Maybe if they looked this good, I would’ve stayed. (Sorry, bad joke!)

I Joined a Religious Cult for Like 5 Minutes

But the experience will last a lifetime

It was longer than five minutes, but it certainly sealed my fate as a repressed Christian who has a mighty hard time trusting Men of God who hide under the robes of power in order to control the baaing sheep.

From the horror films that tortured me as a child — banished to the confines of boarding school — to the makeshift venues that converted into a wailing frenzy as those under the spell of the Holy Spirit deafened my ears with apocalyptic noises — I have had a front row seat to the circus that is orchestrated for the benefit of the lost and needy.

By the time I departed Nigeria in the early nineties to seek destiny in the land of my birth — my home city Lagos, which was still the capital back then — was littered with dramatic billboards pleading with weary natives to attend the crusade of their lives.

The business of duping people into believing enough to empty their almost empty pockets for the sake of a one-way ticket to paradise has always been a lucrative enterprise.

No matter how vast the evidence that proves why we should be particularly wary of a system that stems from methodically enhanced emotional and physical betrayal — there is still a mass movement in favor of worshiping a leader that leads thousands under the guise of a self-appointed preacher.

Despite the callousness that erupts behind closed doors and the testimonies of victims with invisible scars that never heal — the spirit wants what the spirit takes — and the message from the Lord above spreads like a disease from wallet to dicks and into the pulpit of shame and dishonor.

When I moved to New York City after my college graduation — I was young and eager to try anything. I worked boring jobs and made friends at expected places.

One of those friends invited me to church and I accepted the invitation. She was pretty, interesting and seemed genuine in her attempt to get to know me better.

The church wasn’t the typical gathering I had been subjected to during my growing years. There was something disturbingly seductive about this scenario. Everyone was young and attractive with certain attributes that obviously garnered each of them entry into this exclusive circle.

The “man of the people” was quite charismatic and he wasn’t decked out in an over-sized cloth imprinted with the commandment of the cross. He was well dressed, handsome and witty. He spoke with quiet authority and his eyes consistently sourced the ability to hold down the fort he had created.

As I became better acquainted with other members, I learned how the command station was set up — and the flow chart automatically took shape as I observed interactions and also interacted based on curiosity and the hunger to expose falsehoods.

Once the formalities were out of the way, the quest to have me fully recruited was a process that I endured with acute awareness. It was a collage of last-minute invites and being immersed in activities that were supposed to highlight my traits to determine my long-term eligibility.

The final test was an audience with the leader who always seemed to be surrounded with the same young women — and of course I later found out that he had at some point fucked them all.

The meeting went well, but that was because I needed it to. I needed to examine how an ordinary guy with good looks elevates to extraordinary with a little help from above. I wanted to be assured that I wasn’t being a pessimistic bitch when I bitched about how religion is really a power play between the gods that we ordain — and the followers who need to believe that they’ve found the answer to the endless search of soulful validation.

From David Koresh to Jim Jones to Eddie Long — there is a righteously long list of psychos that couldn’t bear the weight of their own sins and needed the support of willing participants to help shift the load — in a way that absolves them of guilt or responsibility.

The premise is consistent in execution. Be sure to convince your flock how their dependency on you surpasses any need for required individualism. Sexual dominance is a mandated skill that should be instituted with the blessing from the chapters that encourage such coercion.

Broken souls like scattered objects need to be pieced back together with careful precision and the patience of a hunter who plots the downfall of it’s prey with skillful adherence.

I have never been trapped in a well of disillusionment that was too deep for self-rescue. There have been times when I wished I could be that vulnerable so that I could feel the lightness of being emotionally bamboozled. Unfortunately stubbornness and a sensory code that I didn’t ask for — prevents that level of submission.

It didn’t take very long for me to vacate the the friends I made with strategic longing. The end arrived without ceremony. Back then it was easy to walk away without the residue of text messages or the hauntings of social media.

I made a clean break, but the memories still flood in when I sit in a pulpit and wonder if the person I’m listening to conceived the sermon while jacking off from a daily helping of porn — or if he plans to exit the service and enter the orifice of a newly-minted member — who desperately needs the keys to the kingdom.

Our appetite for domination is an instinct that begins the moment we cry out loud at the coldness of leaving the womb — and it takes on various forms that are dependent on character and formation.

For five minutes I witnessed the disarray of lives under the spell of obvious thievery and I will continue to marvel at the willpower of those accused.

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