Emotional Trauma: A Response to Feeling Disrespected

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Emotional Trauma: A Response to Feeling Disrespected

Post  Live and on 03/03/10, 12:51 pm

I was going to post this in response to FreedMan's “Feelings of Disrespect” but thought it might be a slightly different topic (although, I certainly relate to his post about being required to bury all emotion: emotions = immaturity. Only the leaders had a right to emotion and then it was termed “righteous indignation” or “righteous anger” - the lay people were not mature or righteous enough to be able to handle emotion like the leaders could).

This post is to address the emotional abuse that comes when leaving SCC. Leaders attempt to control the people long after they walk out the door. Other posts have addressed the comments like “you are inviting calamity on your life and the life of your children” and “you are leaving yourself ripe for the devil to come pluck you and your kids away” etc. I am referring to the isolation they try to force on you through a continuation of the “no talk rule” which exists in SCC.

At the point I decided to leave, I wanted to leave quietly and not become “one of them” (the ungrateful people who had left and forgotten all that pastor Johnson and the leaders had done for them. Backslidden people. All the spiteful people who made it their life mission to destroy SCC, people who just couldn't get on with their lives and so they joined 'clubs' with other rebels who had left (even though they were never friends while they went to SCC)). I was also scared of receiving the same treatment these people got from the pulpit, after all, ALL of my friends still went to SCC and would hear the terrible things said about me – and I know from experience, after pastor Johnson speaks, members do NOT go to get the other side of the story or find out if what he said was true. Before leaving, I addressed this concern of ruining my reputation with Kevin MacMillan and was assured, “your name is safe.” pastor Johnson said, “as long as you don't go out guns blazing, you will be fine.”

We left quietly. Soon after, we discovered that before we had even left (when the writing was on the wall that we likely would leave), two different elders and pastor Johnson had already been spreading negative rumours about us to people in the congregation and to others outside of SCC. No one. NO one called me or emailed me to determine the facts. We were done...And this begins the part that most (all?) ex-SCCers have in common.

You are told that if you have to leave, do NOT talk to any SCC member (about anything). Also, do NOT associate with the rebels who have left before (none of whom had I contacted to see if the story told about them was was accurate). If you heed this cousel, you will not be publicly disgraced from the pulpit.

Meanwhile, SCC members are told not to associate in any way with ANYONE who has left: “They will pollute you. They will accost you in the grocery store and stick a knife in your back. They will INFECT you...” etc. So, after giving yourself up to this organization for 10, 15, 20+ years, and no longer have any friends outside of SCC (“stay away from unbelievers,” “Most non-SCC Christians are 'small c' christians (second rate); and you have alienated yourself from most of your family members (“We are your family – your Church Family,” “Everything you need in life is in these four walls.”) you have no one. You built your whole life around this club and these people and they all abandon you because the pastor tells them to. Close friends, families you loved, children you had stay with you when Mom and Dad went out of town...None of them even call once just to see how you are doing.

Now, the only Christian people you know are either rebels who you cannot associate with (and, upon first leaving, you do not want to associate with them - after all, you have heard they are all backsliders, and you are not a backlsider); or they still go to SCC and they will not speak to you because “You made your choice” or “our lives are going in two different directions.” You are alone. Your children are no longer even allowed to talk to their children if they see each other at McDonald's. (by the way, if you have children in your home when you leave SCC, plan on spending many nights sitting on the edge of their bed trying to console your sobbing child who does not understand why his friends don't like him anymore. Practice this phrase in your most compassionate tone: “I don't know. I don't know why its this way. I'm so sorry.). It is brutal.

So, if you leave quietly with the promise that your reputation is secure, you will be fine. Until...you do not immediately go to another pastor Johnson approved church (there is one (maybe) in the city and he will do his best to keep you out of it), you do not talk to any of the rebels who have left (they are all rebels), and, you eventually (quickly) move out of Saskatoon. The goal is isolation. Before you leave they will try to isolate you – even from from your wife and kids: “If you have to go, then go, but leave your wife and precious children”. If your wife and precious children decide to stay with their husband/father/head of their home/spiritual leader (as they preach the Dad is it at SCC), then they will isolate you as a family.

Don't let yourself be isolated. There are thousands of great Christians in Saskatoon. People who left SCC have stories just like yours. You will realize when you leave how little you actually knew about people and events because most of your information came from the same source and was not direct knowledge. (add to that, how many notable miracles/fulfilled corporate prophesies did you actually see at SCC (not that you were told about)? Think about your opinions of people who have left, are you offended by these people because of something they did to you, or because of something you were told they did to someone else (ie. SCC leadership)? Just find out the facts. I am sure you will find that you did not have the whole story. Not that all these people will become your best friends, but some probably will, and you will certainly realize the damaging effect of your previous influences.

All the best to you as you continue your journey. Don't take it alone.

Here is some good information from Wikipedia (I highlighed one part in red). Read it and maybe it will help explain some things for you, like why you don't even want to drive by SCC anymore, or why it is that many of the grads who bolt from SCC end up drinking...


Psychological trauma is a type of damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a traumatic event. When that trauma leads to posttraumatic stress disorder, damage may involve physical changes inside the brain and to brain chemistry, which damage the person's ability to adequately cope with stress.
A traumatic event involves a single experience, or an enduring or repeating event or events, that completely overwhelm the individual's ability to cope or integrate the ideas and emotions involved with that experience. The sense of being overwhelmed can be delayed by weeks, years, even decades, as the person struggles to cope with the immediate circumstances.
Trauma can be caused by a wide variety of events, but there are a few common aspects. There is frequently a violation of the person's familiar ideas about the world and of their human rights, putting the person in a state of extreme confusion and insecurity. This is also seen when people or institutions depended on for survival violate or betray or disillusion the person in some unforeseen way.[1]
After a traumatic experience, a person may re-experience the trauma mentally and physically, hence avoiding trauma reminders, also called triggers, as this can be uncomfortable and even painful. They may turn to psychoactive substances including alcohol to try to escape the feelings. Re-experiencing symptoms are a sign that the body and mind are actively struggling to cope with the traumatic experience.[3]

Some traumatized people may feel permanently damaged when trauma symptoms don't go away and they don't believe their situation will improve. This can lead to feelings of despair, loss of self-esteem, and frequently depression. If important aspects of the person's self and world understanding have been violated, the person may call their own identity into question.[3] Often despite their best efforts, traumatized parents may have difficulty assisting their child with emotion regulation, attribution of meaning, and containment of post-traumatic fear in the wake of the child's traumatization, leading to adverse consequences for the child[6][7] In such instances, it is in the interest of the parent(s) and child for the parent(s) to seek consultation as well as to have their child receive appropriate mental health services.

Live and
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Post  Enlightened on 04/03/10, 11:35 pm

I found this info very helpful; it really is like a trauma, and you go through the emotional phases of it all: shock, disbelief, numbness, anger, hurt, sadness, and then hopefully, healing and recovery...

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Thank you for writing your story.

Post  emigration on 05/03/10, 09:07 am

Those who are writing their stories and reading other people's stories must see a pattern emerging. SCC is a textbook case of a Christian cult that abuses it's members. We share the the same assault on our spirits , souls and bodys that nags us. We are just a few who have chosen to write. There are hundreds that feel the same about SCC but find it too painful to re-live and write their stories. For some it took them years to get over the trauma of leaving the SCC "family". Jesus radically suffered much more than any of us. We need to be mindful that He took away our sorrows and pains. Our association is with Him, not Saskatoon Christian Centre. My identity will not be defined by SCC, I identify with Jesus my Savior.

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Re: Emotional Trauma: A Response to Feeling Disrespected

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