I come from Polish family, my background is Catholic. Though, my parents were not very religious, rather around average. Nevertheless, the faith was for me very important since the very early age. Since I remember I wanted to obey God, I wanted to do what is right in front of Him. The most important events from my childhood were connected with God.
Unfortunately, not everything in my relationship with God was good. I think that at the early stage of my life my heart was deeply wounded. As a result I could not believe that God and my parents love me. I felt really unworthy in front of God, I was afraid of His wrath, I did not see Him as loving Father. I started to doubt. When I went to confession I felt like a slave, my experience of a Church was negative, I did not know any community.
I started to look for the truth in other Christian and non-Christian religions. At the age of 18 I had a thinking of a Fundamentalist Protestant (like Adventist or so), but was still very unsure and lacked of courage. Once I met a person (PG) that wanted to talk with me about spiritual/theological things, and had a clear opinion on all my questions. He seemed very sure of his thinking about God. We spoke a couple of times, then I broke the contact because I was afraid of the reaction of my parents on changing the faith…
What I remembered from the talk was the call PG to give the whole life for Jesus and live with Him. This did not leave my mind in peace, because there was and still is such a wish in my heart. After some time I found their website, wrote an e-mail to them and began to meet more frequently, later even daily. One evening I did not come home back and slept in “the community”’s flat and this way I left my family house and started to live in that flat.
I lived together with them for around 1.5 years. This was very destructive time for me. First of all, I felt constantly controlled. I had to confess my sins to the “brethren” and after the confession I was almost always admonished and said that my heart is full of spiritual filth. I felt really terribly, I did not accept myself. I wrote at the beginning that in my childhood I did not feel loved by God – but it was NOTHING compared to the level of hopelessness and self-condemnation I reached in the “community”!
This is connected with another matter – The group demands from you to give up your personal wishes, likes, plans in order to submit to God and the “community” completely. It means you have to agree with them in all that they want. For instance – they think that specific studies are not good for you and the “community”, then you can argue and do what you think is correct, but you are assessed as spiritually weak and after some time they can exclude you because of this… In their thinking it is already close to loosing the salvation.
In the group I was very afraid of showing my feelings. I thought it is a sin to be angry, to be afraid. Sometimes it was even said that to be joyful is a commandment of God. I felt there very strong emotions, much happened inside me, but outwards it was very, very seldom visible.
These aspects show in which way the group functions as a sect – it disintegrated my personality, changed me in a kind of a “robot” controlled by the “community”. My identity was lost, instead of “Me” there was only “We” = “The Community”.
All these bad things made me “explode” one day… For my mind there was too much to bear – I exploded with the emotions, I lost control over myself. I do not want to describe it in details, but as a result I went to psychiatric hospital.
To be continued…