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!”
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.”
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.