How much is protecting your child worth?

I am planning a trip to Florida and I wanted to see the Holy land Amusement park. Instead I found an article in the Christian magazine about how it shut down last year. Seems appropriate – a plague brought it down. That led to this article.

It’s about Missionary’s kids and abuse but the same themes work at cohousing and Intentional Communities. Fear of letting outsiders know there are problems since it’ll look badly on the whole movement. Where to turn when your whole social structure is right there?

About CJ

I was a Spanish teacher for 5 years in the Public School system in 3 different states. I homeschooled and taught at a democratic free school. I heard about cohousing in 2010 and wanted to move in right away. I met a group building one in 2018 and got to move in the summer of 2019. It only took a year to want out.
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13 Responses to How much is protecting your child worth?

  1. Flower says:

    I’ve never heard of the Holy Land Experience, so I looked it up and the past reviews. The reviews seemed positive. That triggered a memory of attending the Laguna Arts Festival and the Pageant of the Masters. The show’s long time finale, was The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. It was amazing to see living art. I love visiting Florida and when I do I tend to spend most of my time near the beach. I enjoy cultural attractions too and enjoy a mix, but I tend to be more of an outdoor type of person. I enjoy off-the beaten path experiences, if I can find them. Also since COVID I avoid crowds. I started to read the article and it was distressing. I’m not surprised about the rates of abuse. I’ll reread it later. Thanks for the link.

  2. CJ says:

    I had a friend move to Florida a few years ago who was the least likely person you’d expect with theme parks and gators but she pointed out that she had family there and had lots of fun at all the natural parks. I have fallen in love with the birds in Florida – all the waterfowl among others.
    Yes, the article is depressing. Pace yourself or save it for later, or never. I find myself needing a break from listening to cult books and podcasts – you can only take so much negativity. I relate but it’s also now in the past and I don’t need to constantly relive it.

    • Flower says:

      I love the birds and the waterfowl too, plus I enjoy the tropical environment. I birdwatch where I live now. We have resident hawks and I woke up one morning and saw a mating pair of foxes in my backyard, plus a bobcat and a mother deer and her fawn when I was out walking where I usually go. There’s a lot of geese by the lake. I do miss seeing the shorebirds when I lived close to the sea. Last winter I spent a lot of time listening to podcasts about cults and when spring came I basically stopped, so I know what you mean about needing a break. I was sick for a few weeks around Thanksgiving, so the only thing I could do was read and that’s when I read up on some more cults and a murder story about a woman that went missing in Crestone–an old mining town that’s considered a spiritual center. I tend to read up more on the Buddhist cults since that is what I was exposed to the most. I mean that I experienced people who eschewed traditional or conventional anything in favor of the exact opposite. Anything or anyone “alternative” was their god and they pursued that with religious fervor and then they would try to push that or ram that down my throat. Of course I grew up in California–the cult center of the universe. It’s difficult to find people who are not extreme or those with a grain of common sense. I basically gave up trying.

      • CJ says:

        Yes, being counter culture doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good thing. We can’t throw away all the good. I naively used to believe that counter culture meant things would be better – cohousers would use non violent communication and work things out but it was the same old problems and personalities and even toxicity as in the main culture. On birdwatching, I wish I could remember which one is which. I even have books but I’m terrible at identifying. I just enjoy looking and a bobcat – how cool is that!

      • Flower says:

        I’m not great at identifying either, so I just enjoy their beauty. The bobcat sighting was so quick that I had to do a double take. I was in the mountains in late Oct., and was unaware of a mother elk and her baby were a mere 10 feet away. I was surprised, but it was a beautiful thing to see.

  3. Flower says:

    “Yes, being counter culture doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good thing. We can’t throw away all the good. I naively used to believe that counter culture meant things would be better – cohousers would use non violent communication and work things out but it was the same old problems and personalities and even toxicity as in the main culture.”

    This is probably not an easy question to answer, but why do you think you used to believe that counter culture meant things would be better? I met such toxic people in the counter culture or whatever they call themselves at a young age. The scars that form on your heart do not easily fade and the pain and resulting anger diminish but don’t disappear. If someone referred to themselves as a hippie they may as well wave a thousand red flags in my face.

  4. CJ says:

    I think because I believed all the therapy talk. For cohousing I thought the conflict resolution team would be used not knowing that they really are. If you read the info out there on cohousing, it’s all about how conflict will make you grow and come together. Maybe for some.
    I should have known from experience that I’ve spent most my life around counter culture and found plenty of dark spots but there is always hope that “this time” will be different. The main reason I trusted is that I did have a good experience at my Quaker college and our conflict and consensus moments actually did make us better people. My pals and I still comment on how lucky we were and we have never found that environment again. It was already at least 200 years old, unlike most intentional communities who are trying to build it all up from nothing. Now, hippie is a red flag for me too.

  5. Flower says:

    “If you read the info out there on cohousing, it’s all about how conflict will make you grow and come together.”

    I haven’t found that information anywhere unless you have to subscribe to some magazine to get it. I think we talked about this subject before when I questioned you about it. I also don’t believe that conflict will make people come together. It can create a lot of divisiveness and split people apart. It can undermine trust and create a lot of anger to name a few outcomes. I spent part of yesterday reading about the communes of the 60s and 70s and how many of them split apart and the reasons.

    There are also other ways to grow and become a better person if that is what someone is seeking. So much of what we learn we have to unlearn–that other people may think or feel the way we do even if in some ways they may be on the same page. At some point I recognized this attending my childhood church and I stopped going. Not everyone’s goal is to become a better person nor is it emotional growth, despite if they pay “lip service” to those aspirations. Those are merely words and not actions, which speak much louder. For many it’s just to get what they want or get their way at the expense of other people, so I look for congruence between words and actions. Besides bad things can happen to good people. I was a better person prior to the ugly experiences that I’ve lived through. Now I’m a changed person. There are some people who have a hard time with how I’ve changed, but that is their issue. I see it as personal growth which challenges them.

    I can see how you desired to recreate the feelings and experience that you had in college. I wrote earlier about my college experiences–abuse of power and trust and that isn’t an experience that one would seek to recreate, if possible. Yet I did experience it again and spoke out and that had implications. There are reasons why some people stick their heads in the sand and say nothing.

    I read something the other day about conflict–someone who has a TED talk about conflicts and they stated it takes two to tango. I stopped reading. I don’t ascribe to that belief. In some situations this may be applicable in others one person can create all of the conflict.

  6. CJ says:

    It’s hard to hear the phrase it takes two to tango. They obviously have never danced with a narcissist. It is not a fair fight! I saw the damage from one neighbor and how they influenced everyone else.

    • Flower says:

      I agree it’s not a fair fight. It’s a dumb cliche that needs to be deep-sixed. One person can create a lot of damage. Most people seem content to keep their heads in the sand until it happens to them and that’s the only thing that helps to create a change in perspective.

      I tried in a gentle way to try to warn a colleague about the behavior of some of the people that I worked with. She turned to me and replied that she “wasn’t a victim,” inferring that I was. Later when they turned on her and she started complaining to me I reminded her that I warned her about their behaviors. Her response in front of her new boyfriend was that the situation that involved her “was worse than yours.” She was seeking his agreement to let me know that her was much worse. She was someone that I knew outside of work and I eventually distanced her until I moved out of the area and she moved out of state. She was a narcissist. She left that boyfriend and found a new one that was useful who helped to get her involved in media.

      I don’t bother any more to try to warn people or really even bring up concerns since it seems people don’t tend to listen and have to learn the hard way. So I let them, but I also will not indulge their complaining because the dynamic for me is unhealthy. As the old saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.”

  7. CJ says:

    That’s how I feel. I’ve tried in many decisions to warn others that how someone treats one person, they will do it to another. And this wasn’t only when I was the target, but I saw them targeting others. I have never seen anyone believe me until, like in your experience, it was too late. History repeats itself.

    • Flower says:

      I agree because I’ve seen it for my own eyes. I’ve always thought that if someone treats someone poorly, then they will do the same to another and find an excuse. Too often I see people thinking that somehow they are special or are the chosen one and that is why bad things don’t happen to them. In her case she dismissed me as a “victim” and then when she experienced issues then her situation was “far worse”. I also used to speak up when I saw an abuser targeting others and like you, no one believes me until it is too late. Yet the same patterns continue. It creates a damned if you do, and damned if you don’t situation, because if someone questions why didn’t you say anything they will point a finger of blame. The issue is why don’t they take personal responsibility for their own choices and behaviors. So the pattern is don’t listen, ignore concerns, seek someone to blame and complain and make yourself out as a victim. After years of experiencing repeated similar behaviors I’ve become disinterested and it’s a reason for why I often distance people who behave this way. People are responsible for themselves.

      I think that psychologist’s refer to this as emotionally detaching from an outcome. I find it a difficult balance.

  8. CJ says:

    I’ll have to look up “emotionally detaching” but it seems far more common than heading warnings and speaking up. I would rather be an outcast again and speak up and see that pattern in my life since childhood where it was easier to stand up for others (than myself) but trying to learn to do that too and not let others shame me for trying to stop something that seems bad. I still prefer being safe than sorry. And the truth is history appreciates those who did stick their head out.

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