Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Control Measures

Up to this point, I have not addressed the “c” word in association with the Followers. You know the word that outsiders generally label organizations that seek to control their members with fear, threats (social ostracization to the person and their family), and the expectation of compliance. I will not address the “c” word in this blog (that is, whether or not I believe the FOC is a cult).
What I will address are some measures certain members have begun attempting to exert on me to convince me to stop writing about the church.

Self-Doubt and “Yo-Mama” Insults

This is a comment I received this week from an anonymous source:

“Susanne, I don't know where you are getting all your knowledge, because you aren't old enough to know any this first hand! and your parrents are a good source of info because they are not all that bright, I know that!

Dear Anonymous:

Are you suggesting that, at age 38, I am too young to understand anything of the religion I was raised in? I attended the FOC church twice a week (in addition to all the mandatory social functions) for twenty-one years. After I left, I returned and attended church while being shunned by the majority for another five years. Under this “logic” nobody under the age of 50 knows anything about this religion because they were not around when Walter was in charge? How do you justify imposing your religion on your children and grandchildren if they can’t know anything about it? And how about the pair of twenty-six-year-olds rotting in prison for practicing it?

Second, I have never claimed to have experienced anything that I am too young to have experienced. I heard the elders' teachings until I was in middle school. When I talk about anything that happened before I was born, I pre-empt it with, “from what I’ve been told.”

As to the comments about my parents: I have approved your comment under my blog post, “Signs of the True Believer,” so there can be no accusations that I have inserted your misspelled words and poor grammar. Someone who cannot even spell my name (though it’s in the URL of this blog), or the word “parents” is not the best judge of intellect. My dad’s response to your comment was this, “We were stupid to stay as long as we did. The smartest thing we have ever done was leaving.”

I have no doubt that my parents are intelligent. My mom was in college studying to become a nurse, when a family tragedy brought her to Oregon City and into the FOC. My dad had a burgeoning career as a Naval Officer when he was recruited by Walter White to move to Oregon City and settle into a work-a-day life of blue collar mediocrity. Despite the ways the FOC interrupted their aspirations, my parents are well-read, well-informed, free thinkers who have the strength of character to admit to their children and the world their mistake (of raising their family in the FOC).

I also think it's interesting that you claim that my "parents ARE a good source of information because they not all that bright." I agree that my parents are a good source of information - though they are far from being my only sources.

Liar-Liar Pants On Fire!

Here’s another brave attack from an anonymous source (possibly the same as the above author):

“I think if you are going to post for all to read, I think you should get your stories straight, and tell the TRUTH. you don't even know most of this for a fact because you are not old enough. you weren't even there. it's not hard to figure out that your not even getting your information from a reliable source.

And yet another anonymous attempt to undermine:

“You need to make sure your so called facts are true,or call this book fiction.

Dear Anonymous:

If you are going to call me a liar, please have the guts to use your name, and the credibility to specify exactly what you are accusing me of getting wrong. I do not misrepresent my age – I am 38. Like I posted above, it’s pretty sad to imply that anyone so “young” couldn’t possibly know anything.

I would be happy to post any credible and specific information you would like to clarify your position.


  1. Thank you so much for continuing to write your blog and educate so many of us that grew up with the Followers but never truly knew them. You have definitely hit a nerve with some people and I applaud you for speaking out.

  2. Keep up the good work Suzanne. Sunlight is a good disinfectant. It would probably surprise many in the FOC to know that your blog has actually made me more sympathetic to those who are trapped there.

  3. Isn't that convenient, YOU don't know anything, because You can never catch up to their infinite knowledge. What a crock. If you were a hundred years old it wouldn't be enough. You can never be as wise as them, because you lack a time machine. It might be different if they made any use of the wisdom that was bestowed on them, by passing it on to younger generations? Weird concept? I think they call that a church in some circles. CULT CULT CULT, what cop out. These people are so pathetic, if reading for yourself, and following the Bible to the best of your understanding is fruitless, then they might as well have a Bible burning party. You may not feel like wasting your energy posting their comments, mucking up your blog, but for everyones understanding of what your up against, I think you should post all of them.

  4. Suzanne, Way to go, girl! I've really appreciated your giving us a glimpse into the world of the Followers of Christ. You're a lovely woman. Thank you.

  5. I look up to you for being so honest and doing what your heart told you to do. I have grown up with all the Followers I pray they will learn to rethink the ways they have been taught. I keep thinking of all those little babies who have died and could have been alive today being able to breath the fresh air they never had a chance.

  6. Go gott'em Tigress (suzinator) ... and big ups to your parents!

    These anonymous sycophants of this whackjob religion, in the immortal words of a good friend of mine: "Jerkoffs."

    Charlie Stella (posting anonymously because my Google account keeps booting me)

  7. It is sad that they feel the need to insult you and your parents. I, for one, am glad you write these so that we might better understand why things are the way they are. I actually find that I have a kinder view rather then the opposite.

  8. Suzanne, I am so amazed and impressed by your writing, and by your poise and maturity in the responses to these cowards. With every word you share with us, I hope you know that you are adding to the enlightenment and entertainment of your fans. I have shared your blog with my friends and family, and we all look forward to every post. Thank you for sharing your experiences and talent.

  9. As one of the anonymous posted above, your blog has also made me much more sympathetic to Followers. I am sad that they are so misinformed.

    As for your blog, you can hold your head up high, Suzi. You exude integrity. I have noticed that you are very careful to say what you experienced directly and what you have been told.

  10. I'm impressed by you, Suzi. Keep going.

  11. If they keep saying you are so wrong about everything, why don't they tell us the "real" truth...

  12. Because they're making it up as they go, so the elder folks stories don't line up. They were taught all of their beliefs 40 hrs ago, when they were your age. Get it, their wisdom was accumulated when they were young and stupid like YOU! Lol

  13. Suzanne, after reading through many of your posts I find that you are informative in a well rounded way. Seems to me that you still retain quite a love for your upbringing and though you are on the outside of it now, I can still see much in way of your writings that place you among the Followers of Christ. Don't allow people to dissuade you from your writing and sharing it. To the person, anonymous, that criticized your knowledge, I do wish I could spend time with you. Bibles open and history lessons. The pages of my Bible include not only the Word of God, but my own history several hundred years back. You see, I also am of the same faith, but I was not raised in the same manner, we have our liberties, we uphold the gospel to include all men and we have through the years attempted to reclaim the Followers in Oregon City and other places. If you claim this young lady does not know her history, then I claim you do not know yours!

    1. I wish the OC Followers would allow some elders/teachers/preachers from other FOC churches to come in and talk with them. Please keep praying for this group and extending the invitation.

  14. This blog is one of the biggest stereotypes on the internet. (Not quite as big as the cat meme, but still pretty large.)

    For some very odd reason, the more fanatical and closed a religious organization is, the worse their grammar and spelling. I see this pattern in blog after blog, and comment after comment. The Anonymous quotes you posted in this article is a prime example. HAH!


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