Sunday, October 25, 2015

Have you been drinking the kool aid ?

What's up my little Marshmallows ?

Happy Sunday ! I have been meaning to write you all for a while, but then I got addicted to court television. I have been watching bootlegged clips off You Tube for Judge Judy, Judge Mathis, and Judge Milian. I realize that these "judges" in reality are really arbitrators, and I know that they may not be following the letter of the law to a T, but that's not why I watch it. I watch it to see the judges' line of questioning. It is interesting to watch people not only be willing to put their private business on television, but also straight up lie to the judges. I always love it when they are caught in lies. If you take emotion out of the equation and rely mainly on logic, it really isn't so hard to catch someone in a lie.

So yeah, that is how I have been occupying my free time on weekends.

And what about you, my darlings ? I guess I have some catching up to do.

So last night I was watching Jonestown: Paradise Lost, on Netflix. For those of you that don't have Netflix, how could you miss out on something so cheap and entertaining ? Just kidding, if you don't have Netlix, you can find it on YouTube, aka YouBoob for free. Free is better than cheap !

Anyway, I am fairly certain you have heard about Jim Jones and his Jonestown cult, since that is where the term "drinking the kool-aid" originated. And for those of you who don't know, I was raised in a cult from about the age of 4 until I left for good at age 25.

Before I watched the documentary last night I really never read any of the Jonestown stories because it ended in a mass suicide/murder and I really hate reading about suicide.

But last night I decided to just watch it with an open mind, and while watching it I felt a little sick to my stomach. The reason I felt disturbed, because apart from the suicide/murders/sexual assault, my experience growing up was eerily similar.

And let's keep it real: I was lucky. I was never sexually assaulted, and we were never poisoned/medicated. I am also lucky because I got out. I was able to leave and start my life over at a young age.

Unfortunately cult stories are still misunderstood in society, because it is still taboo. If you are dealing with certain issues such as terminal illness or domestic violence, there are fundraisers for that, shelters, hospices, and people will rally around you and help you get better.

With cults, it is largely misunderstood, because people blame you for getting involved and don't understand the concept of vulnerability, mind control. combined with the desire to help others. Because I was there as a child and had no say in the matter, people are less judgmental towards me, but still look at me sideways and don't understand what I am talking about, and I get it. This isn't common in society, it is one of those things that exist in the underbelly of society, and still, no one really wants to talk about.

Anyway, while watching the documentary, I felt like I was reliving my childhood. I grew up in the Bay Area in California, and Jim Jones had his Temple there for years before moving to Guyana. Our cult leader had been trying to build an isolated commune for years, and it almost because became a reality in New Mexico, isolated from others.

Sharon Amos in the documentary reminded me very much of my own mother. Sharon Amos was married and had a child before joining the cult. She became one of the most zealous members, changed her name, and ended up killing her children. Her ex husband, although was not a part of the cult, tried to visit his only daughter. This was eerily similar to my situation. My mother was and still is a zealous member of the cult. To this day, my mother feels I betrayed her and has essentially turned her back on me. She has changed her name multiple times, and she basically stopped raising my brother and I when I was about 8 years old. Instead, she became a full-time, live-in servant for the cult leader. Before then she was a caring and wonderful mother. Since then, she has broken almost every promise she ever made to us, and would sell us out to the cultleader by any means necessary. I feel now it is best to just not even talk to her anymore, since there is no way I can tell her anything without her funneling information back into the group.

While I was in the cult, the cult leader and my mother really did a fine number on turning my brother and I against our father. My father used to be in the cult, but left when I was about 13. Once he left, he was allowed to see us, but only because he was paying child support and it was required by law. And my dad faithfully paid, but my mother took that money and gave it to the cult leader.

Watching the documentary brought back memories of my father trying to do the right thing for my brother and I, but instead getting ridiculed behind his back, and his attempts at getting us out were thwarted by my mother.

I am convinced that if the crazy cult leader asked my mom to do something crazy like move us out of the country, or have us die together, she would have. That is how committed to the cause she was, and still is.

What really gave me the creeps was watching Jim Jones talk to people. How he talked to people was pretty much exactly how our cult leader spoke to us. How he instructed his followers to answer to the media was pretty much exactly how we were instructed to talk to the press. It was always an "us vs. them" mentality. The whole world was against us, the classic battle of good vs. evil. We were the angels that were chosen to lead others into the path of God, while the rest of society needed guidance. Not only did they need guidance, but they were against us. I grew up thinking everyone that wasn't in the group was full of "bad" energy, including my own family, which resulted in consequences that has taken years to work through.

Anyway, I could write about this all day, but I am going to stop here for now and possibly write more later.

Huggles !