By Zen Gardner -
by Zen Gardner
I’ve deliberately avoided this subject as it drags up so much controversy and a lot of traumatic memories besides the deep shame involved, but it’s time to lay it on the table. It certainly aligns with all that is happening vibrationally as well as huge events and changes in my own personal life as this shift turns up the heat, so here comes.
Following my original wake up and getting deep into spirituality and looking for how best I could change the world, at 22 years old I joined the Children of God, later to be known as The Family. Many of my generation tried various alternative lifestyles, new religious movements and the like, most of which turned out to be cults in one form or another, as was my case. I didn’t fully escape until 1999 after many years of trying to change the group from the inside because I felt I had to give it my best shot before leaving, having invested so much of my heart and life in it and what I thought it stood for during those many years and wanting to leave with a clear conscience.
Sadly the cult descended into heavier and heavier control systems and strange doctrines and serious endemic abuse that appeared as the years progressed into the later stages. If you’ve never been in such an insular setting with heavy duty militant religious indoctrination 24/7 this may not make any sense to you.
People I talk to personally about this era of my life always ask, “Why didn’t you just leave?” A good question, but unfortunately it’s a form of mind and spirit control that convolutes your reasoning and even basic sense of ethics as the programming progresses and wraps around your mind and soul, always justified by “God’s will” and “we are the endtime spiritual revolutionaries going where others have never dared to go” in order to pioneer a new world supposedly based on the literal teachings of Jesus, updated of course by a modern prophet.
But Jesus left the house. Doctrines, social pressure, intimidation, and literal brainwashing take the place of misplaced altruism. An awful lot of people suffered over the years while putting on a smiling face and continuing to do “good works” and “spread the gospel” despite the pain and eventual split characters that inevitably developed.
Worst of all the children suffered. And many horribly. Regimented school systems overarched their upbringing, with abusive leaders and teachers getting away with horrific things in the name of discipline, despite the fact there were many loving and wonderful people. That of course won’t make the “news’, nor those of us who tried to right the ship time and again, but that’s beside the point.
I was in a position of leadership in my later stages and it was very hard to witness and endure what I saw and experienced, as well as watching my own children suffer who are still in recovery decades later. Leadership was just executing policy from the top and the latest doctrines – or else. It was all oh so polite most of the time, but the punishments for rebellion and criticizing the highest inner sanctum were severe, and you had to learn to avoid those if you could.
The last stages of the official group were the very worst, where child abuse was taking place as a result of very deviant sexual “revelations” from the “Prophet”. So many were appalled and started planning their escapes, but many were caught in the snare and many innocent children, teens and young adults were abused. I was aware there were incidences and went after abuses in the area I was supervising. But I had no idea of the extent it was going on in top leadership and specialized “training centers”, the horrific details of which I later learned about like many others have in the documentaries and books covering detailed incidences which are available on line. Brace yourself, there’s some very nasty, tragic stuff.
But why didn’t I grab my family and jump on the first bus out of there and blow the whistle on the whole sham? Another carefully planned obstacle was the fact that my children were scattered in other locations and of course no one had any money so that was another control tool and I was in the middle of Brazil. Still, it’s no excuse, just explaining the circumstances, as the system was tightly controlled.
I have lived with deep remorse and shame for what I participated in and my gutless lack of conscious response. That many of these child abusers still run free is a travesty. I contributed to cult exposure efforts while inside and following my exit but I certainly could have done a lot more. Fact was, I wanted distance from it, as fast and as far and as soon as possible. I needed recovery as did my family and loved ones.
To allay anyone’s questions the answer is no, I never participated in any form of child abuse, except being part of a system that was tolerating and even currying it at inner levels. That I own up to, as well as the fact that the training and hierarchical system had become regimented and extremely abusive as well.
I’m sorry if this hurts anyone or you feel betrayed in some way. Many people have dirty laundry that they don’t think needs to be aired for one reason or another, but this is a biggie and you deserve to know this.
There are many like me who’ve been through similar traumatic long and short term experiences and then keep it silent. It’s very hard to convey the degree of spirit and mind control something like this wields and the resultant remorse and shame for having had anything to do with these prolonged abuse programs. Cults and isms are full of people from dysfunctional families looking for a real family and a co-creative community. Unfortunately they almost all go south as power corrupts, and spiritual power is the the most powerful – and controlling.
If anything this has armed me mightily against these types of systems and has been a driver of my desire to help trapped minds and hearts escape the “snare of the fowler”. I’m not proud about any of this but it’s been my life and I have to deal with it, and am determined to spend my life helping to heal others while exposing horrific dynamics like these.
This may not be as strident as some would hope who are indignant at the atrocities perpetrated by this cult. I’m telling this from my personal experience and years of having to deal with it.
If this is too much to take on board I understand, but please don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. The truths I’ve shared are stand alone and agenda free, except to do my part to help towards the liberation and enlightenment of humanity. I’ll continue to do so, whatever comes of this. That really doesn’t matter. The truth can defend itself just fine.
Much love always and thanks for listening,
Thanks to Zen at: http://www.zengardner.com