a mental institution. Rohan came to see himself as The Branch prophesied to become king over Jerusalem — partly as a result of a message given from the “Rowan tree” outside the window of his mental institution room.

I seem to recall a rumour that he also found his name in the Bible as Nahor, which of course was the Hebrew right to left reading of Rohan.

The interesting potentials that can arise from our propensity to look for and find patterns around us!

Background Briefing also includes an interesting article by Scott Lupo, University of Nevada, describing one of the processes by which Armstrong persuaded many to join his church.

Download (PDF, 53KB)

No doubt Rohan found religion helped him become an outwardly healthy person in many ways, giving him a sense of purpose in life. But like so many things dear to humans, it is also a two-edged sword.

“Recovery from Religion” – new website for ex-fundamentalists

Marlene Winell is involved in building a new website, Recovery from Religion.

read more »

Death cults and indoctrination

Two excellent interviews today on Radio National‘s The Spirit of Things program, one with cult counsellor Steven Hassan discussing the techniques of mind control and recruitment used for certain suicide and Islamic cults, comparing them with more traditional cults such as the Moonies; another with Abdel Bari Atwan, Editor-in-Chief of the London-based Arabic newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi, who first interviewed Osama bin Laden in 1996, discussing the desperation and indoctrination that leads people to join these groups.

Link to the interviews (podcast, livestreaming … transcript soon) and background details of the interviewees.

Points of interest that struck me with the interviews — read more »

Finding Home

I last night read a biographical account of a young sceptic returning to his old religion and what hit me was his description of it as “finding home” at long last. It hit me because those words were the same that came to my mind when I found a faith and a people sharing that faith years ago. And years later after leaving that faith and looking back I saw how that’s what I had been wanting. Home. And even after leaving the faith I still felt the ‘at home’ feeling with some of the people who remained behind. read more »