Watching @TheVowHBO and now the @STARZ docuseries on #NXVIM, I see people saying "It would never be me." And the truth is, even if you weren't part of it, if you've been affected by #purityculture you've been affected by many of the same tactics in your life. A thread:
In this self-improvement limelight, everyone is told that pain is just physical and you can turn off your emotional attachment to it and no longer see yourself as a victim.

In the world of Evangelical purity culture, that is expressed as the difference between body and soul.
In the same way that Raniere and Salzman told people their minds could overcome the fact their bodies wanted to fail or flee, the church for years taught me that I couldn't trust my body, my gut instincts, or my feelings. My faith was the only true thing.
In the world of NXIVM, they were saving humanity by isolating themselves and only bringing people IN, not going out into the world and your level of success and commitment was equal to the number of people you brought in.

That was what I was taught about youth group.
The things that hit me hardest were the forced emotional connections that happened so quickly they felt like true intimacy.

Every sash ceremony and personal breakdown felt like every altar call that led me to believe I was trash and needed extra amounts of saving.
And then with that forced faux intimacy came the shame they forced on women which felt the most like purity culture in the Evangelical church.

India O. told about the cult leader's anger about the fact she would wear pink Converse and every time it made him want to fuck her.
They made the women dress in baggy clothes and be ridiculed for every time a man had a sexual thought about them. The women were told it was their responsibility to submit sexually or omit sexuality in any sense.

That was every single year at camp when I was told my shorts..
were too short, or my bra strap was showing, or I couldn't wear a two-piece suit. The first year I had dyed my hair blonde at age 15, a much older staff member told me I shouldn't have done that because it made me look like Britney Spears and now he had "unclean thoughts."
I do not believe my church was a cult.

I do however believe that the tactics of men to suppress women and then motivate other men to do the same using shame and righteousness are used every day in the Evangelical world.

And I believed every word of it.
I didn't know I wasn't a "whore" for having visible bra straps or wearing a bikini or having blonde hair until I was in my late 20s.

The purity culture deconstruction that both my husband and I have had to endure has challenged our marriage in ways I never imagined.
And while no one was ever called "slave" or "master," thousands will stand and sing each week that they are "no longer a slave to fear."

That might be true in reference to their own salvation, but so many are living daily penance to the fear of judgment in their own churches.
I don't have a poetic end to this stream of consciousness.

All I have is the hope that you don't see those who were indoctrinated as weak unless you're sure you haven't been indoctrinated elsewhere.

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