"Faith" (Updated July 27th below in red fonts.)

by Mary Ellen Humphrey

The Painful Truth will post on this blog, excerpts of this book for your review. The complete book will follow shortly. This novel is based on her WCG experiences.  There is a little ‘generic’ flavoring to it to include other similar groups. Reading this really strikes at the heart, to understand what it was like as a kid growing up in a cult!

Feel free to comment. The author, Mary Ellen Humphrey is more than willing to respond to your questions or comments.

Time heals all things. So they say. Unfortunately
exploitation in the name of God occurs more often than
most realize. Don’t be so sure only the frail and weak fall
victim although that would certainly be bad enough. This
kind of scam can and does happen to all ages and to all
levels of education. It knows no limits and has no
Such experiences cut your soul like broken glass.
And the sad result—the most devastating loss is not
one’s possessions, not one’s dignity. All those may be
It’s the loss of one’s faith.

Chapter 1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1
What is faith? Where does it come from? How do
you find it? How do you know if you truly have it?
Faith, Kathleen and Rachel were young, hopeful, and
filled with anticipation. Their whole lives lay ahead, full of
promise. They were three different young women drawn
together by each one’s individual desire to find a perfect
future. They were certain that their lives were going to be
better than their own family experiences. They believed
it with all their heart. They had faith.
It all began in the spring of 1970…..in Montpelier,
Faith rounded the corner from her home heading
towards the high school from which she would soon
graduate. She stopped at the enclosed bus stop and put
her book bag down on the bench. She glanced around
nervously, and then rolled her skirt waistband up, bringing
her skirt length from below her knees to a length a few
inches above them. The girls at school were wearing
miniskirts and hot pants, pushing the limits of the school
dress code and testing the administration. Yesterday, her
friend Alice was sent home to change after careful
examination and measurements by the principal’s
secretary. Alice wore her notoriety like a badge of honor,
but Faith knew better. If she were ever sent home for
improper dress, it would just kill her parents.

When I’m on my own I am going to buy myself nice storemade
clothes and stop looking like a freak, Faith promised
From her school bag she pulled out a small travel
case. Inside she kept her makeup. Her mother had
almost found it last week when she started rummaging in
the bag looking for Faith’s lunch container. Faith knew her
mother would have punished her severely if she found the
makeup. It was forbidden for women to wear any makeup
in God’s True Church. The worst punishment would be
her parent’s disappointment, and that was Faith’s greatest
fear. She didn’t want to let them down. But they didn’t have to go
to school, and if they did, she knew they’d understand why she broke
the rules just a little.
She applied some pink lipstick, blue eye shadow and
mascara. She untied the tidy black velvet bow holding her
hair in a ponytail and let her straight strawberry blond hair
flow along her shoulders.
I’m not as strong as the other church girls are, Faith
thought. They think I’m strong. They assume I am because
Mom and Dad are so deeply converted. But I’m not.
“Hey, beautiful!”
“Billy! I didn’t see you. How long have you been
watching me?”
The young man smiled. “I just got here. You don’t
need that stuff. You are gorgeous just as you are!” He
stepped closer and closed his arms firmly around her. She
closed her eyes and smiled. He kissed her affectionately
on her cheek.
Faith blushed and stood back, but he held her hands.
“You are beautiful,” he said. “Look at your skin. It’s
flawless. And you have the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen.”
He stroked her long blond hair. “I love you, Faith.”
“Billy, stop. You know we shouldn’t…” Faith pulled
away reluctantly.

“Come on,” Billy said. “We’re going to be late for
Alice nudged Faith who was reaching into her locker.
“Hey girl. I saw you walk in with Billy. You two going
“No. Nothing like that,” Faith said. “We’re just
“Well, I think it’s cute. You make the perfect couple.”
Alice scrutinized Faith’s outfit with a curved eyebrow, but
she didn’t make any comments. “Some of us are going to
sneak into the theater Saturday night to see that new
movie, Mash. You want to come?”
“Um, I can’t.”
“Oh, you’re such a square, Faith. I thought the
preacher’s daughter was the one who always got into the
most trouble. Don’t you ever have any fun?”
“My Dad isn’t a preacher…” Faith started to explain.
“Hey, I ‘m just razzing you. Don’t sweat it.”
Faith tried to explain. “We’re going to New
Hampshire this weekend. I won’t be around.”
“That’s cool. What’s going on in New Hampshire?”
Faith regretted mentioning it. She didn’t want to tell
her friend she went to New Hampshire every weekend for
church services. “We’re visiting family,” she said.
“Groovy. Hey, I’ll see you at lunch. Some of us are
eating out on the track field. It’s so nice, you know spring
fever—see you there.” Alice hurried down the hall.
“Groovy,” Faith said to herself. She smiled as she
remembered Billy. “Yeah, I am feeling kinda groovy.” She
headed towards her class.
Graduation was only a few weeks away. Classes were
mostly a formality for the seniors. Faith’s mind wandered
as she sat through English, and math, and study hall. She
hurried when the lunch bell rang and met up with her

friends at the track field. Alice was smiling and talking with
several other girls who moved over on the bench to make
room for Faith. One of them turned on a small transistor
radio and tuned in to a music station.
“Alice says you and Billy are going together,” one of
the girls said.
Faith glanced at Alice who had a mischievous look in
her eye. Faith smiled. “Well, not exactly going together.”
“What then?”
“We’re friends.”
“Oh, we believe that. I saw how he looked at you.
He’s whipped,” Alice said.
Faith smiled. “Oh, can you turn up the radio. I love
that song.”
The radio belted out a new release from the Poppy
Family. Faith had heard the song a few times when she
played her radio in her room at night while she studied.
Susan Jack’s angelic voice sang out, “which way you going,
Billy. Can I go too?” There wasn’t much to the song,
mostly a repeat of the chorus, but it touched Faith.
“Look, she’s moonstruck!” one of the girls said. They
all giggled. Faith giggled too, but deep down the song’s
words meant something she knew her friends could never
Time dragged that afternoon as Faith sat through two
more classes—history and sociology. All the real work
was done, but the teachers tried to keep the students
interested. Faith listened as her teacher talked about
current affairs. President Nixon had reinstated the draft.
Faith worried about Billy. Would he have to go to
Vietnam? Would any of their fellow students end up
there? The school had a memorial wall in the entrance
way with the names of former students who’d gone to
Vietnam, those who served, those who’d been injured, and
those who never returned. She recognized some of the
names, but she hadn’t known any of them personally.

Faith passed it every day without much thought, but
now, she worried. Her younger brother was only 16, but
what if the war continued for several more years. He
would have to be a conscientious objector. It was
required by God’s True Church. But Billy didn’t belong to
the church. He’d have to go. She listened intently as the
teacher explained how the draft lottery worked, how each
male had to register for the draft when he turned 18, and
how his birth date would determine his standing regarding
the draft.
Faith’s family didn’t watch television. They didn’t even
own a set. But she could listen to the news on her radio,
and she could read the newspapers. She had to know
Billy’s fate, even if they weren’t destined to be together.
Faith glanced up at the clock in the classroom. School
would be out in a few moments. It would soon be time to
return to her proper self. She thought it odd how she was
two different people, and how she could almost forget her
religious obligations when she was at school. But now she
must transition back to the true Faith, the girl she was
supposed to be.
She said good-bye to her friends and headed down the
street towards
her home. I wonder if I really fool any of them, she
thought as she walked along. Maybe they are just being
polite. Suddenly, Faith felt a pang of anger. What if they feel
sorry for me, she thought. Her face flushed with
humiliation. Why can’t I just be a normal kid?
Billy ran up behind her. “Faith, wait up,” he called.
She stopped and turned around. She smiled. “Can I walk
you home?” he asked.
She paused and his expression turned to concern.
She could see his insecurity about their friendship. She
knew she shouldn’t lead him on. There was no future in

their relationship. But still she reached towards him and
took his hand. He smiled.
“Sure. Just to the corner, okay? My folks wouldn’t,
uh, well, just to the corner, okay?” Her face was hot and
she knew her pale white skin was now red with
embarrassment. How could she explain this to Billy or any
of her friends at school? They would never understand.
“It’s okay, Faith,” Billy said, squeezing her hand
reassuringly. “My folks are old-fashioned, too.”
“Really?” she said, relieved.
“I know what it’s like,” he said.
“I doubt that,” Faith answered, “but I’d love for you to
walk with me.”
They walked while holding hands. Faith loved this
new feeling—this friendship feeling was like none she’d
ever experienced. Often she would date older men in the
church, but none of them ever made her feel this way or
this happy. “Do you know what you are doing after
graduation?” Billy asked.
“I’m not sure,” Faith answered carefully. “College
probably. My parents want me to go to the school they
both attended in California.” She didn’t tell Billy that it
was a religious college run by God’s True Church,
designed to prepare young people for roles in the ministry.
Males were to become ministers. Females were to
become help-mates and proper minister’s wives.
“Why so far away?” he asked somberly.
“Well, I’m not sure yet that I’m going,” Faith
answered. “It’s a pretty choosy college. Not everyone
gets in, and they don’t decide until July.”
“Do you want to go there?”
“It’s an honor if I’m chosen. And my folks will be very
pleased.” Faith answered.
“You didn’t answer my question. Do YOU want to

Faith walked silently. She hadn’t allowed herself to
consider this question. She should want to go. Everyone
in the church wanted to be chosen to go. But it felt like
an extension of the stifling conditions she’d grown up in—
no freedom, no opportunity to truly be herself.
Billy stopped and turned towards her, looking intently
into her eyes. “I wish you wouldn’t go so far away,” he
said. “Tell me you are looking at closer schools so I can
have some hope.”
Faith sighed. Other schools were out of the question.
Her only other option was marriage to a church member,
a marriage chosen by the ministry. They arrived at the bus
stop and stepped inside.
Billy leaned in and whispered, “You know I’m crazy
about you.”
She leaned in closer. “I like you, too. But we can’t
get involved. I told you already—that isn’t possible.” She
bit her quivering lip.
“I guess I just don’t believe that,” he said. “And I
don’t give up that easy.” He kissed her. She didn’t stop
him. There was some privacy within the bus stop
enclosure. She closed her eyes. Her heart raced. She felt
a rush of emotions she’d never felt before. This is wrong!
Her inner voice warned. A good Christian girl doesn’t do this!
“Stop,” she whispered. He kissed her again, his lips
hot with passion pressing on to her lips, and she held him
tightly. This is supposed to be saved for my future husband.
Disloyalty! Wickedness! Her mind scolded her. A virtuous
woman wouldn’t do this! She didn’t want to hear it. All the
endless sermons and warnings couldn’t stop the passion of
the moment. She didn’t allow herself to think, only to feel,
and it felt wonderful.
When Billy groaned and kissed her harder, she pushed
his hands away from her body. “No, I can’t. I have to go
home now.”
Billy stood up. “Are you sure?”

She nodded weakly. “Please, just go, Billy. I can’t do
“It’s okay, Faith. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“You’re not angry?”
“I’d never be angry with you.” He bent over and lifted
her face to look directly into her eyes. “I love you Faith,
and I’ll wait for you as long as it takes.” He lovingly tapped
the tip of her nose and smiled. Then he stood up and
walked away.
Faith watched him walk away. A tear rolled down her
cheek. Then she unrolled her skirt and wiped off her
makeup with a moist towelette. She combed her hair back
into a discreet bow with the black velvet ribbon, and
headed home. As she rounded the corner to her house,
she returned to the proper religious girl she was supposed
to be.

In Dover, New Hampshire…
Kathleen’s grandmother, Paddy, came into the living
room and turned on the television real loud. The old lady
was hard of hearing especially when her ears were numb
from alcohol. Paddy was a mean drunk. Not a sweet old
lady, not a happy drunk, just plain mean. She would
especially pick on Kathleen. “Why aren’t you in school
where you ought to be?” Paddy demanded. “Why are you
dressed like a tramp? Don’t you know that girls who
dress like that are asking for it?” Kathleen couldn’t stand
it. She took her book and moved into the kitchen.
Never did Paddy offer a kind word and Kathleen knew
it was best to avoid her when she was in one of her
moods. Besides, her book was getting to the good part.
So she headed for the kitchen where her mother was
preparing dinner.

“Paddy is really nasty, Mom,” Kathleen said as she
slumped down into a chair.
“Stay away from her,” her mother said.
“It’s not my fault she’s drunk, Mom. Geez, can’t you
do something.”
“Watch your tone, young lady. And we don’t cuss in
this house.”
“Geez isn’t cussing, Mom.”
“It’s a substitute for Jesus, which is just as bad. Don’t
you kid yourself.”
“Why are you mad at me? I didn’t do anything.”
“Kathleen, you just sit around all day and complain.
You should go back to school and get your diploma.”
“That’s not fair. You’re turning this around to make
me the bad guy. Paddy is the drunk and you don’t do
anything. You never do anything. Dad gets drunk and you
tell us all to stay out of his way. Geez, Mom, this is my
home, too!”
Her mother sighed. “Kathleen, you know perfectly
well, that as a Christian woman, I cannot disrespect my
husband even though he’s not converted. And unlike you, I
obey God’s commandments and respect my elders,
including your father and your grandmother.”
“Mom, come on. Dad’s a drunk. He’s a bum. They’re
both drunks and all you do is defend them.”
“I think you should pray about this,” her mother
suggested with a frown.
“They’re alcoholics, Mom. Are you blind?”
“That’s not a very nice thing to say, Kathleen.” Her
mother turned back around to the counter and stirred the
pot vigorously. “I don’t want to hear any more talk like
that. You’re supposed to respect your parents.”
“Me? Why is it my fault, Mom? I don’t drink
myself into oblivion. I don’t get nasty and snarl at people.
Why do you put this on me?”

“Kathleen, you need to get on your knees and ask
God to forgive your bad attitude!”
Kathleen bristled. “I’m going to read in my room
where I can find some peace and quiet,” she said.
Kathleen wondered what had gone wrong with her
plans. When she dropped out of school, she envisioned
her days filled with reading and painting. Home was not
the escape she’d anticipated. Paddy was retired and when
her social security check arrived, she’d stock up on vodka
and whiskey.
Before Kathleen quit school, she’d seen Paddy late in
the day when she was beyond the mean stage, usually
sleeping on the couch with the television blaring. Now
since Kathleen was the handiest person to pick on, she
received the brunt of her meanness.
Kathleen hadn’t counted on that. She dreamed of
becoming a famous artist and showing her work in New
York and Boston art galleries. Her work would be
renowned and valuable. Then she’d be valuable.
A few hours later, Linda came to Kathleen’s door.
“You all right?”
“Just fine,” Kathleen answered.
“Mom said I should check on you. Dinner’s almost
“I’m not hungry,” Kathleen said as she turned the page
of the novel she was reading.
“Fine.” Linda said and left.
“Fine,” Kathleen parroted. “That’s just fine.”
Kathleen put her book down. It wasn’t nearly as
interesting as she’d tried to believe. In fact, she hardly
remembered the plot anymore. Linda was the smart one.
She was the one everyone liked and praised. Paddy never
said a bad word about Linda. Look at her, she’s just so
together. She gets all A’s at school. She is the field hockey
captain. She’s the most popular girl in school. She does
everything perfectly and when she graduated valedictorian last

year, it was a super big deal, Kathleen thought. The
program from the ceremony was still pinned to the
refrigerator. Now Linda was stellar in a local college.
Kathleen looked at herself in the mirror. She was tall
and thin, but plain. Linda was so pretty. Kathleen wore
tattered jeans and t-shirts. Linda wore miniskirts and
stylish bell bottoms. Kathleen was a klutz and couldn’t
sing a tune and had no rhythm. Linda played the piano and
danced expertly—she’d been the hit in the drama club and
won a state prize for her acting role.
Kathleen didn’t like being the center of attention. She
preferred solitude, reading a book, or painting to hanging
out with dopey friends who constantly put her down or
compared her to Linda. They are all right, Kathleen
thought. Linda is smart and pretty and wonderful. I admire
her too, but I can never be like her.
Kathleen went over to her easel and looked at the
picture she’d been painting earlier. She took it down and
tossed it in the corner with several other half-finished
canvasses. I can’t live like this, she thought. I’m going
nowhere. My life is going nowhere. I have to get out of here!
In Standish, Maine…
Rachel adjusted the volume on the car radio. She
shivered and wiped the water from her face on her sleeve,
but her sleeve was so wet it only smudged the water
around. Outside the dark and heavy rain pounded against
the car roof. She was drenched from her run through the
rain to escape the hell inside her house.
Why did she come back? Why couldn’t she leave us
alone? We were fine. We were happy. Why did she have to
come back!
Rachel pulled out a tissue from her pocket and wiped
her nose. The voice on the radio boomed through the

darkness offering answers. She loved to listen to this
program—”The Wonderful World That’s Coming Soon”.
Even the title offered hope. Russell W. Sherburne offered
the answers to life’s difficult questions. He promised a
future filled with peace and happiness. Tonight he talked
about a cyclone tidal wave in Somalia that killed over
20,000 people. It was the fulfillment of end-time
prophecies where the world would be filled with wars and
rumors of wars, with pestilence and disease, and natural
catastrophes like earthquakes and tidal waves. For those
who were paying attention, all the clues are there—we are
nearing the end times. But Russell offered hope—because
all this was leading to the wonderful world tomorrow
when the Messiah would return to rule for a thousand
years of peace. He quoted Biblical passages and offered a
free Bible correspondence course. He spoke with
confidence and authority. She always felt better after
listening to the program. Rachel switched on the interior
light and scribbled down the information so she could send
away for this course.
Two hours later, when Rachel went back inside, it was
quiet. The arguing had stopped. Everyone had gone to
bed. No one missed her. Her two brothers were hiding
in their rooms, just as they always did when the fighting
Why couldn’t she be that smart she wondered?
Instead, she always seemed to be caught in the middle of
it. Tonight her father cried when her mother pointed to
Rachel and screamed, “You molested her! I have proof!”
Rachel was horrified to see her mother was holding
her diary. For as long as she could remember her diary
was her companion and confidant. She expressed her
most private thoughts and fears where no one could judge,
criticize or question.
Now her mother had stolen it, violating her, and was
using it to falsely accuse her father of something terrible.

Yes, he had hugged her very tightly. She’d written that in
her diary. It was after one of those ugly arguments and
she knew that he couldn’t express his feelings in words.
He was trying to tell her that he loved her despite the evil
accusations of her mother to the contrary. Rachel knew
that he never hurt her. That he was sorry for her
suffering, that maybe he felt responsible for her pain and
wished he could make it all better. She knew her Dad
regretted marrying this woman, but he didn’t know how
to fix it now that there were three children.
Her mother was perverting this into some nasty,
mean, vindictive thing. Rachel knew her mother would
carry out her threat.
“He molested you!” her mother accused.
“That’s not true,” Rachel choked out, grabbing for her
diary. “That’s not what I wrote at all!” Rachel hated her
Her mother smirked, holding the diary away from
Rachel. “You can say anything you want, but when a judge
reads this, he’ll send your father to jail! I’ll see to it.”
The drawn look on her father’s face was too much for
Rachel. She grabbed the car keys next to the door and
ran out of the house through the heavy rain to the car.
Once again, she escaped into the promising world of this
radio program—The Wonderful World That’s Coming
Now the kitchen was silent. Her diary sat on the
kitchen table. She picked it up feeling like a wounded
animal and crept quietly to her bedroom. She began to
read from a passage she’d written a year ago in 1969. “I
don’t see what the big deal is all about. So I turned 16
today. There’s nothing sweet about it. My life is still just
as miserable as it was yesterday. No one even noticed it
was my birthday. I’m glad. It would just be another
reason for Mom and Dad to fight. I can’t stand it anymore.
Why did she have to come back? It was so peaceful with

just Dad and my brother and me. The kids at school say
awful things about her, but I don’t listen. I don’t care what
they say. She’s my mother. No matter what she does, I
still love her. I can’t do anything else. I can’t hate her.
She’s my mother. But I want to hate her. I hate what she
does. She hurts so many people. I never want to be like
her. She constantly lies. I never want to be like her. If I
thought I was like her, I’d kill myself so I wouldn’t hurt the
people I love. I couldn’t live with myself if I hurt people
like she does. God, I pray I don’t turn out like her.”
Rachel sighed as she read her past words. She
wondered if her mother had read this section. She
doubted it would even faze her mother in the least if she
did read it.
Now, two months later, her mother had returned
again. She was even more vindictive this time. Rachel
knew what she wanted. She knew her mother was
determined to ruin everything. Her mother wouldn’t be
satisfied until Rachel left her Dad and went to live with
her. Why? Rachel could only guess at her mother’s
The next morning Rachel woke with the sun. Despite
her recurrent insomnia, Rachel always got up early. It
would be years before she understood the extent of the
trauma she and her brothers were experiencing. In many
ways, insomnia was her friend. It kept her from those
terrible nightmares.
She’d placed the diary on her bureau next to the
white zippered Bible her grandmother had given her for
her twelfth birthday. She cherished the Bible as much as
her diary. Her grandmother emphasized how special this
Bible was, and had it inscribed to Rachel. That’s why
Rachel felt so badly when she discovered it was missing.
“Where’s your white Bible?” her grandmother had
asked when visiting.

“There’s a little girl next door who took it,” Rachel
“How do you know she took your Bible?”
“Because she invited me to her room to show it to
me. I don’t understand, Gram. She tore out the inscribed
pages. But how could she think I wouldn’t recognize it?”
“What did you say to her?”
“I didn’t know what to say. Her bedroom is in the
attic. You can see daylight through beams in the walls. I
know they are poor. All that she has is a light bulb hanging
down on a wire in the center of her ceiling. We had to
climb an old ladder just to get to her room.”
Her grandmother put her arms around Rachel.
“Don’t say anything to that little girl. Let her keep the
Bible. I’ll get you another one.”
“But it won’t be the same,” Rachel protested.
“It’s not the White Bible that matters. It’s the love
inside the book. That’s what you need to remember. No
matter what happens, God loves you. He loves everyone,
even that little girl who took your Bible.”
Sure enough, the next time her grandmother visited,
she had an identical white zippered Bible. Rachel
treasured it. Her grandmother had told her no matter
what happened, God loved her. She could have faith in
the words in that Bible. She believed her grandmother.
She wasn’t a liar like her mother.
Rachel unzipped her white Bible and turned to I John
4, verse 8. “God is Love.” It was one of her favorite
passages. She knew God loved her. There was hope, just
like the man on the radio promised. All she had to do was
Rachel made scrambled eggs for breakfast for her two
brothers and herself. Her father left for work at six,
before anyone else was up. She woke her brothers and
set the table. Her younger brother had left the last time
to live with their mother. Her older brother and she had

stayed behind to live with their father. Even though he
was only fifteen, her younger brother had quit school. He
spent his days waiting on his mother and working around
the house. He had an emotional chip on his shoulder and
blamed everyone else for his mother’s unhappiness.
Rachel didn’t blame him for his misguided anger. She felt
sorry for him.
When Rachel went to her room to dress for school,
her mother came in, eying Rachel nervously. Her mother
picked up the diary. “You’re coming with me,” she said.
“No. I’m not going anywhere. I’m staying here with
Dad.” Rachel stood rigidly next to the bureau as if it
would give her some added strength. “I can make my own
decision about where to live. That’s what the judge said
when you got your divorce.”
“Not when he reads this,” her mother snarled. She
opened to a page and read, “Dad hugged me so tight it
frightened me.”
“It doesn’t say what you imply,” Rachel said shaking.
“Doesn’t matter. All I have to do is create a doubt.”
Her mother smirked triumphantly.
“But you know it isn’t true. How could you do that?”
Rachel’s mother gave her that familiar you-reallythink-
I-care look. It was the look she always had when she
was about to explode. “I am your mother! You have to
do what I tell you!”
“I’m not going with you,” Rachel whispered, cowering.
“Then I’m not going. I’ll stay right here. It’s only a
matter of time before your father goes back to the
hospital—maybe this time he won’t come home, especially
after he faces a charge of molestation in court.”
“You drove him to a nervous breakdown,” Rachel
said, her voice cracking. “You pushed him down the
stairs—I saw you do it!” Rachel started crying. She hated
that. She hated that her mother was winning. She hated
being so weak.

“So what?”
Rachel knew her mother’s threats were real. She
would make her father’s life hell. She’d literally drive him
crazy, until he cracked. She might even try to kill him like
she did before.
“When are you leaving?” Rachel asked in defeat.
“We’re leaving today. Pack your stuff. And your
brother’s too.”
“You mean I can’t even say good-bye to Dad?”
“Why would you want to do that?” Her mother
curled up her lips hatefully and Rachel knew it was over.
“Where are we going?”
“You’ll like it. We’re going to that church you’re
always listening to on the radio. They meet in Manchester,
New Hampshire on Saturdays. It’ll be good for you.”
Rachel looked at her mother in disbelief. “Why
would you take us to that church? You don’t even believe
in it?”
Her mother smiled. “That’s how I can control you
Before they left Rachel took her diary down to the
basement furnace. She opened the door and threw it
inside and watched as the flames consumed her old friend
and confidant. Her mother had taken yet another thing
away from her.
Now a year later, when Rachel came home from
school her heart sank. Her mother was moving yet again.
They had already moved five times. She barely knew the
kids at school and graduation was only a few weeks away.
Boxes were half-filled and littered the apartment. This
time, she had no intention of bringing Rachel along. “I
can’t wait until June to be rid of you!” Her mother spit the
hateful words at her when Rachel entered the living room.

End Chapter one. More Sunday.

4 Replies to “"Faith" (Updated July 27th below in red fonts.)”

  1. A person’s uniqueness, talents, skills, creativity, and free will should be encouraged and not suppressed in any healthy group. What the evil cult leaders and the parents did to these children was and is reprehensible.

    Cloning these kids to fit the mold of the group (beliefs and values) and dissociate them from friends outside of the group is what we call “creating a cult identity.”

    Its unnatural, and harmful to NOT allow a child to explore different opinions, ideas and to pursue relationships outside the group. In the end, the child will grow into an adult, ignorant and limited in his/her ability to relate to the world outside.

    As adults, they are confused, and demoralized, and cannot put up an effective opposition to the cults strictures. They have earned themselves a position in Satan’s inner circle. They have been conquered.

    1. Thank you James for that comment. It is very difficult for children growing up in these kinds of groups to experience the normal growing and exploring as you describe. Cults strip you of your identity, no matter your age, but children are especially vulnerable. My story looks at what happened to 3 young women, and as teenagers, who naturally are searching for meaning in their lives, and solutions to their dilemmas, the cult sucks them in, chews them up, and spits them out. I agree, these people, the leaders of these groups, are despicable.


  2. This is an aspect I never understood. My personality regardng sex was like “Sheldon” on “The Big Bang Theory(CBS TV)”. I was interested in the mechanical applications of the “reason” surrounding WCG, since we were given none of it at school. In fact, I shunned romatic entanglements because I couldn’t understand them. I began to believe that all girls should come with a “Miranda” warning(Anything you say can and will be held against you).

    While I was a teen-ager in the church, I had long ago discovered I couldn’t reduce girls to an equation, so I stopped worrying too much about sexual relationships and all that entailed. Unfortunately, I may have contributed to some girls’ sense of insecurity because I did tend to ignore them altogether.

    One of the WCG ministers counseled me, and I had opportunity later to get into his files and discover what he had written about me. I had no interest in other church members, so I left them alone. The minister had written that I had “homosexual tendencies” because I showed no interest in the opposite sex. I had great interest in the opposite sex, but only for observing at that time. Fortunately I had not joined the marines yet, so I didn’t kick his butt all over the room over that comment.

    Your intro looks like a good exploration of the problem of teens in the church from a female perspective.

    1. While I wrote the book from the perspective of females, I am quite aware that males had their own trauma and difficulties, because my two brothers were also involved, and to this day, have affects from their experiences. As the book goes along, you will see some of this. I repeat that it is my opinion that the leaders in this group are criminals and what they did was despicable.

      Thanks for bringing your experiences forward, too.

      Mary Ellen

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