Ezra – Coercive Control & Work
Coercive control really is hard to grasp If you’ve never experienced it. It’s hard to describe the holistic control you are under, but I assume if spells were real then it would be like that. You don’t really understand you’re being controlled until you break away from that environment. Some people end up defending the perpetrators (Stockholm syndrome) and then becoming one. For these people, they can’t even conceptualise coercive control within their applied context, it is just “normal” learned behaviour and of course they justify it as such.
Now let’s cross-examine Peter Righteous based on my experience in the community. Peter Claims that:
- Members are not coerced into joining or staying
Members are not forced to do anything. They do it of their own free will
Children are not made to work from an early age
There was no withholding food or corporal punishment
Being born into the community puts you at a significant disadvantage. You can only choose to leave, but by the time you’re of the age you are so conditioned it’s near impossible. Right from birth you’re “fed” every aspect of life. Where most children experience healthy levels of choice growing up to equip them for life, children born in the community are deceptively and strategically coerced into “choosing” the option presented to them and punished for actually choosing something else. It becomes a way of life and you don’t even know it’s not normal. They become robots.
The tactics used to prevent me from leaving were most definitely deceptive and certainly didn’t respect my right to free will. Once they had tried everything in the coercive control book and realised my stubborn ass wasn’t budging they resorted to cursing me like a witch. I won’t repeat exactly what was said as it still shocks me, but they tried to cast a spell on me. That was you Peter! How you reconcile that with Christianity is beyond me. What gives you the right to curse anyone? I will say that the mental control the community had over me lasted many years after I left. I still always put myself down and tell myself I’m not worth it.
“No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“You never rise above the image you have of yourself” – Joel Osteen
Unfortunately, others will have the same opinion of you that you have of yourself. I’ve let it impact my life and allowed people to disrespect me and treat me “less-than” for too long, but no more. I’m learning to stand up for myself, my desires, values and principles and not care if it hurts someone else’s feelings. If you’re constantly giving at the expense of your own happiness and there’s no reciprocation you’ll only end up bitter. Thanks to the community it’s taken me years to overcome this and I still am.
Another tactic that was used to keep me there was the proposition of becoming a pilot – coming straight from the leader. Funny how suddenly the career options start to expand. Shame you refused my earlier requests to work with computers or you might’ve kept me.
From the age of six I was forced to work. What six year old wants to work when there’s no choice? Playing? What is that? I hated it. I remember specifically not wanting to do what you made me, but those thoughts dare never get verbalised for fear of punishment. I remember many many afternoons without adequate warm clothing in the freezing, wet winter counting bolts, picking moss, rock picking, milking cows and plenty more “chores”. Sometimes getting up at 2am to get the cows in.
I don’t think I’d have minded doing any of those things in the right circumstances, or if I’d actually been given a choice. There was no choice, do it or there would be consequences. Those consequences ranged from public shaming in front of the entire community, being “banned” from riding bikes, a strapping with a belt, being hit with PVC pipe, 4×2 or anything that was within reach, like say willow cane.
Remember Peter? My friend and I, around 8-9 playing swords with willow cane and just having fun, you grabbed it off us and whipped us? You’ll probably deny that too.
I never wanted to run boilers or paint anything. I actually always wanted to be a movie director. No-one ever asked what I wanted to be growing up.
I’ve already mentioned the standard punishments, however there were plenty more. At the age of 8 I was forced to go without food for three days because I took some apples. Everyone took them, however I was punished. It was publicly announced in front of everyone. The shame and embarrassment was bad enough. Luckily for me, my amazing mother could see how wrong it was and brought me dinner each day.
I remember another time the school planned an excursion (extremely rare) to the Tip Top factory. Most kids in western society would’ve probably tried to find an excuse not to go, but in there, getting out for a day was super exciting and a free ice-cream came with it. Unfortunately those that were currently banned from riding bikes were not able to attend. I remember I just scrapped in, but 2 of my friends didn’t and were devastated.
Some of this may seem so foreign or inconsequential to outsiders, but the life lived there is one of slavery and misery. People say they’re happy, but you can tell by their facial expressions and the way they compose themselves that they’re not. The most simple mundane things that are taken for granted out in society are craved in there. I think the only thing I’ve ever truly desired was to have a voice. To be able to provide MY opinion freely without any prejudice or retaliation. To be seen, loved and valued. I think that is what most people want regardless of where they live, myself included.
Peter, You can deny all these things that have happened to so many people, but that just makes you a liar.