Tag Archive | shunning

The Lion Makers: Fred Phelps and the Outcome of Cult Leaders

In India, there were four Brahmans who set out on a journey. Three of them were highly educated but had little common sense. The fourth had little education but good sense. As they journeyed through a field, the first Brahman said to the second and third, “Through our own efforts and hard work we have […]

Frankenstein Faith: Vestigial Organs in the Body? Natural Family vs. Spiritual Family (Part 3 of 10)

As a four-year-old, I knew enough to realize that my sister was very sick. There was a blur of fluorescent lights in the Emergency Room, the cool swish of long white coats, a beeping of monitors, the smell of rubbing alcohol. I heard a whispered word: “tonsillitis.” Two days later my sister lay recovering at […]

Why People in Cults Don’t Think They’re in Cults

I sat in my usual pew and stared at the yellow piece of paper on my lap. Warning Signs of a Cult, it said. Around me, the rest of the congregation did the same. September sun had warmed the old sanctuary and wasps practiced silent minuets in the rafters. Fall nights are cool in Maine. I […]