I hear that phrase, a lot. Just move on. Let it go. Stop letting it control you. Forget. Forgive. Erase. Ignore. Stop focusing on it. Turn around. Find a new focus.
More importantly, the organization I am most familiar with, being the Oneness Pentecostal Church, which is rife with spiritual abuse, and I write about it a lot, has members who claim my exposure of their ways is unfair, especially since other denominations do some of the same things. Is that a good enough reason to forget about spiritual abuse? Don’t mention it because others do it too? Let it go on by letting it go?
I wonder how many sexual, physical, mental, spiritual and other abuse victims would say, “I’m glad those other victims just let it go and didn’t warn me about this.” I’m going to guess, none.
The worst part of the abuse, whether it be sexual, physical, mental, spiritual, or whatever label we can give it – is that the first reaction by those around the situation is generally to accuse the victim of being partially or wholly the cause for the problem. Victim blaming.
Just look how common it is, still, in newspapers around the world, that when a brutal rape takes place, some asks the question, “What was she wearing, and why was she out so late?” We don’t focus on the brutality of a person harming another, we focus on the victim being the cause for their abuse. Such a shame of fundamental public opinion and mindset.
In the book, The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, it opens with the case of a woman suffering from great bouts of depression and low self-worth. When turning to her spiritual leader for support and help, the words came out, “Do you know what your problem is? You don’t…” Rather than focusing on the depression and cause for the issue, we direct, command and place blame on the victim themselves.
It is completely understandable, that when the things one believes are coming in to question, and being called guilty by association of things you have not personally perpetrated shows up in your inbox, our natural inclination is to defend and to attempt to reverse the focus. As a matter of fact, the first thing that happened when the sexual scandals began breaking within the Roman Catholic church, was to mar, discredit, deface and accuse the victims of simply being peddlers of bitterness, hate, and revenge. To defend the system.
There were many calls for, “Its been 20 years, just let it go and move on.”
The only problem was, by virtue of people stepping forward and exposing abuse, more and more victims came out. Then, newer victims came out, until finally, people being abused recently were making the news and then finally, steps starting being taken to protect the victims, both older cases, and new. To remove the people and systems causing the abuse. Or at least, make changes.
The same can be said for the more recent events, such as the public sexual misconduct trial of Bill Cosby or the misconduct of Larry Nassar. If everyone took the advise, ‘Just let it go’, how many more victims would be abused, traumatized for life?
When it comes to High-Control and cult-like groups, is there ever a good time to just stop, to let it go, to stop talking about it? What if someone really exposed Jim Jones? Is there a chance fewer people would have died?
What if, by exposing cult-like systems, people who would have been tempted to join the system took some time to question, and realized it wasn’t a safe place for their kids? What if, by exposing a system that would turn parents against their children, people would stop blaming the victim and declare, I won’t be a part of that hateful system!
I personally know children whose parents refuse to attend their child’s wedding simply because of a difference of church opinion. I know young people who crave a loving relationship with a parent but they cannot have it because that parent rejects them based on extra-biblical ideologies.
In fact, someone I’m connected to recently shared a text message they received from a previous friend in a United Pentecostal Church, who said, “What happened?! I saw your girls wearing pants. I used to love them and think so highly of them! They used to be so Godly.”
That’s the abuse these children face, and why I will not be dissuaded from exposing it. There is a constant peer pressure, to the degree of bullying from these cult-like religious groups. You can only belong if you measure up. If you don’t dress the right way you are exiled from people you grew up believing were your friends, even your family, your trusted confidants, and support structure. Dress wrong, and lose it all.
Leaders of the United Pentecostal Church have made public posts, saying things like, “Why would I want to spend time with someone in this life, who I won’t be spending time with in the next life.”
A viewer named Leeanna said on my Youtube video, “Women Wearing Pants? One flaw of the Oneness Pentecostal Church.”
I love to wear my skirts and dresses because the Bible says in 1 John 2:15 (KJV) “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Why would I want to dress like the people of this world ?
Do you see what this person just said? To have the love of the Father, you’ll need to wear dresses ladies. She wears her dresses because she doesn’t want to dress like the world, who, by the suggestion of her comment, don’t have the love of the father.
Try all you might turn me around, to make me let it go. It will not work.
The level of hate generated by the false doctrines of cult-like churches harms people. It breaks love which was the mission of Christ. His commandment to us was ‘That you love one another.” Not that you stop loving because you think a girl wearing pants is a sin.
And, I have likewise been contacted by many more people who said the exposure of these cult-like ideologies gave them the strength to get out. To bring their families out. To say no to having their life and faith held hostage by another human who demands obedience and money.
I will not let it go.