Tired of feeling like a Weirdo
Posted: September 18, 2011
One big question I always had while being a member of the Twelve Tribes community for 16 years was: why do I always feel like such a weirdo?
Now, in reality we didn’t look extraordinary in the true sense of the word, like say Hare Krishnas or something. In fact, our beards, ponytails and the classic lack luster wardrobe of khaki pants and plaid shirts if anything, made us very pedestrian and uninteresting. Yet even with our modest attire we did stand out from the crowd as being unusually normal. This wasn’t so bad to be honest, although even today after having achieved some huge milestones in my re-adjustment to living outside of the community I still find myself in the mornings occasionally reaching for that plaid shirt and bland khakis in the back of my closet for lack of any better programming. Just one of the many brainwashing scars I have to bear I guess.
But this wasn’t the real reason. The biggest part of why I felt like a weirdo was because I always felt like I was hiding something from the rest of the heathen world, like I had some scandalous story that I had to keep to myself lest it got leaked to the public and the rumors began to fly on what was really going on behind the scenes of the twelve Tribes bedroom doors…and the truth was, I did.
Classic examples of what made me squeamish in public were being asked questions like,
Oh so your wife is pregnant, has she been to her doctor yet…? Or,
Oh, you’re going to have a home birth, so do you have a midwife…?
When faced with these types of questions I had two choices. I could just outright lie. But present it embroidered with some flowery nonsense which would leave the audience feeling satisfied that they had just received a very thoughtful and eloquent answer, although they may still be a little unsure of what was actually said, as I look at my watch, say something about milking a goat and make a dash for the door.
Or secondly, I could just fall to the floor in a fit of lip-biting convulsions screaming hoping that the quickly escalating chaos and growing crowd of onlookers would provide adequate misdirection that they may just forget the question altogether.
Both have worked successfully well and can be relied upon in a pinch without too much pre-rehearsal.
The feeling of being a keeper of some very strange secrets was something that I never really got used to, and certainly was it no more strongly present than at border crossings moving between Canada and the US or through airport customs going between countries. Somehow the presence of real gun-toting authority put the willies in me like nothing else. Almost any question you could possibly be asked in these situations would call for some degree of spontaneous fabrication with a few strands of truth weaved in for good measure while trying not to sound nervous or unsure of yourself.
Why not just tell the truth, I hear you ask? Well, because the truth was, we were a weird religious cult and telling the truth would just make things fucking worse.
I think many guests thought we were weird too although, most were just too polite to say so, and the rest were just so corrupted by the worlds all-embracing mantra of It’s all good they just didn’t even notice anything odd anyway.
Having guests visit the community unannounced would always cause a generous stir. An almost synchronized flurry of slamming doors, muffled cries, and children getting whisked away screaming by parents not wanting to expose their disciplinary measures to a jury would always accompany the smiling appearance of Mr and Mrs Smith who, on a whim, thought they might just pop in for a surprise cuppa.
But, guests are guests and most are only just passing through. The rubber met the road when you had to deal with your own family. They were the ones asking why you couldn’t leave the compound for a day and come to your brother’s wedding or make the time to be at Grandad’s funeral or Aunty’s birthday party. All of which, in the community were considered by the papacy to be fruitless gentile observances which God had no part of, and neither should you.
I have since given this generally held belief a resounding raspberry accompanied by my raised middle finger and felt rather good about it. The hearty observance of many birthdays since my departure has only strengthened my constitution that celebrating each other in life or paying respect in death is all a part of who we are as humans and repressing this can only lead to weirdness.
All thanks to the maturity of my outside family members who constantly covered for my unreasonable religious behavior and did their best not to make me feel worse by pointing out the hurt and grief I was unconsciously causing everybody on account of Yahshua Messiah and his earthly thugs.