The benefits of being in a cult

Even though I mostly write about the dangers of being in a cult and the challenges that follow during the recovery process, I have to admit that I have personally benefited from looking at my cult experience objectively. In this blog post, I will reflect on the positives that I experienced in the cult, as well as how I have used those positive aspects of the cult to shaped my life today.

Benefits that I personally experienced

  • As a young child, I used to be extremely shy, withdrawn and introverted. I was able to overcome my shyness and become more outgoing as a Jehovah’s Witness, since I was expected to engage in the preaching work and do demonstrations in front of an audience at the kingdom hall. Furthermore, being interviewed at conventions and being cast in a drama performance also caused me to come out of my shell and become more confident.
  • As a Jehovah’s Witness, I was enrolled in the theocratic ministry school, which helped me develop public speaking and teaching skills so I could be more effective as a preacher.
  • I had the priviledge of travelling and helping in the kingdom hall construction work in South Africa. I thoroughly enjoyed travelling and building in rural areas which were sorrounded by beautiful nature. Also, it was heartwarming and faith strengethening to experience the generosity and kindness of fellow JWs.
  • When I moved to Thailand, I joined a Thai congregation and fellow JWs often invited me to their homes to teach me basic phrases in Thai so I could preach with them in the Thai field.

How cult experience has shaped my post cult life

  • Due to all the time I spent in the preaching work, I am able to strike up a conversation with strangers to this day. This skill came in handy when I struck up a conversation with a stranger on a train and this led me to my current job here in Sweden. I have been working in the same company for 4 years and that stranger has since become a colleague and beloved friend.
  • I enjoyed having deep discussions with people as a JW and that love has continued to this day. The only difference is that now, I don’t talk to people as one having superior knowledge and having the intention of someday converting them, but I talk to them with an open mind. Consequently, I’ve had the most genuine, respectful and eye opening discussions I’ve ever had in my life!
  • As a JW, I thorougly enjoyed doing research for the theocratic ministry school. Looking back, I realise that I was only allowed to do research in publications which were approved by the leaders of the JW organisation. Even though the research I did back them was limited, my love for research and learning was nonetheless ignited! As a result, I am currently pursuing my honours in psychology and I hope to pursue my masters next year.
  • Lastly, leading bible studies with individuals when I used to be a JW made me realise just how much I loved teaching. I currently work as a teacher. Speaking of teaching, the little bit of Thai that I learned from my Thai congretation in Thailand has come in handy in my current job. I have a Thai student who had a particularly hard time following my English instructions to stop being rambuctious. To his utter astonishement, I said a phrase in his mother tongue that stopped him dead in his tracks! I have since earned his respect and that has made my life somewhat easier as his teacher.

My conclusion

After speaking to numerous new friends and aqcuaintances, I realise that they too have been in contexts that have developed certain desirable skills and traits in them. Therefore, this leads me to believe that I could have easily developed similar skills or traits in other non cult like and less dangerous contexts.

Finally, my positive reflections about the cult do not in anyway mean that I would recommend anyone to join a cult, nor do they minimise the damage that comes as a result of being in a cult. The next post will be about some of disadvantages of being in a cult and how I have overcome them since my departure from the cult.

Published by Mbali M

I am a 30 something year old South African currently living in Sweden. This is a personal blog about my experience of being in a high control religious group, my departure from the group as well and how I have adjusted to life outside the group. I hope this blog inspires you to learn from difficult experiences in life and to use those experiences to propel you forward in order to help you reach your full potential and live your best life.

2 thoughts on “The benefits of being in a cult

  1. My heart still goes out to you. I wish I could take all your pain and suffering away.

    I know what it is to be abused, having kids and fight the fear…

    Jesus has given His life for everyone. Life is never easy never did she say once we accept Him to be our Lord and Saviour things will be fine. Never ever but we still believe it.

    I love you and I am truly sorry that you have to go through life by yourself, but we go through and we grow and the pain that is here today is not lasting forever.

    I am hugging you with eyes full of tears and it’s not all sad. Happy tears to read how far you have come and how grown and beautiful you are.

    I love you

    Like

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