The following is a guest post by fellow blogger Emerging Gently (http://emergegently.wordpress.com/). For more about Guest Posts & their Contributors, please visit https://kindism.org/guest-posts-contributors/, for more about Leaving Christian Science https://kindism.org/csresources/leaving-christian-science/
I joined The Mother Church at the ripe ol’ age of 12, when good little Christian Scientist kids (the ones that have survived that long) are old enough to join. It was at the second admission of members (there’s two per year) in 1979. I was so proud, so were my parents. I was turning out to be a good little Christian Scientist, despite some doubts I had, even then.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t always a Good Little Christian Scientist. Twelve year old me became a teenager, and I enjoyed some of the things teenagers enjoy, like partying, drinking, drugs, stuff like that. More years went by that I didn’t pay the annual Per Capita Tax ($1.00 US) than when I did. As an adult, the largest donation I sent was $50.00. Sometimes I read the Lesson, more often I just tried once in awhile, or just didn’t. It was a habit I just couldn’t seem to develop.
I did go to Christian Science summer camp, and sexually repressed and bigoted Principia College. I was involved with Prin Club, Christian Science youth groups, and I did Class Instruction and Association. I also toiled away for 10 years at The Mother Ship in Boston. Yeah, I put on the appearances. Inside seethed the doubts, just begging to be let out for a walk. My insides were sometimes like the old Cherokee Legend of the Two Wolves–one bad, one good, always in conflict inside all of us. Which one wins? The one you feed. I always tried to feed the Christian Science wolf.
Fast forward to a few years ago. I’m grieving the loss of both of my parents, who died miserably from untreated medical conditions because they chose to radically rely on Christian Science (which didn’t do anything for them). I was ripped apart verbally by my Christian Science Teacher for taking my dad [gasp] to the hospital in a bid to save his life. I couldn’t be presented with more stark evidence of the utter failure of Christian Science. Basically, it is bullsh*t. Complete and utter bullsh*t.
I withdrew from my Association, and all other entanglements, and came to the decision I must do the same for my long-standing membership in The Mother Church. So, in 2011, I wrote them a letter, and snail mailed it off (one of probably five things I snail mailed that year). I never got a reply back, and really didn’t give it much thought–it probably got lost by either Canada Post or the US Mail, I figured. Fast forward again to the middle of last year, and my friend and fellow blogger here at Kindism is posting her story of terminating her TMC membership. I realize, “hey, I never got that nice little letter or fistful of CS periodical subscription offers…don’t they love me enough to beg for me to change my mind?” I felt like a jilted lover! I resolved to get that acknowledgement I so craved, but my printer would have none of it. So, the follow-up letter remained trapped on my hard drive, and I once again forgot all about it.
Fast forward to 2014. Ms. Kindism, myself, and others are having an on-line discussion that leads again to withdrawing from TMC, and my Kindism friend posts that you can withdraw via e-mail! Yay, I say! I don’t have to worry about a cantankerous printer or the fickle postal services of two countries! Quickly, I dash off my nicely worded e-mail:
Sometime in 2011, I mailed a letter asking to be withdrawn from membership in The Mother Church. I never received a response or confirmation. I would like to confirm that I am no longer a member of The Mother Church. If it turns out that I still am a member, please consider this a formal request to withdraw my membership.
Here are my details:
Year I joined: November, 1979
I apologize that I do not remember my membership number or have it handy.
The last addresses you would have possibly had on file for me would be:
[A PO box in Massachusetts]
[An address near where I now live, but not where I now live]
I am no longer available at either address. Please inform me if you need a current mailing address and I will send it to you.
Please acknowledge receipt of this e-mail as soon as possible. Thank you!
The very next morning, I got a reply back from a nice woman at the Clerk’s office, confirming that they had received my previous withdrawal request, and I was indeed not a member of The Mother Ship. I guess they didn’t want to beg me to stay. I guess they just didn’t want me. Oh well…
Oddly, it was a bittersweet feeling. On the one hand, I harbour a deep hatred of Christian Science and what I’ve seen it do to my family and to others. However, I’ve also seen and confirmed the closure of a very big chapter in my life. I feel a bit like an animal that’s been let out of a cage. I revel in being free, but there’s that stupid little part of me that misses the familiar comfort of the cage.
So, if you’ve left Christian Science, and wondering about that next step, it’s easy! Just do it! Rip that old band-aid off, and be free! Just e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org…I did it…so can you!