I’m a Cult Survivor

And I’m ready to reclaim my spirituality

Where to begin? I was six years old when my mother told me on Christmas Eve that year that it would be the last time we were going to celebrate Christmas and give gifts.

I didn’t understand. My first thought was, “what? no more presents?” Of course, that’s what I would think, six-year-olds are so predictable.

Women were to obey the man…

That evening led to 8 years of no birthdays, no holidays, or anything remotely worldly for me until I left. It fucked me up for decades until I learned to deprogram myself from that cult.

My mother joined the Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW) along with my aunt. I have no idea how they fell into the cult, but they did and they took my sister and me along with them. I spent those years listening to mind-numbing cult programming for 2 hours every Sunday.

I remember how the JW’s would pride themselves on not having a leader or pastor. It would be some brother, never a sister, giving the sermon that day. Women were to obey the man, just like in the scriptures, and the man was supposed to lead the family. In turn, they all submitted to Jehovah.

…did mom really bleed from her you know what?

Some of the sermons were pretty light topics on how one bad apple spoils the basket, but others were incredibly damaging and shaped my thinking patterns for years to come.

I remember listening to one sermon about period sex. It wasn’t framed that way but as “if a man and woman laid together during her time, he would be unclean for “X” days.” As a 7-year-old, I didn’t know what that meant — did mom really bleed from her you know what? That sermon is burned into my brain and still messes with me to this very day!

Another sermon was about how the end of the “system” was coming through Armageddon and Jesus would ride a white horse and kill all Satan and his followers. That was a code word for all the undesirable people in the society like gays, prostitutes and drug users, you know the lesser ones that Jesus told us to help?

Want to play with wizard warrior toys? No, no, Jehovah doesn’t like that.

Do you have two mommies? Or even two dads? Oh no, you’re not going to paradise.

Yet the strange thing was that Jehovah, or at least the Kingdom Hall — don’t ever call it a church — sure liked money. And these old white-haired men called the governing body seemed to direct and organize things for all the cult members to follow.

Week after week, year after year it was drilled into my head that the end of the world was coming and end to the system. The political system, other religious systems, whatever system you can think of (solar system?) they were against it and it was always coming to an end.

Don’t you dare celebrate your birthday or a holiday!

Are you dying and need a blood transfusion, forget it and just die!

It’s taken me years to realize that our need for spirituality is not a bug but a feature.

Want to dance, nope it’s only for married people!

Register to vote? Forget that, it was part of the system.

Higher education? Why bother, Armageddon was coming.

Care for the Earth? Doesn’t matter, use it all up because Jehovah will fix it all.

That last sentiment scares me the most because they couldn’t care less about our earth. They think paradise is something outside of this world. I dare to say that the paradise they seek is right in front of their fucking eyes!

Paradise right here and right now, but we’re burning it alive. We’re killing the very paradise we know for this death cult and the 100’s of others nut bag religions that just don’t get it.

It’s taken me years to realize that our need for spirituality is not a bug but a feature. In the truest terms it’s a search for the truth, to seek our connection to something greater than ourselves.

I don’t know if that’s God or Goddess or something else completely but for me, it’s the awe I see in Nature and its creation. Maybe it’s just a quirk in our brains, messed up wiring from when we walked out of the sea and onto the land, but what I do know is that in my short time in this glorious world that we need to protect it.

We need to fight for paradise right in front of our eyes, not some fantastical place that you can only get to if you appease a bunch of old white-haired old men.

Fuck you. I reclaim my spirituality from you. You don’t deserve the paradise we live in.

There are resources to help you leave the Jehovah’s Witnesses, please visit the r/exjw support group for more information. If you’ve been abused by an elder, please contact the police directly. Good luck friend.

Emerging Masculine Warrior Spirit

Feminine Warrior Spirit is Calling for You

Influencers talk a lot about it and we see many books around this subject. The shortest example of Warrior Spirit I’ve found is that it’s internal mastery of yourself and often a positive attitude to resolve or avoid conflicts, internal and external. This is my story of how it found me and what it means to me.

Albuquerque, 1995, Summer, Saturday morning. I woke up on my cold linoleum bathroom floor. Dried vomit was caked on my cheek and my head was pounding.

Ms. Tequila dug deep and showed me where my inner wounded boy was hiding.

That Friday evening started as any Friday evening when you’re young, dumb, and have crazy friends. It was lots of laughter, booze, and partying. The weather was divine that night and we had free reign of the complex pool. Good times were had until Ms. Tequila showed up at the party. She came with a friend and introduced herself to me. We made small talk and I went back to being the host of the party.

Somewhere in the middle of the party Ms. Tequila took my hand and led me to a dark corner to have her way with me, and I let her. I was 24, living in a city surrounded by a desert, and until that evening didn’t realize all the unresolved issues I had with my ex-girlfriend. We had broken up the November before and I thought I had processed all the ‘emotions’ associated with that affair. My ‘date’ was good at uncovering my most hidden emotions, and I thank her for that.

Without ripping the lid off this relationship coffin, I will tell you this, our relationship was deep, passionate, and loving. It was the first time I connected with someone on such a deep level and I believe she did too. Our nights were filled with laughter, exploration, and vulnerability. The down part of this relationship was that it was doomed from the start.

We didn’t break up because of cheating or some other form of incompatibility, we broke up because we were young and had our paths to walk in life. We found each other on the same path and walked together for a short time. Then we came to a crossroads and parted, each one of us looking over our shoulders until we couldn’t see each other anymore.

Birds of prey swooped down from imaginary perches and ripped their talons into me.

Ms. Tequila dug deep and showed me where my inner wounded boy was hiding. She opened the door and coaxed him out. We talked and she showed me how deep my feelings still ran for her. This led me to go into full ‘no one loves me’ mode as I began to unpack and mourned love lost.

By the time my guests started to leave, I was sloppy drunk. I took one last shot as the last guest left and sat there in the dark. Ms. Tequila had to leave too but she told me all will be better in the morning. I sat there in my dark living room until the room started to spin. I ran to the toilet and started to purge. I purged and purged and purged.

I purged like no tomorrow and all my sad emotions seemed to stream out of me into that toilet bowl, heave after heave. Then I passed out on the floor and fell into the darkest of blackness ever.

In the pitch darkness of my dreams, I saw something. An enveloping presence came to me. It had no discernible shape and whatever shape I recognized, it became it. At first, I thought it was a worm and then a snake. Then it was a wolf. Then there were many wolves and then vultures.

After all, that’s what we’re taught to do, isn’t it? Don’t cry and be a man?

Birds of prey swooped down from imaginary perches and ripped their talons into me. Even a little mouse appeared and nibbled at my flesh. All these animals surrounded me and ripped my body to shreds. I can still hear their cackles and grunts as they ate everything that was me. It sounded like a nightmare and I should’ve been running in my dream but I felt incredibly at peace. I felt like something good was happening to me.

As soon as the feast was over, they all vomited out my bones and left me in a big pile. In a flash, the enveloping presence put my bones back together again and my body was restored. Then everything went black again till the morning.

The morning after was horrible. I felt like complete shit, but something was different. The night before brought out many unresolved issues from my breakup and I was now ready to address them.

… I have a goal to do better.

Why did it take so long to resolve this inner conflict? Simple. I did what every average man does in our current society. I pushed it deep down inside myself and hid it where no one can see. After all, that’s what we’re taught to do, isn’t it? Don’t cry and be a man?

I realize now, after looking back to that party on that fateful Summer night that my Warrior Spirit had awakened. I believe that spiritually (and physically) I purged out a whole host of hidden issues and trauma that I carried with me to that day.

Was my life a bed of roses afterward? No, certainly not. Did I make mistakes going forward? Yes! Quite a lot.

Am I the perfect man, father, son? Far from it but I have a goal to do better. The Warrior Spirit taught me to work on myself, to do better.

Do better.

Do better in my life. Explore and meditate on things. Do better in my relationship with my wife. Do better in rearing my children. Do better for me. Do better for my community. Do better for the less fortunate.

We no longer honor Feminine Warrior Spirit.

I believe that we all have Warrior Spirit and that Spirit has no real gender. For me, it’s Masculine. Others find it to be Feminine and even others find it to be genderless. It’s energy and connection to the Divine and when we tap into it, we awaken something in ourselves.

It’s a connection to the deepest parts of the cosmic web we call life. It’s an ocean of love that we shouldn’t be afraid to swim in. It’s the tallest mountain that we must climb for ourselves.

But all is not well.

There is an abundance of Feminine Warrior Spirit but the Masculine is lacking. The ranks of brave Masculine Warriors have dwindled over time. Many got lazy and defected to the fleeting distractions of modern society. They got confused and no longer work on themselves. They no longer listen, reflect, and change for the better.

They don’t resolve inner conflicts and treat Feminine Warriors as lesser beings instead of as equal ones. They lost the ability to see their illumination and the ability to tap into their power.

We no longer honor Feminine Warrior Spirit.

They are calling out to us and we ignore them. They are asking for us to come back to the light but we cover our ears and ‘grab women by the pussy’.

Masculine Warrior Spirit is needed to start the healing the world needs, and most importantly now! Our Mother Earth is burning. There is too much violence and too much confusion. Awake Men!

I know that things are changing in the world for us Men and we shouldn’t be afraid. It’s a good thing. We’re at a spiritual crossroads and all life hangs in the balance. Without us, there can be no balance.

A call for help has been sounded by our sisters, mothers, and lovers. Don’t be afraid to let your inner child out of the emotional prison you were taught to build. Let them out into the light and let the Warrior Spirit training begin.

I’ll meet you on the other side.

Special thanks to Yael Wolfe and her I Can’t Live in the World of Man Anymore post for inspiring my post. Thank you.

woman wearing white karati g under blue sky

How the Codes of Karate Can Guide Your Life

I practice Isshinryu Karate, better known as ‘whole heart style.’ It’s this ‘whole heart style’ business that I want to share with you today. Simply put, the whole heart nature of this style of Karate seeks unity with the Self and seeks our place in the cosmic fabric of Life and the Universe.

I will be sharing our 8 Codes of Karate with you, a simple philosophy that you can use to find unity with your Self.

#1 — A person’s heart is the same as Heaven and Earth

Eastern philosophies always seek to understand how we are woven into the fabric of the universe. As individuals, we often feel alone in this great universe, even if we are part of a family or in a relationship. What the first code of Karate tells us is that we must first seek unity with the Self.

There will be times to rest and times to run.

It’s the same as conventional sayings such as “follow your heart” or “there is a place in my heart” for something. Once you have found your personal unity, you become the same Heaven and Earth. You are woven into the fabric of the universe and you will feel at peace.

#2 — The blood circulating is similar to the Moon and the Sun

Similar to the first code above, in Nature, there are ebbs and flows. The tides come in and the tides go out. There’s a time to sow and a time to reap. You should know that you are the same. There will be times to rest and times to run.

…there will be times for you to fight or take a stand…

Knowing that energy, relationships, and life go through this process of ebb and flow will let you ‘swim with the tide’ as opposed to fighting it. You must not fight it but succumb to it and all will be ok.

#3 — The manner of drinking and spitting is either hard or soft

The third code of Karate is similar to the second one. If you haven’t guessed it by now, most of the codes build upon one another. This code highlights the Yin-Yang relationship.

In Karate, the Yang part (masculine) is often associated with punching, kicking, and being aggressive. The Yin part (feminine) is associated with blocking, moving out of the way, or redirecting energy.

Once we become unbalanced, we fall metaphorically.

This is the same in life, there will be times for you to fight or take a stand, and other times to block and move out of the way.

#4 — A person’s unbalance is the same as a weight

This code is much deeper than what you read on its surface. Yes, there’s a lot of balancing we must do when we execute moves in Karate, but your unbalance can be much more than standing on one foot.

A person’s unbalance can be things like overeating, speaking too much, or yielding to temptation too much. Once we become unbalanced, we fall metaphorically. If we eat too much junk food (unbalance), we become fat (weight).

Wisdom and happiness are not always black and white and it’s ok to be move through the gray colors.

This code asks you to strive for balance in your life. It’s ok to eat Twinkies if you like them, just don’t do it every day! Find those things that weigh you down and adjust your balance.

#5 — The body should be able to change position at any time

In Karate we are told to move. If you make a strike or parry, then move out of the way. The same holds true in life. Similar to Code #2 and #3 above, life is going to change and you need to adjust accordingly. The same can be said for your thoughts and beliefs.

Action speaks louder than words.

If new information or life shows you something different, you must not be too rigid but keep an open mind for new possibilities. Wisdom and happiness are not always black and white and it’s ok to move through the gray colors.

#6 — The time to strike is when the opportunity presents itself

One of the best moments in Karate is when your opponent makes a mistake and you see an opening to strike. You don’t think about it, you just act. Simply put, you strike. This Code is much more than just punching, it can be applied to all facets of your life.

Take the time to look at problems from all sides…

Opportunities come around every so often and there will be times when you must seize them or they’re gone forever. Offered a new position at work that you always wanted? Say Yes! Want to tell your significant other how you really feel about them? Do it.

Action speaks louder than words.

#7 — The eyes must see all sides

Code #7 builds on several of the other Codes, especially #5. Sometimes things are not as they seem and we can be confused or mislead. Take the time to look at problems from all sides and see if it really is a problem or a lie.

There are many people in this world that speak about things that are not true…

Another conventional bit of wisdom would be ‘walk a mile in someone’s shoes.’ Let’s face it, we all have prejudices that we must overcome, and understanding them is the first step to seeing a person or a problem in its true light.

#8 — The ears must hear in all directions

The last Code is similar to #5 and #7. You must carefully listen and seek to understand the true nature of a problem before deciding. In our hyperactive world, this can be very hard to do but it’s best to listen first before speaking or doing.

…do 50 pushups, 50 crunches, and 50 squats.

Expanding your listening ability to 360 degrees can help understand what a person is saying and if they really mean what they say. There are many people in this world that speak about things that are not true but in a manner which many people believe to be true.


If you have just skimmed this article without reflecting on the codes, then do 50 pushups, 50 crunches, and 50 squats.

If you have read the Codes of Karate and reflected on them, do 50 pushups, 50 crunches, and 50 squats.