In the fall of 2002, my life was deeply impacted when my mother and father both died within a three-week period. Then I lost my job after nineteen years in the public mental health field. These losses were compounded by the fact that two years earlier my husband and I had left the Trinity Foundation, which we came to believe was a religious cult. We were still in the recovery process after years of spiritual abuse. While engaged in grief counseling, my therapist suggested that it might be helpful to write about my cult experience. I nodded politely and said, “Maybe I should,” but I was actually thinking that it was a preposterous idea. How could I write a book while I was still struggling to understand the experience, and especially having a difficult time overcoming the awful shame of having been involved in a cult? The children were home-schooled by designated members and home-cooked meals were eaten together. The New Testament concept of “holding all things in common” was very appealing. I thought I had found a group of believers who were truly living as Christ envisioned.
When my husband and I came to realize that the Trinity Foundation was a spiritually abusive religious cult, all of those feelings were gone. Before, we felt we were involved in a great and meaningful expression of Christianity. After the realization, we were devastated. Both of us had our sense of self wrapped up in the mission of the Trinity Foundation and the lives of its members. When my husband and I left, I felt like an empty shell of a person. There was an overwhelming sense of loss—loss of community, loss of family, loss of faith, and loss of a vision. It was devastating to my sense of who I was and what I believed. My husband and I met through Trinity and he had been involved even before I came. For over eleven years he had worked for the organization as a “Levite,” making only eighty dollars a week. We both tried to come to terms with the futility we felt due to years of living in a religious community of lies.