Why Might People Stay In Cults & Abusive Churches?

Something I posted in July on RsqUBF:

Date Posted: 18:45:41 07/20/03 Sun
Author: Joe
Subject: Why might people stay in cults & abusive churches?

Here’s something from the Apologetics Index about why people might stay in cults & abusive churches: http://www.apologeticsindex.org/s26.html?FACTNet

Excerpt:

The first time I saw the parallel between my own experiences in the cult of Scientology and battered women was when I was reading ”Captive Hearts, Captive Minds,” which is an excellent book. It was in the Intro or maybe the first chapter that they cited and quoted the singer Tina Turner who had been in an abusive relationship for something like 10 or 15 years. She remarked how being with Ike Turner was like being in a small cult. The remark jumped off the page at me. Given the success of Tina Turner as an entertainer, one is not prone to say she is a stupid woman but there she was in a marriage where she was beaten constantly and yet she stayed. When she finally escaped, as she tells her story, it was after a beating that left her head so swollen that she couldn’t put on a wig. She wrapped her head in a scarf and fled, taking no money or anything and finally got away from Ike Turner.

One wonders how often she has been asked since, ”Tina, you’re such a talented woman, so intelligent, how could you stay with a man for 10/15 years who was beating you?” Maybe she has an answer in her autobiography. I don’t know. It is on my to-read list. But I know she was asked that question. Every woman who escapes a man who has been beating them must get that question and it is probably the hardest one in the world to answer. After all, it’s not that you don’t KNOW you’re getting beaten. And it didn’t happen just once. Nor twice. It happens week after week, month after month, year after year.

Nor are these women locked up. The husband goes off to work, for example, and she has a car. She gets in the car and she goes to the store, buys food, and brings it home, to the very place where she is being beaten and she makes dinner. She doesn’t keep driving. SHE COMES BACK. To what? More abuse.

It was back around 1991 when I first said to myself about UBF, “I can’t stand this cult anymore. I need to get out.” I stayed 10 more years, and in those 10 years said the same thing to myself several more times after experiencing or witnessing abuse after abuse. I am not the only one who has done that. A certain “spiritual giant” in Chicago has reportedly done that more than once. UBF praises people who “overcome their human emotion” and decide not to “run away.” But each time that we say to ourselves, “I can’t stand this any more,” and “overcome our human emotion,” it does not make us better, it does not make us better Christians, it does not make us better human beings. It makes us worse, it only worsens the hurt, it only deepens the wounds.

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