The Fellowship Factor in People's Lives
I sometimes muse over the fellowship factor in people's lives.
It is intriguing to contemplate how different someone's life would have been if they had never encountered the religious plague, which I affectionately call Wayman's World. Depending on how intensely involved someone became with that religious world, and how long they stayed in it, the course of their lives was altered to varying degrees.
In my case, my life would have been completely different. Had I not gotten entangled in that low level religion of Wayman's, I would not have married the woman I married, I would have almost certainly gotten my PhD, I would have continued my study of astrology, and a host of other things. Many things were aborted in my life that could never be regained. The simple fact of the matter is that I suffered loss of what I would call life itself.
It is sad in a free society that people can still become enslaved by something like religion. Instead of making good, healthy choices concerning the direction of their lives, they let some religion, and religious leaders, tell them what they should be investing their time, energy, devotion, and money in.
In the case of Wayman's World, people were diverted from living truly productive and fulfilling lives into building an imaginary "kingdom," which was supposed to be the "kingdom of God on Earth." In reality, they were building Wayman's kingdom, which is nothing more than a religious society in which Wayman is king, and has everything set up for his pleasure. That world completely fills his desire to be a religious dictator, to have everyone in that world in submission to him, and to allow him to live like a wealthy CEO. For the people who build that kingdom, however, it is a destructive diversion that drains them of their own lives.
It is strange to try and explain to someone, who has no familiarity with anything like Wayman's World, why you would need to recover from being part of a church group. It is even stranger to try and explain why you can never fully recover what was lost. It is hard to not end up sounding like some whining, self pitying weirdo who wants to blame his or her problems on some church.
Granted, ex members can fall into the trap of self pity. On the other hand, it would be silly to try and minimize what this religious organization does to people, and how it wrecks their lives. The loss is real. Loss of career, education, once in a life time opportunities, friends, relationship with family, and other such things, is very real as a result of being a part of Wayman's World. It is the loss of living a free life.
We gave up our freedom to follow Wayman and his leaders because they convinced us that the God of the Bible wanted us to do that. We found out years later that they were just using people to attain a high lifestyle within that religous world. Men who would have amounted to nothing in the real world were "powerful" men in Wayman's World. Men and women who would have been successful in the real world were enslaved to these leaders, and sacrificed their own potential to build "the kingdom."
Once someone leaves that religious world, and are completely disowned by them, then they can see all of this. That is one of the aspects of the whole experience that is so hard. You realize that in the end you were indeed what Wayman says: a human resource. And now there is no way to get back all of the years, the effort, the energy, the devotion, and the money that you invested in Wayman's dream world.
Some try to rationalize and say it wasn't all bad. Well, nothing is all bad. There have been men who were in prisoner of war camps who will talk about some positive things that they took away from that experience. Yet, most would skip out on that experience, given the choice. It is the same with Wayman's World. Almost always, a person would have been infinitely better off if they had never been ensnared by Wayman and his henchmen. Wayman and his top leaders have benefited through the destruction of other people's lives.
The fellowship factor in people's lives is akin to catching some disease that really messes up your life. At a time of vulnerability the fellowship enters your life and does some serious damage. I suppose that people should be vaccinated against such destructive religions. Perhaps we could better educate people as to the potential of these types of religions really messing up people's minds and lives.
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