Hi. My name is Michael Fleischmann and I was raised in a cult. As stated in my profile, my family lived in Florida for 12 years, with a crazy woman (let's call her "Vicki"). I talk about it in detail in my LJ community, it's listed in my "Website" info. I'll post a few tidbits here once in awhile.
After reading up on the subject, I had discovered that our life was like living in a cult, with Vicki (the woman) as the leader. We moved down there in 1985 (I was nine) and I got out around 1997, when we came to Michigan. I'm going to post a few details when I get free time, but here's the basics of what we dealt with.
1. Therapy. Everyone needed it, according to the woman, and everybody had a dysfunctional family and needed counseling.. oh yeah, and every family had at least one or more relatives who were molested.
2. Suicide. Nobody did it, but I can guarantee that every one of us were suicidal, more than once. That is, everybody except the woman and her family. That's how bad it was to live with her.
3. Money. Everyone had jobs, and gave money to her for bills.. though I suspect she kept a little for herself. Hmm. I don't recall her having a job for too long. Also, our family rarely, if ever, had anything in our name. The house, the cars.. they were mostly in Vicki's name, or someone in her family who lived with us. There were also the times when I was "charged" for doing something wrong.
4. Religious brainwashing. We were taught that unless we were Christians, we would go to Hell. And if we didn't want anybody else to go, we had to "witness" to them or else. We could not be friends with anyone who wasn't religious. We didn't go to church much, so we had "services" in the home, with the woman as the top pastor. The home was church.. according to her, we were the only true church, the only real "saved" people in the world. Also, she acted as if she had a direct line to God, as if He vocally told her stuff (for example, "God" told her we should pay her money).
5. Exorcism. Actually, it was called "deliverence." If we caused problems.. and if therapy, counseling, interrogation, religion didn't work? Well, then we were obviously possessed by a demon. Which means, we needed deliverence. It was crazy. I'll go into detail about this in another post.
6. Hot Seat. Ah yes, the hot seat. Our cult didn't have a name, probably because the woman (and everyone else) didn't think it was a cult, and they hate it when I use that word now. They always referred to us as a "family." Strange, isn't that what Charles Manson called his followers? Hmm. So, I call it the "hot seat cult." Here's why. Whenever we were in deep trouble, we would be in the hot seat. We sit in a chair, at a table. Everyone else would surround you. Then.. they ask questions, yell, interrogate. Twist your words, put their own words in, twist what you say, jump on every word. Everything is questioned. And if, by the end, therapy and interrogation didn't work.. well, you needed "deliverence." Oh, and you better answer quickly. If you paused or anything, you were I denial, censoring, witholding information, or a demon was keeping you from talking.
I know it's a lot of crap. It went on for 12 years. I'm going to post more later.. a lot more. Details. I also plan on writing a book series about my life in Florida.