I was born into a cult but I have never been LDS - Christadelphians

by Amellifera Feb 2012

I realize this isn’t a space created for me, and I hope I’m not intruding. I’ve spent the past 3 days reading this forum. My husband doesn’t understand why I’m so fascinated. He thinks it has something to do with the fact that we live in Utah. It doesn’t, really, though I found this forum because I was curious. The major reason I’ve been reading your discussions (in all of my free time for the past 3 days) is because I was born into “The Truth” as well. Though they call themselves Christadelphians.

The similarities with Mormon doctrine are vanishingly small. Christadelphians are a tiny group, who will never have a candidate for president. I think Christadelphians might be more overtly sexist, but I don’t know. But there are similarities: The insidious ways people police each other’s behavior. The fact that you have to be prepared to give up all of your friends (and sometimes family) if you leave. The difficulty in convincing your friends that you have left (my home address was just listed in the publication sent to all North American Christadelphians; I have no idea how they found me). The anger and grief you feel, even as you also find a greater happiness and freedom.

I guess I just want to thank you all. I’ve never been able to articulate how much Christadelphianism informed who I am today (both the original belief and the rejection of it). I’ve been fairly successful in my life, post-Christadelphia. I don’t think my husband can understand my continued fascination with scriptural interpretation, my easily provoked anger at “small” trespasses into my privacy by current Christadelphians, etc. I left over a decade ago, before I met my husband. It’s still a daily issue in my life – mainly because my parents are still “Brethren in Christ.” Reading the posts here has allowed me to undergo a catharsis that I was unable to complete in my isolation. You are a pretty wonderful group. So thank you. For the amount of humor I have found on here. The fact that you don’t shy away from anger. For strategies on how to deal with Christadelphians when they inevitably invade my boundaries. It's been really healthy for me.

Thank you for speaking. It has helped.

And feel free to speak your mind!

Indeed, you are not alone!


Re: I was born into a cult, but I’ve never been LDS
Thanks, Timothy. I really appreciate it.

That cult sounds fascinating...just looked it up.
I'm sure you have a lot you can add here on this board. Welcome and please join in. I can imagine it must have been very isolating to break out of a group few people have ever heard of. You can be our token Ex-Christadelphian. :)

Re: I was born into a cult, but I’ve never been LDS
There are few enough resources anywhere for cult survivors... Welcome!

Re: That cult sounds fascinating...just looked it up.
Thanks, Cristina

Wow, I just googled them too, for the first time in a while. What they don't tell you: women must wear head coverings to meeting (ecclesia), I met women who walked 6 paces behind their husband in public, you will be disfellowshipped for voting or serving on a jury, there is a major split in the church based on whether you will already be immortal at the raising-of-the-dead or you become immortal after Christ judges you, and people refuse to take communion with each other based on it.

If I were a cultural anthrpologist, I'd probably find it very interesting. But my major issues have been with learning how to live, post Christadelphian. You guys have already helped me so, so much.

Thank you

Carol Y.
Glad you found RFM. Tell us more when you can. 

Re: I was born into a cult, but I’ve never been LDS
Thanks. Finding you guys has been very liberating.

Re: I was born into a cult, but I’ve never been LDS
Just goes to show. A cult is a cult is a cult. The out come is so similar for those who either leave or are ran out.
I sometimes read the JW's recovery site. It has a familiar ring to it. I'm reminded that we have all been manipulated and affected. It doesn't really matter what the name of the group is.

Re: I was born into a cult, but I’ve never been LDS
I hate to tell you this, but your cult might be even smaller then you suspect. I was reading about it just now on Wikipedia, and they claim a few thousand members in Africa and Asia. As we have learned in Mormonism, it is easy for cults to use gimmick tricks in those places, to drum up a lot of baptisms and temporary conversions in order to inflate their numbers. While this looks like it was only done with a couple thousand people, out of a religion that has only 60,000 members, it is scandalous.

Re: I was born into a cult, but I’ve never been LDS
Yeah, that's something I'm very aware of. One of the other things they have in common with Mormons is the whole "Mark of Cain" and "Mark of Hamm" history of racism. I actually left "The Faith" because they sent a group of missionaries to Jamaica. And they appointed a guy who had gotten a 14 year old girl pregnant. "But he did that in Mexico, several years ago." Seriously? I grew up in a faith where they thought a 14 year old might have not been raped because she was Mexican. I had a conversation with my father (who was on the board that appointed this guy). I asked him why a woman had been disfellowshipped for a second marriage, but they're putting a known child molester in charge of young girls, outside of the country no less. He said, "Well, he's repented. You can't repent of divorce, because it's a constant state of being." That was when I left.

So, long story short, I'm sure they lie about membership. The weird thing about Christadelphians, though, is that they like having smaller membership. I don't really know why. It makes them feel more persecuted?

Re: I was born into a cult, but I’ve never been LDS
Nice you could join us. It is good to learn we are not alone. It sometimes feels that way to me even tho I know we are not. They are a lot of cults out there and it is good to compare notes. I do understand where you are coming from.
Re: I was born into a cult, but I’ve never been LDS
Welcome aboard! This can be you recovery from Christadelphianism site. A cult is a cult is a cult. Are there practicing Christadelphians in Utah? I grew up there and have never heard of it until today with your post.
Re: I was born into a cult, but I’ve never been LDS
I studied with and associated a little with Christadelphians here in the UK for a few years before the Mormon thing.

They think only they understand the bible properly (sound familiar?) and are the only true Brothers In Christ.

Doctrine is based on John Thomas the founder's interpretation of the bible who survived a potential sinking ship/heavy storm and prayed to be spared and vowed to find truth if God saves him from what must have been a scary situation at the time for him.(From what I can recall).

I found them to be very academic in nature and it was a pleasant experience looking in from the outside but could see the subtle pressure to conform for members. There are fragmentations amongst the Christadelphians (no suprises there), over what the bible exactly teaches(prophetic wise at least)

They believe we are in the Last Days and only the faithfull among them will be saved! (again no suprises there). Israel has regathered 1948 etc, a major and fundamental event for Christadelphians, though also for Evangelicals.

I read Elpis Israel and was it Robert Roberts's the next leader's book also.

Re: I was born into a cult, but I’ve never been LDS
Thank you for reaching out. I have observed that people who survive cults, Scientology, LDS, etc, tend to stay away from other organized religions, even the least cult-like.

Have you had any interest in joining another faith community?
Many ex-cult members are atheist, understandably.

mr. mike
Re: I was born into a cult, but I’ve never been LDS
It's always good to hear from people from the smaller sects; I've never heard of the Christadelphians, though I have heard of small groups like them. I think that the smaller cults are worse than the larger ones because everybody knows everybody and there is nowhere to hide (I experienced that in Fundamentalist Christian school.) I would say that the Christadelphians like being small because that means more space for them when they are resurrected.

Glad to hear you escaped, Amellifera.

"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org"