My husband has left me for a religious cult. No....really...he's gone. He left without his cell phone, laptop or car. Someone picked him up and away he went to an unknown location to spend the next 3 days being indoctrinated in "The Word." He will be surrounded by ultra-religious people who will be praying and laying hands on each other and generally "glowing" with their religious fervor. I just hope no one brings snakes.
He didn't want to go. He was really in a no-win situation. In our state, possibly others, there is a multi-denominational spiritual retreat that is extremely popular. A person has to be "sponsored" to attend and there is a lot of secrecy about what goes on there. Hubby has managed to avoid going for the entire 10+ years he has been a pastor. And honestly, it wasn't an issue at our last church. People at our last church attended the retreat, but that retreat location wasn't the same. People enjoyed attending, but didn't walk away from it saying it was life-changing.
But the Retreat in our new area seems different. When we had our meet and greet with our new church, the very first question asked of Hubby was "Have you been on Retreat?" When Hubby answered no, he was actually told, "Well, this is a Retreat Church." But we have come to find out it is not. A lot of the people who have attended the Retreat have alienated other members of our church by being so clique-ish. The Retreaters constantly ask me when I am going to go. They walk around talking about it in whispers and with sidewards glances so the non-Retreaters can't hear what goes on there "in case they ever want to attend." They judge non-Retreaters as having a lesser faith then they themselves. And apparently, the only way to get the full Retreat experience is to go in completely blind and unknowing, to just give yourself up to God.
So you can imagine the rush that occured when Hubby agreed to go. He agreed because he doesn't feel he has a right to tell the Retreaters to back off unless he has actually walked in their shoes. So Hubby agreed and the secrecy intensified. I was asked to do this and that to prepare him for his journey. The Retreaters held meetings behind close doors to discuss what they were going to give Hubby, or say to Hubby at the actual retreat. And on Sunday, everyone who had attended the Retreat kept walking up to him saying, "I'll see you there! You won't know when you are going to see me, but you will." It was all just so high school.
So anyway, Hubby is gone and not allowed to call home (how is that possibly Christian? Family is supposed to be the backbone of Chrisitanity). He will be kept in religious meetings and prayer sesssions and hear testimonies from dozens of people from 7:00 AM until well after 10:00 at night. He is cut-off from tv, computer and the world. Sounds like a cult to me. And if you are wondering how I know this since it is all so hush-hush, remember the Retreat in my old city wasn't like this at all. The program is supposed to be the same, unless it has been truly bastardized by these people.
I just hope Hubby doesn't come home with the "glow."
And I hope if someone offers him Kool-aid that he will run far, far away.