Happy New Year!

Wishing all you wonderful folks a happy new year!

To all who have contributed to the site throughout 2018, through articles, comments or both, thank you.

We run this blog because we think there is great value in talking about our experiences and what we've all learned throughout the process of leaving a highly-controlling religion.

Some of you may have had the great fortune of being able to walk away from the religion with relative ease, while others of us have found the process incredibly challenging and difficult. By sharing our unique experiences and perspectives, together we can heal the wounds, and help to make every year a little better than the last.

To that end, I want hear your feedback and suggestions of what you'd like to see more of in 2019 on this blog. Let's celebrate the magic of life, the universe, and everything, and have a little fun along the way as well.

So once again, happy new year! Let's make 2019 a great one!

-Thom

14 comments:

  1. Thank you Thom.
    In her book 'Brain Matters', Katrina S. Firlik (a neurosurgeon) writes about how she believes traditional religion can lead to a false hope or false comfort starting at an early age. Brain bending (my words). She goes on to say, " . . . many people sell themselves short on life because they expect great things after death. Life is not a dress rehearsal. You have to enjoy it, make the most of it, while your neurons are still buzzing with live connections." She goes on to talk about why people find benefits in affiliating oneself to a religion, welcoming social network, comfort in times of duress, repeated schedule of events which strengthen belief and bring order into one`s own life. "These are very nice benefits" she writes, and continues, "The not-so-hidden downsides,though, can sometimes put a damper on those benefits: dividing humans along religious lines, encouraging war, discouraging marriage between otherwise perfectly compatible individuals, inhibiting free thought, and invoking guilt in those who stray from the flock." She has these thoughts while holding in her hand a human brain: she seems to be saying that a brain can be altered by what we allow to go into it,for good or bad. Our brains control what we do and what we think.
    So, to echo Thom, let`s celebrate the magic of life - Now. Have a happy New Year, everyone.

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  2. I enjoy reading and sometimes contributing comments to this blog, as I feel it is invaluable to young people who are being indoctrinated but have their doubts about the religion.
    As a child at Sunday school, I knew I was being taught a load of hogwash but didn't have access to an alternative viewpoint like this blog provides, and I was unable to articulate my thoughts effectively. It was too easy for parents and speakers to spout pseudo-science and "evidence", whilst it was very difficult to refute their views without spending hours in a library.
    Nowadays such nonsense can be checked in seconds and hard facts presented, probably to the dismay of CD parents and youth day speakers.

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  3. Thom,
    Firstly, thanks for holding the reins and keeping the blog going, both this one and the dolphins, which always has us falling off our chairs here.
    As a former member who's claim to fame is having being disfellowshipped for writing on this blog, I am aware that sometimes pleasing everybody is just not possible, so, best of luck with that one for this year...

    Over the holiday period I had the non too pleasant task of clearing out the final remains of two Christadelphian lives, my own and someone else's, and it brought home to me just how children brought up in the religion come to have their young lives dominated by it, books,awarded and stamped by long dead superintendents, prizes for compliance with the thoughts of the long dead. All now moved to landfill. After a "spat" with Jon Morgan late last year, I was reminded again just how those childhood indoctrinations can rumble on, even long after the victim has, for the most part at least, thrown off their chains. It is a path that my own children were walking down until fate intervened to free them.
    I do at times see things a little from a UK perspective, and you may be aware that things are temporarily a little unsettled here as we renegotiate our trading partnerships with our neighboring countries. Christadelphians (worldwide) have been quick to see "signs" as a results of that, so much so that SOME senior Australian speaking Brethren have taken to delaying the preparation of talks until the last minute on the basis that they believe that Jesus is actually a little late, and was expected back by the end of last year...
    Against this background, since the Christadelphian's "Big Conversation" nearly 4 years ago, little has changed, but in broad terms, 3 meetings a year close, a couple of hundred die, and those brought up in the religion and are baptised, outnumber those from the outside by (about) 8:1, numbering a few tens of people ,the shifting demographic now meaning that around 80% of the 6000 or so members are aged 55+
    My thoughts as to the relevance of this is that there is a small audience for what you have to offer here. The former editor felt that attempting to de-convert people was a waste of time, and I agreed. As a former evangelist myself (not a Christadelphian one I should add) and the brother of a serving Anglican evangelical Minister (one with a Cambridge masters in theology), I am aware of just how "lazy" Christadelphians are at promoting their message outside of the soft target of their own so-called community.
    Mark's comment above brings this home nicely. He KNEW it was hogwash and was a part of that community at a time before the information age made it easier to disprove. Peddling this crap to the wider community is a lost cause and they know it, so they have to concentrate their effort on those who can least defend themselves from it-their own kids.
    So, after that walkabout, and to answer the "what would you like to see more of" question, I would like to see a tight focus on material to assist those most at risk of falling for the scam (as all of us did), to stand up to and reject what they are being taught as "truth", so that they don't waste as much of their lives as we have, since undoubtedly folk between 11 and 18 will be under intense pressure to commit, especially now Christadelphians are preaching that not only is the return imminent, but also that they consider that the master is actually late!

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    1. Thanks Joseph.

      Congrats on clearing out your old Christadelphian books and other materials. I got rid of most of mine a few years back, although I still have a thick Bible around somewhere because it's a very handy size as a monitor stand or paperweight. I have no need of an actual Bible because I can look up verses on the internet should I ever feel the urge.

      Getting rid of the physical baggage can be therapeutic as it signals to the brain that the mental baggage can go the same way.

      Thanks also for the suggestion of providing material for a younger audience (and people of any age who might be curious about joining the cds). I can see a lot of value in that. Cheers.

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    2. When I got rid of a lot of my CD books last year I came upon one which had been given to someone the year I was born, talking about it being a "most significant year" for Christ's return. Suffice it to say that more "significant years" have come and gone since then...

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  4. Hi! I have been reading much of this blog for about a year now. I left the Christadelphian meeting about 10 years ago. I came in from the "outside" at the age of 18. I was a "sister in good standing" for 20 years, even though I a had major problems with the God of the Bible, even as a child... Atheism would have spared me many regrets I now have about "roads not taken" and such. At the age of 40, I am actually charting a course in life, where once I would let "God's will" be done. I became an atheist about a year ago, thanks to Ricky Gervais, Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins articulating the doubts I'd always had.
    I have related to many of the articles on this blog. It has given me comfort to know others are out there. I stopped attending meetings because I hated God. After lack of attendance I was threatened to be disfellowshipped via email. No one cared to ask why I left, nor had any earnest concern about me. No one has tried to find the "lost sheep" I remember they always prayed about during the Memorial service. Anyway, the hypocrisy really helped me move on, (albeit hurt) and ultimately lead me from God-hater/questioner, to doubter and now unbeliever. My only problem with this now, is I'm "in isolation" lol, from other ex-christadelphians! I would love to meet another ex-christadelphian. Thanks for keeping this blog going. It has really helped me to know I made the right decision. I know it can do the same for many more.

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    1. Hi and welcome!

      Glad you've been finding the blog helpful, and I wish you well continuing to chart your own unique course through life (I think it's great to be free of strict belief-based definitions of what's "good" in life and what isn't).

      If you're looking to meet more ex-Christadelphians, you may find the Ex-CD Facebook group helpful.
      I think it reaches a larger group of people than here (including several of the admins here), and as a private group you might be able to share more details about what you're looking for without the world seeing.

      Oh, and if you ever want to share more of your story publicly, feel free to add more comments or contact one of us if you'd like a separate post.

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    2. Although the Facebook group is private and can't be viewed by non-members, the member list can be viewed by anyone.
      Can this be changed, as I'm sure this could put off many would be members who don't want their membership to be viewed by parents/ABs/Sunday school teachers etc.

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    3. Mark, I agree that is a problem that has been talked about in the group over the years. But Facebook seems to have changed it last year: Article about it here, documentation here says only current members can see the list of members for a closed group.

      Certainly if I look at the group while not logged in I can't see the list of members.

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    4. Sorry, the second link was bad. Should have been to here. Also, while I'm not an admin of the group, I assume it was set to 'closed' rather than 'secret' because a secret group would be harder for potential members to find.

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  5. My apologies, it appears that the list of Facebook members cannot now be viewed by anyone outside of the group.
    I know it used to be viewable, because I had a scroll through it and saw a couple of names I recognized from my past.

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    1. Mark,
      I fancy that you are, or were, correct. For personal, and professional reasons, I have NEVER been on facebook, but last year was able to view the members list. I noticed a young fellow, who had been more or less "forced" into the brotherhood by one one of the three ruling families in my former ecclesia. He was in before I had left, and was out not long after. Must have been (is) a terrible embarrassment to his family who were (are?) very "strong in the truth".

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  6. It's worth noting that your facebook friends may be able to see the groups you are a member of on your facebook profile, including the ex-cd group.

    Can anyone confirm if this is the case?

    I can see it listed on other members' profiles but I'm also a member of the group so I don't know whether it's also visible to friends who are not a member of the group.

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  7. One more thing worth noting about the Facebook group is that a few people have created separate Facebook accounts under pseudonyms to join the group with. I assume there is some identity verification, but that would be a matter for the admins.

    In short, it's not perfect, I hope given the Facebook pages I linked it's better than it was this time last year (though I don't know the answer to Thom's question), and there are options to make it a little more secure if needed. If it could endanger you having anyone know about your membership of the group, be very careful.

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