So did anyone else see 20/20 on Friday night?

Happy - posted on 04/14/2011 ( 18 moms have responded )

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So I myself am in the IFB trap currently and was blown away by what I saw because of the accuracy. My faith in God is still there but I feel like right now I don't know where to go or what to do. Just looking for thoughts on this. I didn't watch it Friday but just saw it an hour via internet and I am still numb. I am in the trap and so emotionally weak I don't know which way is up anymore!

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Minnie - posted on 04/14/2011

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I didn't see the 20/20 episode...are you saying that you're a member of a church that teaches a very punitive and adversarial view of God and supports physical discipline of children? And is very wife- only submission?



We're two years this June out of an independent fundamental baptist church and let me tell you it was veeeery hard to leave. Very very subversive- and we're still healing from our time there. There are some activities I have a hard time doing- like sewing for example, because it brings yucky feelings to me by association of our time at our church.



Oh duh, lol 'IFB' is Independent Fundamental Baptist. Yeah...Laverne, PM me if you would like to talk. If you're trying to get out of this situation it can be sooo hard. It's so incredibly abusive. I've been there and what I wouldn't have given to have someone to support our family while we were separating ourselves from that church.



Let me tell you, there are some days I still don't know which way is up. I still have a lot of anger from what they stole from us. And it's truly downright scary to learn that most of what you based your entire world-view and life on is utter lies. Makes you wonder what else is.

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Minnie - posted on 04/16/2011

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Laverne, we lost every single one of our friends after leaving. We were pretty lonely and depressed for a few months afterwards. But now the freedom is such a relief.

La Leche League has been absolutely wonderful during this time. I've made so many new friendships- and these ladies won't judge me or call me sinful and prideful. They don't give me my thrice-weekly tongue-lashing telling me I'm a worm and not worthy of God's love so I had better be getting right (again) and serving him more.

At least for me it was very important to become involved with another group outside the church. Because we were completely ostracized when we left.

Merry - posted on 04/16/2011

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Laverne, maybe you could start off by joining a moms group in your area, makes ome friends, have some other friends for your kids. Most public libraries have story times, I met a few moms there I'm friends with. Mother friends I met through my la leche leave meetings. Idk how old your kids are, but la leche league is a breastfeeding support group.
If you found some support and friends outside the church, do you think you could stop going?
Change your email address and try to avoid the church?

We will be your friends!

Happy - posted on 04/15/2011

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Lisa is exactly right on everything she said. When you add to that the fact that this church is ALL I have every known since I was 9 years old. I do not have ONE single friend outside of this church (part of the assimilation, if you have friends outside of the church you are sinful!) and this is the only place my children have ever known and they also have no friends outside of the church. I would equate the feeling to being sent to a foreign country without even one person I know to go with me and being told I can never go back to America. It is VERY frightening.

Minnie - posted on 04/15/2011

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It's very spiritually and psychologically abusive. Certain concepts are pounded and burned into your mind from the moment you become a member- the authority of the pastor, how he is called by God to lead the congregation- we are taught that he is in authority, our head, and that to question him is to be 'back-slidden' and not right with God. Anytime we question we are taught that we're interpreting scripture 'privately.'



It's so insidious- you sort of feel deep down that something isn't right, but you're afraid to voice it because you actually think you believe that you would be sinning if you did. It's not just 'oh this is so wrong, I'm out of here." It's "I don't feel right" but because certain things have been pounded, no, brainwashed into you from day one you think "but I know I'm having sinful thoughts, better just bring it to God, ask for forgiveness and get right."



One time my husband and I sat down with the Pastor and told him we had to leave. And I don't remember what happened during that meeting, but afterwards I came away with this silly swimmy happy 'all is right with the world' feeling and we continued to attend. He told us that we weren't happy because we were being selfish and not serving enough. We had to join more ministries. That was six months before we completely left.



And once you do begin to leave, they send hate mail to you, calling you prideful, that you should be asking permission to do such and such (in my case it was wear pants) and they bring verse after verse to you and because you've been so brainwashed you think they're logical and right.



It's actual, truthful brainwashing. Your mental state is altered. That's why you can't easily leave. That's why I still can't put a finger on why now I see how horrid and abusive it is but two years ago we were fully entrenched in it.



There's got to be some official psychological term for it.

Jenn - posted on 04/15/2011

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I don't mean to sound naive, but why is it difficult to leave a church? Wouldn't you just not go anymore?

Minnie - posted on 04/15/2011

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Holy Crap. I'm watching it right now and she grew up right where I live. I actually have met some of the people in this episode and have heard frequently about others.

April - posted on 04/14/2011

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i don't belong to any religion, but I do have a bit of insight to share. I think that by posting this, you do know which way is up. if you didn't, you wouldn't have anything negative to say about IFB, but the very fact that you are questioning things says a lot! I know you are scared, but you are not alone.

Merry - posted on 04/14/2011

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I saw it, it was scary. I hope you are able to change to a different church. Please remember this isn't how all Christians act. That church is very very different then the vast majority of churches and it really is a hostile environment. If you have kids I would be very autos about them involved in that church. You have to protect your kids and that church could be full of men who will molest children.
Please find another church, God is not bound to that church, he is probably trying to help you leave too!

Anytime you feel you can't leave an organization that is your cue you NEED to leave now!

Rosie - posted on 04/14/2011

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another woman on this site talks about her past with that church and she is soooooo thankful to have left it and it's teachings behind. she's pretty regular, so hopefully she'll be on here soon! i do hope you can find your way out, living like that is no way to live!

Stifler's - posted on 04/14/2011

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I'm not sure what to say here. I hope you're okay and get out of this safely. You can still believe in God and leave the church.

Lady Heather - posted on 04/14/2011

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Oh wow. You need to find a way out. There are lots of churches out there that are not this way. I wish I had some advice but I don't have any sort of experience with anything like this. Would they try and stop you from leaving? I don't know how this works. I'm wondering if maybe a different religious community - one without this sort of abuse - would help you find your way. Might be easier to make changes with support like that. I guess now that I think of it I've had a few friends who have had a problem with a certain religion I won't name and they ended up leaving by finding other churches that were not so...restrictive.

Happy - posted on 04/14/2011

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When I say I am caught in the trap, I feel like the girl who said she just didn't know anything else and was scared to leave because of the securtiy blanket, if you will. When it is all you know it can be very frightening to leave it.

Happy - posted on 04/14/2011

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I do not know of any minors with adults first hand but am aware of adult athority with adult non-authority and minor with minor. How it was handled with the woman in the relationship, Iknoe first hand. Exactly how it was portrayed on 20/20! So I can totally see it happening with a minor that way.

Tara - posted on 04/14/2011

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Hold on, you are IN the trap? Do you mean you are part of this church? Are you being abused? Do you know someone who is being abused? It is your responsibility to tell the authorities if you know a minor is being mistreated.
I am not sure what you mean by your post but I would have to say after reading some of what is going on that I would distance myself from them at this time. That's just me though.
Be safe.

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