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IsmiLiora
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« on: June 02, 2011, 12:18:36 AM »

Has anyone here been on the Walk to Emmaus? (The Upper Room -- Walk to Emmaus http://www.upperroom.org/emmaus/)

It's essentially a retreat disguised as the beginning of a longer journey. People from many Christian denominations attend the walk, although there were no Orthodox Christians on my walk! They were mostly RC, Baptist, evangelical, etc. During the weekend, prayer and worship are disrupted by silly traditions that attendants are basically forced to participate in. I was embarrassed at so many times during the Walk; I couldn't even imagine what kind of problems the team had with the men who weren't excited about dancing around with people in clown-ish costumes.

I attended one (well, I was cornered into going, although I should have put my foot down and said "No way") several years ago, and I was put off by many of the aspects of the Walk.

Among them is a sense of secrecy. The group actually had to make a statement* because so many spouses were "hiding" what happened on the walk and not telling their spouses about it. While many people have argued that it was that their spouse could be surprised, it has generated a resentment in the second person to attend the walk. For a few years my friend never told me what happened because she wanted me to be surprised. "Well, I'm not going, so you can tell me," I told her. "Oh, you ARE going," she responded.

My husband went on the walk before I did. At the time, we hadn't started officially dating yet, but we intended to after a period of prayer. Several people at my church were volunteering that weekend and they made it a point to tell me that he looked "horrible, like something had hit him and he was shocked." People on the walk are technically not allowed to use their cell phones (or consult their watches), so I couldn't contact him. I was distraught the entire weekend, and a big fight blew up because of it.

I don't want to keep blabbing, although if anyone has questions about the weekend (and its strangely cultish aspects), I can answer them. I just wanted to ask if any people on this board had attended a walk at one point. I'm opening this question to non-Orthodox, because I also wanted to ask if anyone was put off about it as well.


Just looking back, I feel that the Walk was one of the clues about my changing view of Christianity. All other aspects aside, there were many things that felt "wrong" about the weekend. I guess I'm hoping to hear about other's positive/negative experiences. I'm basically looking for an "Emmaus support group!"

*The statement instructs people to give details when asked, and not to act secretive. By experiencing the Walk through two different churches, I really know that this isn't being put into practice by many people who attended.
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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2011, 12:35:59 AM »

Is this similar to a mason lodge initiation? Undecided
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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2011, 12:41:01 AM »

Is this similar to a mason lodge initiation? Undecided
No. After the weekend, they call the rest of your life the "4th day," which is representative of our journey in Christianity.

There is no obligation to attend the meetings which occur after the Walk or to participate, although many members become involved. My roommate, who was on the road to a nervous breakdown throughout the entire weekend, actually became a speaker at the next Walk, so I guess she really got something out of it. I was never involved but continued to receive things in the mail and endured some "gentle" prodding from people at my church.

But some aspects of the weekend seemed sort of like an initiation into a bigger thing. At the end of the walk, when our rides were supposed to pick us up (YES! They discourage people from driving to the campsite themselves; your sponsor is supposed to drop you off and pick you up), we go into a big meeting hall and stand on stage. We have to announce ourselves and there is a short program.

Just feeling the shivers thinking about it again.

ETA: The thing is that they have a lot of rules, and they justify it by saying that they are showing agape love towards you. You have to let your sponsor take you out to dinner and drive because they love you. You get a whole mess of "presents" because of others' agape love. They wake you up in the morning personally because they love you. They will discourage you if you're trying to escape (and I've heard some tales) because they love you.
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« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2011, 12:59:23 AM »

Hmmmmm.  I would be apprehensive about letting others have so much control.  I think if the Mrs. went along, and she had a sponsor who showed love by waking her up in the morning, she would show love back by giving the sponsor a black eye. Lips Sealed
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2011, 07:14:49 PM »

What exactly do they have you do?  Neither Wikipedia nor their website were helpful
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2011, 07:28:01 PM »

Has anyone here been on the Walk to Emmaus? (The Upper Room -- Walk to Emmaus http://www.upperroom.org/emmaus/)

It's essentially a retreat disguised as the beginning of a longer journey. People from many Christian denominations attend the walk, although there were no Orthodox Christians on my walk!
Golly, I wonder why?
 
  During the weekend, prayer and worship...
When compared to many Protestant traditions, prayer and worship are radically different in the Orthodox traditions.  Many Protestant traditions are evolving into weird, existential coffer hours.

...are disrupted by silly traditions that attendants are basically forced to participate in. I was embarrassed at so many times during the Walk; I couldn't even imagine what kind of problems the team had with the men who weren't excited about dancing around with people in clown-ish costumes.
Where I'm from we have a saying that goes, "You don't see cowsh!t till you step in it."  But sometimes, it's so glaringly obvious you can step right over it.  That's prolly why many Orthodox Christians are attracted to this kind of event. 









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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2011, 07:31:15 PM »

It's like a whole weekend with prayer and worship. They also give -- I think it's 5 talks? They're about the different types of grace. There are also other activities, like singing "De Colores," nailing your sins to a cross, having communion at the end of the trip, etc.


They are super structured. And by super structured, I mean that they don't use clocks and they ask you to put away your watches. When they say that you have 5 minutes to go to the bathroom, they show you with your thumb and pointer finger, leaving a little space in between.

The prayer and worship part sounds dandy, but they don't let it work out of their own limits. I was praying with my group during prayer time that afternoon. One of the women started talking about a very personal problem, and she was having a nervous breakdown.  We were all sitting with her, listening to her talk, and praying with her. The leaders kept hovering around the doorway until they came in and told us we had to go to the dining hall. Obviously no one wanted to eat at that point, but they ushered us out of the room.

I was really angry about having to go to dinner at that time, and to cap it all off, they did another tradition that I hated -- they sang this song that they sing to late comers (who don't understand what the cryptic "5 minutes" sign means). This woman was sobbing and they were singing the late song. I harbored some definitely evil thoughts in my mind for HOURS after that.

They have a very strict time schedule, and you cannot mess with it in any way. Now seriously, how is that conducive to a weekend of growth in the faith?



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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2011, 07:31:38 PM »

Sounds like one of those weird, semi-cultish charismatic/evangelical groups (like IHOP or something).

Avoiding that like the plague.
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« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2011, 07:37:03 PM »

Has anyone here been on the Walk to Emmaus? (The Upper Room -- Walk to Emmaus http://www.upperroom.org/emmaus/)

People from many Christian denominations attend the walk, although there were no Orthodox Christians on my walk! They were mostly RC, Baptist, evangelical, etc.

My husband went on the walk before I did. At the time, we hadn't started officially dating yet, but we intended to after a period of prayer. Several people at my church were volunteering that weekend and they made it a point to tell me that he looked "horrible, like something had hit him and he was shocked."

*The statement instructs people to give details when asked, and not to act secretive. By experiencing the Walk through two different churches, I really know that this isn't being put into practice by many people who attended.

What do you mean by two churches? That you went on two trips organized by two churches?
That one time your husband's church had some of its people volunteering at it and saw your husband?
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« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2011, 07:48:39 PM »

Oh, sorry, I meant that I attended two churches that sent people to the walk. I had friends and acquaintances in both churches who had gone before me, and they refused to say anything about the walk, other than some minute details.


At the second church, which my husband and I attended for about 2 or 3 years -- we both went to the Emmaus walk through that church. I went to service on Sunday morning during his walk, and people in my church had seen him on Friday night, since they were volunteering. That's when they told me about how he looked.

I was sent to the next walk (Men and women go separately), and that was only because I didn't have enough guts to say no to all of the people who were telling me "Oh, it'll change your life! I promise!"
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« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2011, 07:52:22 PM »

There is no obligation to attend the meetings which occur after the Walk or to participate, although many members become involved. My roommate, who was on the road to a nervous breakdown throughout the entire weekend, actually became a speaker at the next Walk, so I guess she really got something out of it.
Hmmm... this change from nervous breakdown to devotee is like what can happen in cults or mindcontrol.

Come to think of it, how would you overcome mind control? Maybe pray, but then what if the other side is doing religious mind control?

But this is strange:
So what made your husband look horrid? what caused the breakbown?
What you have said doesn't seem to be enough to do it. I mean merely having people dance around you in clown outfits, getting driven around and lacking outside calls doesn't seem to do it enough. After all, this kind of stuff- at least that which you mentioned- is typical for kids in summer camps- costumes, lacking communication etc. Although nowadays I suppose more kids have cell phones than 10 years ago.
The point is, the fact people had breakdowns doesn't make sense- what caused this?

But some aspects of the weekend seemed sort of like an initiation into a bigger thing.
Hmmm it's possible, and interesting to think about. There is a movie, I think Training Day, when the hero gets overwhelmed and "loses" his test. The training is over. But then the boss tells him alone that actually he succeeded, and gives him a mission. So sometimes more can go on. P.S. some missions aren't fun. LOL.

Quote
At the end of the walk, when our rides were supposed to pick us up (YES! They discourage people from driving to the campsite themselves; your sponsor is supposed to drop you off and pick you up), we go into a big meeting hall and stand on stage.

You have to let your sponsor take you out to dinner and drive because they love you. ...They will discourage you if you're trying to escape (and I've heard some tales) because they love you.

OK, so sponsor must always drive you, you can have no transportation. You also mentioned no cellphones. So no outside calls.
And OK, they have an extremely patronizing view that they need to drive and wake you up, and the justification is that the patrons love you. But then, why no outside calls to/from other people who love you? Sounds like you are surrendering yourself to the patrons and temporarily abandoning those outside the entity, like parents, family, and church, since you can't communicate to or from them.

Dude, simply escaping could be fun. But it could be hard too.
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« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2011, 07:57:35 PM »

I didn't have enough guts to say no to all of the people who were telling me "Oh, it'll change your life! I promise!"
And did it change your life as much as those words suggest?

And if it's just some normal church retreat, like college kids staying over at the monastery or Church summer camp, why so much secrecy?
This secrecy seems strange.


And change your life? Well, summer camp and religious retreats were some of the best times of my life. I liked the Orthodox ones even more than the several RC ones I went on- which was good too I admit.

But still, "change your life?" Well, they made an impact. Maybe this is just harmless advertising by the volunteers?
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« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2011, 08:03:11 PM »

^ Yup! They made it sound like distrusting your sponsor was a bad thing. To top it all off, they kept teasing me about starving all weekend during our dinner out. I was scared to death and not amused at all.


My husband told me that he met up with a bunch of guys on his walk (talked into it by their loving wives and churches, apparently) and they made cult jokes the entire weekend. When they wake you up, they actually leave a cup of orange juice on your night table. They were all freaked out and I think they refused to drink it. I know, paranoid much? But the more I went into the weekend myself, things just didn't seem right.


On my first morning, they only woke up my roommate and told her to wake me up (they probably shook my leg once and gave up). She was in the shower for so long that she didn't get a chance to do that. They started ringing the bell, which meant that everyone was supposed to go to the main hall for breakfast RIGHT AWAY (they don't do lateness very well over there). I woke up with a bouquet of flowers on my bed.


I was in my pajamas and the women told me to get out of the room and go to the hall. "I don't have enough clothes on and I'm not ready," I told her. She kept urging me to just go to the hall, but I ignored the ladies and got dressed as quickly as I could. I was like, "Seriously? I'm a big girl. I know where the hall is. I can't show up 10 minutes late for breakfast?"

Anyway, some more stories of the crazy. Sorry, I am just venting.
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« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2011, 08:05:55 PM »


And did it change your life as much as those words suggest?
Well, aside from scaring the **** out of me, I didn't really bond with any of the women (I was, by far, the youngest on the walk. They called me the "baby bird). But honestly, I walked out of it feeling guilty that I didn't have the life changing experience. I felt like something was wrong with me. Only when I talked to my husband frankly, we found out how much we really didn't get out of it.

Like I said, it was one of the first moments when I started to consider leaving the non-denominational church and culture for good. So, I guess it DID have an impact!  Cheesy
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« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2011, 08:12:13 PM »

Sounds like one of those weird, semi-cultish charismatic/evangelical groups (like IHOP or something).

Avoiding that like the plague.

The pancake house?

You know, I went to an evangelical school for a few months. People weren't particularly unpleasant. In fact, at the time I generally shared their basic ideas. It was just that there seemed to be a kind of enforced thinking and negativity about other ideas. Like evolution is bad, evolutionists are bad. The negative attitude toward the RCs wasn't nice either, but not really that strong. The attitude about RCs is what I picture alot of protestants might've had about them, say, 100 years ago.

I doubt if it's only an evangelical problem: the strict religious education Stalin was subjected to seemed to work in a bad way. The strict style and watching over people in the religious school to make sure they weren't reading science books or other "bad" books, with isolation chamber punishments.

Anyway, I guess the point is that you could even have a "normal" religious view like Orthodoxy or mainstream Protestantism and create a religious environment that is too controlling, and perhaps mentally-suppressive because of doctrinariness.
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« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2011, 08:15:07 PM »

This thing sounds creepy
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« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2011, 08:16:20 PM »

International House of Prayer.  Smiley I once actually wanted to get involved and someone shot me down and said that I didn't have a calling to do it. I don't even remember the details, except thinking "BURN!"

That was my big beef with the evangelicals. Not everyone followed the same path, but most of the people in the church read the SAME approved authors, watched the SAME approved TV shows...the conversations weren't very intellectually stimulating, to say the least. I just call the culture "shallow." Many people have the same core beliefs in Christianity that many of us do, and they are not so caught up in the gifts, or tracts, or anything like that. But the culture surrounding evangelicalism (in the US at least) overall is shallow, shallow, shallow. Orthodoxy was a breath of fresh air in a million ways.
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« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2011, 08:29:23 PM »

They started ringing the bell, which meant that everyone was supposed to go to the main hall for breakfast RIGHT AWAY (they don't do lateness very well over there). I woke up with a bouquet of flowers on my bed.


I was in my pajamas and the women told me to get out of the room and go to the hall. "I don't have enough clothes on and I'm not ready," I told her. She kept urging me to just go to the hall, but I ignored the ladies and got dressed as quickly as I could. I was like, "Seriously? I'm a big girl. I know where the hall is. I can't show up 10 minutes late for breakfast?"

Anyway, some more stories of the crazy. Sorry, I am just venting.

Well, I can see that as bad, depending on how they said it. If they were nice and said "Oh don't worry about wearing pajamas, you can just go in", then it seems OK.
But if they are really demanding about the immediacy, then it's somewhat an intrusion on your personal dress and composure. But then again, people in boot camp in the army get ordered to do things quickly. But then again, Boot Camp could be pretty mentally straining too.

So so far I am still not sure what could've caused an extreme breakdown (no, not yours, but the other lady you mentioned, and also what affected your husband). Did your husband mention anything else that could explain this?

Perhaps if someone does something "bad", the other patrons act in a hostile or punitive way?


On a sidenote, there is a TV documentary called "Jesus Camp" that shows a Pentecostal (I think) kid's camp
If you see it on Youtube, let me know your reaction:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=LACyLTsH4ac

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« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2011, 08:35:34 PM »

So so far I am still not sure what could've caused an extreme breakdown. Did your husband mention anything else that could explain this?
I hope I was clear -- I didn't have a breakdown! (I was really, really upset during my husband's weekend, but there were a lot of actors involved and I don't want to go too in depth about that story)

And yes, we saw Jesus Camp for the first time several months ago. I cried during the entire movie and was haunted by it for days after (this was after we started inquiring into Orthodoxy). With the exception of the cardboard George Bush, I recognized pretty much everything else in the movie.


If you're interested about this subject, I recommend reading Hanna Rosin's "God's Harvard: A Christian College On a Mission to Save America."  http://www.amazon.com/Gods-Harvard-Christian-College-Mission/dp/0151012628

It's about Patrick Henry College. Rosin talks a lot about the culture. She follows several students, some who are very open about their struggles with politics, their faith, and the culture. It was a pretty good book, in my opinion.

ETA: And I wouldn't mind boot camp if...well, it was actually boot camp. Smiley I didn't know many of the details going into the weekend, so I just felt like I was constantly being surprised without time to process or the choice to not heed their instructions immediately. Of course they wouldn't have hurt me, but you know what I mean.
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« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2011, 08:50:41 PM »

So so far I am still not sure what could've caused an extreme breakdown. Did your husband mention anything else that could explain this?
I hope I was clear -- I didn't have a breakdown! (I was really, really upset during my husband's weekend, but there were a lot of actors involved and I don't want to go too in depth about that story)

And yes, we saw Jesus Camp for the first time several months ago. I cried during the entire movie and was haunted by it for days after (this was after we started inquiring into Orthodoxy). With the exception of the cardboard George Bush, I recognized pretty much everything else in the movie.


If you're interested about this subject, I recommend reading Hanna Rosin's "God's Harvard: A Christian College On a Mission to Save America."  http://www.amazon.com/Gods-Harvard-Christian-College-Mission/dp/0151012628

It's about Patrick Henry College. Rosin talks a lot about the culture. She follows several students, some who are very open about their struggles with politics, their faith, and the culture. It was a pretty good book, in my opinion.

ETA: And I wouldn't mind boot camp if...well, it was actually boot camp. Smiley I didn't know many of the details going into the weekend, so I just felt like I was constantly being surprised without time to process or the choice to not heed their instructions immediately. Of course they wouldn't have hurt me, but you know what I mean.
Try not to think about it anymore.  It is history.  You can now enjoy the quiet, refreshing, power of Liturgy.  Prayers.
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« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2011, 08:59:16 PM »

So so far I am still not sure what could've caused an extreme breakdown. Did your husband mention anything else that could explain this?
I hope I was clear -- I didn't have a breakdown! (I was really, really upset during my husband's weekend, but there were a lot of actors involved and I don't want to go too in depth about that story)

And yes, we saw Jesus Camp for the first time several months ago. I cried during the entire movie and was haunted by it for days after (this was after we started inquiring into Orthodoxy). With the exception of the cardboard George Bush, I recognized pretty much everything else in the movie.

It's OK, Ismi. I meant the other lady you mentioned who had a breakdown, and what affected your husband.
I see that if the patrons would be really demanding and impatient while you dress, that this could be pretty unpleasant. Was that the kind of thing you are talking about?

Likewise, "nailing your sins to a cross" is pretty extreme. I know the early Christians confessed their sins to eachother, but if you mean that the people on the retreat make some public confessions and not everyone is really being forgiving, then this could be really hard.

For example, one time I told some evangelicals about how nice Orthodoxy is, and they asked me if I have a personal relationship with Jesus and really believe in it etc. Well, I have my doubts about religion, so I said I didn't want to get into it because I wanted to avoid a religious argument. I think they smirked alittle. And it makes me feel alittle hypocritical. But my point is that I can see how some evangelicals, who are certain about their religious correctness could make you feel bad because of one's faults.

It seems they have a sense that "once saved always saved" means you aren't going to have serious doubts or make serious mistakes, and this absolute standard can be pretty hard for those who do have doubts or make mistakes after they have the evangelical "born again" experience, which is basically a moment that one is strongly convinced about Christianity.
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« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2011, 09:09:02 PM »

They are super structured. And by super structured, I mean that they don't use clocks and they ask you to put away your watches. When they say that you have 5 minutes to go to the bathroom, they show you with your thumb and pointer finger, leaving a little space in between.

Yeah really, are you that dumb... Oh wait, this is part of the arbitrariness. You don't now when the time is, so you cannot contradict them when they tell you the time is up.
In other words, this gives them more control over you.

With so much powerlessness I could see how it could be psychologically troubling if your patron(s) are mad at you or something.

So I guess my questions are what happened if people made mistakes, and also was there anything else that explains what made your husband look unhealthy? Perhaps he was just tired?

I was really pissed about having to go to dinner at that time, and to cap it all off, they did another tradition that I hated -- they sang this song that they sing to late comers (who don't understand what the cryptic "5 minutes" sign means). This woman was sobbing and they were singing the late song. I harbored some definitely evil thoughts in my mind for HOURS after that.

Yes, if it is a religious retreat, they should console her, instead of ignoring her in front of everyone. Maybe take her into another room and try to make her feel better.



Yes, they are basically treating you like they are strict, sometimes uncaring parents, and you are only 5 years old.

I feel sorry for these people's real kids. There is some evan "child training" literature that talks about breaking their kids' will and stuff. It is messed up. The kids have just been raised in this thought and accept it. It's messed up.
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« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2011, 09:16:23 PM »

I think it can be helpful and liberating to look back and see how you freed your mind. It is also a form of escape from the camp. And then thinking about what persuades you about Orthodoxy? This is also interesting.


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« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2011, 09:52:55 PM »

After reading this thread I want to go and see what they say about me having transportation and a cell phone since I am in the nat'l guard and need those things in case of an emergency, regardless of their rules. I'd also like to see them rush me into anything, I've been through boot camp, they are not drill sergeants, they can wait especially if I am praying...

But I'm sure that I will never get the chance to go and it probably wouldn't be very Christian of me to do those things
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« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2011, 10:08:58 PM »

After reading this thread I want to go and see what they say about me having transportation and a cell phone since I am in the nat'l guard and need those things in case of an emergency, regardless of their rules. I'd also like to see them rush me into anything, I've been through boot camp, they are not drill sergeants, they can wait especially if I am praying...

But I'm sure that I will never get the chance to go and it probably wouldn't be very Christian of me to do those things

Well, it could be like the DiCaprio movie Shutter Island where they don't let you in unless you give up stuff to them.
Also, yes in boot camp you got general training for dealing with psychological stress, LOL.
However, even with that, if you are in a cult they have ways to break you, LOL. Another thing is that part of it is that you are handing over your mind and trust to them. So if you refuse to do that, it's less likely they can manipulate you easily, and will need to find other, bad ways. They say everyone has a breaking point. But maybe that isn't true, or is a very extremely far off point for some people?

Probably you have read about scientology? Their compunds have spikes pointing inside the compound. Still, some have escaped, but have trouble explaining the psychological forces keeping them in.

I am sure they would find you a worthy opponent. LOL Wink
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« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2011, 10:12:46 PM »

After reading this thread I want to go and see what they say about me having transportation and a cell phone since I am in the nat'l guard and need those things in case of an emergency, regardless of their rules. I'd also like to see them rush me into anything, I've been through boot camp, they are not drill sergeants, they can wait especially if I am praying...

But I'm sure that I will never get the chance to go and it probably wouldn't be very Christian of me to do those things

Well, it could be like the DiCaprio movie Shutter Island where they don't let you in unless you give up stuff to them.
Also, yes in boot camp you got general training for dealing with psychological stress, LOL.
However, even with that, if you are in a cult they have ways to break you, LOL. Another thing is that part of it is that you are handing over your mind and trust to them. So if you refuse to do that, it's less likely they can manipulate you easily, and will need to find other, bad ways. They say everyone has a breaking point. But maybe that isn't true, or is a very extremely far off point for some people?

Regards

Everybody deals with stress differently, and everybody has that breaking point. I just hope that they wouldn't come in to wake me up or mess with me in my sleep as I have slight (and as of yet undiagnosed) PTSD... anything other than my alarm waking me up is likely to get a fist/elbow/foot/knee to the face... I would really feel bad if that happened, especially if they were meaning well.
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« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2011, 10:15:47 PM »

After reading this thread I want to go and see what they say about me having transportation and a cell phone since I am in the nat'l guard and need those things in case of an emergency, regardless of their rules. I'd also like to see them rush me into anything, I've been through boot camp, they are not drill sergeants, they can wait especially if I am praying...

But I'm sure that I will never get the chance to go and it probably wouldn't be very Christian of me to do those things

Well, it could be like the DiCaprio movie Shutter Island where they don't let you in unless you give up stuff to them.
Also, yes in boot camp you got general training for dealing with psychological stress, LOL.
However, even with that, if you are in a cult they have ways to break you, LOL. Another thing is that part of it is that you are handing over your mind and trust to them. So if you refuse to do that, it's less likely they can manipulate you easily, and will need to find other, bad ways. They say everyone has a breaking point. But maybe that isn't true, or is a very extremely far off point for some people?

Regards

Everybody deals with stress differently, and everybody has that breaking point. I just hope that they wouldn't come in to wake me up or mess with me in my sleep as I have slight (and as of yet undiagnosed) PTSD... anything other than my alarm waking me up is likely to get a fist/elbow/foot/knee to the face... I would really feel bad if that happened, especially if they were meaning well.

Hehe. But again, this could be another "barrier" to your continued "therapy", which of course you know you really want. Wink

Anyway, the Emmaus Walk is probably rather harmless as far as cults go, unlike, say the Jim Jones guys.
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« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2011, 10:16:59 PM »

^ I believe that I remember hearing that the military men told the leaders in advance not to touch them at all. I'm not sure how they woke up, though. Probably that bell!

Rakovsky, my husband was very tired and just thrown off by what was going on that weekend. That's what he said to me, anyway. Smiley As for my roommate...I guess she found a lot of comfort in the worship and friendship. I don't want to judge, but I was really surprised that she was invited to talk, because she could barely hold herself together for a second when talking about her life. Something must have really changed!
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« Reply #28 on: June 07, 2011, 10:24:42 PM »

^ I believe that I remember hearing that the military men told the leaders in advance not to touch them at all. I'm not sure how they woke up, though. Probably that bell!

Rakovsky, my husband was very tired and just thrown off by what was going on that weekend. That's what he said to me, anyway. Smiley
Sure, I believe him.

It was only the first night (Friday) when he looked bad, so I am thinkig how much could've happened. Yeah, maybe if he wasn't all "into it" and they decided they had to "get to him" this could make sense. And, well, telling someone with you fingers you have only "this much" little piece of time to go to the bathroom and demand extreme punctuality, that could bother you...

I am thinking- well, what if I was one of the kids in Jesus camp? Then I would have to keep my thoughts to myself and go along with stuff I guess. What do you think is the best way to deal with such a situation?


Quote
As for my roommate...I guess she found a lot of comfort in the worship and friendship. I don't want to judge, but I was really surprised that she was invited to talk, because she could barely hold herself together for a second when talking about her life. Something must have really changed!
Well, if she had a breakdown and she found some of the people there were supportive, and picked her up from her breakdown, this could explain how she had some connection to it.


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« Reply #29 on: June 07, 2011, 10:36:07 PM »

Actually, the first night was Thursday! It's Thursday through Sunday. We couldn't talk after a certain time on the first night, which he hated. I actually liked it because it gave me some time to acclimate myself to what was going on.

But yes, I believe him too.


About Jesus Camp -- it's the worst when the children are involved. I entered the charismatic church at 18 years old, so I was old enough to make my own decisions. Even then, I felt pressured to go along with things. Just to be polite, I ended up participating in exercises that I thought were stupid, or even spiritually harmful. And I was 18 at the time! I had already walked out on Roman Catholicism -- why didn't I just leave the church? I don't know. I know that I did love how they spoke about God 24/7 without being ashamed (unlike in my RCC household and school, where faith was viewed very differently), but I couldn't put my finger on what was wrong early on.

The poor children. I wanted to kidnap all of them. They are so obviously fed lines by their parents and pastors. Listen to the interviews -- they sound almost word-for-word like the sermons I've heard.  Those children didn't come up with those lines by themselves. Sad
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« Reply #30 on: June 07, 2011, 10:42:41 PM »

After reading this thread I want to go and see what they say about me having transportation and a cell phone since I am in the nat'l guard and need those things in case of an emergency, regardless of their rules. I'd also like to see them rush me into anything, I've been through boot camp, they are not drill sergeants, they can wait especially if I am praying...

But I'm sure that I will never get the chance to go and it probably wouldn't be very Christian of me to do those things

Well, it could be like the DiCaprio movie Shutter Island where they don't let you in unless you give up stuff to them.
Also, yes in boot camp you got general training for dealing with psychological stress, LOL.
However, even with that, if you are in a cult they have ways to break you, LOL. Another thing is that part of it is that you are handing over your mind and trust to them. So if you refuse to do that, it's less likely they can manipulate you easily, and will need to find other, bad ways. They say everyone has a breaking point. But maybe that isn't true, or is a very extremely far off point for some people?

Regards

Everybody deals with stress differently, and everybody has that breaking point. I just hope that they wouldn't come in to wake me up or mess with me in my sleep as I have slight (and as of yet undiagnosed) PTSD... anything other than my alarm waking me up is likely to get a fist/elbow/foot/knee to the face... I would really feel bad if that happened, especially if they were meaning well.

Hehe. But again, this could be another "barrier" to your continued "therapy", which of course you know you really want. Wink

Anyway, the Emmaus Walk is probably rather harmless as far as cults go, unlike, say the Jim Jones guys.

I do need therapy, but I doubt they could handle that on the civilian side.

^ I believe that I remember hearing that the military men told the leaders in advance not to touch them at all. I'm not sure how they woke up, though. Probably that bell!


It is nice to know that they will at least respect that request at least.
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« Reply #31 on: June 07, 2011, 10:45:55 PM »

Honestly, it depends on the situation. I know of some mothers who were able to argue and persuade the leaders to let them have their cell phones on their person. (You can leave it in the room, but they urge you to turn it off. I never saw anyone with a cell phone all weekend, so I'm not sure what they would have done if I kept mine in my pocket.) But I also know some people who faced resistance about the driving, phone, and watch issues.

The fact that it happens, though...I mean, it is really unnerving not to know what time it is. It isn't peaceful at all, in my opinion -- especially if I was told not to wear my watch!
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« Reply #32 on: June 07, 2011, 10:50:24 PM »

Honestly, it depends on the situation. I know of some mothers who were able to argue and persuade the leaders to let them have their cell phones on their person. (You can leave it in the room, but they urge you to turn it off. I never saw anyone with a cell phone all weekend, so I'm not sure what they would have done if I kept mine in my pocket.) But I also know some people who faced resistance about the driving, phone, and watch issues.

The fact that it happens, though...I mean, it is really unnerving not to know what time it is. It isn't peaceful at all, in my opinion -- especially if I was told not to wear my watch!

Even in boot camp they let you have a watch (they even tell you to go buy one if you don't have one). It seems to me that the whole time thing is to throw off your perception and force you to rely on what they tell you - possibly a form of mind control - if they tell you that 3 minutes is 5 and you believe them what else might you believe?

Of course that is only speculation on my part as I really do not have enough information to go off of which is another reason I would like to go; to find out for myself (and not get brainwashed).
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« Reply #33 on: June 08, 2011, 10:50:22 AM »

Even in boot camp they let you have a watch (they even tell you to go buy one if you don't have one). It seems to me that the whole time thing is to throw off your perception and force you to rely on what they tell you - possibly a form of mind control - if they tell you that 3 minutes is 5 and you believe them what else might you believe?

Of course that is only speculation on my part as I really do not have enough information to go off of which is another reason I would like to go; to find out for myself (and not get brainwashed).
I don't think it's worth it. Just get a really bossy girlfriend, give her your watch and cellphone and then go to a particularly active Evan church for a week. It seems to be about being the child in an Evan parent-child relationship.
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« Reply #34 on: June 08, 2011, 05:19:23 PM »

Even in boot camp they let you have a watch (they even tell you to go buy one if you don't have one). It seems to me that the whole time thing is to throw off your perception and force you to rely on what they tell you - possibly a form of mind control - if they tell you that 3 minutes is 5 and you believe them what else might you believe?

Of course that is only speculation on my part as I really do not have enough information to go off of which is another reason I would like to go; to find out for myself (and not get brainwashed).
I don't think it's worth it. Just get a really bossy girlfriend, give her your watch and cellphone and then go to a particularly active Evan church for a week. It seems to be about being the child in an Evan parent-child relationship.

I already had one of those and made her my wife, now I'm never certain when or where I am  Tongue and if she should ever happen upon this thread she would kill me...
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« Reply #35 on: June 08, 2011, 05:35:33 PM »

Hey, bossy wives are nothing like the people at Emmaus....



We sure aren't bringing glasses of juice and putting them on your night table every morning! No way! We need the beauty sleep. I'd like my juice with ice, please.
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« Reply #36 on: June 08, 2011, 06:09:20 PM »

Even in boot camp they let you have a watch (they even tell you to go buy one if you don't have one).

They told us not to wear watches in boot camp. Our drill instructors just told us what to do when they wanted us to do it.
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« Reply #37 on: June 08, 2011, 06:18:39 PM »

Even in boot camp they let you have a watch (they even tell you to go buy one if you don't have one).

They told us not to wear watches in boot camp. Our drill instructors just told us what to do when they wanted us to do it.

Ours told us to have watches to set alarms for stuff like fireguard and CQ. And for 5 minute bathroom brakes.
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« Reply #38 on: June 08, 2011, 11:49:36 PM »

Even in boot camp they let you have a watch (they even tell you to go buy one if you don't have one).

They told us not to wear watches in boot camp. Our drill instructors just told us what to do when they wanted us to do it.
You went through Marine Corps boot camp?
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« Reply #39 on: June 09, 2011, 02:22:51 AM »

Has anyone here been on the Walk to Emmaus? (The Upper Room -- Walk to Emmaus http://www.upperroom.org/emmaus/)

It's essentially a retreat disguised as the beginning of a longer journey. People from many Christian denominations attend the walk, although there were no Orthodox Christians on my walk! They were mostly RC, Baptist, evangelical, etc. During the weekend, prayer and worship are disrupted by silly traditions that attendants are basically forced to participate in. I was embarrassed at so many times during the Walk; I couldn't even imagine what kind of problems the team had with the men who weren't excited about dancing around with people in clown-ish costumes.

I attended one (well, I was cornered into going, although I should have put my foot down and said "No way") several years ago, and I was put off by many of the aspects of the Walk.

Among them is a sense of secrecy. The group actually had to make a statement* because so many spouses were "hiding" what happened on the walk and not telling their spouses about it. While many people have argued that it was that their spouse could be surprised, it has generated a resentment in the second person to attend the walk. For a few years my friend never told me what happened because she wanted me to be surprised. "Well, I'm not going, so you can tell me," I told her. "Oh, you ARE going," she responded.

My husband went on the walk before I did. At the time, we hadn't started officially dating yet, but we intended to after a period of prayer. Several people at my church were volunteering that weekend and they made it a point to tell me that he looked "horrible, like something had hit him and he was shocked." People on the walk are technically not allowed to use their cell phones (or consult their watches), so I couldn't contact him. I was distraught the entire weekend, and a big fight blew up because of it.

I don't want to keep blabbing, although if anyone has questions about the weekend (and its strangely cultish aspects), I can answer them. I just wanted to ask if any people on this board had attended a walk at one point. I'm opening this question to non-Orthodox, because I also wanted to ask if anyone was put off about it as well.


Just looking back, I feel that the Walk was one of the clues about my changing view of Christianity. All other aspects aside, there were many things that felt "wrong" about the weekend. I guess I'm hoping to hear about other's positive/negative experiences. I'm basically looking for an "Emmaus support group!"

*The statement instructs people to give details when asked, and not to act secretive. By experiencing the Walk through two different churches, I really know that this isn't being put into practice by many people who attended.

I went a few weeks ago and I loved it. It is secretive for a very good reason. What I loved about the retreat is that it was for men only! And we dealt with men issues! I understand wholeheartedly why they want to keep personal things personal. Look, you shouldn't be upset about this. Being secretive is not always bad.

I had a wonderful time and if I knew what it was before going then it would of totally ruined the experience for me. Some people may of had a bad experience, but I had a wonderful one.


I see it as harmless!

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« Reply #40 on: June 09, 2011, 02:27:13 AM »

Is this similar to a mason lodge initiation? Undecided

It's a Roman Catholic ministry that also allow non-Roman catholics to participate.
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« Reply #41 on: June 09, 2011, 02:33:05 AM »

Honestly, it depends on the situation. I know of some mothers who were able to argue and persuade the leaders to let them have their cell phones on their person. (You can leave it in the room, but they urge you to turn it off. I never saw anyone with a cell phone all weekend, so I'm not sure what they would have done if I kept mine in my pocket.) But I also know some people who faced resistance about the driving, phone, and watch issues.

The fact that it happens, though...I mean, it is really unnerving not to know what time it is. It isn't peaceful at all, in my opinion -- especially if I was told not to wear my watch!

Have you ever gone camping in the woods at all? You sound way too depending on the grid. Look, being away from your phone for a few days isn't going to kill you. They do that for your first retreat, but they allowed us to have our phones. They just told us to not tell anyone the personal information of others at the retreat. And we didn't.
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« Reply #42 on: June 09, 2011, 02:45:47 AM »

After reading this thread I want to go and see what they say about me having transportation and a cell phone since I am in the nat'l guard and need those things in case of an emergency, regardless of their rules. I'd also like to see them rush me into anything, I've been through boot camp, they are not drill sergeants, they can wait especially if I am praying...

But I'm sure that I will never get the chance to go and it probably wouldn't be very Christian of me to do those things

Well, it could be like the DiCaprio movie Shutter Island where they don't let you in unless you give up stuff to them.
Also, yes in boot camp you got general training for dealing with psychological stress, LOL.
However, even with that, if you are in a cult they have ways to break you, LOL. Another thing is that part of it is that you are handing over your mind and trust to them. So if you refuse to do that, it's less likely they can manipulate you easily, and will need to find other, bad ways. They say everyone has a breaking point. But maybe that isn't true, or is a very extremely far off point for some people?

Regards

Everybody deals with stress differently, and everybody has that breaking point. I just hope that they wouldn't come in to wake me up or mess with me in my sleep as I have slight (and as of yet undiagnosed) PTSD... anything other than my alarm waking me up is likely to get a fist/elbow/foot/knee to the face... I would really feel bad if that happened, especially if they were meaning well.

This is how they woke us up:
http://youtu.be/oYMSU-aNdSk (The wake up call at 7 in the morning)

Our Emmuas retreat was awesome! You would love it, especially the one over here in Pittsburgh.
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« Reply #43 on: June 09, 2011, 09:37:50 AM »

Have you ever gone camping in the woods at all? You sound way too depending on the grid. Look, being away from your phone for a few days isn't going to kill you. They do that for your first retreat, but they allowed us to have our phones. They just told us to not tell anyone the personal information of others at the retreat. And we didn't.
I'm glad you had a good experience! As I was saying, my roommate apparently did as well, since she did a complete 180 during the weekend.

And like I said, I didn't like that I was SURPRISED by the rules and I HAD to follow what they were saying. I've been out of cell phone contact for several days or even weeks at a time, when I was doing missions in Ukraine and when I was in the Philippines. While I miss being able to use it, I can let go if I need to!

If I have cell reception and my watch has a working battery, I don't need to have other people tell me to put it away and have to depend on them to tell me how much time I have to go to the bathroom and run to my room with their hands (unless I'm in boot camp, that is).
« Last Edit: June 09, 2011, 09:38:41 AM by IsmiLiora » Logged

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« Reply #44 on: June 09, 2011, 10:29:07 AM »

I don't know about you, but if dudes were putting flowers on my bed I might think it was weird too. Smiley

Also, I can see people on a religious retreat having a very good time. But I am confused why someone telling you with your fingers you have only a little time to go to the bathroom and demanding you act "right away" is enjoyable.

Maybe it is some kind of religious boot camp.
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